Sunday 10 April 2011

Great Gaming Moments… Shadow Of the Colossus

I whipped out my PS2 recently to check on something in Okami, and while I had it set up, I thought I would play this game.  A mate dropped by and I showed him this game and he was mightily impressed.  As he played, I saw him go through the same feelings that I had. 

Hence this game makes into my great gaming moments section.

The game has you playing a nameless guy (mistakenly called ‘Wander’) as he tries to revive some girl at an alter.  Apparently some god type chap at the alter has the power to to it, but it requests that you go to the effort of destroying the 16 colossi in the area before it will revive her.

That is about all the story I have gotten so far.  Luckily this game works on the gameplay, which is unusual in itself.  There are no small baddies to kill in this game.  You explore the region finding each colossus and when you get to its area, it will show itself.  Then you need to take it down, so in essence, the only baddies are the bosses. 

Yet the game isn’t boring, the world is beautiful to roam around, and a lot of the time you will find it a bit tricky to actually find the colossus you are after as you only have a magic sword that points in the direction.  So you follow the light and need to work your way around obstacles from there.

Once you have found the colossus in question the fun begins!  The cool things is, these guys are generally HUGE!  I recently knocked off number 9 and it was an incredible fight!  My friend who just played against the first and second one had the same rush as I got as well, which surprised me  as I didn’t think this would be up his alley.  
The colossus, being somewhat large are hard to kill and you need to find their weak spots, which usually involves the need to climb up them and running over them.  More often than not, half the battle is working out how to get on them.

#9 was like this for me, I had to draw him out, tempt him to stand over a geyser in the ground, avoid getting killed while he tried to stomp/shoot me and then get underneath him to shoot arrows at the weak spot in his feet when the geyser blew and pushed him off balance. 

Once that has started, the real fun begins!


Some pumping, epic sounding orchestral music begins and you make a mad dash around to his belly where there is some hair for you to climb up, but you have to do it while he is struggling to get back upright again.  The mad dash complete (after rolling under his armpit!) you climb madly over his hairy belly towards his back, for when he stands up.  Having done all this, you traverse his back with your sword drawn so as to find his weak spot (all the while he is trying to shake you off), stumbling and tripping as he moves.  Then you manage to get to his weak spot, which in this case is his head and stab your sword into it!
That got him!  A couple more stabs and your stamina is a bit low, so you let go to look for a safe(ish) spot to recharge, and there is a convenient ledge down by his cheek, it’s close and looks like a good place to hide for a bit, so you make the run, but he shakes and you roll a bit, very close to the ledge…


Phew that was close, but now your stamina is really low… Another shake…


You tumble over the ledge and fall ungracefully face first onto the ground way beneath his head.  Luckily your health bar was long enough to handle the fall.


You call for Aggro, your faithful steed.   He comes galloping up to you and you jump into the saddle.  Time to tempt the bugger over another geyser…

And the emotional roller coaster starts again.  Only this time, you won’t fall off!

That is generally  what each fight is like.  It’s so much fun!  The cheers of successfully getting on them, the worry as you race along trying to find the weak spot in time and the cries as you fall off and have to start again. 

The colossi are well designed as well.  They look like a cross between animals and buildings.  I kid you not.   They have varied types from Quadra pedal, bipedal (with impossibly large clubs!) and even flying ones!  How do you get to that one?  Well you have to shoot it first, which doesn’t hurt it, but it does make him angry.  Then while he is charging you, you jump and grab madly onto his wing, running across his body as he flies through the air like a stunt-plane!

So far every single one has made me go WOW! WHA?  WTF? How am I supposed to beat this guy?!?!???!?  At various points throughout the battle. 

Not only is Shadow of the Colossus a game, it’s an experience!

And that’s why it is one of my Great Gaming Moments.

Good news as well.  SOTC is being bundled with its prequel (and sequel) game Ico (pronounced ee-ko) for the PS3.  Complete with HD upgrade and more sexiness.  Excellent news!  I think it will be awesome to play with clearer graphics.  Even with component cables, the game looks a little pixelated on an LCD screen. It looks much better with component cables on a tube TV to be honest, but soon I will have an HD version.  Oh Happy day!


Pictures are all very nice, but nothing shows how epic this game is quite like a bit of video, so head off to youtube!

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