Friday, October 21, 2011

Shadow of the Colossus

I've always felt that games needed to push themselves farther.  When I started to try (and fail) to make games on my own in the early 80s, I had some pretty concrete ideas of what I thought they should do.  First, I would do away with the system of "lives" where you lost a life every time you got hurt and the game ended when you lost them all.  Second, I would put in an strong story that was as important as the gameplay itself.

My forays into game coding ended with a game I called Super Adventure (or SADV), a text adventure where you didn't do anything but watch a rendition of entering and leaving the world of TRON.  So, my big plans never really got far.  However, I must have had some kind of psychic powers, because I was able to project my ambitions on the game industry itself, and they incorporated my ideas into the majority of modern games.

Hey, they even got my "busty heroines in skimpy costumes" idea!
I would argue that some of the best games that followed my ideals were made by Team Ico (pronounced EE-ko), an internal group at Sony.  They started by creating a game called, oddly enough, Ico.  Ico is about a boy and his quest to save a silent girl from a crumbling castle filled with dark monsters trying to drag her into the ground.

If you get a chance, play Ico through to the end.  It's one of the best and most emotional scenes in any creative medium.

Their next game was called Shadow of the Colossus, where you play a tiny human who has to defeat giant monsters by climbing over them as they try to shake you off.  While, emotionally, I didn't think it packed as great of a punch, the gameplay was amazing.  Here's a clip of you fighting Monster 5, a giant winged creature.

Woohooeey!  That freaked me out the first time I played it, I can tell you.  Oh, but wait, that was killing a bird creature.  There was also a flying snake that I'll consider a bird.  Shoot.  Hang on a second.

Title: Shadow of the Colossus
Genre: Game
Severity: 1 (two deaths, plus one mitigating factor)
Date: 2006
Description: You have to kill two flying monsters, one which looks a lot like a bird.
Mitigating Factors: You pretty much have to kill every kind of animal monster in the same way.
Aggravating Factors: None.

Where was I?  Oh, right.  So, this month was supposed to be the release of their next game, "The Last Guardian."  It's been pushed back to April, which is a shame since Sony is doing poorly and it's one of the few things that might make me buy a PlayStation 3.  Here, take a look:

Yeah, so you don't see much gameplay, but just look at the relationship between the little boy and the monster?  See that expressiveness?  Your heart goes out to the two of them, which is something I never sent psychically to the game industry, but will from now on.

You hear me game industry?  I'm thinking at you!

Make games like this.
"So you want games where people take baths?"
Not like this!
"You want games with bigger explosions?"
Got it?
"You want games with-  ARRG!"
Shoot, sent too hard.

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