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Team ICO

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The Last Guardian will be absent from Tokyo Game Show


Sep 09
// David Rayfield
Even with the recent and welcome news regarding Team ICO's previous works, it does little to sate the hunger that pretty much everyone has for the respected developer's next game. The long-delayed The Last Guardian will ...

Review: The Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection

Sep 08 // Dale North
The Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection (PlayStation 3)Developer: Team ICO Publisher: Sony Computer EntertainmentTo be released: September 27, 2011MSRP: $39.99  Ico Here's the CliffsNotes version of Ico's story for those who have somehow missed this game: Ico's opening shows a young boy with horns being dragged off to a massive stone temple. He is placed inside a large stone container and put on an even larger stone shelf containing many more of these containers. The boy was to be the next sacrifice. Some kind of natural tremor happens just after his imprisonment and this allows him to escape. While working to make his way out of the temple, he encounters a mysterious girl held captive in some kind of bird cage, held up and away from scary shadow people who seem to want to drag her underground.  After freeing her, the boy finds out that they will have to work together to make it out of the temple.  Ico's gameplay is platforming, but the twist is that this boy has to drag along his companion, Yorda. Literally. You'll hold down the L1 button to hold her hand and guide her away from danger, onto platforms, over ledges and more. She really sucks at all of that, but at least she holds some mysterious power that lets her open temple doors for Ico. Together their powers make for excellent puzzle platforming. There's also a bit of scaredy-cat combat, with Ico swinging a little stick at Yorda's creepy pursuers. Your stick doesn't do much, so the swinging is frantic and sad. Still, you'll find yourself doing what you can so that she isn't dragged under.  Puzzle-platforming, dragging a girl around and wimpy stick combat together sounds tedious, but it works really well, and we have Team Ico's beautifully paced and designed levels to thank for that. Fantastic artwork, eerie audio and innovative storytelling all add to this combination to make this an unforgettable experience. It's a game that you'll be happy to get lost in. It's one of those rare games that takes you away to another place, one that's hard to forget after completion. Sure, you could nitpick on edge/ledge detection or the syrupy-slow camera movement, but I promise you that once you complete this hauntingly beautiful title, you won't be hung up on minor details like that.  Everything I've said so far applies to both the original and the PS3 remake, so if you've somehow missed this game, I'm hoping my high praise will get you to pick it up. Well, either that or its technical upgrades. Ico is even better now with its graphical overhaul. It won't blow your eyes out with color and shininess, though. Ico was always a visually muted game, and the remake does not change that. The lighting seems to have been tweaked; it's so pretty now, though not always perfect. The higher-resolution textures make the game's design and architecture even easier to appreciate. It's so true to the original that those who have played Ico won't think much about it after it gets going. They did just enough with this overhaul to make sure that anyone who wouldn't be able to get over early PS2-era graphics would have nothing to complain about here. Seriously, there's nothing to complain about. Shadow of the Colossus If you thought the opening to Ico was depressing and heavy, get a load of this: A desperate guy travels to a strange land on the back of his trusty horse. His only other companion is his dead girlfriend. Their journey ends at a sort of temple (Team Ico loves temples), and there he places this girl on an altar, begging for her life to be restored. A huge voice from the sky actually responds, telling him that he has to visit every corner of this realm to slay 16 colossi in order for his wish to be granted. Sure, no prob.  Shadow's gameplay is a mix of open-world exploration/platforming and massive, drawn-out, insanely-scaled boss battles. Our hero has to travel rugged, varied land by horse, guided only by a legendary sword that focuses sunlight as a sort of compass. About 25 percent of the fun is looking for the big bastards, and the other 75 is taking them down. Beasts of every type await you, and all of them are so huge that you'll have to scale them, working up them like you would a tower in a 3D platformer. You'll ride on the backs of massive flying creatures, hang from the fur of stories-tall upright bipedal walkers, and roll and duck from mountain-sized rammers. Each one is an absolute wonder, so much so that if you're anything like me you'll die many times just marveling at them.  The magic in Shadow is the scale, and how it shows just how weak you are in comparison. Scaling these beasts takes so long that you could look at each of the colossi as a game level. After scaling them, if you manage to survive and hang on, all sense of accomplishment fades as you peck away at the colossus's life bar with your little weapons. Each beast has a weak spot, and you'll have to use every trick in the book to find them and attack them with your comparatively small and weak sword or arrows. Only after successfully scaling a beast, managing your limited grip strength, and getting in enough hits to take its life will it fall. Trip up and you'll start all over. Trust me on this: you'll start over many, many times. Some of those times you may curse the game's wonky camera or Agro's (the horse) reluctance to let you mount, but most of the time it will be your fault. You won't care about any of this when you see just how beautifully this game's story unfolds. The original game had a few issues in the graphics department. Maybe Team Ico dreamed too big for the PS2, as I remember the game's frame rate coming down to a stutter in some really intense sections. Pop-in and other graphical glitches were blemishes on this otherwise beautiful game. I'm glad to say that all of these issues disappear in the PS3 version. And unlike Ico's upgrade, which was more subtle, Shadow's really shows off all the fine art and detail we missed in the original. This looks pretty close to a modern-day PS3 release. Everything from wall textures to backdrops looks so much better that I found myself a bit distracted during the heat of battle. I really shouldn't be dying this much, considering how many times I've played this game! Summary Everyone wins with this collection. I don't know of a fan of Team Ico's games who wouldn't kill to play them again in high definition at 1080p, not to mention with added Trophy support and a 3D option. If you're like me, and have played each of these games a few times, you'll probably forget that you're playing a PS2 game most of the time. Both games really look so good that they feel new. I'm sure that current fans of these games needed no convincing, so I'll stop here. Oh, but you've got to see the colossi in 3D! Borrow a 3D television if you must. Those who have somehow missed either or both of these titles have the perfect excuse to jump in now. The price is right at $40 for the two. You can see what all the buzz is about without having to deal with those blurry old PS2 textures and frame rates, or hiked collector's asking prices for the originals. You shouldn't notice that these are old games aside from a few small glitches. My guess is that new players will be sucked in, joining current fans in adding both of these titles to their all-time favorites list.  To the new player: I've slapped a lot of scores on a lot of games in my games-writing career, but I'm asking you to forget about scores for now. Both of these games remain at the top of my list of games to recommend, even today. I really can't think of any other games that I'd recommend more. The originals are both so lovingly crafted and inspiring that I think gamers 50 years from now will still be talking about them. No, they're not perfect, but they're both fine examples of brilliant game design, and they both put forth an experience you won't soon forget. Please, play these games.
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Two of the finest PlayStation 2 titles I know of were created by the same team. Both Shadow of the Colossus and Ico were crafted by the creative minds at Team Ico, a group that is slow to release games, but makes masterpieces...

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ICO, Shadow of the Colossus bonus content and trophies


Aug 15
// Dale North
We finally have details on the bonus content that you'll get with the ICO and Shadow of the Colossus collection when it hits shelves on September 27. There's a full selection of bonus video content that I'm sure any fell...
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ICO, Shadow of the Colossus event planned for September


Aug 15
// Dale North
Sony's Great Scene Sharing campaign will ultimately bring 40 lucky fans of Team ICO's games to a special event planned for September 3 in Tokyo. Fans are being asked to share their favorite scenes from ICO and Shadow of the C...
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ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection bonus content


Jul 21
// Jim Sterling
Sony has revealed that ICO and Shadow of the Colossus Collection will be getting bonus content when it finally ships on September 27.  Those picking up the HD re-releases of Team ICO's classic games will receive two dyna...
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ICO, Shadow of the Colossus PS3 trailers are lovely


Jul 05
// Jim Sterling
Two new trailers have popped up, dedicated to the two halves of the long awaited ICO/Shadow of the Colossus Collection. The video above is for ICO, the one below is for Shadow of the Colossus. They're both fairly lovely.&nbs...
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E3: I saw Shadow of the Colossus in HD and it was good


Jun 07
// Dale North
It's a real thing. It's playable. I saw Shadow of the Colossus HD tonight and I just thought you might want to know that it exists, and is real. We learned this week that it finally has a solid release, set for September, but...
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Shadow of the Colossus and ICO for PS3 dated in Japan


Jun 03
// Dale North
I thought it would never happen. Hell, it still hasn't really happened for us. At least Japan has a solid release date for the PS3 remakes of the Team ICO PS2 classics, Shadow of the Colossus and ICO. It all goes down on S...
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Last Guardian, ICO/Shadow of the Colossus delayed to 2012


Apr 20
// Jim Sterling
Sony has announced, by way of SCEA producer Tsubasa Inaba, has confirmed that The Last Guardian and the ICO/Shadow of the Colossus Collection, have both been delayed. Originally pegged for release this year, Team ICO's u...
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The Last Guardian is 'real that exceeds real'


Mar 01
// Jim Sterling
This week's Famitsu has some hot new details on Team ICO's The Last Guardian. It feels like this game has been quietly in development since man first learned to walk upright, but the Japanese press got a good look at it and h...
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Ico and Last Guardian films could one day exist


Sep 23
// Colette Bennett
So you already know that we are less than thrilled about the idea of a Shadow of the Colossus movie. I think I would be okay with it if Guillermo Del Toro was the one making it, but considering it's Misher Films behind it, I'...
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The Last Guardian could have Move and 3D support


Sep 19
// Matthew Razak
If you own a PlayStation 3 The Last Guardian is a game you are going to play. It just doesn't make sense not to. How you will play the game, however, is still up in the air at the moment. While neither 3D nor Move support are...
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TGS: The Last Guardian may not be as tragic as we thought


Sep 16
// Dale North
At a Q&A session today at the Tokyo Game Show, Fumito Ueda said that he wanted to clarify some things he had been hearing on the internet about his latest title, The Last Guardian. He said that some have speculated about ...
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At a conference held by Team ICO which Dale North has described as having, "all of Europe and North America inside," Fumito Ueda has given new details on the upcoming re-releases of Shadow of the Colossus and ICO. In ad...

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TGS: Last Guardian scheduled to release 'Holiday 2011'


Sep 16
// Conrad Zimmerman
[Update] We've added a new trailer for The Last Guardian for you to salivate over. [Original Story] We've all been waiting for what seems like an eternity to play Team ICO's latest, The Last Guardian. And the ...
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TGS: New Last Guardian screens appear


Sep 15
// Colette Bennett
Team ICO fans have had so much to rejoice in the last 24 hours, it's hard not to still feel giddy. After all, the HD re-release of Shadow of the Colossus and Ico was just about the best news we could imagine. Let's not f...
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The latest issue of Famitsu is, as usual, in the hands of some a bit early and information which will no doubt be officially announced at Tokyo Game Show is starting to hit the net. Good information. Like, for example, confir...

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ICO and Shadow of the Colossus Collection on Walmart.com


Sep 11
// Matthew Razak
I'm just running out of words for how to explain that a PS3 ICO/Shadow of the Colossus collection is something that gets me really, really excited. The damn thing has been rumored since the PS3 launched so it's hard to squeez...
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FINALLY: The Last Guardian confirmed for TGS


Sep 08
// Jim Sterling
It feels like forever and a day since Sony revealed The Last Guardian, Team ICO's latest little slice of mawkish sentimentality. Since then, we've barely seen a damn thing about it, and every industry event has left us wantin...
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Fumito Ueda to show something off at TGS


Aug 07
// Matthew Razak
We have all been desperately waiting for it; seeing more of The Last Guardian is pretty much something that everyone in gaming, around gaming and kind-of-near gaming wants to do. But we were disappointed by its no show at E3 ...
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Sony 'wants' to see Team ICO Collection


Jul 02
// Jim Sterling
Hey guys, let's talk about the Team ICO Collection some more! Despite listings that say the game is definitely coming, and rumors aplenty, Sony has remained coy on the subject, with Sony Worldwide Studios VP Shuhei Yoshida cl...
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Amazon lists Team ICO Collection for 2011


Jun 28
// Jim Sterling
Remember those rumors about a Team ICO Collection? Yeah, apparently Amazon France seems to think it's a sure thing, since the compilation has been listed for a June 2011 release.  Featuring ICO and Shadow of the Colossus...
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E3 10: The Last Guardian likely to appear at TGS


Jun 16
// Brian Szabelski
Team ICO's The Last Guardian was announced at last year's E3, but it was oddly missing from this year's Sony presentation. However, everyone waiting for news about the game shouldn't fear: Sony has hinted that the game is goi...
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Rumor: Team ICO HD Collection rumored for Q1 2011


May 26
// Jim Sterling
A rather substantial rumor has slapped into the Internet's greasy hands today, with talk of a nostalgic collection that will bring ICO and Shadow of the Colossus to the PS3 in HD. The rumor has been reported by both VG247 and...
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Fumito Ueda wants Team Ico games ported to PS3


Apr 02
// Conrad Zimmerman
Ask yourself this question: Would I like to play Ico and Shadow of the Colossus in high-definition on the PS3? If you answered anything other than "yes," I'm not sure I know how to communicate with you. For the...
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The Last Guardian team aims for realism


Feb 03
// Dale North
Realism? How realistic can a monstrously huge dog-bird fantasy beast be? The most real thing to come out of this upcoming game was how I teared up like a little bitch in front of my peers and friends when the trailer was unve...
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Japanese The Last Guardian site goes live, is a tease


Feb 02
// Nick Chester
Ask anyone what their most anticipated PlayStation 3 game of this year is and you're likely to get an answer like Heavy Rain or God of War III. Some, however, would give you the less obvious answer -- Team ICO's The Last Guar...
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Shadow of the Colossus getting a nifty reprint


Dec 15
// Jim Sterling
Shadow of the Colossus, Destructoid's very own game of the decade, seems scheduled to make a comeback with a reprinted edition slated for launch in Japan this coming February. Japanese retailers have listed the reissue f...
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Shadow of the Colossus cosplay climbs us, stabs weak spot


Oct 29
// Nick Chester
While Columbia Pictures' Shadow of the Colossus film will probably feature elaborate computer-generated colossi, we have a suggestion -- the film's producer should just call up cosplayer Isaac Jones. Jones designed the amazin...
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Ueda wants to make an FPS, loves Half-Life 2


Oct 03
// Matthew Razak
If you've played either of Fumito Ueda's games, Ico or Shadow of the Colossus, and come away feeling nothing then you need to double check your pulse and then make sure you're still human. It's pretty much uneiversally unders...

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