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YMMV / Team ICO Series

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  • Contested Sequel: The Last Guardian is this. It's not exactly hated, per se, but there are fans who debate on whether or not the game is even up to par with the previous games.
  • Genre Turning Point: The Team ICO Series were hugely influential on The Sixth Generation of Console Video Games, with their impact stretching to the present day:
    • ICO is credited with ushering in the arthouse game, and for its mammoth influence on visual and environmental storytelling over cutscenes and dialogues. The mix of puzzles, platforming, and combat in both games was a huge influence on the revived Sands of Time trilogy of Prince of Persia and the Uncharted games, as well as codifying the importance of a supporting NPC companion, inspiring the likes of Alyx Vance (Half-Life 2), Elizabeth (Bioshock Infinite), and Ellie (The Last of Us). Its cinematic presentation, heavy emphasis on art direction and visuals for atmosphere and setting has likewise been cited as a major influence on FromSoftware's Dark Souls and Bloodborne. It was also a major inspiration for Taro Yoko's game design philosophy as well, which is evident especially with Nier and NieR: Automata.
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    • The boss fights in Shadow of the Colossus were immensely influential on many developers and subsequent games, for their presentation, their distinct designs and looks, and the manner in which the fighting style and environment of the boss arena communicated and indicated personality, theme, and story. The game especially invented the Colossus Climb, which has been mimicked, homaged, and parodied numerous times.
    • The prestige and critical acclaim of these games also played a major part in inspiring Sony to focus on console exclusives, attracting several developers and development teams with the promise of creative freedom and generous budget in exchange for planting their flag with Sony. Sony's focus on console exclusives in the sixth, seventh, and eighth generations ultimately led it to build a library that has come to rival Nintendo's, and one which the Xbox often Can't Catch Up with. Indeed Sony even announced their Cloud Service on PC (Playstation Now) with the promise of access to console exclusives that PC gamers otherwise would not have been able to play (legally that is). Included among the stable at launch was ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, both of which have been remastered and kept in print in both the PS3 and PS4 era.
  • Never Live It Down: Judging by comments about The Last Guardian, the team has gotten the reputation of having Downer Endings... despite the fact that out of the two games they've made, one has a clearly Happy Ending, and the other is Bittersweet. It got to a point before TLG was released where there were legitimate betting pools set up based on whether Trico or the boy would die at the end. This explained by both games' overall tearjerking catharsis process.
    • Word of God for ICO: "In Japan there's this saying, 'when it ends well everything's well'. My theory was to already in the beginning of the game make the player understand how important the ending would be. Then the player would strive to reach it, it would keep up motivation the game through. Because I believe that the only purpose that games have is to enrich the hard life we live. And that's why ICO got a happy ending." This basically means that the games will always be solidly on the Idealistic side of the scale.
  • Sacred Cow: Because of their status as works of art, few dare to criticize the games.
  • Tear Jerker: The overall mood in each game is nothing you could call "light-hearted."
    • The backstory in ICO is pretty depressing even if the ending is fairly happy, and it certainly puts you through the wringer from beginning to end.
    • Finishing off a Colossus. If you play all the way through Shadow it's a Bittersweet Ending at best.
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    • The initial reaction to the trailers for The Last Guardian was the thought that the packaging might as well come with a gun and a bullet with instructions that say "For your heart." The final game has plenty of heart-tugging moments, too.


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