Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection
Bossin' in HD
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.