Adventure games, they are some of the best games the world have to offer. They are huge, long, and full of fun and interesting twists to keep you playing. Legend of Zelda is a very good example of this, since this is the series that got it off to the point that it has perfected the formula of the adventure genre. If you are wondering what the adventure formula is, well this is what it is. You go out into the vast world and beat down the darkness to save the land from the evil warlord or whatever. Then, from time to time, a game comes out and just breaks the formula, and then turns it into its new unique formula, which could be a hit or a miss for the game. The game that I will be talking about today is loved from all around the Playstation world, Shadow of the Colossus. Now, this is one of those games that you might have heard about, but never knew enough about. It was one of those games you see on the shelf of a store and get interested in.
Before I start talking about this wonderful game, I just want to thank one of my friends for introducing me to this game and showing me how different it was from other adventure games a few years back. I will also point out that I will show some spoilers, but I have a reason for showing them.
The story of the game might not seem that different from other adventure game plots, but it’s surprisingly better than a lot of games, even by today’s standards. A young man called Wander (yeah, that’s a, um, creative name) is traveling across a vast land on his loyal Horse Agro, who is carrying his dead love Mono, who was sacrificed because she had a cursed destiny. Wander is traveling across the forbidden land to find a temple that has rumors that the god there can grant any wish in the world. He finally makes it to the temple, and places his dead love onto the table. The god then appears in the form of an ancient mask and calls himself Dorim. The unknown god says he can bring her back to life, but you would have to do something for him in return. Dorim asks you to go through the forbidden land and kill 16 colossi. Wander then gets on his horse Agro, and sets off to kill the 16 colossi, and bring his loved one back from the dead.
The game play is in the form of an adventure game, of course, but this is very unique amongst the adventure genre since it is so offbeat. Let me explain what I mean by that in this paragraph. In a typical adventure game, you know who is good and who is bad, but in Shadow of the Colossus, Wander is just a normal human. He isn’t some famous warrior from some famous clan or something like that. Dorim is also like that. I mean, you don’t hear anything bad about him until the very end of the game.
Basically, what you do in the game is get on Agro and ride across this very huge forbidden land and find each of the colossi hidden in the land, and kill it by striking two or more glowing symbols on the colossus body. Since I’m here talking about the colossus, I think I will talk about the in-game battles. The Colossi are, of course, giant creatures, except for two of them, which are about buffalo-size in height. They would usually walk around, and not really notice you unless you shot arrows at it or whistled at it. All colossi are different from ones that you have to get on while flying or walking to make one run into a wall and knock it out. Even if some might look the same, they are unique and will take different tactics to take them down.
Everything in this game is just amazingly well made. The colossi are beautifully detailed to the point to it being one of the best-looking games ever created. The detail on the landscape and the characters catches your eye to where you just stop and look around to see the little bits to detail put into the wall or in the fur of the colossi. Even the blood on the giants looks amazing when you stab them in the symbol. The unique aspect about the animals and the colossi are that they react just, well, unique. Agro acts like an actual real-life horse, and the colossi act just like normal animals and they won’t bother you unless you push it.
The music is maybe the best of the PS2. Everything is just wonderful to listen to, and I am willing to say go and buy the freaking soundtrack already! The music is beautifully orchestrated and stands up to music like the Legend of Zelda series. The music was made by Kō Ōtani. who is famous for doing music for stuff like Gamera series, the anime series Your Under Arrest, Outlaw Star, and one of the Godzilla movies.
Now, it’s time to pick up the pieces and find the bad parts. This game is vastly different from adventure games since all you do is kill colossi. That means you don’t go into dungeons, fight grunts and find multiple items. It’s so unconvintional that a lot of people might get turned off by it. I mean, it’s not a game you can sit down and play in a whole sitting. It took me awhile to get through all of the colossi. Some people might not be able to be patient enough to find out that Wander is actually working for an evil god, and the Colossi are actually the lands guardians. The reason why I spoiled it was because I actually think some people might not be able to play through the whole game. Since this was made by the people who made ICO, which is for another day, it is also unconvitional in the way it was made, to where people couldn’t finish it either.
All in all, this is a hallmark on the PS2. I would say this is the second best game on the PS2, next to Final Fantasy 10, Metal gear Solid 3, and God of War 2. I say, go out and find yourself a copy of this game and add it to your collection. It does take a lot of patience to get through this wonderful game. I just can’t wait for this team’s next game, The Last Guardian.
This game gets a 9.8 out of 10.