ICO – Shadow Of The Colossus Collection Review – PS3, Shove Square

Review: ICO & Shadow Of The Colossus Collection (PS3)

An impeccable, provocative and emotional affair, ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection makes a strong argument in favour of interactive art, and does so with such a matter of fact, effortless mentality that it’s unlikely not to fall in love with the practice.

Despite being heralded as two of the finest games ever created, there’s an effortless manner at which both ICO and Shadow of the Colossus go about their business.

It’s with ICO that we begin. Originally released ten years ago, the game centres upon the relationship inbetween a youthful boy and an ethereal woman named Yorda. It emerges that the boy has been incarcerated in a vast castle after being considered a bad omen by the residents of his native village. Happening upon an escape route, the boy detects the mystical Yorda trapped in a box, and instantly sets about releasing the damsel from her restricts. Together the freshly liberated duo embark on an venture that sees them attempting to escape from the castle’s captivity. To say much more would be to spoil the game’s unparalleled sense of discovery, but what you’ll uncover is a narrative so devouring that it left us with goosebumps at numerous points during its running time.

What’s most staggering about ICO if you’re coming to it from a fresh perspective is just how much it’s influenced other games. The strongest comparison would most likely be to Playdead’s latest PSN downloadable, LIMBO, which has much in common with ICO’s level design. Elementary puzzles are at the heart of the game’s progression, but it’s in the relationship inbetween the two protagonists that the title indeed finds its lasting presence.

With a quick tap of R1 you’re able to clasp the palm of Yorda, dragging her through the environment with the subtlest of controller rumbles complementing your deeds. It’s perhaps the best implementation of rumble ever to emerge in a movie game, and its meaning is entirely up for interpretation. Some people believe that the rumble indicates the strain on the fragile Yorda as you pull at her brittle assets, but we happen to believe its more akin to the fluttering warmth that passes inbetween two human beings in spite of fine adversity.

ICO is a game scattered with fine imagery, but nothing appeals fairly like the very first time you haul the wistful Yorda across an epic bridge as the wind purrs in your ears. There’s truly nothing else fairly like it in games; it’s a spine-tingling moment that’s underlined by the sheer simpleness of it all.

While ICO and Shadow Of The Colossus aren’t technically connected, there are similarities that indicate they’re the brainchild of the same creator. Both games have a penchant for extravagant, Mayan architecture that represent the non-natural environments in the two campaigns. They also each love pulled out camera angles that emphasise the enormity of each game’s scale.

And no game does scale fairly like Shadow of the Colossus. Originally released in 2005, the game’s drawn-out opening centres on the journey of its protagonist Wander, a worn 20-something adventurer who’s travelled to a barred land in order to bring back the life of his deceased love. Resting her figure on an exuberant stone bed — which serves as a visual reminder of your plight across the game’s ten hour campaign — Wander is informed that he must defeat no fewer than sixteen Colossi in order to restore his companion. The Colossi are gigantic majestic animals that wander the prohibited land.

Like ICO, it’s the plainness of Shadow of the Colossus that underlines its brilliance. There are no mini-bosses, sub-quests or mini games: it’s all about you, your pony and the sixteen boss fights ahead of you.

You’ll need to find the Colossi before you can face them, but gratefully your sword is tooled with a nifty gadget that points you in the direction of each brute when held towards the sun. The game’s Hyrulian hub world is beautiful in its emptiness, spanning long horizons of nothing but fields, deserts and postcard-perfect blue skies. Pelting through the landscape invokes memories of ICO’s sense of loneliness, as there’s nothing to accompany you but the sound of your pony’s hooves hitting the turf below.

Fighting the Colossi is where the game most stuns. With each creature possessing a different look and style, you’ll need to cautiously consider your methods in order to bring the hulking monsters down. Fights are intense, white knuckle rails backed by one of the most powerful musical scores in movie games. The solutions for each boss battle are wonderfully creative too: one requires you to frighten the animal with a searing torch, while another has you hopping inbetween piles and runways in an attempt to crack the enemy’s armour.

Our favourite boss fight comes in the form of Colossus number five, a winged eagle-like foe that resides in a forgotten lake. Here you’ll need to clasp hold of the animal as it swoops down to attack you, and will find yourself clambering across its figure hundreds of feet into the air as the world flies by underneath you.

The game’s imagination is liberated from its technical limitations on the PlayStation Three, with the screen-tearing and framework rate inconsistencies that plagued the title’s original release now no longer a concern. The cleaned up textures don’t hurt either, providing the game’s outstanding art direction room to shine.

Both games are bona fide classics, ensuring ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection’s status as a must-own compilation. Stereoscopic 3D support, Trophies and a duo of behind-the-scenes movies (curiously absent from our review copy) help to round out the package, but it’s the inclusion of the definitive versions of two of the greatest games ever designed that makes this collection such a necessary purchase.

Conclusion

If movie games aren’t art, then ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection is not a movie game. It’s a staggering compilation of two of the most creative, intimate and emotional lumps of interactive entertainment ever conceived. Bring on The Last Guardian.

ICO – Shadow Of The Colossus Collection Review – PS3, Shove Square

Review: ICO & Shadow Of The Colossus Collection (PS3)

An impeccable, provocative and emotional affair, ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection makes a strong argument in favour of interactive art, and does so with such a matter of fact, effortless mentality that it’s unlikely not to fall in love with the practice.

Despite being heralded as two of the finest games ever created, there’s an effortless manner at which both ICO and Shadow of the Colossus go about their business.

It’s with ICO that we embark. Originally released ten years ago, the game centres upon the relationship inbetween a youthfull boy and an ethereal woman named Yorda. It emerges that the boy has been incarcerated in a vast castle after being considered a bad omen by the residents of his native village. Happening upon an escape route, the boy detects the mystical Yorda trapped in a cell, and instantly sets about releasing the chick from her restricts. Together the freshly liberated duo embark on an escapade that sees them attempting to escape from the castle’s captivity. To say much more would be to spoil the game’s unparalleled sense of discovery, but what you’ll uncover is a narrative so devouring that it left us with goosebumps at numerous points during its running time.

What’s most staggering about ICO if you’re coming to it from a fresh perspective is just how much it’s influenced other games. The strongest comparison would very likely be to Playdead’s latest PSN downloadable, LIMBO, which has much in common with ICO’s level design. Elementary puzzles are at the heart of the game’s progression, but it’s in the relationship inbetween the two protagonists that the title indeed finds its lasting presence.

With a quick tap of R1 you’re able to clasp the mitt of Yorda, dragging her through the environment with the subtlest of controller rumbles complementing your deeds. It’s perhaps the best implementation of rumble ever to emerge in a movie game, and its meaning is entirely up for interpretation. Some people believe that the rumble represents the strain on the fragile Yorda as you pull at her brittle assets, but we happen to believe its more akin to the fluttering warmth that passes inbetween two human beings in spite of superb adversity.

ICO is a game scattered with superb imagery, but nothing appeals fairly like the very first time you haul the wistful Yorda across an epic bridge as the wind coos in your ears. There’s truly nothing else fairly like it in games; it’s a spine-tingling moment that’s underlined by the sheer plainness of it all.

While ICO and Shadow Of The Colossus aren’t technically connected, there are similarities that indicate they’re the brainchild of the same creator. Both games have a penchant for extravagant, Mayan architecture that represent the non-natural environments in the two campaigns. They also each love pulled out camera angles that emphasise the enormity of each game’s scale.

And no game does scale fairly like Shadow of the Colossus. Originally released in 2005, the game’s drawn-out opening centres on the journey of its protagonist Wander, a worn 20-something adventurer who’s travelled to a barred land in order to bring back the life of his deceased love. Resting her assets on an exuberant stone bed — which serves as a visual reminder of your plight via the game’s ten hour campaign — Wander is informed that he must defeat no fewer than sixteen Colossi in order to restore his companion. The Colossi are ample majestic animals that wander the prohibited land.

Like ICO, it’s the simpleness of Shadow of the Colossus that underlines its brilliance. There are no mini-bosses, sub-quests or mini games: it’s all about you, your pony and the sixteen boss fights ahead of you.

You’ll need to find the Colossi before you can face them, but gratefully your sword is tooled with a nifty gadget that points you in the direction of each brute when held towards the sun. The game’s Hyrulian hub world is beautiful in its emptiness, spanning long horizons of nothing but fields, deserts and postcard-perfect blue skies. Pelting through the landscape invokes memories of ICO’s sense of loneliness, as there’s nothing to accompany you but the sound of your pony’s hooves hitting the turf below.

Fighting the Colossi is where the game most stuns. With each creature possessing a different look and style, you’ll need to cautiously consider your methods in order to bring the hulking monsters down. Fights are intense, white knuckle rails backed by one of the most powerful musical scores in movie games. The solutions for each boss battle are wonderfully creative too: one requires you to frighten the animal with a searing torch, while another has you hopping inbetween piles and runways in an attempt to crack the enemy’s armour.

Our favourite boss fight comes in the form of Colossus number five, a winged eagle-like foe that resides in a forgotten lake. Here you’ll need to clasp hold of the brute as it swoops down to attack you, and will find yourself clambering across its figure hundreds of feet into the air as the world flies by underneath you.

The game’s imagination is liberated from its technical limitations on the PlayStation Trio, with the screen-tearing and framework rate inconsistencies that plagued the title’s original release now no longer a concern. The cleaned up textures don’t hurt either, providing the game’s outstanding art direction room to shine.

Both games are bona fide classics, ensuring ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection’s status as a must-own compilation. Stereoscopic 3D support, Trophies and a duo of behind-the-scenes movies (curiously absent from our review copy) help to round out the package, but it’s the inclusion of the definitive versions of two of the greatest games ever designed that makes this collection such a necessary purchase.

Conclusion

If movie games aren’t art, then ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection is not a movie game. It’s a staggering compilation of two of the most creative, intimate and emotional lumps of interactive entertainment ever conceived. Bring on The Last Guardian.

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