Shadow of the Colossus

Was away in Florida last week.  Sunny.  Spent it with the in-laws and we were able to rest up a bit.  Did a fanboat tour of the Everglades, that was pretty neat.  Guide did a super job. Went to a large Bass Pro Shop which was cool.  Horse track, restaurants, boardwalk… all the tourist stuff.  It’s interesting because it’s different, yet also familiar.  Makes me miss the cottage…and coming back to weather 50 degrees colder was a punch in the gut.

Shadowy Past

Ugh, sorry.

I played the original SotC on the PS2 on a small-ish TV. I must have put 40 hours into that game.  It was the focal point for the argument of “games as art”.

I picked up the PS3 version (with ICO) a while ago to play on a very large screen.  It didn’t click as well that time.

PS4 version recently came out, and more of a remake than a remaster.  Controls have been tweaked (great).  The graphics/art have been overhauled.  It feels like watching a movie.  Video comparison below.

(Quick side note.  I ordered the game at 9pm from Amazon and it was delivered to my door by about noon the next day.  How can anyone compete with that model?)

 

The thing that’s most impressive is the draw distance.  I can see the horizon instead of a fog of war.  The way the lighting filters through makes me stop and pause.  My wife made note that MHW was a prettier game, and on that I won’t disagree.  SotC is a muted game, where the lack of things is what makes it so impressive.  There is beauty in simplicity.

Down Goes the Giant

Playing from memory, the first 5 colossi went down without too much effort.  I do recall the original play through, where each one was a puzzle that needed cracking.  It’s always more fun the first time completing a puzzle, but the 2nd and 3rd (or more like 10th now) you get to appreciate some of the smaller details.

The 3rd one in particular was a head scratcher.  You need to get him to swing his giant sword on a specific spot on the ground.  You know exactly what to do, but getting a lumbing 20 story giant to follow along is a tough one.  The 4th is a similar event, knowing sort of what to do but having trouble getting it done.

My wife watched the 3rd and thought it was relatively simple.  She had some suggestions for the 4th, which was neat to see.  When I was finally able to climb aboard, she was as happy as I was.

Then the 5th.  This is a flying bird, gliding over water.  You need to get it’s attention, then figure out how to board it.  Memory worked, found the ledge and then the fun began.

The ones previous to this lacked the concept of movement.  They were slow moving.  This one provides a great sense of movement, size, and distance.  Hanging vertical, running to a tail in the wind… just feels amazing to go through.  Even falling for a good 5 seconds into the water is exillerating.

The Toll

As I was fighting the 5th, my wife noted “he’s not very agressive, like the monsters in that other game”.  Good observation, and one that helps articulate why this game is not like the others.

It’s a rare event that playing an older game gives the same feeling as in the past.  Knowing what’s coming is making all the details that much richer.  I am really enjoying my time here.

 

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