The Day Late and A Dollar Short Gamer: Shadow of the Colossus

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Is it a sword? Is it a column of stone? When you're crushed under it, does it matter?

There aren’t too many games in this world that have taken my breath away. Shadow of the Colossus was one of them. From the moment I popped it in until the moment I finally took it out, four weeks and twenty pounds later.

At first I was apprehensive. The game is nothing but boss fights with expansive fields between each one. Some may find this disquieting, especially anyone who has played Twilight Princess, but I promise you the surroundings make it worth while.

You are Wander. A nameless, speechless character with a kinda dead girlfriend in a forbidden Shrine of Worship. There is no back story, no idea of how he got there or what’s going on with his lady. Wander has a sword, a bow and a horse named Agro.

Once in the shrine, you make a deal with a disembodied voice to kill the sixteen colosi which roam around this land to revive your lady. Since there wouldn’t be a plot without it, you go ahead and do it, vowing to destroy all these beasts. the only thing that will vanquish them is your sword which apparently has magical powers. This is most likley because the game developers didn’t want you to just snipe the damn things like you do in Call of Duty, YOU BASTARDS!

Anyhoo, you ride out you can find your current target by holding your sword aloft and turning until a single beam of light points you in the right direction. Once you reach your destination, there is a cutscene which shows the colossus rising up from the ground and then your fight begins.

Each colossus has weak spots, and you must climb, trip and hack your way onto them. There are ones that fly, ones that shoot, ones that will try to break your head in and ones that just lumber around looking at you. Then you kill them. You invaded their land, woke them up and all they want to do is defend themselves and you kill them. You bastard. There are other tiny asian girls in the world, but I guess you’re in love.

After they die, black, snake like things invade your body and you wake up to the disembodied voice telling you about the next colossus. It seems repetitive, but as you progress, the battles become more and more difficult, forcing you to find new and interesting ways to climb up and stab the crap out of them in their special little glowing place.

I think I beat this game in about four hours or so. Don’t bother exploring anything, there isn’t one interesting thing beyond your next target for you to find, unless you like shooting lizards and checking out the scenery. If I remember correctly, eating lizard tails boosts your stamina, which you will need to climb and kill all the beasts, but it isn’t by much.

Overall, I liked this game, but I’m glad I didn’t pay more than ten dollars for it. It looks great, handles great, but there isn’t much more than meat and potatoes for this one. Maybe not even the potatoes.

But the steak is excellent.

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