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    The Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection

    Game » consists of 3 releases. Released Sep 27, 2011

    A re-release of two classic Team Ico games that feature HD graphics & stereoscopic 3D support. Features originally found only in the Japanese and PAL versions of the games (co-op play in Ico, for example) are included in the North American release for the first time.

    Who played Ico when it first came out and enjoyed it?

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    wumbo3000

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    I'm playing through Ico for the first time right now with the HD collection, and I think Ico is a bad game. The platforming is awkward, the jumping is clumsy, and the combat is downright terrible. The lack of music makes me fall asleep (I actually did doze off the first time I played), and I think the environments are bland and uninspiring.

    Has the game aged that poorly? I'm curious because there were some fantastic PS2 platformers like Jak and Daxter, Ratchet and Clank, and Sly. I played all of them when I was a kid and I love those games dearly. I don't remember them being this clunky or awkward, but maybe I'm just looking through my nostalgia glasses.

    Now I'm just curious to see the opinions of the people who played Ico when it first came out and enjoyed it, and what they think of it now if they've played the HD collection.

    By the way, what pushed me over the edge to make this topic was that FUCKING water wheel jump. My god the jumping makes me want to bite my controller in half.

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    buttmonk3y

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    I got this game on the PS2 the day it was released. I only knew about it from a playable demo with OPM. I absolutely loved the game from the demo and on buying the game it became one of my all time favorites.

    I also played the HD remakes and after completing it, still loved the game. I don't think it has ages poorly, but maybe that's because i was familiar with the original and knew how it would play/control.

    But i can agree with you on one thing, FUCK THAT WATERWHEEL!!!!

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    RonGalaxy

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    #3  Edited By RonGalaxy

    I remember playing a demo for it when it first came out at a media play (a chain of media/entertainment stores that has been closed for awhile now). I remember being very curious about it, but ended up never picking it up because I didnt get a ps2 until a few years after it came out. I've been trying to play the HD version for awhile but always get sidetracked or start playing something else before I can continue playing it. I can tell it's something I would love if I actually put the time into it, and I will someday (hopefully).

    To answer your question, back then I didn't have a problem with the way it controlled, but it definitely shows its age now. Its not really supposed to be a snappy platformer in the vein of jak or ratchet. You play a clumsy little kid who uses a stick as a weapon. The real problem is the save system, but that's a product of the time it was released.

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    development

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    #4  Edited By development

    I loved it as an 11-year-old kid. Any faults in the jumping or puzzles, and any frustration with the damn (literal) hand-holding was drowned out by my love of the art and atmosphere. Same applied for SotC. A game can totally win me over, warts and all, if it has a fantastic and unique art style and/or atmosphere.

    This end credits track from SotC sealed that envelope so well:

    Loading Video...

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    jacksukeru

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    My dad bought our PS2 from some guy on the internet and it came with a binder full of games. I didn't know what Ico was the first time I started it up, from the intro I expected some kind of medival hack and slash for a while. Once I started playing it I liked it though, the movement reminded me of Flashback and Prince of Persia (also Abe's Oddysee), games I had fond memories of from when I was younger. The combat was simple and kind of terrible, but it also made sense to me that it wasn't the focus of the game.

    Going back and seeing the design of the puzzles and how you are supposed to figure some things out in both Ico and Shadow of the Colossus I would agree that they are not intuitive, but at the time I was used to that kind of design from a lot of other games I had played growing up. I remember liking Ico, being invested in what story there was but being afraid that I would get stuck somewhere and wouldn't be able to finish the game and see the ending. You see, at the time that was still a fairly common experience with games for me (I have to this day never finished the final level of Flashback, not to bring up countless NES games), but today the idea that you wouldn't be able to finish a game for any reason other than that you didn't invest enough time in it is very unusual. This in part kept pushing me forward and it didn't annoy me as much as it challenged me in a way I expected.

    I don't think neither Shadow of the Colossus, nor ICO has good intuitive design by modern standards but for me personally it is not a problem as much as a throwback. If The Last Guardian comes out and has the same kind of design I'll play it and enjoy it, if anything it makes a short, unique game last longer. I won't defend the games combat other than to say that making it deeper system with blocks, dodge rolls and combos would have clashed with the sort of character you were playing. It still could have felt less clunky I'd imagine.

    I will however defend the movement and platforming, it's weighty and systems-heavy, like the games it took inspiration from. It's different but not bad.

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    Fearbeard

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    I really enjoyed it when it came out. It was never a top tier platformer control wise so I'm sure that aspect has gotten even worse with age, and even Shadow of the Colossus which is superior in just about every way has some control issues. I'm sure it's a game that hasn't aged well. Comparing them to games like Ratchet, Jak, and Sly is a bit unfair as those are very much in the style of something like Mario whereas Ico has more in common with games like Prince of Persia (the original) and Flashback.

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    Sinusoidal

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    Ico is a very deliberate game. You're rarely in perfect control and often at the whim of the character animation. I can see how that would turn a lot of people off the game, but I think it's part of the charm. It's certainly a product of its time. Anyway, it's not like any one part (minus maybe that waterwheel jump) is super difficult, regardless of the controls.

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    StarvingGamer

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    A friend of mine had it and I enjoyed the few hours that I played it.

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    SpaceRunaway

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    Me?

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    Soap

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    Loved it the first time I played it at launch, still love it today. Absolute classic for me, although I can see it not aging well for a new player similar to the PS1 Final Fantasy games.

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    ProfessorEss

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    I played it when it was new. I enjoyed it but not to the extent that most Team Ico fans seemed to.

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    NTM

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    #12  Edited By NTM

    I wanted to play it after I played Shadow when that came out, but it wasn't until this year (or late last year maybe) that I finally played it through the HD collection, and I just didn't like it. Now, one may think it's because I thought it felt dated, and sure, some aspects did, in the sense that some of the gameplay just isn't used these days, but that wasn't my problem with it; I don't really know what it was, but it bored me, and because it bored me, it also frustrated me.

    You saying you fell asleep, is quite similar to my experience with it actually, and what is an otherwise short experience, I felt the need to turn it off and go do something else after a short while of playing. I wanted to enjoy it, and I wanted to see it through (which I did), but I just didn't have fun with it. That being said, I can understand its qualities and respect it, as well as the last time playing it I was slightly more interested since I was using my old sound system, which immersed me slightly more into it, but I didn't play for long.

    Shadow of the Colossus is a much better game to me, though the problem, one of the only really, with Shadow is that it lacks replay value to me. I had hoped I would become entranced with Ico's atmosphere, and find the way those games usually go about story in unique ways interesting, but it didn't do it. The puzzles, if I remember correctly of what I thought at the time, felt like chores. The music that was there was good, but I agree, there's a lack of it unfortunately, though I understand why.

    I remember every section of Ico, but not my feelings of each individual section. I just know in general, it was filled with boredom and out of that, frustration since I really expected to like it more, and it was constantly at odds with what I had hoped for. I wouldn't make the argument that it has aged badly though, because I thought it felt fine.

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    MEATBALL

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    #13  Edited By MEATBALL

    When Ico came out it was kind of a revelation. I hadn't played anything so atmospheric. The controls certainly took some getting used to, and the shadow monsters stressed the hell out of me, but it quickly became one of my all time favourites.

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    monkeyking1969

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    Sorry, but I think you are missing the point of the game. The horn headed boy is clumsy. He's not supposed to double jump, back flip and smash his sword down on an enemy like some acrobatic beef-cake barbarian. He's a little boy beating off smoke with just a stick - THAT'S THE GAME. And, I might add,his struggle to help himself and they girl - that is the story. He's just a kid trying to and barely holding his own against the odds.

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    Rejizzle

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    I never played Ico when it came out, but played the HD version and loved it. Sure there are frustrating bits. The Water Wheel jump wasn't too bad for me, but the light bridge and piston jump had me looking around the environment for near an hour each because I didn't do some arbitrary thing or get the timing exactly right. All in all though I think it's an amazing game.

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    DukesT3

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    Played a demo of it, loved it, saved up to buy it. Never had a chance to beat it though. :(

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    TheManWithNoPlan

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    I played it for the first time last year and while I can certainly understand your problems and it does show it's age in certain respects, I still adored it. Sometimes it takes a certain mindset to appreciate older games. The things we take for granted nowadays are often completely absent in them.

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    I_Stay_Puft

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    I played sotc when it first came out and loved it. Ico I eventually got to later on down the ps2 life line but thought the game controlled poorly in comparison to sotc. Still that games story was pretty unique and is the one reason I slogged my way through it. I think Ico is unplayable for me today while Shadow of the Colossus still holds up to me similar to something like Mike Tyson's Punchout. I myself pick it up every year just to see if I remember where certain colossus are located and see if I remember the trick to defeating them.

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    j05nny5

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    I played it in one sitting when it came out. I loved beating those smoke monsters so much with that stick, that I was kinda bummed when I got the sword.

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    pyromagnestir

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    I first played it in 2006 and came away appreciating the game but not particularly liking it. Replayed it on the HD collection about a month ago and walked away actually liking it this time round. I think it makes more sense to me now that I've played games like Journey and Brothers.

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    Corevi

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    I didn't get it until after SotC came out but I did really enjoy it.

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    liquiddragon

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    i didn't own a ps2 when it was released but i think i played it around '03ish?

    i love this game, everything is good except the combat. the combat was never good but you can avoid a good portion of it.

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    chumley_marchbanks

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    I played it for the first time back in March and ended up adoring it nearly as much as Shadow of the Colossus. Despite it's age, I think it's still possible to engage with it in a meaningful way, although as others have said you do need to approach it with the right mindset.

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    GERALTITUDE

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    1. I loved the game on release
    2. My friend hated the game release
    3. Other friend loves it now, never played it on release
    4. Other friend hates it now, never played it on release

    It's the gamer, not game.

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    wumbo3000

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    Thanks guys for all the variety of responses. Really interesting to see how the game holds up for everyone else.

    For me, the story and the atmosphere aren't engaging enough to counter act the jankiness of the gameplay. Maybe it's because I haven't finished the game yet (I eventually will) but I don't think the story/characters are as "artistic" as people have said. I'm not seeing any sort of relationship between the boy and the girl when all the boy is doing is basically finding blocks for the girl to climb on. I feel like their relationship isn't changing in any meaningful way. Maybe it's just too abstract and "artsy" for my simple brain to understand.

    The environments are pretty bland too. There's a lot of brown and gray, and you're basically going around in the same huge building. There's no variety in the level design.

    And comparing it to Jak and Ratchet was probably a little bit unfair. The comparison to Brothers and Journey is more apt, but I absolutely love those games because they nailed both the atmosphere and the gameplay. Then again, it's probably more unfair to compare Ico to Brothers/Journey.

    And to @monkeyking1969, I understand that the game is trying to convey that the boy is clumsy and awkward, but don't translate that into clumsy and awkward gameplay. Show it through some other means. That only frustrates the player and takes the player out of the game. It doesn't make me say, "I feel the boy's awkwardness and struggle," it makes me say, "Why does this game have bad controls?"

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    SpunkyHePanda

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    I remember Ico being a rare example of a game that got better as it went along. That said, the combat is just the worst thing imaginable, and it's pretty hard to look past in this day and age. I get what you're saying about the environments, but they still work for me. Something about the locations and the lighting and the sound really capture a dream-like quality that I don't think any other game has been able to pull off. Except when there's combat.

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    Slag

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    #28  Edited By Slag

    I played it near release and only then.

    It certainly felt very novel at the time given how compartively minimal, no collectibles/backtracking and nonviolent it was, I imagine it probably does less so now.

    But yeah sounds like you are missing the point about this game a bit. The Kid is not supposed to be a super hero he's some kid left to fend for himself, so he controls more realistically than say an action platformer like jak/sly/ratchet would.

    EDIT: just your follow up post. Clunky controls are definitely a valid design choice to make the player feel the character's abilities. Those old Tank controls helped make the old Resident Evil games what they were.

    Brothers and Journey did a better job of it, but they should they are also much much newer games too and this concept has now been around for awhile.

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    alyt9870

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    I recently played Ico as part of the HD collection and absolutely loved it. I will say that your point on the lack of music is interesting, as for me the lack of music made the musical moments so much more meaningful. This is similar to Shadow of the Colossus, as both games had long periods of silence. While Shadow of the Colossus had more bombastic tracks, when I heard this song at the first save point in Ico I fell in love with the game.

    Loading Video...

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    ViciousBearMauling

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    I loved it when it came out, but it hasn't aged as well as something like Shadow of the Colossus. Hard to play nowadays.

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    EVO

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    I hired it not long after it came out and absolutely loved it, but got stuck somewhere and couldn't finish it. Years later I tracked down a copy on eBay and finally beat it, and still loved it. Soon after, I lent it to a couple of mates and they also liked it. SOTC got all the accolades but I think ICO is a better game.

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