A-Z Challenge – ICO

ICO is much of the non-mainstream gaming world’s darling.  Often at the center of ‘games as art’ debates, it’s hard to argue that ICO is not unique.  It is truly a different experience, and one that most gamers should at least try… even if they think they won’t like it.  With its and Shadow of the Colossus’ HD re-release on the PS3, now more people than before can try out the classic.  So, my thoughts? Well…

I don’t like Shadow of the Colossus too much.  It’s a game I’ve tried to beat several times, but the awkward control scheme, and a few other things, always drive me away.  It forces me to restart every time I do, since trying to re-learn how to call your horse, climb a beast, and swing your sword in tense scenarios is too difficult.  Because of my experiences with SotC, I felt that I wasn’t going to enjoy the developer’s previous offering very much.  However, going in with a fresh mind, I was able to.

Don’t get me wrong: The controls in this game are just as awkward.  Many times I’ve fallen or mis-jumped to my death, and the game uses buttons for things that could have easily been used in a more user-friendly way.  However, the game lends itself to a more calm atmosphere:  There’s still enemies and tense situations, but you have enough walking and puzzle-solving in between to keep frustrations mostly low.

The game’s setting and story are both bare-bones, but lends itself to the game well.  Little is explained, but you know what’s going on.  The presentation is at the forefront here, and really does make ICO different from many of the PS2 games released with and around it.

Like I said, ICO’s a game worth experiencing, problems aside.  As a game I would have been unlikely to even try otherwise, this challenge has gotten me to try and enjoy some good games too… unlike how my recent posts look with playing underwhelming and bad games to force them out of my backlog.


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