Classics HD - Ico & Shadow of the Colossus
Sony have been in the remastered spirit as
of late and have just recently remastered two God of War PSP games for
the PlayStation 3 with high definition graphics and
audio. However two of the most endearing and memorable games on the PS2
have also received a facelift. Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are
the two games in question which have received a special makeover and
unlike the new Star Wars Blu-ray releases, this release does not hamper
the original gameplay but rather, enhances it.
So here we are again, several years later as we follow a cursed young boy who not only learns what
freedom is but fights for it in this amazingly well-written story with
gameplay to match. Another great aspect about this collection is that
both games are contained on one Blu-ray disc and if you somehow missed
these games the first time, I would strongly recommend that you pick up
this remastered release.
both their cores, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are third person
platforming adventure games with some very clever puzzles thrown in.
Developed by Sony Computer Entertainment's Japan Studio (aka Team Ico), the story and
more importantly, its characters player an integral role to the gameplay
that almost make this like some epic Grimm fairytale.
also laden with
intrigue, drama and an amazing friendship between Ico, a boy with horns
who was banished from his town and imprisoned in this ancient castle. It is in this
castle where Ico meets Yorda, a mysterious girl who has also been cursed
like our protagonist and together they will both try to escape. There is also quite a bit of emotion used in this game
such as Ico taking Yorda by her hand as he attempts to find a way out
of the castle and it's these small nuances that really tug at your
As you explore this vast and gigantic castle, you do get a sense of how
minute your character is, especially in the grand scheme of things.
Sometimes you feel like an ant as the developers have employed some
amazing gaming mechanics and graphics to give this illusion. However the
key to Ico is your friend, Yorda who unlike Ico cannot protect herself.
You need to ensure that Yorda is protected from the various dangers that
lurk in this castle, especially the shadow creatures that stalk her.
Yorda, although the cutest thing in the game can also be the most
frustrating aspect as sometimes she does the most strangest of things
that often leads her to her death if you don't keep an eye on her. At
times, Ico reminds me of the original Prince of Persia, however this
game is truly 3D as there is quite a bit of platforming that can also
lead you to your peril.
Although not a sequel, Shadow of the Colossus is actually a prequel and
is created by the same developers as Ico which once again pushed the
boundaries of gaming on the PS2. In the game, you play as Wander, a
young man who has been forced to enter a forbidden land in order to
defeat sixteen giants to save the life of a girl called Mono... more
specifically resurrection! Like Ico,
the gaming world of Shadow of the Colossus is epic and at times you feel
quite small as you explore this amazing world and take on the Colossi.
Another interesting premise behind the story is the sense of isolation
in this game and the only real interaction are those of the puzzles and
the boss battles. What I did enjoy about the battles with the various
colossus is that each one must be defeated in a certain way and you need
to discover what this is before you can defeat them. Gameplay as opposed to
Ico is not as simplistic and Shadow of the Colossus easily plays as well
as a game released in 2011. It has definitely stood up to time.
combat mechanics rely on the player to use their bow and sword but as
you progress, you find other weapons that are sometimes needed to defeat
the Colossi. Although Wander is attempting to resurrect Nomo, he has
assistance from his loyal horse Agro who not only helps with travel but
must also be used for some of the puzzles and battles with the Colossus.
Although both games are strictly a single-player affair (kind of), not
that there was a need for multiplayer but the developers have added the
ability to gain Trophies in the title. It may not be much but it's
something for hardcore gamers to work for. However if you complete Ico, it does open up the game for a two-player mode
and that's what I'm talking about! Awesome!
Graphics & Audio
Thankfully when Sony remastered these games, they manage to keep the
minimalistic and stylised artwork of the games but on FULL HD, it looks
even more impressive. You could compare it to see a picture of the
Mona Lisa online (PS2 version) to seeing it in person (PS3 version).
Needless to say, both games look amazing in FULL HD and for those that have 3D TV's, both
titles allow the games to be experienced in a totally new way.
admit that on our Samsung TV, the 3D mechanics really made the game jump
out at you and it definitely adds a new element to the original
gameplay. The soundtrack for both games has also been enhanced, however
Shadow of the Colossus is definitely one of the most immersive and
memorable scores to
grace a game that really lends itself to this emotional story.
In the end, SONY should be commended on remastering both these
captivating games for not just a new audience but also fans of the
original games. Both games have dated considerably well and look amazing
on FULL HD. Fortunately both titles still play well, although Shadow of
the Colossus is still the fast superior game. Highly Recommended!