ICO & SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS CLASSICS HD
videogames are mentioned in such reverent tones as these two PS2
works. After all, if you’re a worthwhile gamer, you’ve played them
forwards, backwards and possibly sideways, yeah?
Nuh. Not everybody had the chance originally, and it’s OK, you can
admit it! Fuck the snob-knobbing elitists, ’cos you’re no less
gamertastic if an ICO and/or Shadow of the Colossus
neophyte. Actually, some might envy your virginity.
That’s definitely so with 2002’s beautiful, atmospheric ICO.
If ever the line between interactivity and art was fuzzied, it was
here. Big on visual exposition, there’s little in leaden story or
dialogue, just dive in and wade blissfully. You guide a lad ousted
from his village and subsequently sarcophagus-ensconced for being
horny – erm, he has a built-in Viking helmet thing happening, so is
considered e-vil. He’s a cleverclogs though and escapes, discovering
a caged ghosty-princess needing rescue. She’s Yorda, and you’ll hold
hands with her lots. Aww! Sadly, action cravers won’t dig ICO,
as casual exploration’s punctuated only by occasional frenetic
outbreaks battling icky black Yorda-nabbing blotty things.
ICO’s partner here, Shadow of the Colossus, is
similarly storyistically minimalist. Unnamed boy with amply-arsed
horse aims to revive girlfriend (uh, the boy’s, not the horse’s) by
skewering 16 colossuses – or ‘colossi’ if you prefer. In 2005 the
sight of massive beasties to best sent jaws thwutoomphing floorwards.
ICO does suffer from obstreperous camera syndrome – you’ll be
wrestling. It’s magnified in SotC, which suffers further from
convoluted controls that’d make any bureaucrat engorged with pride.
What’s the bigger battle? Conquering a massive creature whilst
clambering upon it, or succeeding with borked controls?
Meanwhile, the HD/3D rejuvenation has accomplished wonders,
especially for ICO. SotC’s bonussy if you reckon
bigger’s better and possess the patience of something halo-topped,
but we’re happy to ICO ICO all day.