ICO and Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection review

Ico and Shadow of the Colossus were seen as two classics on the PS2 so I’ve been looking forward to playing these two games again with better graphics and a decent framerate. If you’re not familiar with the games, they both present the gamer with beautiful mysterious worlds. Ico came first, so let me tell you about that.

The game begins with a young boy with horns being imprisoned in a castle where you soon escape and realise you’re not the only one who’s been kept captive. You meet a young girl with magical powers and together you must try to escape. You literally take her by the hand and must get from A to B via platforming puzzles. Of course, it’s not that easy because you must also fight off shadowy figures that want to pull her into a shadowy portal. Apart from a few trophies, you won’t be getting anything new here but the game does look better thanks its HD makeover and the framerate is improved even though it’s only running at a constant 30 FPS.

My favourite of the two games, however, is Shadow of the Colossus, where, as a young man you must fell some gigantic beasts in order to wake up your lady friend from her slumber. Riding about the land on your horse Argo, you must lift your sword to pinpoint the location of the your victim and then set about climbing around its body in order to stab the glowing glyphs hidden in various places, bring it down and use its essence to help towards your goal. These parts of the game are truly epic and watching your stamina meter drain as you try to hang on for dear life really gets the blood pumping. Weirdly, the graphics here don’t actually look much better than I remember them as they were already gorgeous in the first place. Of course it’s a bit shinier but you’ll really notice the framerate improvement because on the PS2 the game struggled when you were being thrown around by the thing you were trying to kill. Also, climbing in games has improved with titles such as InFamous and Uncharted so things feel a bit clunky nowadays and it can be frustrating trying to find the big beasts during some parts of the game but I guess that’s intentional.

Even though there isn’t much dialogue, both games still reach me on an emotional level. There’s something unique, special and beautiful about them and the soundtrack to Shadow of the Colossus is truly something to behold. If you haven’t checked them out before, this is definitely worth a look. If you want to replay them they’re also definitely worth a play too so Ico and Shadow of the Colossus combined get an awesome 9 out of 10.

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Related:God of War, ICO and Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection review on Youtube

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