December 14, 2004

Finished ICO

I just finished ICO (US site), a cult classic released for the Playstation 2 in 2001. This was one of the first games I really wanted to get a PS2 for, and maybe the only PS2 game I had interest in besides RPGs. It was a very short game, at seven hours, but it was also very good. It would have to be the best puzzle game I've played in a very long time.

The plot is relatively engrossing, for a game that depends more on puzzle elements than the story, but the ending leaves certain things unanswered. It feels more authentic with two different spoken languages, only one of which is displayed in English subtitles. This requires you to provide your own interpretation for what is going on, but the voice acting is good enough for tone and emotion to help convey the messages.

I also really enjoyed the background art (although it was lower-resolution than what gamers are accustomed to today) and the ambient audio. Playing ICO really felt like an amazing place to explore, and with the volume up and the lights off, I could lose myself in ICO's world. (I actually turned up the volume to -25dB for ICO, because the audio was so enveloping. I normally play video games at -40dB.)

I will have to get the follow-up game, Wanda and the Colossus. It's not a sequel, but it's been developed by the same team as ICO and features the same sort puzzle-solving gameplay.

Posted by josuah at December 14, 2004 8:37 AM UTC+00:00

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