I admit it: I’m one of those losers who had a broken PS2 when Shadow of the Colossus was first released in 2005. I always heard amazing rants from friends and customers alike. I missed out on a core game that has set new standards that no one has attempted to emulate. Which is why I deemed it absolutely necessary that I picked up a copy of Ico & Shadow of the Colossus collection. Shadow of the Colossus is in a category of itself, part adventure, part platformer and equal parts hoof stomping action.
Playing this stunning classic for the first time has reignited the open for interpretation experience that has gone unseen for quite sometime in more modern dynasty franchise titles such as Assassin’s Creed, Mass Effect and Fallout. These games have taken the delivery of story telling to great heights but have left out a key component that leaves a sense of absence, that component being interpretation. Within each of these titles, which I’m not denuding, the stories are spoon fed to players with little to no room for that classic sense wonderment. Shadow of the Colossus only serves players tiny morsels of ambiguous story lines after slaying humongous beings. This leaves one pondering from start to finish who’s this tiny boy with a huge horse, are these so called “monsters” deities, am I a monster, and why is my girlfriend so dead?
Shadow of the Colossus is one of the very few games I have ever played that has truly grasped a true sense of size. In most other games I’ve played *cough God of War, when confronted with bosses that require mounting there’s literally no reaction to their movements, our hero just keeps his cool and doesn’t budge a single frame whilst stabbing baddies in the face. In Shadow of the Colossus simply scaling one of these furious mountains of Aztecian temple size gives one a great sense of how it feels to control a new born giraffe whose has decided to take up ice skating. Your character is pulled in every direction when a colossus does as little as scratch his nose, which adds tremendously to that tiny guy feel. This could also be extremely unforgiving when his little hands decide to give out on him and send you plummeting off that moving building that took you nearly half an hour to scale.
Control wise this game hasn’t aged too badly, but I did harp on the fact that there’s a grab button. I’m not talking about grabbing switches or boxes or anything like that, I’m talking about simple things like ledges, vines and back hair. Then again, more modern platformers have spoiled me into thinking I never have to press a jump button thanks to that convenient auto jump feature.
Both Shadow of the Colossus and Ico have the option to be played in 3D, sadly I don’t posses a 3D TV and did not get the chance to take advantage of this neat little enhancement. From what I’ve heard from other fellow gamers that the 3D in this game is no gimmick especially with the ability to actually adjust the intensity of the 3D to get that crisp 3D picture exactly where you want it. The landscapes, character movements, and enemies still remain unique and gorgeous with today’s standards and will continue for quite some time. If you have not played the original, do yourself an enormous favor and do so now.