76°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Video Game Connoisseur

Video Game Connoisseur

Shadow of the ColossusPublisher: SonySystem: PS2$19.99ESRB: T (Teen)

Imagine a game like Legend of Zelda, except there are only boss battles and you have to walk a huge frickin’ distance to each one. That’s basically what Shadow of the Colossus is. Shadow of the Colossus came out a little over a year ago and when it first hit store shelves it was what may have been described as “hot shit.” I was interested in it, but it fell off my radar and I forgot about it. It resurfaced in my mind when A.) I heard Adam Sandler’s character in “Reign Over Me” played the game extensively and 2.) I saw a copy for $20 and grabbed it. I hate to say it but I’m a little disappointed.

Let me start by taking a step back and giving you the premise: You play as a wanderer named Wanderer who goes to a forbidden land in search of a being who can bring the dead back to life in order to resurrect a girl who was sacrificed because it was believed she had a cursed fate. The being agrees to bring the girl back to life if Wanderer agrees to kill 16 colossi that are spread out across the land. Thus, you set out to kill the 16 colossi armed only with a sword, a bow and a horse.

Fighting the colossi consists of finding their weak spot, climbing up their body to it and then stabbing said weak spot repeatedly while hanging on for dear life. The game designers take a minimalist view to giving the player in-game information, tucked away in the corner of the screen is a health bar, the icon for which weapon you have equipped and a meter showing how strong your grip is. When the grip meter runs out, you lose your grip on the colossus, and unless you’re perched on their shoulder you will most likely fall off. Most of the challenge comes from finding a way to scale the colossi, you first need to find a method for getting on them either by making them kneel, jumping off your horse, or by using the environment to your advantage.

What else can you do besides fight the colossi you ask? Nothing, nada, diddly. There are no towns, dungeons or side quests. Just 16 giant monsters made of stone, metal and fur. And when your done killing these 16 behemoths, you’re left wondering “now what?” as the story’s resolve seems to create more questions than it answered. I really hate it when I finish a game and the ending makes me wonder what I really accomplished. All I want is for everything to wrap up nicely and have peace return to the world until the sequel. Is that too much to ask?

The graphics are nothing special, the game’s world often feels empty and you have to travel long distances to get to each encounter. Also, the controls are really awkward and take a while to get used to. I was hoping for something a little better for all the hype it received went it was released, so I’m mildly disappointed. The concept is interesting and the battles are fairly well thought out, requiring you to make use of the environment and making you think quickly. It’s not that bad of a game but I would only recommend renting it for a long weekend.