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Scholar's Parrot

Shadow of the Colossus & Ico

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[Mod: This post was split from the film thread for SOTC.]

Sorry to resurrect this thread, but I was looking for a thread on videogames so I could talk about this game and it's spiritual successor Ico. I'm so happy other people have fallen in love with this the same way I have. I think what I love most about it is the sense of wonder from seeing these gigantic beasts. And the thing I dislike most about it is watching them die...but it's still one of the best games I've ever played.

What's everyone think if Ico? Has anyone played it?

Edit: Sorry new here...

Edited by Scholar's Parrot

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I've only played Shadow... a little, courtesy of my brother, but really enjoyed it. There's a melancholy and otherworldly tone to the game that I find incredibly absorbing, and even though the plot is pretty straightforward, I find myself wanting to explore the game's world because it's so absorbing -- even though it's incredibly minimal. Which says a lot about the game design, IMO.

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Noting that I don't finish very many games, I got to I think the third Colossus before other things caught my attention. But there's no question that SotC is brilliant, both from technical and design perspectives. I haven't played Ico (which would be a spiritual *predecessor*, no?) but I gather that it takes a similarly minimalist approach.

SotC came out at a time when there were a lot of people whining about lack of creativity in the game industry. In my opinion, those people really look foolish when games like this continue to amaze. There are a few coming out every year. This past year it would have been Portal.

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I've played both Shadow and Ico. I got about halfway though SotC before moving out of my cousin's house (who was furnishing the PS2). Both games are amazing, though they are very different games.

Ico was my favorite of the two, so I'll address it first. The game mechanic is a tried and true one - you are an athletic, quick, acrobatic, character who has to lead a fragile, slow character through various levels while protecting her from spirits that materialize after a time. The story of the game is wonderfully mysterious - you have been sacrificed at this temple by your tribe and when you wake up you are inside and there's a glowing girl up in a cage in the same room. You rescue her and try to find your way out together. But why you were sacrificed, and who the girl is, remains a mystery through much of the game. The environments also add a lot to the mystery - very ancient and misty and beautiful. The one thing about it is that it's fairly short, probably from 10 to 15 hours of game play, but I'd still suggest buying it rather than just renting because it's a game you'll want to play through several times.

SotC has a lot to recommend it also, but Penny Arcade made a really interesting observation about that game that I'd like to comment on. The premise of the game is that your love has died and it is revealed to you that if you kill these colossi, she will be revived. So you go do so. But these colossi are, by all appearances, very peaceful, ancient beings. And you have to kill them. It creates a weird gaming experience, as the primary object of the game actually makes you feel guilty and sad as you complete it. It's quite unnerving.

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Decided to copy Tycho' comment, just because he expresses this so... interestingly.

In the same way that Blitz: The League is an an acerbic appraisal of the NFL, Shadow of the Colossus feels like an indictment of gaming as usual in many ways. There are elements of the story that are ambiguous from the outset, not because the story is being told poorly but because the situation you find yourself in and the powers you come into contact with are not drawn with absolute clarity. So while you go through the ordinary motions that we associate with videogames - discern objective, eradicate opposition, return for reward - you're engaged in a series of acts whose moral virtue is by no means assured. The supposed hero is assaulting majestic, sometimes docile, sometimes curious, sometimes sleeping creatures. They're almost all portrayed in a sympathetic light at some point, and it's hard not to feel disgusted at times for iterating Hollow Game Mechanic X by rote without any sense of the moral spectrum the acts inhabit.

source

Edited by solishu

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They're almost all portrayed in a sympathetic light at some point, and it's hard not to feel disgusted at times for iterating Hollow Game Mechanic X by rote without any sense of the moral spectrum the acts inhabit.
The game was initially lauded for being a zen-like alternative to the typical blow 'em up action/adventure games, but i always had a problem with unrelentingly brutal manner in which one must take down the beasts. As anyone whose played knows, you must repeatedly and aggressively stab the creatures bodies, often in a single location for minutes at a time, while black matter is spraying up in fountains all over your character. Nevertheless, the game remains one of my favorite PS2 titles ever and the overall experience is unlike anything else out there.

I was never able to finish and I'm still on Collosus #15 (i think... the one you leap on from the bridge) I still return to the game from time to time, but unfortunately the cam angles while riding and battling have a tendency to make me nauseous after playing for a few minutes.

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Here's a link to our thread on Trico, the latest project from the team behind Shadow... and Ico.

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