Tuesday 15 January, 2008
Shadow of Colossus is about the main protagonist who is trying to revive a woman that he apparently is in an intimate relationship with. By following the orders of some mysterious god-like voice that talks through the ceiling of the temple, the unnamed main character goes around the land to kill off giant creatures or colossus, for the end-reward of having his lover among the living again.
I heard so much rave about this game that I had to try it. With that in mind, I started up the game and found it to be somewhat to my expectations and somewhat not. The graphics were talked about as beautiful, but what I found was below what I was expecting. The game does not seem to push the PS2 to its limits in terms of graphically quality as the landscapes and characters are filled with jagged and blurred lines, making it seem slightly more pixelated than I think it should. While the landscape and attention to gritty details obviously took a lot of work, it gave me the feeling that the game was not one of those high budget projects.
The controls were awkward, but fortunately customizable so I changed it to something more to my preference. Even then, the controls itself was unique and took some time to get used to when I was fighting the first boss. The game is devoid of any other creature besides the giant being in the game. While an intention design for the mysterious land, it made the game feel empty and lonesome.
The game was first frustrating as I got used to the controls when fighting the boss. The distinct lack of a tutorial left me with having to figure out how to defeat the boss with the very vague hints that they give. Hints that would be more better served if I had a general idea of what to do in the first place, but once I was able to get a notion of how to get on the boss and search for weak points, the game became much easier and more enjoyable. The game is not logical for some of the design decisions it makes. Why was the only way for the colossus to try to throw me off was to shake like a furious dog? It should have just reached around and plucked me off. It makes no sense. The giant can swing a club, but it's not smart enough to reach around and scratch his back? Well, I suppose it would have made the game much harder.
The story is very basic. Even though I have only fought and beaten the first boss, only to return to the temple to receive the next boss in line, I can tell you that my summary was probably the sum of the entire story. You can't feel much for the characters when they are speaking in a language you don't understand and you can't see their facial expression. Well, more like one character, since only the god-like voice says anything. I don't think the main character has ever spoken once besides to say "Argo" when he whistles for his horse. There can be no character attachment or personality development when he speaks only one word. The story is about as thin as a piece of paper.