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Classics HD - Ico & Shadow of the Colossus PS3 Review - -
Classics HD - Ico & Shadow of the Colossus
Reviewed by
Andrew Bistak
Classics HD - Ico & Shadow of the Colossus PS3 Review. 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.

Gameplay 9.0
Graphics 8.0
Sound 8.0
Value 9.0
Publisher: Sony
Review Date:
Oct 2011
Andrew Bistak


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.

At 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.

It is 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 heart strings.

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.

The 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.

I must 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.

Final Level?

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!


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