Shadow of the Colossus, a game I've been holding back on playing for two years, I finally got to experience. Now many people have told me this game is a pure masterpiece. I had played it back when I picked it up about two years ago, and... Didn't enjoy it too much, so put it on a tower and left it to gather dust. I never really fancied the Playstation 2 when I first got one. The graphics all were too dark, the controller was uncomfortable, and the system (in my opinion), wasn't very visually appealing. So, back on topic, I was looking for games to play in early July and stumbled across this, and... As you can presume, I played it. I talked about it with some friends, and didn't really enjoy it at first (again), but decided to troop through it and push on with the game.
Now, I will say, even on PS2, the graphics in this game are AMAZING for 2005. Bright and colorful (unlike most games I have for the system), big and expansive, and overall, beautiful. I'll admit to saying, some textures are extremely low-res and other things like that, but as someone who frequently plays Atari 2600, I can easily get over that. The character models, while there are only a few, look very good. Wander (the main character, I know stupid name right?) has a good amount of detail on him for 2005, Agro (your horse) is very basic and simplistic looking. Then again, what kind of detail can you put on a horse? There are a couple other models, but they're really not worth discussing. Oh, and how can I forget about the colossi? Actually, I'll save them for game design (as you will see).
Just two words can describe this music: KICK ASS. NOTHING is better than hopping on a colossi and hearing the first note of an orchestral masterpiece. Some of the best music I have ever heard in gaming.(period) this music is soooo amazing i've linked a youtube video of my favorite tracks on post.
Now, the weird thing about this game is... there's barely a story. Now, don't get me wrong, there is one, and it evolves over time, buuuuuut there isn't much to say. Let me sum it up for you: Hello, I am some weird god think you wouldn't find out about until the end of the game. You must kill these sixteen huge beasts to revive your dead girlfriend. Yeah... that's really it. The story doesn't really evolve or explain anything until the last seven minutes. So don't go into this game expecting a fantastic story like Beyond: Two Souls. Wait... I was the only person who liked that game. Well, never mind, just ignore that last part.
So, if there isn't a very strong story, the characters should be bad. Right? RIGHT? Well, you see, that's where you're wrong. Where I was wrong. Where I guess most people were wrong. In my opinion, Wander and Agro are some of the best gaming characters EVER. Yet, one of them is a horse. Now, you probably think I'm insane saying that, knowing that Wander says only one word in-game, and guess what that is? Agro. The one word you use is Agro. Agro doesn't even say anything the entire game. All he does is neigh. Yet, the way these two characters bond over the entire game is just... indescribable. Now, I'm sure people will disagree with me, but I'm standing by what I said. Now, just because these two characters are outstanding, there are some exceptions. In the beginning, I didn't care about Wander and his dead girlfriend (Mono), and whilst I grew to love Wander, never liked his girlfriend. There is another pretty big character, but we won't talk about him. He's involved in a very big plot twist.
Now, here comes the hard part. The design in the game is undoubtedly amazing. It's just hard to describe, knowing most of it is seen in the colossi. To be honest, though, I can't describe it. I sure don't want to go into detail on each colossus, and I certainly don't want to spoil how to beat them. Let me just say, some are amazing, and give you a huge rush of adrenaline. Others, the first bull one in specific, are awful. The world however, has its flaws. I really liked the desert, because it holds my favorite colossi, but... it's just a desert. The canyons are extremely boring and tedious, and some paths to different colossi, just simply, are awful. That's really all I have to say without spoiling colossi.
Conclusion (Major Story Spoilers!!!)
Now, really quickly, let's discuss the ending skip to the big "HERE" if you just want to read my final thoughts. Alright, you people gone? I hope so, so let's begin. I (stupidly) watched the ending on YouTube about a year ago, so I didn't get very sad at the end. To sum it up: Dormin, the Demon-God guy who you've asked to revive your girlfriend, reveals to the men that were chasing after you into the Forbidden Land that the 16 colossi represented his power split by ancient warriors. So, he used Wander as a host to collect his power, and uses his body to return to his normal, all powerful form, only to be sealed in the forbidden land 30 seconds later. HERE So, I skipped a lot of info in the spoiler section, but that's only because I didn't want to spoil TOO much. So my conclusion to this is: Shadow of the Colossus is a great game. Is has some great design, graphics, gameplay, and pretty good character. While it has its flaws (mainly the story) it will be an enjoyable experience for anyone who plays.
It gets an 87 out of 100.