There is no such thing as a perfect game. No matter what game that is out there. There is always something wrong with it. Either the inability to pause cut scenes in the early Metal Gear Solid titles, or the controls of the past Resident Evil games, there is always something wrong with it. While we play these games with these flaws, we do so with open arms because they are fun. I enjoy the cut scenes that the Metal Gear Solid series has, and Resident Evil 2 and 3 is still amazing after all these years. They are fun games to play, despite its known flaws.
The central temple tells you everything you need to know.
None is more true that Shadows of the Colossus. In Shadow of the Colossus, you play as a wander who heads to a forbidden land to save a young girl's soul. The way to do this is, the wander must defeat sixteen colossi. This is easier said than done; There is no villages, enemies, or other characters. It's just you and your horse riding on an empty, massive, plain. It's riddled with flaws, but why is this considered a classic? Because, even after eight years after it's initial release, it's still the most unique games to come out of gaming. I believe that Shadow of the Colossus was an inspiration in games today by their massive boss battles. Even Castlevania: Lords of the Shadow tried to copy Shadow of the Colossus. It failed because it was relying on lazy quick time events.
LET'S SOMEONE ELSE TRY FIRST
Another great thing about Shadow of the Colossus, is that it's a forefront of the "Are Games Art?" Debate. There are some games I consider art, and some games I don't, Shadow of the Colossus falls on the later. It's minimal to say the least, there are some moments you will ride on a landscape of nothing with no end on sight. This help bring just how massive the world is, and how extraordinarily alone you are. When you do finally find a colossi, the real fun begins. You will need to start climbing it. Sometimes, the game feels like it's a puzzle game instead an adventure game. You will need to be quick, and be aware of your surroundings. You may never know when a foot as a big as a bus comes crashing down on you. When you do finally get climbing, you need to hang on tight. No matter where you are at, you are always at a risk of falling off, either by the shaking of the colossi, or the depleting of your grip meter. Sometimes, you will fall without knowing you fell before you even hit the ground. The Wander is a strong character it takes a lot for him to die by something. When you do finally reach the vitals, you will need to stab it. This is where the colossi begins to shake faster and harder than before. You may need to climb your way back up a few times before you kill it. I originally played this on the PlayStation 2, and the frame rate was atrocious. Thankfully, the PlayStation 3 HD version has a lock on 30 Frames Per Second.
Some of the earliest epic scale bosses.
While the frame rate was fixed, it's not perfect. It's the little things that makes Shadow of the Colossus flawed. During its slow moving cut scenes, there is a feeling of "Yeah, I get it" to them. It's nothing bad, but when it's the same two cut scenes in the entire game, you can't feel but skip them after your first play through. It's a good thing that the only cut scenes to really watch is the beginning and the end of the game. You can skip the most of the cut scenes, and still have a good sense of the story. It's a simple story, but the world that Team Ico has created has made this natural feel to them. There is history to the Team Ico games that the team is not sharing.
When you do get to play the game, you have one constant enemy; your horse. As far as I know, Red Dead Redemption is the gold standard on how to control a horse; it's speed, it's movement, everything. Seeing that Shadow of the Colossus was made in 2005, I'm not going to rag on Team Ico that much. It just gets annoying when when the horse freaks out over the smallest of things. God forbid you gallop past a small rock or a tree. I know you supposed to have this bond with Agro, but I really don't care. If the each Colossi wasn't so far away, I would have ran to them instead. Unfortunately, you have to use your horse on a couple of colossi. If there was an auto ride for the sections of the game, it wouldn't be so bad. There was this one colossi that took longer than it should because the horse was always about to hit a the wall. The most rarest thing in the game is mounting your horse in one attempt. You are more likely to jump over the horse than to actually mount him.
Also, you have to fight the camera at times. Most of the time it works well enough, but it becomes jolted a few times. You'll end up seeing a close up of a wall or a pillar sometimes, blocking your view. You won't even know if you succeeded on something until the colossi moves, a leap of faith is all you have to relay on sometimes.
The first half of the game is easy enough, unless you fatally screw up. Which is almost impossible, it's rare to die. The game does become harder, and harder as you defeat each colossi. True to form in 2005, there is no over abundance of checkpoints. If you die, even when you are about to defeat a colossi, you will start at the very beginning of the fight. I appreciate that, but not all colossi is amazing. There are a few on which where they are the least fun to play. The one thing they all share is that there is only one way to climb each colossi. Once you figured out to climb them, the game becomes easier. What took forty minutes before will take twenty minutes now.
Does all this means that Shadow of the Colossus is a terrible game? No. I would go as far as to saying that it's a required play through. Even now there is nothing like it. It goes to show that, even though there are flaws in games, they are still masterpieces.