Shadow of the Colossus
Lukas' Shadow of the Colossus Review
Difficulty isn't too hard
Framerate at an all-time slowdown.
Controls aren't 100% responsive
Not too many games have this now that they are going towards mutation, Keyblades and all this power shit going around games these days. Shadow of the Colossus does not have those 3 just mentioned. No, it's real. Well, not that real. Since when was the last time some giant stone animals attacked us? Another non-realistic thing is the fact that the voice can revive the dead. Like, what the hell? No one can do that in real life. The last non-real thing is the fact that if you get smushed by one of the Colossi, you get badly hurt. In real life, you'd die. They're that freaking huge! Other than that, the graphics are quite realistic, the story is sort of realistic and combat is very, very realistic.
Onto the story, you're a nameless traveler (his name is Wander) who has to save his dead girl and some voice can ressurect her, but Wander has to kill the 16 Colossi so that the voice can ressurect the girl. The girl has been dead for some time and Wander had carried her around with his horse, Argo, and they eventually stop at a temple where the voice is. The 16 Colossi are huge giants. And by huge, I mean about as big as all of Australia, and some voice puts you up against these guys? It's joking, right? Well, no, it isn't. Anyway, there isn't much of a story, and it's the same thing. Find the Colossi and kill it, repeat that 15 times and then you can ressurect your girl. But remember that all stories don't need to be long and complicated. Remember Final Fantasy X? That got me in circles with all the plot twists and such. And don't get me started on Tales of Symphonia. At least with this game, the story is quite original, well thought out and simplistic. There's hardly a plot twist as you have to kill 16 giants.
The Colossi will probably be the hardest boss battles you've ever thought (excluding all the ones from Ninja Gaiden and any other non-gun related game). First, you have to find them. Next, you need to find their weaknesses. Thirdly, you need to climb up to them. And finally, you need to stab them there. But who said it was that easy? Be prepared to take a while to kill the Colossi, especially when your sword can't detect their weaknesses. Make sure your R1 button is working, because you'll need it to climb up to the runes on their bodies. You just need to climb up on their hairs or any ledges they have on some body parts as the Colossi are made of stone. If they were made of flesh, this game would be too hard for the newbies (ie. me) to the genre. As for climbing, it has a limit. If the circle goes too small, you will fall, so don't hold on to R1 for too long. This adds to the realism.
Speaking of realism, check the graphics out! No longer are we disspointed with the cel-shading of X-Men Legends II: Rise of Aplocalypse, or the fake-realism of Tekken 5. This game has graphics better than that of God of War. I mean, when was the last time the movements were fluid, not linear? While Wander actually looks like he's turning, in games like Dragon Quest VIII, if you make a sharp turn, you don't 'turn', you simply just go that direction, no realism what-so-ever. As for the landscape, who can argue about them looking greater than all of the landscapes from other games? Probably Square-Enix, otherwise, no one. But whatever you do, DON'T PLAY THIS ON A SMALL TV! If you have a big TV, hell, a plasma screen, the graphics will be more enjoyable. On a small TV, forget it. Oh, and this game loves to pull a lot of slow-downs on you. Why? The PS2 is about 6 frickin years old, and this is suited for something like the 720 or maybe a very well designed 360. But since PS2 is one to not take good graphics very well, this will turn gamers away and will proably await a 360 release which will not happen. Sorry to say, but this should be on the 360 as well. Then it wouldn't slow down as much. But there's still some good. The Colossi are all pale but they are still as good looking as Wander, Agor and the landscape. But, yeah, how does the PS2 manage to support this again? By slowing the whole freaking game down, that's how.
And to add that on, how about we make some easy to remember controls respond as fast as a snail? The controls aren't very responsive. And by that, I mean it'll take a fair bit to stab the Colossi. Also, slightly letting go of R1 and suddenly falling is probably the speed of light reaction, yet when we want to kick some ass, it's suddenly snail-reaction.
Has anyone tried looking at the game's camera? Or trying to get the feel? Holding L1 will get you to look at the Colossi, and the right analogue stick is for the freely camera control. Unlike many gamers, the freely camera control is not my favoute way of looking for weak points and hit it to hell. Unless I'm behind the Colossi and the camera is just in front of the Colossi, on the other side of me, I'm against the freely controled camera. Well, for this game anyway. The right analogue stick is super responsive and, in most cases, will screw you up when trying to find some hair/ledges to climb. Holding L1 doesn't do any better. I don't go for either controls, but it's your choice. As far as the L1 goes, it's even worse and you might as well either trust the right analogue stick or neither.
I quite like the musical score though. When you're around the field, it's just some music that's not memorable. When fighting a Colossi, it's quite... OW! MY EARS! Nah, it's not bad, it's quite good. Just don't turn up the volume, they want to get the message to you that you're going to die to a giant about a million times bigger than you. You barely reach their ankles! And when the Colossi die, the music is the sad kind. I mean, what did it do to you? Why doesn't the voice bother to kick it's ass instead? You didn't need to harm it for the soul of your girl. Well, technically, you did, but these are probably the only 16 giants in the world. I wonder if that's the reason we don't have them anymore. Meh... The music is quite emotional too. When you're out on the field, it's the boring music. When you're in the temple, it's the... something music. When you're fighting the Colossi, it's the exciting kind. When you kill a Colossi, it's the sad kind. It's not too emotional, but this would actually be a game for emo kids. Not really, the Emos would probably pretend to be the Colossi when they hear the incredibally sad music or pretend to be Wander when they get their asses owned by the Colossi. At any rate, the music is good. Oh, and no voices, so that's a good thing because there, there's no/rarely any cutscenes.
As far as anything else goes, nada. Wander wants to save his girl for Christ sake, why do you people always expect more to do? It's too common. The girl comes first, so sidequests are a miss. Actually, all you're doing is killing the Colossi to ressurect your girl. There's no side enemies (other than birds, insects and the like that are real) so that can turn some people off. But here's the thing. The Colossi are quite different from one-another. For one thing, the first 2 are giants with fur and feet, wheras the next one has a sword sort of thing and doesn't just rely on banging the floor to bits, and the one after is a horse headed scorpion Agor is scared of, and the Colossi just keep varying I guess.
How many times did I mention Agor? He's useful! He does what he's told. When you press X and call for Agor, he comes. Agor is a black horse (and no, I'm not being racist, he's literally black. Hex Code #000000) with a saddle. All you get to do with Agor is get from the temple to the Colossi. And to help, you have your sword which must be in sunlight to help you locate each and every Colossi. Sometimes, you're not in sunlight so it'll be hard to locate the Colossi, but most of the time in that situation, you'll be pretty close to it. And you even get to look for them on the beautiful landscape too! However, if you don't like adventuring to look for the Colossi, then re-think that and rent this game, just to see how bad it is. It's not half-bad actually. At least it's possible to find them. How? Your sword! And you even get Agor, the horse, to help you get to the Colossi much faster. If you like adventuring, why not buy this game already!?
I think I've explained all there is to explain without spoiling too much, but there's 2 things left to do.
It's very original trying to climb up to the Colossi and get him where he's weak the most. The only problem is how tedious this gets. How tedious? The climbing meter adds to realism, but gets really annoying considering that the Colossi love shaking their asses to get you off. Another tedious thing is the camera, otherwise, this has very, very good gameplay.
Sluggish at times, otherwise, quite realistic.
It's simple, but emotional, romantic and has some action in it. I mean, come on, you're saving your girl from death by killing 16 huge giants! The ending is really good too. However, lack of more people lowered this down. Otherwise, it'd be better.
Quite good for a PS2 game. It's very, very detailed and not a scatch on it.
If it wasn't for the fact that there were absolutely no voices (other than the voice), it'd get a 5. The music was to die for and suited the parts of Shadow of the Colossus.
Clocking at around the 12 hour mark, this game does feel unfinished, but I'd like someone to make a PS2 game with graphics better than that and longer than 40 hours (or longer than Xenosaga Ep 2, then you can bitch to these guys all you want, but until then, stop bitching). There's also a hard mode when you finish the game, and if you had fun the first time, this'd be good for a challenge.
"But there wasn't any gore, F words or nudity" Oh, shut the hell up you stupid noob. Go play God of War or Halo 2, that'll keep you busy while use 'real' gamers have fun with this game. Seriously, though, this is the 2nd game that didn't have too much of the red stuff, the bad words or the nekkid peoples that was, in my opinion, very enjoyable. The tedious bits were annoying, but judging how fun it is to find out where the Colossi are weak and the fact that this game wasn't even close to any symptoms of the 'coolness' plague, and this deserved a 5.
When was the last time a game like this hit the stores? Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time? No, too long. Umm... I give up. Oh, no, Kingdom Hearts? Not really. This is the sort of game that comes every few years, not from God himself, but more from a good game developing group.
This is like a true piece of art but a few strokes went wonky, making this game a 4.7/5.0. If you have a PS2, play this game! It won't waste any of your time.
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