ADD Gamers – Game Review
By: Luke Harris
Game: Shadow of the Colossus
Letter Grade: A
+ Incredible boss fights.
+ Excellent graphics.
+ Beautiful world and characters.
+ Artistically stunning.
+ Genius plot moves.
+ Did I say it was pretty?
- Did I say it was short?
- Chugging framerate.
- Little replay value.
What’s that huge shadow on the ground? Did I feel the ground shake just now? …Aww crap… [Squishy noise] That’s basically what it’d be like if one of us took the roll of the Wanderer. The nameless, not very talkative young man who’s set out on a journey to resurrect his dead girlfriend. That’s as deep as the plot gets. There is a huge plot twist at the end of the game, but it’d be a sin to ruin it here.
The Wanderer’s arsenal consists of three things. A magical sword, a bow with unlimited arrows, and a black horse named “Agro”. All of them are beautifully rendered. The horse looks and moves just like a real horse. The Wanderer moves, runs, jumps, shoots, and climbs just as lifelike as me or you would. The graphics are so pretty, it’s nearly next-gen. The sword in question can destroy the magical runes that are scattered throughout the sixteen Colossus’ bodies. You must destroy each rune to kill each colossus. And boy, are they something.
Each colossus is different in its own way. Some swim, some crawl, some fly, some simply walk around. Some of them you simply just can’t start stabbing. Some require to get them do to a certain action, lure them out of the water, or break off some of that stone armor. If you’re having trouble and aren’t progressing, the ancients who told you to kill the colossi to revive your dead girlfriend will give you a hint during battle. Nevertheless, you must find a way to expose the runes and stab, stab, stab.
Each colossi is just as impressive, if not more so, than the one before. Some of them are only about twenty feet long, while others can be over a hundred, with a large weapon in hand. Each of them is rendered very well, and their interaction with the environment is impressive as well. They’re covered in good-looking stone carvings and grass/fur that looks great when you’re holding on to it for dear life. The only bad thing about this is that since the graphics are so good, and the environment so big, the Ps2 can only handle so much, so the framerate plummets. Turn the camera to see the colossi and you, as you ride your horse at mindless speeds, the framerate will go under 20, easily. Simply change the camera angle, and the framerate will be back to normal, but then you’ll see your stupid horse run right into a rock.
Agro may look beautiful, but riding him makes me so…agro…vated. He doesn’t ride a straight path. He veers to the right or left randomly, as if avoiding a gopher hole. He’ll stop on a dime at a six-inch increase or decrease in terrain, but has no problem walking up and down stairs…at a mile per hour. Your horse will run to you if you are in danger, or you could just call him to you, by calling his name or whistling. When he gets to you, he will sometimes run thirty feet past you, making you run to catch HIM. And since the jump button is the same button to climb on top of your horse, you might get to him and hop in the air three times before successfully mounting him.
Looking past the picky little cons, this is a gorgeous game with some intense boss battles and a Hollywood-worthy musical score and visuals. Speaking of Hollywood, this game does film editing proud. It’s hard to notice, but after every colossus, your character gets a tiny bit more dirty, dark, and decrepit. Since there are sixteen of them, it’s hard to notice one sixteenth of a change in character. But when I started a new game fresh from the start, I compared, and boy, oh boy, he needed a good bath and dry-cleaner. If it makes you feel any better, this is a prequel to the popular game “ICO”, so maybe you’ll wanna play both of those games now. Too bad the game is only about 8 hours long, with it’s only replay value being timed boss battles and a significantly harder difficulty mode. Give the game a rent if you wanna have a good time, but if you love art, and can’t get enough of the eye candy, then this game will last a lifetime.