Shadow of the Colossus

GAME TECH INFO

Computer : PlayStation 2 ()
Produced by:
Price Range: $11-20
Learning curve time: 31-60 min.
Age level: Teen to Adult
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Patches / Upgrades: None
System Requirements: None

     Reviewed By: Cameron (Evileye)
     VOLUNTEER GUEST REVIEWER

Overall Rating: ★★★★½
Genre:
Rating: 4 of 5 (good)
Gameplay: 4 of 5 (good)
Violence: 3 of 5 (mild)
Adult Content: 4 of 5 (barely present)


Shadow of the Colossus.  Illustration copyrighted.

Major Spoilers Ahead (To Avoid Spoilers, Skip the “Story”, “Violence” “Graphics” and “Final Conclusion” section of this review. End-Of-The-Game Spoilers in the “Violence” and “Final Conclusion” sections. Read with caution.

Story:
Your girlfriend is dead by a curse. And that’s all you know about that. You don’t really know why, how or when it happened, we just know it happened. Our hero is told that by slaying giant Colossi, which are spread across the land, somehow his girlfriend will come back alive. Honestly, the story doesn’t go much deeper than that, until the end, where it drops off like a brick, and makes you want to go insane.

Gameplay:
In this game, you have only one type of enemy. One. That’s right, one. In the entire game, there are only 16 Colossi that you have to fight. No other enemy’s are present in the game at all. You will ride across the land, searching for these giant creatures. The only other living thing in this entire area are your horse and little lizards, which you kill to get more health and arm strength. They cannot hurt you in any way, so they are not considered enemy’s. When you get to a Colossi, you will then find some way to scale said Colossus, getting to his “weak point”. This could include climbing the hair on his body, making him trip so you can jump on him, or even making him run into the wall. When you find the Colossus’s weak point, you then proceed is stabbing him with your sword until he is finished. You have a health meter and a “arm strength” meter. As you are climbing the Colossus, your arm strength will slowly go down, until its totally gone. At which point, your character no longer can hold on, and he falls from wherever he was climbing. Riding the horse across the land is fun, but gets old after the 12 or 13th time you do it.

Shadow of the Colossus.  Illustration copyrighted.

Violence:
In the violence category, this is quite a clean game. Since the enemy’s are limited to the 16 Colossi, what violence there is, you really don’t see that much of it. When you do fight Colossi, the spray black blood, which does spray quite far from their body. That said, it does not get on the character nor on the walls/floor. It just disappears. At the end of the game, our character is shot multiple times with arrows, but he also bleeds black blood. Right after that, our character gets stabbed with a sword, but the camera moves away so you don’t see it.

While the violence isn’t so bad in this game, there is also a moral problem. As you go around killing the Colossi, you notice that they don’t really attack you until you start to attack them. You then realize, you are killing these innocent creatures that have done nothing to the world, just for your own selfish reasons. I started to feel bad about killing the Colossi after a while, because I realized that they didn’t do anything to deserve what the character is doing to them. It might not be a problem for some, but it was tough for me at some points.

Shadow of the Colossus.  Illustration copyrighted.

Language:
None at all.

Sexual Content:
None at all. There is a little bit of nudity, but its a baby, and it doesn’t really show anything.

Spiritual Content:
Apparently your girlfriend is cursed, and that’s why she died. We don’t really know anything about the curse. The land you are on is the “forbidden” land. They call your hero “possessed by the dead”. The temple you are at has the 16 Colossi as statues, almost as worship items.

Shadow of the Colossus.  Illustration copyrighted.

Graphics:
I am going to put this bluntly. The graphics are not good. There is lots of slowdown. Actually, there is hardly ever a clean frame rate. Everything is quite grainy, though that may have been the intention of the creators. But the plus to this problem is the fact that the game is huge. And when I say huge, I mean take what you were thinking about huge and triple it. The draw distance when you are riding your horse is amazing. Positively amazing. The Colossi are huge. The first Colossus compared to the character is comparable to the size of a kitten to a human. The final Colossus is as big as a house is to a ant. That might give you a glance at what the scale of the game is. It gives Oblivion a run for its money. So what they sacrifice in graphics and frame rate, they give back is sheer size. Its hard to imagine without really playing the game.

Controls:
The controls do take a little getting used to, that’s for sure. If yo have a cheap controller, you will be falling off Colossi a lot. You have to hold one of the shoulder buttons to hold on to whatever it is you are climbing, and on a junky controller, your finger might get tired, and you might let go. The jumping can get a bit awkward at times. Sometimes as you are scaling, say, one of the Colossi’s hand, he will shake it around, and you will lose control of your character all together, except to hang on for dear life. The camera is constantly getting in the way and not going the way you want it to. Though after a few Colossi, you will get more used to both the controls and the camera, and you will know which way it turns and so forth.

Sound:
The score of this game is amazing. There is a different song for each of the Colossi, and it gives the fight an ever more epic feel. The Colossi don’t really give much sound, but when they walk, you can sure tell that they are walking around. The voice overs are all in Japanese, and they are a bit cheesy, but they are alright.

Shadow of the Colossus.  Illustration copyrighted.

Final Conclusion:
Though plagued with slowdown and a very sad ending, this game is epic. Each Colossi fight is amazing in its own way, and I didn’t dislike a single one. The story is really sad and worthless until the end, but it’s really good. The music is amazing, and very well done (no Midi’s here). Some people might be pt off because of the fact that all you fight are the Colossi, but that should never be the reason to turn this game away. Its worth quite a few play thru’s, mostly because they add a professional mode, which really does add a lot to the game. I highly recommend this game, especially at its price of 20$.

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Year of Release — 2006?

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Answers Network.

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