Developer: Team ICO
by: Nicholas "BAPenguin" Puleo
Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are considered of the highest pedigree in the PlayStation 2’s life cycle. Both games, created by famous Japanese designer Fumito Ueda, offer very similar experiences in terms of emotional attachment while offering very different experiences in how you play the game. Both of these games are now updated for the PlayStation 3 complete with hi-definition graphcis, 3D support, and trophies making them feel less retro and more like a pair of games worth picking up.
Ico is a game that follows a small horned boy who must guide a pale white girl named Yorda through a perilous castle. During their trip they must avoid dark apparitions as well as climb and jump their way through dangerous obstacles. It’s the world’s biggest escort mission, but it’s one that you find yourself completely enthralled in. Whether it’s the way Yorda calls for the boy when in trouble or the way the boy pulls Yorda along willing her away from the imminent danger. The emotional tie between these two becomes immediately apparent and it’s hard not to get attached.
Ico cleans up nicely, the textures look decent enough and the watercolor-esque graphical style really pops off the screen. Perhaps the most impressive feature is how well the sound in the game works, with the echoing footsteps of the pair echoing through your living room.
Shadow of the Colossus may be the more critically acclaimed of the two games, with a similar narrative at play. You control a young boy and his horse on a mission to save a fallen female friend. To bring her back you must track down and kill 16 giant creatures that roam the land. It’s basically a game that consists entirely of boss battles.
While i wasn’t as impressed with the graphical update that Shadow of the Colossus had, the impressive scale of each beast still holds true. And from the very first battle as you climb up the giant hairy beast, you begin to doubt your quest as to just how vicious these creatures really are. Again, like Ico, the audio in Colossus really helps carry the game.
Sadly I wasn’t able to test the 3D in the two pack, but both games feel like a natural fit for the technology. With a price of just $40 the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus bundle should be a no brainer for your PS3 library - if anything - for the cred of keeping it on your shelf.