Shadow of the Colossus does a fantastic job of capturing an element of realism in its game. Similar to its predecessor, ICO, Shadow of the Colossus follows the story of a male protagonist. Fortunately for this protagonist, he is not dragged into a cell, but does instead attempt to resurrect a maiden. The resurrection of … Continue reading Shadow of the Colossus: Return of R1 →
Shadow of the Colossus does a fantastic job of capturing an element of realism in its game. Similar to its predecessor, ICO, Shadow of the Colossus follows the story of a male protagonist. Fortunately for this protagonist, he is not dragged into a cell, but does instead attempt to resurrect a maiden. The resurrection of the maiden will be a topic in the next log post most likely, but I would like to discuss realism in Shadow of the Colossus.
Obviously the game does not represent reality since there has been no discovery of a giant bridge and hidden temple in our history, nor have the armored remains of colossal creatures been discovered (yes, dinosaurs are being excluded). In this game, magic is real and a deity communicates with the protagonist. But excluding how the setting is unrealistic, consider how this game addresses realistic elements with the human body.
The trade-off between making a game fun and realistic is hard to balance. Magic allows for the sword’s lack of realistic qualities excusable, but consider the mechanic to grip things R1. In ICO, R1 was used to hold a character’s hand and was critical in completing the game. In Shadow of the Colossus, the same button is used to grip the fur or “holdable areas” on certain landscapes and monsters’ bodies. If the player does not climb the beast, defeating the Colossuses is implausible. Combined with a sphere-like meter that gauges the energy you have to grip things, the mechanic becomes a difficult key to success. If there is no energy, there is no climbing.
Other aspects such as riding the horse and certain physics within the game apply, but these topics will most likely be addressed in later posts. I find it fascinating how the evolution from ICO to Shadow of Colossus not only makes health and safety important, but that the same mechanic used in establishing a relationship can be used in slaying monsters. Maybe there is a message about human nature or the duality of man, but until I conduct more research, I am left only with speculation.
For my first game log (excluding the Portal game log), I decided to play Ico. What intrigues me about this game is that it came out before Shadow of the Colossus, a game that somehow comes up in virtually every discussion regarding “boss battles.” I found it odd that the predecessor to such a game … Continue reading Starting ICO: A Cinematic Opening with Little Dialogue →
For my first game log (excluding the Portal game log), I decided to play Ico. What intrigues me about this game is that it came out before Shadow of the Colossus, a game that somehow comes up in virtually every discussion regarding “boss battles.” I found it odd that the predecessor to such a game would seem so hidden, and I decided to play. Please keep in mind for this log and for the sequential posts regarding Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, I have been using the The ICO and Shadow of the Colossus Collection for the PlayStation 3.
First, allow me express how the beginning of this game does not feel like a game. It feels like an interactive movie. The player can control a camera, zooming in and out of focus. The lack of dialogue supports this sensation, providing details through imagery rather than excessive explanations. Also, seeing as how the control of the camera seems disconnected from Ico (the protagonist and player character), it made me wonder if I was going to enter his head space or relate to his struggle. It certainly provides a sense of helplessness as all you can do is watch what is happening.
Second, once Ico breaks out and the player assumes control of his body, the introduction to gaming mechanics confused me. I had no idea what I was doing. The button that made Ico call out (later revealed to be a call for Yorda) made me think, “Wow! There’s even a button to call for help. Should I use it if the bad guys can hear me?” But of course, I learned that the temple was abandoned… until the visions came.
I cannot emphasize enough how the lack of dialogue had me more invested in these characters than most games with dramatic cut scenes. The entire situation between Ico and Yorda (once freed) did its job in conveying a blossoming relationship between the two characters. The mechanic that allows for Ico to hold Yorda’s hand, holding R1, simulates the continuous gripping throughout the gameplay . And the couches that act as save points, items quite out of place compared to the rest of the environment, provided an excellent visual to the level of intimacy between these characters. I think Ico explores the complexities of these characters and their bond, and I would like to look further into their story.