Fairytale friends and foe
One other area which remains intact - perhaps unwisely - is the control scheme of both games. It’s personal opinion, of course, but both titles might well have benefited from slightly tighter controls: a tweak to the manual camera orientation here - particularly in the case of Ico - and a tightening of the grip meter in SotC. Such change blurs the line between remake and remastering, but they could have always provided the option to switch enhanced controls on or off.
Perhaps, for those not au fait with either title - (seriously, where have you been? - an introduction to each might be in order. Though both are set in fairytale worlds there’s no crossover between either beyond their themes – isolation, hope, despair and friendship, even if the ‘friendship’ in SotC is between a man and his horse. Both are affecting, melancholy experiences with an atmosphere and poise rarely seen in games – dare I even use the term “art”?
Ico tells the story of an eponymously named boy, born with horns on his head who – after freeing himself from his own incarceration inside a mysterious tower – discovers an unintelligible, ethereal girl, Yorda. After freeing her from her own imprisonment they set out to escape said tower and its bizarre denizens.
A puzzle-platformer at heart, most challenges will have you leaping and climbing towards switches and presser pads to gain access to the next section. There is a combat aspect too as the girl is constantly pursued by demons, hell-bent on recapturing her. Fighting these oily fiends off provides the game’s other challenge - taking Yorda’s hand in your own often the best way to keep her safe.
There’s no denying the fact that Ico has aged much more than SotC. It is, after all, some ten years old now. As mentioned before, you’re able to move the camera view with the right stick, but the way it pans feels a little restricted given today’s offerings.
Hanging outside many bars
Yorda’s AI is also lacking at times, it often taking her an age to catch you up if you’ve left her somewhere safe while clearing an area of enemies say. That said, it’s still a unique game well worth playing, the echoing cries of Ico as he calls Yorda to his side as haunting as ever.
Next page: Bring down the beasts
...this isn't about the Information Commissioner's Office and rebuilding a war-time computer?
Colour me disappointed.
Now we just need an HD remake of Okami.
How to explain
Quite simple as Naughty Dog explained - one of their main influences is Team ICO
I played Shadow of the Colossus in the PS2 years ago and there are not enough superlatives to describe the experience. Truly one of the very best games I've ever played, and I'm much more into the shoot-em-up, arcade action genre. It is a masterpiece.
I never played Ico, but I've read reviews of SotC where they claim that is not as good as its predecessor. So, with an endorsement like that, my expectations are very high.
I've been waiting for this remake for years now and I'm glad it's finally out. My Amazon order has just shipped, and I can't wait to play both games soon. I look forward to re-living the magnificent, yet bitter-sweet experience of playing SotC.
SotC is nothing short of beautiful. Even on the PS2 it looks fantastic. I remember playing the demo when it first came out on an OPS Magazine coverdisc and stopping dead when I first saw your initial colossus. Cries of 'How the bloody hell are you going to kill THAT?' echoed around the room, along with plenty of 'whoa' and 'woo!' sounds when you get Aggro within stomping range.
Right, I'm gonna finish at 2 and hit the gameshop on the way home!