Shadow of the Colossus Review by: ender44a clearly rushed game that got lucky
Make no mistake, shadow of the colossus is a great game. But its also clearly rushed and has some problems because of that, its still a wonderful game, but had it some more development time, and it could have been much better. Shadow of the colossus was released in 2005, its main premise is to defeat the sixteen colossi that reside in this world.
Gameplay: Let me start with the basic rundown before I get to the flaws. The only real thing you can fight in this game is the colossi. You fight the colossi by climbing up to their weak-spot and stabbing it with your sword, repeat that until you kill it. This isn't all that easy though, as your character's grip runs out eventually, and you will have to let them rest to get it back. Now, the colossi are usually about 60 times the size of your character, so how does the camera handle this? The camera does it's best to focus on both you and the colossus, but it can be difficult to see where you are going, and look at the colossus, making you have to take your eyes of it, or run to a better place so you can see both your character and the colossus. This can be pretty annoying. Though, you have complete control over the camera, which I appreciate. Using the right analogue stick allows you to move the camera in whichever way you please, and it will stay there, this is very useful for finding your way while looking at the colossus. The camera will also move on its own at some times, and it does some pretty dumb movements when doing so, sometimes it will put itself behind a rock, or not focus on you, and then you will have to correct it, which can be annoying. Now, you also have a horse, your trusty steed. The world is pretty big, so riding on him is almost a must. Though, the controls on him are just awful. To move him forward, you have to orient the camera in to just the right place, then hold forward and X, and he may move in the right direction, probably not.. If you get him going and then run into an object, he will do a full 360 turn and then stop, you will have to orient yourself and the camera to make him go back in the right direction, and I cant emphasize how difficult it is, maybe some of the worst vehicle direction I've ever seen, maybe its just because I'm used to epona. Climbing controls are difficult to get used to. You have to move the camera in the right direction, along with the control stick to jump from one ledge to the other, and then you have to hold triangle and r1, then release them all to jump. That can be pretty awkward and it can cause some more climbing than needed, and maybe some deaths.
Graphics: not as good as some other ps2 games, even ones that were released before. The game can go laggy sometimes, but it isn't too bad, sometimes it isn't noticeable. The overworld looks pretty good, the shading from the sun is done pretty well. The colossi look fantastic and have creative designs. I don't like the character's outfit fashion-wise, but it animates well, and the main character does too.
Sound: There is almost no music in the overworld, before this review I ran around for a while in the overworld and I didn't hear anything. Though, the colossi battle music is exquisite, and I absolutely love it. It sets the mood for each battle very well, and there is a new song for each colossus.
Addictiveness: The game is extremely fun, I am already starting my second play through, and I only beat it a few days ago. It is very difficult to get bored of this game. Each session kept me for about two hours, before real life pulled me a way from it. The reply value is huge, and I guarantee that you will want to play it twice.
Story: The story is not much, it was clearly rushed, but darn it, its great. The protagonist has just lost his beloved, he brings her to a temple where he meets the gods known as dorminer. The dorminer are able to bring the dead back to life, and the protagonist begs them to do so. The dorminer tell him that it is impossible, until they notice his sword. Your character has an ancient sword that is able to show the weak-spot of a colossus, and it can kill them. The colossus represent 16 gods, and are hidden throughout the land. Your hero, with his horse, set out to kill the colossus and resurrect his beloved. I love the story. It is simple, but at the same time it is full, complete, and amazing.
Depth: There were originally 48 colossi, but this was cut down to 24, and then 16. Clearly, this game was rushed in that department, but having sixteen bosses isn't too bad. I wish they would have included more weapons (all you have is a bow and arrow and the ancient sword) but those two are all you need.
Difficulty: There isn't a huge amount of skill scaling in this game. The first colossus was really difficult, the second was easy, the third was hard to kill but difficult to be killed by, the fourth didn't do any damage to me, and was easy to climb. It doesn't follow a pattern of more difficult as you go on, its kind of random, and I actually like not knowing how difficult the next one will be. It is pretty difficult to die in this game, jumping off a 100 foot cliff will probably only do half health damage to you, and your character regenerates pretty quickly. Falling off the colossi rarely does much. The colossi's attacks are usually pretty easy to avoid, and it takes about two of their hits to kill you.
There you have it. It was a clearly rushed game that got pretty lucky by how great it is. I recommend this game to you all.