Review by xchamp1517

"Certainly unique"

I went out, picked up this game, popped it in, and after watching the initial sequence , I was attached.

--story

The game starts out with a young man traveling to the end of the earth to revive a dead girl. Whether this girl is his lover or family or a friend we are uncertain of. That's what gives SotC a big boost. Most of the story is created by the player, with only some direction from the artist. Anyway, a creature named Dormin tells the man to kill 16 colossi in order to bring the girl back to life. As the game moves along, very little of the plot is revealed. It is the ending sequence that sums everything up, leaving the player satisfied with a lot to think about.

Although the story is pretty basic by itself, the way that it keeps the player guessing is what makes it excellent (did I mention that you are treated with an amazing ending?).

--graphics and such

Well I'm sure that everyone would agree that the world you play in is extremely large. So large, that without your horse, it would take as much time to find a colossi as it takes to actually beat one. Even though SotC is for ps2, the graphics are superb, realistic, and very pleasing. From the deep canyons to the dark forests to the open plains and deserts, each area is detailed with such precision and gives a sense of enjoyment while traveling through it. Special effects are also very good. The water interaction is stunning and the lighting gives a real boost to both the symbolism in the game and the reality of the world you are in.

The focus on Shadow of the Colossus however are the colossi. All of these (except 2) are massive, well designed, and neat looking creatures. You can see each individual piece of fur, each detail on the armor, and only a tenth of the thing ( ;) that's how big they are)

--game play

This of course is where the game shines. From the ripe symbolism to the last thrust of your sword into a colossus, the game is awesome all the way through. Each battle really challenges your thinking abilities, and sometimes when you know how to win but can't execute, your patience :p. The method is actually pretty basic. You grab your trusty horse, find a sunny spot, get the direction from your sword, and travel to your enemy. There are no annoying minions along the way either, which would have ruined the mode and atmosphere of the game. Once you get near the colossus, a small cut scene will occur, and soon after you're engaged in combat. The idea is simple. Point your sword at the colossus to find it's vital (weak) areas and find a way to get to them. However, that's easier said than done. Each battle is extremely intense. With all the banging, crashing, stomping, and thundering music, you end up getting engrossed in each battle, which usually end up taking at least a half hour on your first try.

The controls: this is where the game falls short in my opinion. The same control you use to move your horse also slows down your horse, which can be frustrating at times (especially when you need your horse in battle). Also jumping on the horse can be a challenge sometimes because you need next to perfect positioning. And the annoying camera angles aren't too much of a help either. But overall the controls are good enough and shouldn't interfere with your playing a lot.

--music

The few soundtracks in Shadow of the Colossus are amazing. While traveling through the land, you only hear wonderful sound effects such as the wind blowing, or the hoof beats of your horse. When you get near the colossus, the eerie sense of the game is expressed even more so. Then when you get into the heat of battle, the music absorbs you into the action. The use of sound made this great game that much better.

--replay value

They give you a hard mode and a time attack mode after beating the game. That gives it replay value, but I played it again to go over the plot once more.

--buy or rent?

well if you like to collect good games, then buy it (like I). However, if you think you are one of those people that beat the game and then lay it down for eternity, rent it. That's because the game is pretty short (about 9-10 hours worth of game play).

--final verdict

9/10. Shadow of the Colossus is one of the greatest games I have ever played. It's not your everyday action game. It's not your everyday rpg. It's not your everyday puzzle game either.

This game brings a whole new definition to fighting, provides an awesome story without having to worry about doing tedious tasks like leveling up, and the game uses logic, not magic. While games like GTA: San Andreas are fun in their own way, urban style gaming is becoming way too influential nowadays. I really appreciated this game which brought back awesome symbolism, a delicate and emotional story, and characters that the player can feel towards. It's original, fresh, and to put it simply, an awesome piece of work.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/05/06


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