Benladen's Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)
| [January 21, 2007 03:01:47 PM]
| After extended sessions over the past two days, I have completed Shadow of the Colossus, and it may rank among my top ten favorite games of all time.|
Sure, the horse pissed me off. And some of the bosses were frustratingly difficult, to the point where I needed a break so that I didn't yell/cry. But it was so much more than payed off by the brilliant battles and the amazing subtlety of the game, where monsters as big as skyscrapers had body language as intricate as your stumbling, awkwardly running avatar.
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| [January 19, 2007 03:37:46 PM]
| After another forty five minutes, and two more colossi, this game still stuns me. Every time I switch my viewpoint over to view the colossus that I'm doing battle with, I smile just a little bit. The developers did that well. Very well.|
I've also found that I'm relying more and more on the disembodied hints. They've gone from "His armor seems brittle" to "Stand on the platform in the lake to draw its attacks".
I've circumvented my personal issues with the soundtrack (which, while it's good, doesn't really do it for me) by putting my own music on in the background; I recommend satanstompingcaterpillars - flower slides, but that's just me personally. Create your own game soundtracks! It's fun!
I've noticed that the horse isn't just hard to control, it has its own "realistic" AI that just serves to infuriate even more.
(edit: when I knock the score, by no means think that I am not appreciative of the sounds. The sound effects are some of the best I've heard, in a very minimalistic sense, and the score again works amazingly well, just not for me personally.)
This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 19th, 2007 at 18:48:24.
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| [January 19, 2007 02:04:26 PM]
| I typed up an entry last night but, for some reason, the server decided that it would rather not save it. My impressions might be slightly less cogent at this point, but here they are.|
The opening to Shadow of the Colossus was dull, to be nice. The music had the contrived epic quality to it, with chorale backgrounds and strings that would fade in and out. Then came the gameplay, which was kind of like wrestling a horse to the ground repeatedly instead of riding one. Not to mention that the graphics are a bit underwhelming.
The storyline was essentially filler, but I expected that. A girl who you love, I suppose, falls prey to something or other and the only way to save her is to complete objectives A, B, C, etc. in order.
But then I got to the first colossus. He was a bipedal, hairy monster with a big club that he had a tendency to swing very elaborately at you. And to beat him, you had to grab onto the hair of his leg, and climb all the way up to his head while your strength meter diminished and he tried to shake you off. This guy took me about 45 minutes, travel time included.
Then the second colossus; this time a quadruped, and your horse was with you. I promptly got off the horse, shot the colossus in the foot (at the behest of my roommate), and did away with it in ~10 minutes.
I also murdered the third colossus, who was difficult, if only because I was forced to use the ledges on his body, and I wasn't used to that.
The greatest thing about this game, so far, is that it feels epic. It plays as though you really are the only person for a huge stretch of space, and these colossi really are hidden out there somewhere. It is also a lot of fun to play with enthusiastic spectators, as everyone seems to have their own idea of how to best get into the attack position.
The controls are pretty bad. The camera and the horse tie for the most difficult to deal with award, and the only real redeeming factor about the camera is that a quick hold of L1 will reveal a giant, towering colossus, often silhouetted by the sun, making you glad that you chose this game.
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