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Forums - Gaming Discussion - What makes Shadow of the Colossus so special?

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How much do you like SotC?

5/5 Best game ever 20 43.48%
 
4/5 Top 100 games of all time 19 41.30%
 
3/5 Really good game 1 2.17%
 
2/5 Quite average 4 8.70%
 
1/5 A bit annoying 1 2.17%
 
0/5 Total failure 1 2.17%
 
Total:46

I tried to play it on PSNow and its virtually unplayable because of the controls.  As they didnt change that in the remake I will be passing.



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Marth said:

So hey,

I have a topic regarding SotC. Pretty much the title but I want to give more information.

I was never owner of a Playstation. I have played a few games when I visited friends but mostly grew up with Nintendo.

So there were quite a lot of games I never layed hands on and SotC is one of them.

But it gets so much hype. I have seen many people here, on reddit and on my twitter praising the game to the heavens and celebrating another remaster of it.

So... why?

What I have seen of this game so far was a lot of empty landscapes that you traverse with a horse to kill a few bosses.

Is that the whole game or is there something i am missing? Or something i dont understand?

I am curious to know what you guys love so much about this game when it seems pretty shallow to me.

I think this is where a lot of people tilt their heads and look at you funny.  You've said you are a Nintendo fan so I can't imagine shallow being a problem for you to begin with.

Some games are about more than simply hitting stuff or jumping over stuff.  They are about the atmosphere and the emotional experience.  They are about establishing empathy with the character you're playing and understanding their struggle.  Some people don't want or get that from games, which is totally fine.  They just want to turn their brains off and press the right buttons at the right moments.  There are tons of games like that so no problem.

Some people want more, though, or at least a range of experiences.  They're looking for a degree of depth, something that can provoke and engage their imagination as well as their motor skills.  Something they can care about, that they can think about beyond wondering how to beat the next puzzle.

Personally, I've played enough games with shallow characters following a hollow shell of a story to last me a lifetime.  If that was all gaming offered me then I'd probably stop caring about it the way I did during the SNES era.  I need games that try to go outside those bounds and I think it's clear a lot of other people want that as well.  

I'm also well aware that there will be people who try to belittle what they don't understand.  That's okay, though, as what they don't realize is that doing so will only reflect back on them and make them look shallow and petty in comparison.



pokoko said:
Marth said:

-snip

I think this is where a lot of people tilt their heads and look at you funny.  You've said you are a Nintendo fan so I can't imagine shallow being a problem for you to begin with.

Some games are about more than simply hitting stuff or jumping over stuff.  They are about the atmosphere and the emotional experience.  They are about establishing empathy with the character you're playing and understanding their struggle.  Some people don't want or get that from games, which is totally fine.  They just want to turn their brains off and press the right buttons at the right moments.  There are tons of games like that so no problem.

Some people want more, though, or at least a range of experiences.  They're looking for a degree of depth, something that can provoke and engage their imagination as well as their motor skills.  Something they can care about, that they can think about beyond wondering how to beat the next puzzle.

Personally, I've played enough games with shallow characters following a hollow shell of a story to last me a lifetime.  If that was all gaming offered me then I'd probably stop caring about it the way I did during the SNES era.  I need games that try to go outside those bounds and I think it's clear a lot of other people want that as well.  

I'm also well aware that there will be people who try to belittle what they don't understand.  That's okay, though, as what they don't realize is that doing so will only reflect back on them and make them look shallow and petty in comparison.

Very much how I viewed Heavy Rain and why I defended it to such a degree. Although I was late to the ICO party in 2011, when I finally beat the Remastered version on PS3, I understood why it was so loved. Sometimes, it's just about taking in the experience, rather than timed head-shots or jumps from platform to platform. Nothing wrong with options.



                                                                                                                                                           

Kind of off-topic but I actually want to play that game too some day, so I'm kind of interested in people's responses as well. If only to satisfy curiosity about the game. However, I don't have a PS2 and the game's kind of rare. I don't really want one of the remasters, because I believe a first experience should always be with the original to see it as it was meant to be played. I don't mind a remaster of a good game I already played before obviously.



RolStoppable said:

It was branded as art from the get-go, so everybody had to like it regardless of its shoddy controls and framerate. Naturally, its improved re-releases had to be admired as well.

My favorite anecdote concerns a German video game magazine that gave the original release a rather generous score (77/100) despite the reviewers not being convinced that they were playing a good game, then years later they elevated SotC to one of the most important releases of the decade, likely due to peer pressure and a desire to fit in with everyone else.

If you are looking for games as art, then maybe this is something you'll like. The same holds true for everything else that is commonly said to be art.

EDIT: Added paragraphs. Quick Reply still not fixed.

So, considering that the peer pressure existed several years later, hence millions liked it, it was one of the most important releases of the decade? I mean you are kind-off saying it was one of the most important games of the decade yet you try to make it sound overrated in pretty much every discussion that this game appears in.



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I never got around to playing it until around 2009. When I did, I never got the impression that it was GOAT-tier gaming, though it was a unique and interesting experience in terms of both gameplay and art style, and its uniqueness and artistry and probably why it had such a big impact on so many. The game did something that no other game before it or since has really done. There is a single contiguous open world, but unlike most open worlds, the world of SotC is completely empty save for for the sixteen colossi and a handful of small, non-hostile animals. It's a sparse, brooding, lonely, and atmospheric world. The colossi themselves are large-scale "puzzle boss" fights. You fight them in order (meaning you don't have absolute freedom like in so many other open world games), and they typically get more difficult as the game progresses. The first time you see a colossus, you get a real sense of scale when fighting these gigantic beasts as a mere man armed with only a sword and bow & arrow. *SPOILER ALERT!* Also, the story is told with minimal dialogue as well, and it makes it ever more clear that you're not a good guy fighting evil. You're simply hunting down innocent monsters to bring someone back to life, and your character pays a hefty price for it. *END SPOILERS* But personally, the game as originally released had a couple of glaring issues. The game's controls were incredibly awkward to me. The task of climbing and killing a colossus left me in actual physical discomfort by time each fight was over because of how sore it made my hands. Also, it had some serious performance issues on the PS2, with a clunky frame rate. The controls alone are why I don't regard SotC quite as highly as some do. I would still put it in my Top 50 games of all time, but it'd be towards the bottom of that list. Hopefully the remake has better controls to make the act of playing the game a comfortable experience.



hunter_alien said:
RolStoppable said:

It was branded as art from the get-go, so everybody had to like it regardless of its shoddy controls and framerate. Naturally, its improved re-releases had to be admired as well.

My favorite anecdote concerns a German video game magazine that gave the original release a rather generous score (77/100) despite the reviewers not being convinced that they were playing a good game, then years later they elevated SotC to one of the most important releases of the decade, likely due to peer pressure and a desire to fit in with everyone else.

If you are looking for games as art, then maybe this is something you'll like. The same holds true for everything else that is commonly said to be art.

EDIT: Added paragraphs. Quick Reply still not fixed.

So, considering that the peer pressure existed several years later, hence millions liked it, it was one of the most important releases of the decade? I mean you are kind-off saying it was one of the most important games of the decade yet you try to make it sound overrated in pretty much every discussion that this game appears in.

The game didn't sell millions. The peer pressure was coming from other gaming journalists, so sales of the game were pretty much irrelevant to their decision.

Shadow of the Colossus had neither the sales nor the influence on other games to label it as one of the most important games of the decade, that's why its standing in the gaming community (including gaming journalists) is greatly overrated.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

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CGI-Quality said:
pokoko said:

I think this is where a lot of people tilt their heads and look at you funny.  You've said you are a Nintendo fan so I can't imagine shallow being a problem for you to begin with.

Some games are about more than simply hitting stuff or jumping over stuff.  They are about the atmosphere and the emotional experience.  They are about establishing empathy with the character you're playing and understanding their struggle.  Some people don't want or get that from games, which is totally fine.  They just want to turn their brains off and press the right buttons at the right moments.  There are tons of games like that so no problem.

Some people want more, though, or at least a range of experiences.  They're looking for a degree of depth, something that can provoke and engage their imagination as well as their motor skills.  Something they can care about, that they can think about beyond wondering how to beat the next puzzle.

Personally, I've played enough games with shallow characters following a hollow shell of a story to last me a lifetime.  If that was all gaming offered me then I'd probably stop caring about it the way I did during the SNES era.  I need games that try to go outside those bounds and I think it's clear a lot of other people want that as well.  

I'm also well aware that there will be people who try to belittle what they don't understand.  That's okay, though, as what they don't realize is that doing so will only reflect back on them and make them look shallow and petty in comparison.

Very much how I viewed Heavy Rain and why I defended it to such a degree. Although I was late to the ICO party in 2011, when I finally beat the Remastered version on PS3, I understood why it was so loved. Sometimes, it's just about taking in the experience, rather than timed head-shots or jumps from platform to platform. Nothing wrong with options.

That's why I'm willing to love a flawed game that strives to offer something unique and varied.  There are a million "game-play first" experiences out there.  That shouldn't be all there is.

ICO was one of two games that revitalized gaming for me.  It turned me into more than a person with a controller in their hands trying to execute combos or score more points.  It was like a great book that makes you forget you're reading and puts your heart there with the characters.



It's in a weird place on my rankings - it's a game I will totally always remember playing and how it made me feel. It really is art. But I have no interest in playing it again.



Owner of PS4 Pro, Xbox One, Switch, PS Vita, and 3DS

pokoko said:
Marth said:

I am curious to know what you guys love so much about this game when it seems pretty shallow to me.

I think this is where a lot of people tilt their heads and look at you funny.  You've said you are a Nintendo fan so I can't imagine shallow being a problem for you to begin with.

Some games are about more than simply hitting stuff or jumping over stuff.  They are about the atmosphere and the emotional experience.  They are about establishing empathy with the character you're playing and understanding their struggle.  Some people don't want or get that from games, which is totally fine.  They just want to turn their brains off and press the right buttons at the right moments.  There are tons of games like that so no problem.

Some people want more, though, or at least a range of experiences.  They're looking for a degree of depth, something that can provoke and engage their imagination as well as their motor skills.  Something they can care about, that they can think about beyond wondering how to beat the next puzzle.

Personally, I've played enough games with shallow characters following a hollow shell of a story to last me a lifetime.  If that was all gaming offered me then I'd probably stop caring about it the way I did during the SNES era.  I need games that try to go outside those bounds and I think it's clear a lot of other people want that as well.  

I'm also well aware that there will be people who try to belittle what they don't understand.  That's okay, though, as what they don't realize is that doing so will only reflect back on them and make them look shallow and petty in comparison.

@bold that seems to be exactly what you're doing with your post.

I'm sure it's not exactly what you meant to say (...or maybe it was), but you did imply Nintendo games are all just about "turning your brains off and pressing the right buttons at the right moments", and it sounded quite ignorant. Apparently the brain can only be used to digest a narrative? I guess maybe solving a puzzle or understanding how to defeat a tough enemy is just "motor skills". I wonder if you've at least played Breath of the Wild, or any Nintendo game that isn't Mario for that purpose.

Edit: in fact saying Nintendo games are "shallow" is usually a reflection of just how little you allowed yourself to think otherwise, because most Nintendo games actually aren't shallow at all. They usually feature few commands, but that doesn't mean they're shallow, it just means they're more basic - but they usually go very deep with those commands. Do you think games like Super Mario Odyssey or Super Metroid are shallow? Watch a speedrun and then we can discuss. Even Nintendo's "simple" take on the fighting game, Smash Bros., is actually a much deeper and more complex fighting game than almost any other just because of the wide range of possibilities that can be created through few simple interactions.