Shadow of the Colossus.
I suppose it is a tad early to call this one a “classic,” but even someone like Guillermo del Toro felt strongly enough about it to proclaim it a “masterpiece.” It was one of those games that sort of “snuck” into the PS2 library. Most gamers seemed to breeze right by this one, perhaps even lifting it off the shelf and reading its deceptively vague insert. Others may have peered into the shadowy figure on the cover and instantly lost their sanity, screaming obscenities and jumping through one of the massive glass windows at Media Play. The few that actually played it however, found it contained within its shiny disc a hundred Christmas mornings… and I’m talking about the good ones, like the time you peeled open the wrapping paper and found a Sega Saturn PS2.
I am not posting a review for SotC. It does not need one. It beckons the curious, and poo poo’s the unworthy all on its own. It is overwhelming, stunning, and various other incredulous sounding words. I could go on, but it would get old really fast.
I posted all of this for a reason (believe it or not). If you haven’t guessed yet, I love this game. It is in my top 3 games of all time. In fact, I started working on a time machine right after I found the first Colossus because the way the fight starts is so incredibly epic… and it’s epic without trying to be epic… it just is. I’ll never have that experience again, that is why I need a time machine… one sec, Doc Brown is calling.
Introduction: For those of you who have not played this game, I will give a brief, spoiler-free introduction. It is a game with 15 boss battles, each one with its own quirks and weaknesses. The bosses, or Colossi, are beautifully designed, and you almost feel sorry for having to mercilessly take them down. The game itself is more of an experience than a videogame… you will find yourself thinking and watching most of the time. Those with twitchy God of War fingers might be a bit disappointed in the “lack” of action, but if any hack-and-slash element were implemented, it would have detracted from the overall experience. As far as gear, you have a bow and sword, with the latter serving really only one purpose: stabbing Colossi. Oh, and you have a kick-ass horse to ride as well.
Music: I’m stealing Dan’s bread and butter here, but this soundtrack is brilliant. The music is queued perfectly in-game, and it will suck you into the SotC vortex, creating atmosphere, moodiness and excitement.
I recently revisited this game and although I am only 3 Colossi in, I am still very much in love with it. Maybe this trailer will whet your appetite:
If I still haven’t convinced you to try Shadow of the Colossus, Sony is currently working on a SotC movie… yup… a movie. You didn’t see it, but I just did a happy little jig.