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Shadow Of The Colossus back to reviews
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How far would you go?
For love?

For something that you want?

To make the impossible possible?

That is the question raised by Team Ico Series Team Ico's follow up to their cult classic, Ico. Shadow of the Colossus weaves the tale of a mysterious youth named Wander, who brings the body of a dead woman named Mono to a forbidden land in the hopes of bringing her back to life. Wielding a magic sword, Wander beseeches the Dormin, the god like forces that reside in the shrine in the middle of the uninhabited land. The Dormin set up Wander a simple task; slay 16 massive colossi to destroy their mystical idols.

The game forgoes many commonplace elements of gaming. There are Mooks, no levels, and certainly no power-ups. Instead, all that lies ahead are 16 awe-inspiring creatures of varying sizes and shapes. From a giant minotaur, to a underwater sea monster, to a flying serpent, Shadow presents the player with nothing but boss fight after boss fight. Yet, unlike many games where victory over the boss brings elation and joy, Shadow brings about a sense of regret and sorrow. The towering creatures you seek may have the visage of a monster, but the only one being truly heartless may very well be the player themself. With each strike into the skull of a colossus, what are you really achieving? The return of a loved one? But at what cost, and what sacrifice?

In addition to it's great story, Sot C has a beautiful, epic soundtrack. Full of sweeping orchestral themes that blare out grand and adventurous themes, to bitter, sad melodies, each song enriches the experiences in a different way.

So the question is; how far are you willing to go? Can you face the colossi? Are you able to strike them down for nothing but the faint hope of regaining a single soul? Are you willing to show just how far you will go, for love?

comment #4529 Phrederic 23rd Sep 10 (edited by: OrpheumZero)
Gotta disagree myself with the other comment, Shadow of the Colossus was epic.
comment #4534 KazenoKlonoa 23rd Sep 10
The only problem with Sot C is that fights with the collosi are not boss battles, they are puzzles.
comment #4553 87.226.51.142 25th Sep 10
Disregard what Phrederic said. He obviously has no taste in art or what a good video is.
comment #4556 OrpheumZero 25th Sep 10
That's clearly it, I mean, the idea that I have different taste and think what makes a game good is different from yours is completely ridiculous, now, I'm going to go off and set some orphans on fire, gotta meet the quota.
comment #4557 Phrederic 25th Sep 10
Well if you thought shadow of the colossus as an exciting sandbox game then I think you missed the point there
comment #4564 190.230.92.128 25th Sep 10
I don't think it was an exiting sandbox game, since it wasn't, I think the few sandbox elements added to the game (Exploration and such) were pointless and basically filler, if the environment started to decay and the world started falling apart as you destroyed more of the Colossi I could see the point, but as it is I saw it as an useless or incomplete game function.

It was a puzzle game with sixteen puzzles and a lot of filler that didn't have a definite story or really characters of any kind, maybe if you're more of an artiste then me then this game will make more sense or be more enjoyable.
comment #4579 Phrederic 26th Sep 10
I meant to say "thought the game would be an" exciting sandbox game

Maybe a quick travel feature would have been nice for NG+ but other than that, how would you have handled it? How would you have handled the transitions/waits between the colossi? Serious question here.
comment #4583 190.227.42.139 26th Sep 10
This is a game I could only play once. It was beautiful and epic but at times it was absolutely infuriating.

Also, there are power-ups in the game. You're just not told about them. You get to 'discover' them on your own. Fruit in the trees and white glowing lizards that crawl around save points increase your health and grip strength.
comment #4587 12.32.1.2 26th Sep 10
How would I have handled it? Hmmmm, well, once again I would've preferred a Fisher King like scenario, the longer the game goes on the more twisted the world goes on, ore maybe the entire thing could've been a Dream Within A Dream and you kill manifestations of your own subconscious or something, that way you could explain a rapidly changing environment every time you kill a Colossi, this could also make the world more exiting, maybe a fight with a fast Colossi would be through a winding series or pillars and you'd have to climb about above them to jump on it while it runs by, or you chase something through a hall of mirrors. I don't know, Ghibli Hills get old after a while.
comment #4595 Phrederic 27th Sep 10
While you're entitled to an opinion. The fact you criticize the open world is just silly. It's meant to make the world feel alive. It'd be horrible and dull if the wolrd was just a non-linear set of paths that only went to one of the colossi each. By making the world so grand and open, it allows it to be as much of a character as the colossi and the human characters.
comment #4754 OrpheumZero 10th Oct 10
But you couldn't interact with your environment, it's like a hallway painted to resemble the sky, it's not the same thing. Shadow of the Colossus is a fake sandbox cause it has the appearance of a sandbox, since you can wander around and explore, but you it's still a cold dead world since you can't do anything once you get there? Understand.
comment #4762 Phrederic 11th Oct 10
Just because there's nothing to do doesn't make the world any less amazing. It's a character in and of it's own right. It's supposed to be feel vacant, as though it once was the home of a sprawling culture. You can't get that feeling from a 4x4 enviroment the size of a small village when you're meant to be facing creatures that could probably cover half of North America all together.
comment #6328 OrpheumZero 9th Feb 11
If I wanted to see an environment, I'd look at a painting.
comment #6330 150.212.72.226 9th Feb 11
"Fake sandbox?" It's not trying to be a sandbox. Hell, they literally give you set goals and the most direct path to those goals possible. You can explore the world, but you can also ignore the majority of it, and the game encourages you to do that. Exploring the world itself just allows you to look at pretty scenery/increase your health and stamina/have fun riding a bird.

If I wanted to see an environment, I'd look at a painting.

So you don't want nice graphics in addition to nice gameplay?
comment #6332 Scardoll 9th Feb 11 (edited by: Scardoll)
I'd prefer an ugly environment that I can interact with rather than a pretty one that's just there for eyecandy. Such is the problem with many other sandbox games out there (Far Cry 2 anyone?).
comment #6335 150.212.72.226 9th Feb 11
The problem lies not so much in the environment itself as in the fact that most of it could pretty well be dispensed with and it wouldn't have harmed the game. In fact, had they dispensed with it, the developers could have concentrated on other aspects of the gameplay.

For example, even after finishing the game, there are huge swathes of the map still covered with cloud. Is there anything actually there, and if so, what purpose does it serve? More to the point, was it worth including?

For another example, I was slightly disappointed to find that some of the Colossi (Valus, Balba and Argus, and Celosia and Cenobia) had similar A Is. Surely, the developers could have devoted that extra processing power into making them a little more distinct?
comment #6337 BlueChameleon 10th Feb 11
It's a souffle, light, fluffy, and ultimately not that filling.
comment #6350 Phrederic 10th Feb 11
It's a souffle, light, fluffy, and ultimately not that filling.
Faster than a speeding comment, more powerful than a nonsensical comparison, and able to leap over any sort of concrete fact, it's Subjective Man!
comment #6355 Scardoll 10th Feb 11 (edited by: Scardoll)
Not all opinions are equal.
comment #6356 150.212.50.120 10th Feb 11
True. Clearly, one opinion must be superior to the other.

That's why I'll throw yours in the waste bin, and you can do the same to mine.
comment #6358 Scardoll 10th Feb 11 (edited by: Scardoll)
The quality of an opinion is subjective and varies from person to person.

But most people value opinions based on how much they're based on facts and logic. But I guess we'll always have a few odd-balls once in a while.
comment #6364 150.212.50.120 11th Feb 11
Wow, why the hell are people freaking out over people liking or not liking a game. Calm the hell down, all of you, there's no need to be aggressive at all, it's just a game people.

p.s. Bake before you diss my similes.
comment #6374 Phrederic 11th Feb 11
Translation : I'm gonna keep visiting this page to piss people off.
comment #12202 lacusness 7th Jan 12 (edited by: lacusness)

comment #12212 kay4today 8th Jan 12 (edited by: kay4today)
What's the big deal about someone not liking a video game again?
comment #12213 kay4today 8th Jan 12
Because that person would be wrong, and wrongness on the Internet must NOT BE TOLERATED!!!!!
comment #12214 JackAlsworth 8th Jan 12
Complaining About People Not Liking The Show is strong with this one.

And yes, I know you're joking. :P
comment #12216 kay4today 8th Jan 12
I'm surprised 1 guy caused all this.
comment #12222 VeryMelon 8th Jan 12
The environment wasn't only here to be pretty, it was here to "dwarf" the player character. Without it, you wouldn't feel as small as the storyteller wanted you to feel.
comment #12296 VioletOrange 14th Jan 12
Or a much much simpler solution was that the game was not for you, just because you didn't like the image they were going for doesn't mean it was done badly, look at the increasing popularity of games like Journey.
comment #15642 marcellX 3rd Aug 12
The argument was done.
comment #15654 VeryMelon 3rd Aug 12
Now explain to me why this particular case pickled your fancy when it's done all around, even on this page when we notice Lacusness comment done over a year later
comment #15657 marcellX 4th Aug 12
The only problem with Sot C is that fights with the collosi are not boss battles, they are puzzles.
I wouldn't say that. Quite a few of them (The first cat one comes to mind) require you to utilize dexterity.

Calling them puzzles instead of bosses is silly because many bosses in other games are essentially puzzles. Just look at post-OOT Zelda games and the Metroid Prime series.
comment #15658 Oldfart72 4th Aug 12
I'm aware the argument in these comments is long over, but I just had something to add: SOTC's open world is not meant to be a "fun sandbox". It's intentionally left desolate and empty to emphasize the narrative. There were people here once; they are long dead, and all you have to know of them by are the faded skeletons of what they left behind.

Some people like the empty, open world because they just like exploring in games, but the only reason it can even be considered close to a sandbox game is the size of the map. There's nothing to be found in any corner of the land except for a good view and a few minuscule Easter Eggs— a sandbox gives you loads of toys to play with in all areas, but SOTC will give you nothing. and it's all the better for it.
comment #18945 LKArtillery 18th Apr 13
That's the problem with the game, though. It already has the gigantic colossi, the orchestral music, and the gigantic arenas to give grandeur to things, and since the riddle of the ruins isn't answered anyway, the long journeys effectively reduce to filler. Travelling once or twice through the environment is effective. Doing it at least four times is a test of patience, and that's not an entertaining feature in a video game. Doing it sixteen times is a strain. The fact that it was deliberately designed that way doesn't make it any less tedious.

Naturally, I speak subjectively here, but it's generally ill-advised to force a player to redo boring parts when they take up way more time and prove far less entertaining than the colossus fights do - which are the highlights of the game in the first place - and it's unfair that you don't get the option to bypass the boring journeys until you've been forced by the game's layout to do them all.
comment #19976 AquamarineGavial 28th Jun 13
You go to different areas each time though don't you? And didn't you enjoy travelling through the areas and looking at the sights? Each place had a pretty unique flavour to it
comment #19978 TomWithNoNumbers 28th Jun 13
I agree that the scenery was aesthetically pleasing and varied, but it's a passive experience, and makes up only one factor in how enjoyable the gaming experience is. It's different from the fact that there was virtually nothing to do along the route, which is why having beautiful scenery is not enough to make a video game journey enjoyable. And since you not only start out at the same origin each time (the temple in the centre of the map) but also generally have to travel further and further with each colossus, then a lot of the journeys involve going over the same ground repeatedly. Not to mention the variety largely consists of different rock formations, ruins, deserts, and the occasional forest and water feature.

This is why I stand by my original point that the game would have been improved if an option to bypass the boring journeys had been included from the start, rather than added as a limited unlockable (Time Attack Mode). I don't by any means say that the game isn't above average, but I personally didn't like some of the decisions the director made, such as the overly long and tedious journeys through a barren landscape.
comment #20017 AquamarineGavial 2nd Jul 13
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