Review by beckonthemoon
"Big, sure, always perfect....eh"
Okay, so let's pretend you are on a horse, and suddenly you see a mountain, covered in fur and skin. and then the mountain chases you down, and tries to bash your head in. And then, you kill the mountain, and start over from where you started your horse ride through the set of Sound of Music. That's kind of like Shadow of the Colossus. This game was fun, awe-inspiring, and very difficult at some points. Beautiful game.
First, the story is barely even there. But not in a bad way. It's like grocery shopping, but instead of picking up plantains and marshmallow creme, you're killing these huge creatures that really seem to want you to die. For the most part the story is fairly straight forward. You're girlfriends dead, so you have to 16 beasts so this creepy voice will bring her back to life. Okay, well as simple as that sounds, as the story progresses, that simplicity trickles away and becomes a very different and beautiful story. Deep and complex, the story instantly becomes as deep as a ocean. Unfortunately, this also hurts the game because you have no real story, and then BAM!!, you have a huge one. It can be complex, but it could just as easily be confusing and pointless. There are other bad guys in the game, but they really don't matter in the long term. They aren't what you will be remembering. Final Score: 9/10
Next, the graphics. The best part of the game. Every hair of the colossi can be seen clearly. Every broken and displaced stone can be seen shattering, piece by piece, when the collosi hit them. And the first time you get to the water, go under. These graphics will entice any swimmer, and frighten anyone afraid of water that is murky and that cannot be seen through (like myself). The graphics carry this game at all times, even if the lizards looks more fake then they should. Final Score: 9/10
As much as I have praised this game, it's time to point out it's flaws. The first of these two is the design of the collosi. Not how they look graphically, that's amazing. But of the 16 you will face, only about 9 look original and different from the others. As a matter of fact, the first and 15th look EXACTLY the same, sans there weapons. Also, there are two smaller collosi who look exactly the same. The 9 who look different look outstanding. Each of the collosi is based on an animal or type of warrior, and they do make an impression. I just wish there was some variety to their design. Final Score: 6/10
Finally, we reach the worst feature of the game, and the big reason the game isn't a 9 out of 10. The gameplay. First off, there is your horse, Argo. Argo is generally one of the worst horses in the history of video games. He's afraid to get within 8 feet of a ledge, he turns very slowly, and takes anywhere from 5 seconds to 4 minutes to come when you call him. He is generally useless as a NPC (Non-Playable Character), and terrible transportation. Unfortunately, you have to have him. And you need him during some of the collosi fights. Argo Final Score: 1/10
Next, there is a feature in the gameplay that leaves any good player feeling like Nancy Drew. Once each colossus dies, you are transported to a temple. Then you go and find the next one. Kill it. I dare you. Because once it dies, you will be transported RIGHT BACK to that temple. The cutscenes that play out become tedious and don't move the story forward in any way what so ever. It's not like it hinders you, it's just freakishly annoying. Return Policy Final Score: 5/10
Finally, the fights. Low and behold I heard the 13th colossus was the best one from sources like IGN and GameInformer. Well, that's a bold faced lie. The only feeling of elation you will receive from the fights is when you beat them. Some of the fights are very deep and creative. But others are like Crash Bandicoot on crack. I was waiting for one colossus to shoot fire balls at me while piece of my platform disappeared. And don't expect this to lose tedium either. The only way to kill each colossi is to stab it in glowing symbols on it's body. Welp, most of these symbols will be found on every colossi's head. The fights really don't matter on how you kill it. It's a matter of getting to the symbol. and this can be fun, but it can be ridiculously awkward and wayward getting there. Overall Gameplay Final Score: 4/10
Despite some of the apparent flaws, this game is worth playing. If you can look past those flaws, you will make it to the intense and difficult final colossus, who is, without a doubt, the best fight in the entire game. Pick it up, try it, beat it, then sell it. Trust me, it's like taking a shower.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 12/08/08
Game Release: Shadow of the Colossus (US, 10/18/05)
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