Published on October 10th, 2011 | by Charlie


Review: Ico & Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection

Review: Ico & Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection Charlie

Summary: Charlie takes a look at Ico & Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection, is it any good? read the review to find out!


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Finally! A HD collection I actually managed to finish. God of War comes in close second as I’ve almost finished the second game, with Sly coming in third place as “almost complete”… as in “far off”. Although there has been a PS2 in our house before, I can honestly say that I have never played Ico & Shadow of the Colossus, so what I was about to play was a mystery to me. When I booted up the game, I found out that the games weren’t english. It was only translated into it, and personally I am not a fan of that idea. I tend to prefer playing English games, but Ico & Shadow of the Colossus has really opened my mind. I can honestly say that this was money well spent. Let’s start with Ico. When I started the game, I was rather confused on how the game worked. Since I had no previous experience with the game, little did I even know of its genre. It obviously wasn’t a FPS, and it certainly wasn’t a racer. But instead, it was an action-adventure puzzler, which really surprised me as I kind of imagined Ico as a JRPG. The story behind the game is that you play as Ico (surprise surprise). He is locked away in what seems like a prison, due to the fact that he has horns, which in his village, is considered as an omen. Soon after, a tremor occurs in the prison and the sarcophagi he was locked in collapses to the floor, allowing him to break free. While he tries to find a way out, he spots something dripping onto the floor; a black liquid. He finds the source of the liquid and finds a girl locked in a cage named Yorda. Ico helps her to escape the cage, but they are soon attacked by shadowy creatures that try to take Yorda away, and if they succeed, Ico turns to stone. Ico realizes that Yorda is no ordinary girl, and can cause strange ruins to light up and move, opening a path. The entire game is basically an “escape the prison” game. As you travel around the prison, you need to keep Yorda pretty close to you as the shadowy creatures can appear at any time, and you need to fight them off and stop them from taking Yorda. Helping Yorda reach areas is not easy, as she will not climb rope or chains, and neither will she swim like you can, so you usually need to find another way to help her up to your level, if that is where your next objective is. There are two ways she will move around, and that is by either calling her (which gets a little annoying) or by holding her hand as often as you can. That way, she will be by your side most times and you won’t have to keep calling her. To fend off the shadowy creatures, you need to have a weapon, whether it be a stick or a shiny sword. The better your weapon, the more damage you do to the creatures (you can even find a mace somewhere in the game which kills the creatures in 1-2 hits flat, but it requires a keen eye and a good mind to figure out what to do to get it). Ico is a beautiful game too. Comparing the PS2 and PS3 version graphically (I had to do a bit of YouTubing here, to see what Ico “looked” like), the HD graphics make the game look like it was made back in 2007, not 2001. The lighting is very heavy in the game too, which isn’t really a bad thing. Ico is not only visually beautiful, but is also a great challenge to those into puzzles that look hard, but are relatively simple (Almost like Portal). If you’re a person who likes a lot of dialogue in the game, then don’t expect much from Ico. It’s more “doing” than “saying” to be honest. Do you know what I loved about Shadow of the Colossus? I honestly expected the game to act/feel exactly like Ico. I honestly thought it would be another puzzler. How wrong I was. In this game, a man named Wander travels to a forbidden land with his horse, Agro. He travels to this land in the hopes he can revive a woman named Mono, who was sacrificed for presumably being cursed. He calls out to Dormin, who is believed to have the power to revive the dead. Wander requests that Mono is brought back to life, but Dormin asks him to do something first. Wander is to travel out into the land with his magical sword and defeat 16 colossi. This is no easy task, as many are as big as a mountain, while others are as small as a car. The bigger the colossus is, the slower it is. One by one, Wander sets off to destroy the colossi, but in doing this task for Dormin, there bares an even worse price. The gameplay is a lot different to Ico’s for a fact. Ico wasn’t exactly open world, while Shadow of the Colossus is. You are to find all 16 colossi one by one (you cant do colossus number 1 and then move onto number 3. You have to kill them in the order Dormin asks you), and then slay them. But then, how do you slay something so big? Each colossus comes with it’s own traits. Some might have scales which allow you to grab a hold of, while others have fur you need to cling on to. At first, killing the colossi seems hard, and then it gets easier (because you are getting the hang of what you have to do) but it soon gets harder as you are forced to shed off armor they may have to protect their glowing marks. It is these glowing marks, or symbols, you need to try and reach. Once you are over the mark, you need to stab it with your sword, and that will do damage to a colossus. You need to be careful too as you only have a certain amount of energy to hold onto the colossus. If you are holding onto it’s fur and you run out of energy, you might just end up falling off it, meaning you have to find your way back up onto it all over again. Once you defeat a colossus, strange black lines appear from it, and Wander absorbs them and passes out. He soon wakes up back at the shrine where Mono is, which to me was a relief as at first, I felt I might have to travel back and forth between the temple and a colossus… but thankfully not. Essentially the game is “find the boss, and then kill the boss”, so initially the game sounds repetitive. Each colossus comes with their own strategy, so to be honest with you, the game isn’t as repetitive as it sounds (thankfully). Shadow of the Colossus also looks visually stunning. When you are riding through the fields on Agro, you just can’t think of a more beautiful game (don’t get me wrong, there are better looking games, but during those moments, you forget every other game). What’s better is that both games come with New Game+, so transferring your progress just got easier, especially since there are collectables to be had in Shadow of the Colossus. Plus, Hard Mode unlocks for Shadow of the Colossus once completed, so it adds an even greater challenge. What is rather interesting about Ico and Shadow of the Colossus is that it has puzzled people into whether both games are linked. You will definitely find out how the two games could be linked, but you will never be 100% sure if they are part of the same game universe. I am glad I bought this collection. Before, I had no idea what to expect from “The Last Guardian” and I actually didn’t know why people were so excited about it. But playing these two games has opened my mind to a whole new world. Sure, both games are rather short. But combined, both games deserve to be praised for what they are.

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About the Author

Some say I should be a video game journalist, others say a video game designer. Shame you can't be both.

  • nice review

  • guest

    you are gay

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