Review by: Night Ninja
|Sony Interactive Entertainment|
There are those games that come out and leaves you with an impact, unlike any other, games that stand out and become memorable experiences for the rest of your life. Shadow of the Colossus has been regarded as many things over the years and has even gotten its own fully fleshed out remake as of late on the PlayStation 4, just like the original 3 Crash Bandicoot games got, and Final Fantasy VII will eventually have.
This was my first time playing the game fully and really experiencing it, I can already tell you that this game is worth your time buying, but if you want more details? I’ve got plenty to share. The game had its first release on the PlayStation 2, but sadly didn’t get too much publicity initially, so the original for a while was quite unknown and a hidden gem, once it had picked up some popularity years later, a PlayStation 3 collection with Ico was released. By this time the game has become very popular and is now even the topic of most discussions regarding if video games are “art”. The story is quite a simple one at that and has minimal dialog, with the exception of about 20 or so cutscenes. You play as a boy named Wander and with your horse Agro, traveling to the forbidden lands, as his tribe had told him before held the key to bring the dead back to life if they can get the help of Dormin the deity of this legend.
He brings a girl named Mono’s body with him and takes the sword of legend, planning on bringing this girl back to life, however the task isn’t as easy as it may seem, as he has to defeat 16 Colossi in order for him to reclaim his loved one and a price that may be steep. Seems pretty straightforward right? Well, the rest of the game involves you taking control of Wander, using Agro to get across the forbidden lands, taking down one colossus after another, increasing your power via health and stamina upgrades from each fight won, until all 16 are dead and Mono is revived. Each colossus is very unique in design and requires their own strategies to defeat, all with a beautiful vast and immersive open world with a diverse amount of areas to explore before taking these gigantic titans down. So many details are still in even the original PS2 title, especially for its time, and some even serve a purpose, as well as subtle changes with each colossus you’ve conquered.
Changes that are however too good to spoil. You can use your bow to find fruit in the trees to increase your health further between colossus, as well as white-tailed lizards to increase stamina, basically having you hunt and gather to better yourself between battles, and other animals you can interact with in various ways(including the birds you can grab ahold of and be flown around with), also including many tricks you can do with your horse, Agro! In addition to that, there are shrines you can find scattered throughout the world to save your progress in the PS2 and PS3 versions and(in all versions) regain health and stamina. However nothing is truly explained to you with this game, really the basic minimum except a few things, and the rest is found out via experimenting, or(in today’s society) you find out online. It has a way of being very indirect, cryptic, and for the most part, telling you where the next colossus is through a beam your sword can shine to help you know your path, and it’s up to you to find out HOW to defeat it.
Each colossus has their own design, scale, name, and even weak points you have to climb up to and stab to slay them. With all that, and a jaw-dropping score playing during each moment of epicness, this game is definitely one for the ages, and one that will definitely stick with you no doubt. As of today, there are really only 3 platforms you can get Shadow of the Colossus on, however, I can already tell you the PlayStation 4 version is the definitive version of the game, with visuals that are so detailed, so beautiful, you can’t stop admiring its beauty even if you tried. Not to mention the tweaked controls and other additions such as trophies, a new easy mode for a more relaxed journey, saving wherever without a shrine, a revamped HUD, and a new collectible across the whole map: gold coins. In addition, all games have a normal and hard mode, a new game plus mode, time attack battles for each colossus, and unlockable items, leaving plenty to do in this title. The only big issue this title can have, is with its camera, improved slightly for the PS4 remake, however, can snap and glitch in certain moments, however mostly during free roam, and barely ever experienced in the colossi’s battles. However, you look past the semi-common camera issues and enjoy the gigantic boss fights, the jaw-dropping gorgeous open world the game has, its heavenly score, and in the end doing something so unique and interesting, this game will easily be a must buy on any of the 3 systems it’s available on! Truly a masterpiece and a piece of art for sure!