Shadow of the Colossus

Developer: Team ico

Publisher: Sony

Original release date: October 18, 2005 for Playstation-2/ September 22, 2011 Playstation-3

Review written on 3/26/2016

By Zechariah Gerthung

I think this game is best described by the name of its soundtrack, Roar of the Earth. If you like a game that’s challenging, thrilling, and unlike any other you’ve ever had the chance to play, I beseech you to give this one a go.

What brought about me going back and visiting this old, and very amazing game, one that many consider a classic, is a friend’s insistence that I would love it. Taking them up on the offer of borrowing their copy, their ps2 and a controller, and strapping in for what I think was the best 9-10 hours of game-play I’ve had in a long time.

The basic story of the game is as follows. The woman you love is dead, however there is rumors of a way to bring someone back to life in a forbidden land. Taking her body, and stealing an ancient sword, you travel with your horse to this forbidden land, and end up in the shrine of worship. After striking a deal with a Dark God, you’re set forth to destroy 16 Colossus

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The mechanics themselves of this game are very simple and easy to understand. The general idea is, once you come across the colossus you’re on, you must somehow get onto it, either by climbing limbs, an adjacent wall and leaping on, or even causing it to run into something and quickly climbing on. Once on you must use your sword to locate, and viciously stab into the beasts glowing weak points until you eventually kill it. Getting to the Colossus is also fairly easy, you mount onto your horse, Aggro, and using the sword when in adequate light, shine a beam that will focus once it’s pointed in the direction of the Colossus your after.

Moving on its time I speak about the pros and cons of the game, as things I liked and didn’t like after my play through.

Pros

  1. Lets start off strong, the games soundtrack, is absolutely fantastic, each song fits the boss, and the fight with it perfectly, and the music switches and changes from when you’re on the colossus to if you fall of seamlessly.
  2. Each Colossus fight is vastly different in terms of how you manage to get to the weak points to actually slay it, thusly I never felt like the fights where repetitive.
  3. The world, and game, though 11 years old now, are still absolutely gorgeous, with many a vista to visit and enjoy.
  4. The mechanics are very simple, and strait forward, yet allow for amazing things to happen if you’re skilled, and clever enough.

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Cons

  1. Though the world is massive, expansive, and you can go to anywhere you can see, aside from a very simplistic map, and the beam of light your sword emits pointing you in the direction of the Colossus, it is very easy to get lost, and spend a lot of time going around in circles.
  2. Though the mechanics are spot on, solid and allow for all sort of crazy tactics of getting your way to the weak points and bringing down the colossus, the controls, are far from intuitive, and are fairly clunky.
  3. Now while I have said that the game is still gorgeous, one thing that it does have issue with, espically later on during the final boss, the camera angels sometimes can be very difficult to deal with, cause you to make very silly or flat out dumb mistakes.

 

*SPOILER WARNING*

MEGA RANT

So I’m going to talk briefly, about my biggest complaint, love, and hatred, which all happens to be at the very end of this game. After hashing it out with 15 monstrosities the size of mansions and armored transport vehicles, you come to the final Colossus. It is the strongest, most powerful, and biggest of them all. In fact it is so large that it cannot actually move. However it does have this incredibly annoying, and DEVESTATING, power/laser sort of attack that it launches at you from its hand. The only way to prevent losing half of your HP bar in a moment’s notice is to be behind this large thick stone barriers. You need to maneuver your way between them, down through trenches, and then forward until you finally reach the base of this big Monster. After a Grueling trek up the skirt of it, you find yourself on the exposed abdomen and back. A weakness is displayed, stabbing it brings the creatures hand to it’s back, you need to then jump onto it, and enter, for me, what was the most annoying, and time consuming part of this fight.

I cannot, and do not want to admit how long I was stuck. After getting onto the monsters hand you ride it back up near it’s face, you must then run up the arm anime style, and latch onto it’s bicep, after stabbing into it, it then tries to grab at the wound with its other hand. Then you need to proceed to jump from the bicep to the other hand, and the camera, and controls will be your biggest enemy here, if you successfully manage to transfer over, you’re now at the part that I have the most issue with, and arguably what almost ruined my experience with this game.

Once on his other hand, I may have missed it the 5-10 times I was on there before I finally figured it out from a hint a friend gave me, but you’re to stab the back of the hand you’re now on so it stops waving it around and brings you forward to look at what was just stabbing it. At that point you must then quickly switch to your bow and arrow, and fire at its exposed shoulder. Grab on tight as it swings its hand over to grab at the wound. From there you must jump off the hand onto the very top of the Colossus, and make your way to it’s head, from this point so long as you’re careful and don’t let your grip fully go away, this thing is as good as dead.

Now I’ve gone through the length and pain of explaining my experience with this fight because this almost ruined the game for me. In every prior fight I was able to work out fairly easily what I needed to do based on the environments placement, looks, or even the colossus’s actions itself. As well as that I was always able to work out where and what I had to do in order to get to the weak points on each colossus fairly easily. They way to the points was always clearly laid out once on the colossus itself, and they always had multiple ways of approaching it as well. However with this one, there is a one way, strait forward path on getting to its weak point, and if you’re anything like me, it will augment your play through adding on a good hour and a half to your time. I personally hated this final fight, as amazing and grandiose as I understand that it was now looking back upon it after finishing the game.

*END OF SPOILERS*

After everything is said and done, as I finished the game and the credits rolled, I felt incredibly satisfied. The ending portion to this game after the 16 colossus is something you must experience for yourself. Having time to reflect and think on my time with it, I honestly think that a good 98% of my time was well spent and with a large smile on my face as I explored, and enjoyed the world before me. If you’re a fan of fantasy games, Monster games, or challenging games, I highly recommend this to you, because there are none like it in existence, and none, that quite compare.

The game is available on Playstaion 2, and an HD version and remake on Playstation 3.

The game has an ESRB rating of T, for Teens, and a PEGI rating of 12+

 

 

 

 

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