Shadow of the Colossus - It's like getting to know an old friend. Then killing them and their family.



Shadow of the Colossus, oh boy, what a game. Such an interesting story behind it coming out right as the PS3 did, or near enough anyway. A game I've always heard of as one of the best games of all time. The only question was why the hell haven't I played it yet?

Well it's unfortunately not as mysterious as I'd like. I just never really had any interest in it. And also by this point I didn't have a PS2 so playing it was actually not possible for me. So the years went on and I desperately avoided being spoiled. That's when they announced the Team Ico Collection, with Ico and Shadow of the Colossus remastered for PS3. I thought, oh boy, this is my chance, I have no excuses now, and I bought it.

Well unfortunately the low amount of interest in playing it meant that I played it for about an hour and then sold it about 6 months later. Sadly I just never built up the interest into actually seeing what all the hubbub was about. I had fun with what I played, and I didn't think it was bad or anything, I just wasn't as excited for it as other people were. Such a shame, I guess I'm destined to never play this game.

This was my favorite location in the game. It was pretty small and way out of the way but it's just so beautiful.


CUE: Shadow of the Colossus REMAKE for PS4. Seemed like it was announced and out for release in no time flat, though it was actually about 8 months in between.

I could finally play this game in probably the best environment I ever could have. It looked amazing, it sounded incredible, it had such incredible atmosphere. It's time to finally play this game! And so I did. And I still had little interest in it.

I found myself playing for about 30 or so minutes at a time, taking in the beautiful world, fighting a Colossi, then quitting for days at a time. Interestingly, I had a total blast whenever I played, but once I was done there was no innate desire to continue playing. The curse that had followed me all the way from the beginning has indeed continued to follow me here to the end.

But I wasn't going to be dominated by this weird curse. I wasn't going to wait around for this game to get remastered again, or remade, I was going to beat this. And so I did. After about a month, or close enough to it, I put in the 7 hours necessary to finally complete this wonderful adventure.

My first impressions were strong. As I mention above, the game is strikingly beautiful and the world is so big to explore. Sure, it's empty. It's a game about fighting bosses so doing much else isn't going to net much enjoyment, but just the sheer beauty and scale of the game kept me having fun even after I'd been lost on the way to the next battle.

I found this beautiful location after getting lost on the way to a Colossi. What a beautiful place to get lost.

The controls were simple and tight. I found the grip gauge to be a tense mechanic where I had to be both careful and confident in my ability to know when to hold 'em and to quite literally when to climb up a massive beast and "recharge" for a little while. There are these lizards around certain areas like shrines with glowing crystal like tails. If you can shoot them in their tail in just the right way you can then eat the tail which causes your grip gauge to increase. There's some all over, but there's always one at each of the save shrines out in the world, meaning if you see one, definitely go check it out and increase your grip gauge.

Just like you can increase your grip, you can also increase your maximum health by shooting down fruit found on trees. It's not all of them, but if you're near enough a big ol' tree you should stop and see if it has any fruit because while the Colossi hit hard, every bit of health counts. I played the game on Hard difficulty and I'm not sure what that got me other than atoning for a false sense of penance for not having played this game to completion for all of these years.

The story seemed interesting to me because after all of the aforementioned years I had yet to be spoiled. So I had no idea what was waiting for me. It seemed the boy was interested in saving the girl in white and had come to this "cursed land" in order to grant his wish. I'm not sure what any of it meant but with each slayed Colossus I was on the trail to finding that out.

The atmosphere is second to none. Thanks to photomode allowing me to capture this beautiful shot.
Without getting too much into the story, I can say I had a lot of fun fighting the Colossi in the game. I found some to be incredibly annoying and frustrating but in a way that was "realistic", I guess. These creatures fought with tooth and nail and kept me shaking time after time after time. It wouldn't have been as memorable if they had simply stood there and let me kill them.

The most frustrating by far were the ones that had "stages" to fighting them, which was interesting and very annoying because now finding out where to stab them and how to get to a position to stab them wasn't the way to figure it out. Now I had to stab them and then get knocked off, or fall off, or just otherwise leave the Colossi and wait for the next stage to come around so I can do that all over again. There were a few Colossi I had gotten down to one sliver of health before running into one of those stages where I just couldn't get the final hit in and had to wait for another cycle.

It definitely all added up to an "experience" that I was very appreciative of, even the story which started to go somewhere near the end of the game. It certainly took me long enough to play and finish the game, and I'm glad to have done so. Some of those Colossi were as easy as going through the motions, but some really made you work for it, and no matter how frustrating that could be sometimes, landing that killing blow at the last possible second before your grip gauge runs out and seeing that time and effort pay off was something special.


My name is Ryan. I like to play video games and Dungeons and Dragons and all kinds of other cool stuff. I also like to write. This is my website, it's nothing special, but I write about topics from time to time that probably make no sense. But if you think they do make sense, then hang around and check out some other articles. My friends call them "blogs" but goddamnit I've got a URL and everything, so they're "articles".

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