Review: Shadow of the Colossus
Shadow of the Colossus is an action adventure game in PS2. The main reason I bought this game is it's designed by the team that made one of my favorite PS2 game 'ICO'. ICO is also an action adventure game and it has an interesting story and some creative puzzle design involved carrying a girl around. But for now, let me stop talking about ICO and focus on Shadow of the Colossus:
There is not much to talk about in this part. The story in this game is almost non-existent. Or, maybe I should say there seems a big background story but most part of it remain unknown to the player even after that somehow confusing ending. The story start from a young man asked a being (god or demon?) in a temple to revive a young lady. He then was asked by the being to destroy several colossi for his wish to be granted. And that's what this game all about, fighting with some gigantic colossi.
Gameplay (slight spoiler):
The main part of the game can be treated like mission-based and the goal of each mission is just simply destroying(or killing?) a particular colossus. Since those colossi are scattering around the gaming world, to reach them, you need to travel a lot. You can ride your horse and sometime necessarily by foot or swimming. The time during travel are uneventful beside some sightseeing. But, fortunately, the world is not so large and usually it will not take too long if you use your horse.
Fighting with an colossus involved some minor puzzle, strategy and mostly action. The puzzle part require you to figure out how to reach the colossus's vitals after you located it's vitals by your sword. It's basically done by observing the environment and the colossus's respond when you get it's attention or attack it. Once you figure how to reach the vital, the only remaining part is just like any action game (run, jump, shoot, climb and attack.)
Graphics and special effect:
Graphic in this game is not as amazing as several modern game but it has some mysterious, poetic and artistic beauty. However, this part is difficult to give any judgement because I think everyone feel different as everyone feel different about a poetry or epic story. However, the sound, animation and some special effect do a very good job to change the fighting with colossi to a more vivid experience. For example, the ground tremble as a colossus stride and you can be hurt or even lost balance if you are too close.
Shadow of the Colossus has some amazing giant colossi in the games and some of them are even quite lifelike (but, probably no AI involved, just some scripted behavior) and it has some unusual moment in fighting with the colossi to provide a very unique experience. To summarize, the whole game giving me a feeling like a man hunting and struggling with an formidable animal. On the other hand, it sometime make me feel bad because some of the colossi are just like some normal giant creatures to me and you have no choice but kill it. At the same time, I can't help but feel that it will become a better game if they reduce the number of the colossi and put these colossi fighting into some more involving story context to give stronger reason for saving the girl from her death. In the end, I am kind of disappointed by this game mainly because of the gameplay( or maybe I begin to get tired of these action(platform) games.)
If you don't mind some actions and are curious about what will it look(or feel) like to fight some gigantic creatures and then it probably worth to try, otherwise you probably should stay in dungeons or solve mysteries in other games.
PS: Because English is not my native language, there are probably some grammar or spelling errors. If you find something in the review confuse you, please let me know and I will edit it.