jscorca's Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)
| [January 25, 2008 10:25:40 PM]
Having played the game for another 2 hours I should probably mention the best part about the game -- the Colossi. After admiring the beauty of the landscape, I had high expectations as I followed the light of my sword to the first colossus. After all, the only characters in the game so far are a dead maiden, the hero, and his horse. As I climbed the cliff leading to the first colossus and triggered the cinematic, I was amazed at how perfect the colossus fit into the game. In fact all the colossi I've seen so far are as beautiful and vast as the gameworld. The colossi are so enormous that calling them giants belittles them. I really liked their ancient features and their slow moving mannerisms; I felt it added to the mystical tone of the game.
In addition to their aesthetics, the challenge of taking down a colossus makes Shadow of the Colossus worthy of the greatest hits title. When fighting a colossus, you can only really damage them by hitting them in their vital points which can be reveled by the light reflecting off of your sword. After finding out where these points are on the colossus, getting to those points can be quite an obstacle. All the colossi I have fought so far have had some sort of hairy area that you can climb on to in order to reach the vital points. Whether it be stabbing one's calf in order to bring it to the ground or standing on top of your horse and jumping off onto one's tail, the game requires a significant amount of puzzle solving thought to climb the colossi. This puzzle aspect plus the limited amount of grip stamina you have while grabbing makes for an extremely fun and challenging boss fight. Taking down a colossus is very fulfilling and I find myself anxious to see the next colossus the game has in sore for me.
Shadow of the Colossus is surprisingly innovative for a game with a minimal storyline and only 16 enemies. The fact that the designers made the colossi so challenging and unique really adds to the fulfillment of bringing one down, keeping the game innovative. Each boss fight is practically a level in itself, a very unique quality that keeps the player glued to game. If visuals alone could keep a game innovative, Shadow of the Colossus would do it, for a ps2 game he environment is very enticing.
I felt that the challenges and flow implemented in the game made it good. The puzzle aspect of figuring out how to climb the colossus varies from boss to boss. The time limit challenge of the boss fights from the limited grip is another challenge that makes the game more complex. Until I played this game I didn't realize how great it is for a video game to have so little gameplay breaks. It's hard to remember that there is a world outside of Shadows of the Colossus because of the lack of loading screens.
The tone of the gameworld is mystical, lonely, and epic. The epic tone is created by the enormous size of the landscape and colossi as well as their ancient features. Shadow of the Colossus relies on emptiness in the world as a way to instill a lonely and mystical tone. The spiritual portion of the game involving the gods and a quest to bring a maiden back to life start the game off to a very mystical start. I expect the end of the game to be equally as epic and mystical but, in hopes that you can actually bring the maiden back to life, less lonely.
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| [January 24, 2008 07:49:00 PM]
In Shadow of the Colossus you take control of a sword-wielding hero asking the gods to bring a young maiden back from the dead. In order to bring her soul back, the gods ask the hero to destroy all of the colossi in the world. As the hero you must seek out these colossi and bring them down one by one.
The game starts out giving you a very vague storyline and narrative. We know that our hero wields a special blade, lives in a vast empty land, and is trying to save a girl. When you gain control of the hero, you are told to follow the light of you sword to find the colossus you need to defeat, a cool way to find your way around without the generic mini-map dot. The narrative after the startup is minimal. After you kill a colossus the gods tell you to defeat the next colossus so on and so forth, but no deeper insight of the story is revealed. This vague explanation of the story sets a mysterious tone for the game.
So if it's not the storyline that keeps the player hooked on the game, what is it? The environment. Shadow of the Colossus has the one of the most beautiful landscapes I've ever seen in a video game. The gameworld is enormous and you are not limited to where you can go even at the earliest part of the game. when I first started playing I found myself scaling the world across mile long bridges and gasping at the sight of a Niagara Falls type scene. There are no loading screens or pauses throughout the world until you defeat a colossus when it bring you back to your starting location. The lack of load screens and the ability to see into far distances make for a great game flow.
This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 24th, 2008 at 23:56:36.
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