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Just Finished: Ico (PS Now)

I am well aware of this game's reputation. I can certainly see the charm and how it had a big influence on many later games such as Resident Evil 4, Journey, and The Last of Us etc. There is something appealing about the sparseness of the game world and design. Unfortunately, I just did not find this game very fun to play. It felt like work. The game can be beaten in under 2 hours if you know what you are doing, but it took me 7 hours and I had to consult guides to finish it. The areas are pretty wide open but exploring in this game is a waste of time as there is nothing cool to find and there is only one correct path forward. This is a game that is more than the sum of its parts because many of its individual parts are crap. Specifically the clunky combat and even clunkier platforming. I wasted a lot of time trying find the correct path as Ico only to have to drop what I'm doing to go save Yorda from the shadow monsters. It would have been nice if the remastered version included some quality of life improvements to make the controls less crappy. Some of the visuals are impressive for an early PS2 game but other areas are so dark and muddled it can be hard to make out where you are supposed to go and what you can interact with. The minimalist yet touching love story is one of the games big strengths. Otherwise I would have to say this game has not aged well. Ico is a game that mostly consists of climbing ladders/chains, pulling levers, pushing/pulling boxes, and lighting fires in various configurations. If Shadow of the Colossus is a game stripped to just boss fights, then Ico is like a Zelda game that is one large dungeon. Style is nice but fun comes first, and this just wasn't much fun for me. This is the first game that I have played this year that wasn't a sequel. I have finally played all three Team Ico games. Shadow of the Colossus is my favorite followed by The Last Guardian and Ico is far behind. This will be the last game I list with PS Now as the platform. The streaming experience was thankfully smooth.


Full Completed 2022 List:

  • Far Cry 5 (PS4)
  • Resident Evil 6 (PS4)
  • inFamous 2 (PS Now)
  • Super Mario Bros. 3 (NSO)
  • Bioshock 2 (PS4)
  • Ico (PS Now)

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