When Team Ico's Shadow of the Colossus released in 2005 it was immediately hit with critical acclaim and cited as one of the best games of all time. I never understood why and with an interest in The Last Guardian, it was a no-brainer to try it out. My only knowledge coming into the game was about the horse and the colossi being the only enemies.
Starting the game off I was taken aback by just the visual beauty and the soundtrack then, I accidentally skipped the first cutscene so, whoops. Apparently there's a lady on that pedestal in front of me, I guess she's dead or sleeping and killing the colossi just so happens to be the only way to wake her up? I dunno.
The on-screen button prompts informed me that triangle was the jump button and I immediately rectified that, no game should set jump to triangle.
"That's a big boy," was the first thing that came out of my mouth followed by, "holy crap this music!" I was terrified and enamored, but steadily ready for a fight. I had no clue what to do so I just pelted it with a ton of arrows until it drew its attention to me, then I ran as it slammed its mace on the ground. Text filled the screen telling me to use my sword to find the weak spot so I did, left leg and the head.
Stabbing the leg caused it to kneel in pain giving me an opportunity to climb up its back (Kid! Get up on the Hydra's back). My stamina was slowly depleting as it moved around in an effort to knock me off but I prevailed and climbed to the top of its head where I just stabbed it until it fell.
The road to the second colossus was quiet and unsettling. I got lost and wound up in some random area, it wasn't until I got back to the mainland that I needed to not go straight, but down into the canyon. The landscape is empty, a few trees and structures here and there. I was told of the fruit and lizards that are in the game so I will be keeping an eye out for those.
Not as big as the first colossus but still a marvel to watch move. The music reminds me of a stark opposite to the boss music in the Dark Souls series and when the music changes to accompany me as I travel upon the colossus, man it reminded me of Indiana Jones.
The second colossus was fun but quick, if anything I started to feel terrible as I attacked it. Every time I stabbed it, I could see its eyes change color in pain. But it had to be done, forgive me.
I'm sure whatever weird dark things are entering my body is surely going to make sense in the end but for now, I need to head towards a giant lake.
That was a tough one if only because it kept moving around so landing a hit on it was a struggle. I fell off a good number of times but I also learned that I could crouch to gain more stability so falling off would be less frequent. Early on it was evident that I needed to hop on its sword to climb it, what I found out was that if it slammed that stone plate, some of its armor would fall off letting me scale the colossus fully.
It is weird having these dark figures look over me before I wake up back in that altar.
As I'm coming to find out, the music in this game does not disappoint. I wish there was a vinyl.
A horse, this colossus is a horse. It didn't really gallop but it was a struggle getting on top of it. I do like how each colossus so far become a puzzle of its own. The puzzle for this one was frustrating, grabbing the attention of the colossus and then getting behind it was trial and error. The shrieks it made after I stabbed it, will forever haunt me.
Okay, I counted, there were four of those shadowy figures looking over me now and I've defeated four colossi.
Holy crap. I wasn't expecting that fight. From the music starting to me delivering the final blow, I was in heaven. That fight was just the bees knees. I was thinking I would have fought some underwater colossus but a giant bird? I will gladly take it. The moment I grabbed onto it as it skyrocketed into the air is something I will never forget. Seeing Wander hold onto it tightly as the hair of the colossus shook violently, I love it. I love the animation and attention to detail in the game. So far this is my favorite fight but I know there's a lot left for me to see, and fight.
I think there were five figures looking over me this time, I couldn't tell. Still creepy.
Nice beard, bro! It was not at all happy with me grabbing onto its beard, I'm sure I fell off more than ten times before I got the first hit in. I'm not even upset I killed this one, he was rude and chased me down.
Six figures! They're increasing in numbers.
That was an interesting one. It's electric (boogie woogie, woogie!) and I thought I had to grab onto those until it shocked me into realization. I started to panic, was I going to die from the electricity or from drowning? Once I got rid of the three electric rods protruding from its back, it was just an aquatic climb to the head of the beast. Seven down and nine more to go.
This whole land is devoid of any people, what if the souls of the people that once populated the land, are the ones that are watching over me each time I defeat a colossus? Or what if they transformed into a colossus over time? What is this game?
My first death came from this colossus. Stupid salamander thing spewing orange hot breath at me. I did a bunch of running around and shooting its legs with my arrows, slowly chipping away its health. It wasn't until my second attempt that it climbed the coliseum walls to get to me and that's where it clicked. Shot two of its legs and it was going down and I was yelling timber. A few good stabs and it was over.
Wander is starting to look a little pale.
This colossus had a protruding mandible and reminded me of a Pokemon but of course I don't remember the name of it. I enjoyed this fight because I actually got to use Agro even if it was to get closer to the colossus. As I was nearing the colossus it was easy to see that the geysers would play a huge part in this fight. The problem was getting the colossus underneath the geyser and getting to its underside in time to climb it.
Not being able to see an enemy is scary, not being able to see a giant enemy is beyond terrifying. Those eyes were huge! I was too busy staring at the eyes, which cost me a life. This was also the fight where I realized that if I track a colossus while on Agro, she would automatically run and that saved my butt. Other than figuring out I had to shoot the eye, it was a simple yet tense fight.
So. Many. Shadow. People. I need answers.
This one was probably the hardest one so far. It was fast and hit like a tank. Wander takes forever to get up from a hit so by the time he's back on his feet there is a super small window before it charges at me and Wander is on the ground again. Figuring out what to do with the brazier was dumb luck. I jumped up there to regain some health, then the torch fell out as the colossus rammed the brazier. Turns out it doesn't like fire to the point it fell out into the canyon when I held the torch. Riding the colossus back to the top was not an easy task.
I was immediately reminded me of Groudon from Pokemon except it wasn't red. Before the fight started I had a sinking feeling of another fight taking place underwater, thank goodness it was not but copious amount of swimming was involved. I swam around it and climbed along its back to realize there was no weak point on the head, then I was thrown off but not before noticing the weird stones on its head. Climbed back up and hit one of them which I guess controlled the colossus to go whichever way I wanted. Jumped off at the ruins and it revealed its' weak spot on its stomach, that small patch of fur. I had to repeat that process twice. Not a tough fight but definitely one I had to be aware of my surroundings.
What a magnificent creature living in the sand. If anything, the hardest part in this fight was grabbing onto its wings The first time I did it, I felt like a prime time badass, the multiple attempts after that? Not so much. I ran from one end of the leviathan to the other looking for a weak spot maybe three times before I realized I had the bow still equipped, oops.
I can't tell if Wander is slowly dying. At least Agro is doing fine.
I enjoyed this one as well and definitely made me use the environment a lot more than the others. Armor-plated colossus with a bunch of pillars surrounding the area, those pillars were either going to help me or hurt me. They did both. Provoking the colossus into ramming the pillars to make a walkway for me was ingenious, falling over and being crushed by one was not. Eventually I made it work and knocked the armor off but that didn't stop it from ramming me.
Who is bringing me back to the altar?
This one had to have taken me at least an hour to beat. I was mindlessly running around and lucked out when it slammed its hoof on the platform I was on, tilting it for me to reach the ledge above. I scrambled to the top of the area and began to dart across the bridge but the stupid colossus broke the bridge just as I reached the other side so in retaliation I jumped on its head and gave it a good stabbing. That probably took 15 minutes. The other 45 was me repeatedly jumping on it in an effort to make it drop the cleaver it had to reveal the final weak point. I was thrown off way too many times and stepped on a bunch. Once again, I got lucky and successfully managed to make it drop the weapon, then I met a mean right hook. But I stabbed him as a way of saying, "thanks for letting me climb you."
Is there a doctor for Wanderer? He does not look good. This is taking a toll on him, and he's got this weird black residue that departs from his body when he moves. Is his scarf thing a different color than from the start?
MY HORSE! TEAM ICO, WHY?!
I was not prepared for the final colossus, the biggest colossus. The location, the music, the design, all of it was on point for a striking and very emotional final fight. The colossus stood at the far end of the area, but any step I took prompted it to shoot an energy projectile at me that dealt a significant amount of damage. I thought maybe dodging them would work, nope. I died easily. Wander has no invincibility frames when he rolls as far as I could tell. There were tunnel entrances that when used brought me closer to the colossus and one step closer to the end. There I was, at the base of the colossus, I started the climb. Nothing I hadn't done before but the music really shined here. I was told that if I did one thing in this fight it was to get up in the colossus' face, look at it and let the music sink in. I did exactly that, I looked it in the eye as it looked at me and you know what I saw? A victim. These colossi did nothing wrong (as far as I know), I came here and started to kill them. In this situation, I am the monster.
I delivered the final blow, I finally defeated all 16 colossi.
I watched as Wander was brought back to the altar unconscious, this time he had horns protruding out his skull. I probably should not have skipped that opening cutscene because I had no idea who these people were but they insisted on me being evil. One of the soldiers stabbed Wander seemingly killing him until he was possessed by that voice that was telling me where to go, Dormin was its name. Some giant pool of light sucked me into the abyss after minutes of me struggling.
Aw, the lady woke up but Wander is gone. AGRO SURVIVED?! WHAT! Wander turned into a baby with horns?
Shadow of the Colossus is a work a art, a masterpiece. It's early to say, but this game may have earned a spot on my top 10 games of all time.