Pros: An easy game to show off. Will impress anybody. Excellent visual style. Surreal experience.
Cons: Most gamers can tackle this in about a week or so.
To tell you the truth, when I bought Shadow Of The Colossus, I wasn't entirely sure of what I was getting into. Sure, I read a review at IGN, but I guess I never really paid too much attention to the parts where the reviewer describes the games premise. Something about giants and a barren land....whatever.
What you need to know is that it's about some guy looking to steal his supposed loved one (a girl) from the clutches of death. You'r probably saying "waking a dead girl? how?" Well, i'll tell ya. In this mysterious lonesome land, it isn't an impossible feat. Upon arrival in this lost land, the games hero is told by a mysterious voice that if he indeed wishes to see his girl alive once more, he must in turn complete a larger than life task. Armed with just a sword, bow and ebony horse, the hero is told that he must track down and slay a number of "colossi."
After the game's soft yet dramatic intro, the mysterious god -like voice leaves you on your way to discover the first colossus. To find this unseen creature, you can lift up your sword and follow it's light reflection. It's achieved by simply pressing circle. The first colossus is found just strait ahead out of the games starting point, which is a temple like area. You eventually hit a wall and must then proceed to climb and work up to the top of the cliff. A generally easy task, as it's used to primarily get the player familiar with the games controls. Once you reach the top, you catch your first glimpse at a colossus. A short cinematic portrays a huge fur covered creature sporting a giant club in his gigantic hand. I guess this ones right handed. To defeat him, you must find a way to climb up his massive body and stab key points on his surface. After climbing you'r way up and struggling not to get shaken off, you can then cause his blood to spurt by stabbing a few of these said key points. After his life bar is depleted, A cinematic clip shows the giant collapsing in a heap of monstrous body mass.
Every battle with each collossi is as unique as it's appearance. Some walk on two feet and resemble dog or wolf like creatures. Of course they tower over the common dog, some reaching heights of over 30 stories. Some walk on all fours like quadrupeds and enjoy charging into our hero. There are even a few flyers that you must somehow mount and kill, all the while struggling to stay on the bird. Tough business, seeing as how the humungous birds continue to soar through the air while you'r trying to do them in. My point is, every battle has to be treated diffrently, because each and every colossi is indeed unique. Some are real brain teasers, and players may find themselves looking at Gamefaqs for the correct strategy against a particular foe.
The game has tons of originality and style. The art style used is amazing and creative. Looking at the character art and design, it's easy to say that I have never seen anything like it. Nothing I have played is on this massive scale of proportions or visual design. I mean....what were these guys on? The games whimsical atmosphere and feel draw the player in, and suck them into this crazy world that's lonesome and beautiful at the same time, only populated by horrific towering giants. It's a crazy feeling and world the game developers managed to create with their chosen art style and design. By the end of the game, you will have definetly connected with the games story and have exerted some sort of emotions due to the games dramatic delivery.
Proceeding into the nitty gritty....
Graphics: (10/10) Mostly amazing and impressive. The colossi themselves are incredibly animated and designed. They are definetly the visual highlights of the game. Their inspiring to gawk at, just trust me. This isn't to say the games world and other subjects look bad. It's all designed well and clean. You can hardly complain about the games visuals.
Controls: (8/10) The hero's horse, named Agro, can sometimes be a pain to control. It's not as agile as one would hope, but it still gets the job done. If anything, maybe the developers wanted to give the horse a realistic feel, choosing to give the horse a little mind of it's own in some cases, as it seems like Agro is pretty cautious around edges at times. The hero himself controls well, everything is simple to execute on the PS2 game pad. The only minor gripe is the camera. It can get a little off at times, a minor set back really.
Gameplay: (10/10) Some of the best, most original and inspiring on any console EVER. No one's ever played a game like this, it will definetly take your breath away. Playing through this game is truly an experience worth completing. Just try it and try your hardest to deny the fact that it's impressive. I'm sure even non gamers would be impressed with the games un real premise.
Sound: (10/10) Very dramatic and fitting. The games primarily quite during exploration. During colossi fights, the panic inducing orchestrated pieces kick in. They set a high quality cinematic mood, really adding to the players already on edge state of mind.
Replay value: (8/10) Once you beat the game, diffrent options pop up. Theres a hidden boss battle time attack mode. You can play the adventure again using upgraded weapons such as a stronger sword and arrows that blow up, only available through extended play.