ICO and Shadow of the Colossus (SotC) Collection Catch-All

I'm pretty sure "full pixel" is for those of us with flat panels that have no overscan. On mine, there's a black border around all four edges of the screen with that setting off, and turning it on fills the screen. The Rock Band games have a similar setting with the same effect on my TV.

Chaz wrote:
I'm pretty sure "full pixel" is for those of us with flat panels that have no overscan. On mine, there's a black border around all four edges of the screen with that setting off, and turning it on fills the screen. The Rock Band games have a similar setting with the same effect on my TV.

Ah! Yeah, the manual is a bit vague:


Activate full pixel mode to optimise the image quality of ICO on a high definition television

DSGamer wrote:
Enabling indeed. I don't even have a PS3. Sad face. :(

Go ahead, they're not so expensive now. You know you want to buy and return one.

*Legion* wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
Enabling indeed. I don't even have a PS3. Sad face. :(

Go ahead, they're not so expensive now. You know you want to buy and return one.

Have you seen the ergonomics on the DualShock? That's worth at least one purchase-and-return. Maybe two.

I just ordered 2 copies of this from Amazon, one for me and one for a buddy. I'm excited to play a version of ICO that I haven't played before.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
*Legion* wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
Enabling indeed. I don't even have a PS3. Sad face. :(

Go ahead, they're not so expensive now. You know you want to buy and return one.

Have you seen the ergonomics on the DualShock? That's worth at least one purchase-and-return. Maybe two. ;)

Jokes aside I don't really do that anymore. Yeah, I had a brief love/hate with the 3DS, but I've had my PSP for a while now. I've had my Wii and 360 for years. I'm good. The problem with the PS3 is there was nothing I wanted to play on it and my wife and I are trying to not bring in too much stuff into the house. De-cluttering. Adding a PS3 for 1 or 2 games doesn't add up for me.

DSGamer wrote:
Adding a PS3 for 1 or 2 games doesn't add up for me.

All teasing aside, I understand. I stalled for years on getting a PS2 because I didn't want Another Goddamn Box Under the Goddamn Television, and have passed on a PS3 on multiple occasions for the same reason.

The reasons both of you mention are why I regret my Wii. I love my PS3. If I were to go on a de-cluttering spree, the Wii would be one of the first things to go.

ahrezmendi wrote:
The reasons both of you mention are why I regret my Wii. I love my PS3. If I were to go on a de-cluttering spree, the Wii would be one of the first things to go.

On my Wii I'm currently playing Kirby's Epic Yarn, Super Mario Galaxy, Pikmin, Little King's Story and Xenoblade Saga. So I have 5 indispensable games I can't get on another platform. Otherwise the Wii would be gone in place of a PS3 in all likelihood.

I went through the same thing with my 360--particularly when ME2 came out on PS3, I found myself staring at it and saying "What, exactly are you good for?"

Finished up the 8th colossus last night...

Spoiler:
Apparently Wander dreamed that Mono woke up on the altar and was alive?

This is getting weird.

Dixie_Flatline wrote:
beeporama wrote:
After doing so, I think you have to then pick up and eat the tail. You can also find fruit hanging from some trees that increases your health. I'm not sure if I got that info from a FAQ or the manual, but it really helps. I think there might eventually be a way to make your map show where remaining lizards/fruit are.

Not until you beat the game once, though. After that, you can do time attack mode, which earns you various equippable items. Among them are ones that will show the locations of white-tailed lizards and fruit trees.

Hint on finding lizards:

Spoiler:

Or, if you need lizards now, just keep an eye out for them when going to save temples, and if you haven't yet, stop at the tree near between the starting point and 1st collosi.

Beat Ico. My first play-through ever. Amazing. I got frustrated a few times and stumped several times but it never made me want to stop playing and I only FAQed once and it was something that I dont regret looking up as I had sort of figured it out already and I have spent more time than most in my play-through of the game already (8 1/2 hours).

Can't wait to re-beat SotC. Interestingly, I beat it years ago and never heard of this lizard/fruit talk you fellas are prattling on about.

Finished Ico. I think it was about 9 hours total.

It doesn't take as long as it used to... I'm sure I must have spent 20 hours on Ico the first time I played it, because so many of its ideas were new. This time around, many of the rooms were familiar, and I was able to find the right solution reasonably quickly. I spent a fair bit of time dithering, but it wasn't too bad. I'm not sure how much of that was buried memory from ten years ago, and how much is from playing subsequent games that stole ideas from it.

It's really startling how much Sands of Time is like Ico. Dixie_Flatline says upthread that this was deliberate, and it really shows. Now I better understand why I loved SoT so much... it uses many of the ideas in Ico, but does most of them better.

If you haven't played Ico before, to new eyes, I suppose it would look most like an expertly crafted indie game, something like LIMBO. The textures are low resolution, and the animations are beautiful, but don't have as many frames as more current ones would, and the characters move strangely at times. The game no longer covers new ground, as other games have taken these ideas further, but this was incredibly original at the time, and still maintains an atmosphere of wistful sweetness that probably only Sands of Time has exceeded. And it's very playable, even to current sensibilities.

I'm finding Shadow of the Colossus to be less of a gem. After having the grip meter explained (thanks, whoever!), it got much easier, but I find the controls very frustrating. Too many of your controls are context-sensitive overloads of the same buttons, and the game is bad about detecting context. I'm pretty worried about The Last Guardian -- the control problems got worse going from Ico to SotC, not better. Your character is extremely good at jumping into space when you want him to be careful, and being careful when you want him to make a leap of faith. I swear, the programming is perverse about choosing exactly the opposite of what you want, and the more critical the situation, the better it is at screwing you up.

Fortunately, however, I haven't seen any frame rate problems at all in SotC, and I'm pretty sure I'd have seen some by now in the PS2. The frame rate was the biggest problem in PS2 Colossus; they were simply asking more than the hardware could deliver. The PS3 seems fully capable of keeping up.

Oh, one thing: be very sure to stick around through the credits in Ico. It's important.

Okay, I haven't read many posts on here to avoid spoiling, but I'm playing Shadow first. Up to monster 4:

Spoiler:
I love the melancholy in this game. I love the way it subtly brings you to question the ethics of Wanda's quest. I get the feeling a sad revelation is coming :D

El-Taco-the-Rogue wrote:
Okay, I haven't read many posts on here to avoid spoiling, but I'm playing Shadow first. Up to monster 4:

Spoiler:
I love the melancholy in this game. I love the way it subtly brings you to question the ethics of Wanda's quest. I get the feeling a sad revelation is coming :D

That game is awesome all the way up until the last boss.

Man, SotC looks pretty amazingly cool on the PS3 on a big widescreen TV. The controls are often very frustrating -- the game is a constant battle to keep your character from doing something stupid. But damn, it looks fantastic. I'm not sure any game has ever done 'epic boss fight' better than this, at least visually.

Malor wrote:
Man, SotC looks pretty amazingly cool on the PS3 on a big widescreen TV. The controls are often very frustrating -- the game is a constant battle to keep your character from doing something stupid. But damn, it looks fantastic. I'm not sure any game has ever done 'epic boss fight' better than this, at least visually.

Yeh, watching Wanda get flung about looks great, even if stabbing the things while holding on is a struggle. Also, he looks silly when he jumps.

Malor wrote:
the game is a constant battle to keep your character from doing something stupid.

That's exactly what I love most about Shadow of the Colossus.

I'm amazed at how frustrating people are finding SotC. To me, the style of these games is to learn the systems based on observation of subtle movements of the characters, and once you do you wont do nearly as many "stupid" things. I found it refreshing that they rely on this in lieu of giant "MASH A!!!!" prompts of other games.

Warriorpoet897 wrote:
I'm amazed at how frustrating people are finding SotC. To me, the style of these games is to learn the systems based on observation of subtle movements of the characters, and once you do you wont do nearly as many "stupid" things. I found it refreshing that they rely on this in lieu of giant "MASH A!!!!" prompts of other games.

I have no complaints except for the last boss. It was a beautiful game. After dying numerous times and having to backtrack for at least 2 hours worth, I put the game down. It wasn't worth it. I will always believe that it wasn't my fault and was the game designer's.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
Warriorpoet897 wrote:
I'm amazed at how frustrating people are finding SotC. To me, the style of these games is to learn the systems based on observation of subtle movements of the characters, and once you do you wont do nearly as many "stupid" things. I found it refreshing that they rely on this in lieu of giant "MASH A!!!!" prompts of other games.

I have no complaints except for the last boss. It was a beautiful game. After dying numerous times and having to backtrack for at least 2 hours worth, I put the game down. It wasn't worth it. I will always believe that it wasn't my fault and was the game designer's.


I hope you at least looked up the game's ending on youtube at some point. If you haven't, do so now! Or try to beat it again SotC has one of the most memorable endings in all of gaming.

Warriorpoet897 wrote:
I'm amazed at how frustrating people are finding SotC. To me, the style of these games is to learn the systems based on observation of subtle movements of the characters, and once you do you wont do nearly as many "stupid" things. I found it refreshing that they rely on this in lieu of giant "MASH A!!!!" prompts of other games.

Agreed! I tend to think of the controls as complex, but worth it. Not everything is an indicator in the HUD, you have to observe what's actually going on with your character and the colossus. Timing is 75% of this game.

I like how you have to hold a button to hold your grip on a colossus. I also like how you don't have direct control over your horse. Yeah, it can be a little frustrating making him go where you want, but it makes sense. It's not a car, it's an NPC. And most of the time he'll make good decisions if you just point him in the right direction.

El-Taco-the-Rogue wrote:
Okay, I haven't read many posts on here to avoid spoiling, but I'm playing Shadow first. Up to monster 4:

Spoiler:
I love the melancholy in this game. I love the way it subtly brings you to question the ethics of Wanda's quest. I get the feeling a sad revelation is coming :D

Once upon a time I wrote a little something about this (spoilers for SotC). In retrospect I missed a lot, but you might find it interesting when you've played Shadow for the first time.

I've seen it mentioned in the thread before; it's funny how people find this game difficult and/or frustrating. Sure, it ain't a cakewalk, but that's sort of what makes overcoming each colossus gratifying. Have gamers as a whole become such whiners since this game originally dropped? I'm no gaming savant, but seriously, SotC isn't particularly hard or broken in any way. I found the game perfectly balanced when it came out as far as gameplay goes and still consider it to be so.

brokenclavicle wrote:
I've seen it mentioned in the thread before; it's funny how people find this game difficult and/or frustrating. Sure, it ain't a cakewalk, but that's sort of what makes overcoming each colossus gratifying. Have gamers as a whole become such whiners since this game originally dropped? I'm no gaming savant, but seriously, SotC isn't particularly hard or broken in any way. I found the game perfectly balanced when it came out as far as gameplay goes and still consider it to be so.

I think the problems are just with Wanda's inability to do what you want while he's holding on to a colossus

El-Taco-the-Rogue wrote:
brokenclavicle wrote:
I've seen it mentioned in the thread before; it's funny how people find this game difficult and/or frustrating. Sure, it ain't a cakewalk, but that's sort of what makes overcoming each colossus gratifying. Have gamers as a whole become such whiners since this game originally dropped? I'm no gaming savant, but seriously, SotC isn't particularly hard or broken in any way. I found the game perfectly balanced when it came out as far as gameplay goes and still consider it to be so.

I think the problems are just with Wanda's inability to do what you want while he's holding on to a colossus :P

I think the problems have been that games are much easier and more forgiving these days than they ever were in the past. It's not a bad thing just that when you jump from one era to another there's a bit of a culture shock. Kinda like being forced to go to the toilet at the end of the street in an outhouse that the whole street shares...

I guess i could pimp my ICO (spoilers) analysis here too.

My complaint was more that most of the game consists of keeping Wander from doing something stupid. A number of the actions are context-sensitive, but the game is poor at determining context, so it's very easy to end up doing the wrong thing. Try mounting your horse in a hurry, for instance. I can't tell you how many times I was standing there, bunnyhopping next to my horse, while a colossus was bearing down on me at full speed.

And the way they make the actions exactly backwards based on whether you click grip and then jump or jump and then grip is fairly maddening. This isn't a hard thing, really. It's two actions, jump and grip. If you jump and then grip, you will dangle as you might expect. But if you grip and then jump, or hit both at the same time, the character will attempt a rolling dive forward, entirely independent of whatever you're doing with the movement direction stick. This is a very easy way to end up back on the ground, having to climb the entire colossus over again.

Honestly, they didn't really even need a rolling dive; I think there's only one spot in the entire game where you MUST use it, and that's where they show you how it works. The entire rest of the game, it just f*cks you up when you're trying to climb. They could have just left it out; the game would have been better for its absence.

I'm much less jazzed about The Last Guardian, after seeing with fresh eyes what a mess they made of the controls in SoTC. Other games in that era did it much better. If you're going to overload your buttons with multiple actions based on context, make damn sure your context detection is good.

This game was about cinematics, and it did deliver on that front, easily standing with any modern game. But it really falls flat on the feeling of getting the character to do what you want. This is separate from the "can't do anything when you don't have grip" issue, which is fair -- if you're getting flung all over, it SHOULD be hard to do stuff. But when you DO finally to do something, it sure as hell ought to be the right action. A great deal of the time, it simply isn't, even if you are pressing the correct buttons.

By the way, I saw absolutely no slowdown anywhere, and I did finish it. The lag/choppiness is completely absent from the PS3 version. This is finally the game as the developer originally intended, all those years ago.

Apart from mounting the horse - which can be a bit of a pain - i don't have any trouble with the controls in either ICO or SoTC.

I'm still really looking forward to TLG as i want to see if it's set in the same world and, if so, how it connects to the other two...

I might write up a new Analyse This for SoTC once i've run through it again. Specifically on how it may relate to the backstory i concluded from ICO.