December 6, 2006

Shadow of the Colossus

Shadow of the Colossus is the prequel to the cult favorite Ico, but developed after Ico by the same team. It has much of the same mood and atmosphere, and control scheme that tastes familiar although is more advanced and refined. The graphics are improved, and the sound track was done by Kow Otani, whom I think is an excellent composer. The coolest thing about this game is how you take on the giant colossi.

That's something which I think would be extremely hard to accomplish. You have a person of normal height, and you have to defeat colossi of all shapes and sizes, both in the water, on land, and those that go through the skies. The behavior and AI of the colossi seems natural although limited in their actions. Each has a particular weak spot or specific sequence of events that allow you to defeat them. Identifying the correct sequence of actions to take, and how to approach each colossus, is the real puzzle and a wonderful puzzle.

The ending is excellent. I was left with a feeling of foreboding, having played Ico, and at times felt saddened with a sense of loss, then at times held hope. The music and scenery and how things transpire in the end made me wonder if I'd done everything I could, and also wondering if I'd done the right thing. But that's where the hope comes into play.

Shadow of the Colossus also provides additional challenges for those who want to play through again. Apparently there are special items and weapons you can acquire if you play through on hard mode or with the time challenge. Those don't interest me a whole lot because the basic attack strategies are already known to me and I also know what the ending will be.

Posted by josuah at December 6, 2006 7:52 AM UTC+00:00

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