Review: Shadow of the Colossus
No doubt produced by bitter world-weary alcoholics, Shadow of the Colossus finds itself counterposed to Legend of Zelda as the purity of the young wanderer’s intention to save the maiden is perverted toward the ends of a dead pagan god. Many of the intricate and finely crafted design elements of Ico are incorporated here, but Colossus eschews the disjointed find-the-switch-move-the-block puzzles in favor of an actual concept: Titanic Boss Battles.
Shadow of the Colossus violently resuscitated the video game trope of hitting the glowing weak point by forcing the player to dig their fingernails into the mossy fur of a stone giant, crawl inch-by-inch to reach it, and then violently stab it repeatedly with something that can hardly be called a sword, and all of this while the colossus heaves you in every direction with its monstrous bulk. Between colossi, you ride through a rolling wasteland of plains, valleys, deserts, dilapidated ruins, and a few heavily wooded areas, all of which give the impression of being frozen in time. As the game slouches inexorably toward its conclusion, the eerie environment and progressing corruption of the protagonist lend a feeling of dread and unreality to the proceedings.