Why do you love Shadow of the Colossus?

I swear this isn't to inspire fan-rage. I haven't gotten very far in the game and I think it's very engrossing so far.
However, I'm curious as to why everyone sees this game as some sort of pinnacle of game design excellence. Maybe I just haven't gotten that "wow" factor or I'm missing an extremely big point here. What makes this game so artistic and amazing to everyone?

I will say the boss fights are absolutely spectacular and exciting and feel huge and require a great deal of thought, and the atmosphere of the game does create a sense of isolation and a vast, open world. But other than that I haven't seen much that's made it worthy of such spectacular praise. I think it's a good game, don't get me wrong, but I want to know why it is you love it so much. What's made it stand out among all other games as one of the most artistic games in the world, that I've heard several people claim is perfect in every way?

It is a game that was able to pull off telling an emotionally deep a story in a way that requires little to almost nothing actually being told to the player.

Because it was just amazing. I played it around when it first came out, and it was literally like nothing I've ever played before. The environment was just stunning and the boss fights actually felt epic. It was the most breathtaking game I've ever played. I wish my PS2 was never stolen, because I would love to play it again.

I like the story, setting, music, epicness, BADASSNESS, AWESOME SAUCE, KEW)SJkdjak'sdjOJAJDKLAMKLNALS!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! it's so good...

Well, the game is amazing because it gives that sense of amazement with very little time invested. The game is basically 16 boss fights separated by vast empty plains. But the way the game connects those fights, is what makes the game spectacular. As you go through the game, you start wondering what your overall purpose is. Why do you need to kill the colossi? What have these amazing creations done that you need to wipe them off the planet?

It's incredible that the game gets you emotionally attached to it when the premise is so simple.

I wouldnt call it perfect in every way but its certainly one of the best games Ive ever played. For me the collossi really make the game, they actually feel colossal with weight behind every movement. Each one is unique in the way they act and move and the part where you go to fight the bird colossi is where I realized the game was truly a different but amazing masterpiece

The other thing that I really love is the setting. You're in a cursed land where people wont go and it actually feels empty. Its just you, your horse, a bunch of murderous colossi, and a mysterious entity that you know is going to give you want you want but not the way you want it. Sometimes I just like to go out and explore the forbidden land and Ive found some really cool stuff. Its a lot like fallout 3 in the way that Ill walk outside a town, pick a direction, and start walking till I find something cool

To me it just had a certain quality that no other game has pulled off. I felt like I was going into each battle completely blind, and it created a unique feel of excitement as I tried to figure out what I was supposed to do.

Whether I was waiting for them to peek in to look for me so I could grab onto their hair, or dodge poisonous lasers long enough to aim for the feet.

It's one of the few games that actually had me verbally going "crap crap crap crap crap crap" when things started to go awry. I felt like I was really part of the situation.

The music is great for one thing, and hanging onto a colossus really gets my heart pumping! That said I haven't played through the game in a while, Might pick up the HD Collection, since I've never played Ico.

Dem boss fights, man.

Apart from that I've always thought the game was a bit overrated. It's great, don't get me wrong, but not in the way people say. What little story there is is heavily formulaic with only the merest hints of anything beyond what you see.

Apart from a pinch of moral ambiguity regarding the colossi (most of them aren't exactly hostile and they all look majestic and slightly depressed), all that stuff about depth and artistic merit is so much hot air.

That said, I think the colossi fights really are spectacular enough to warrant the game's reputation as a classic.

This to me was simple. I asked to play a game that ONLY had boss battles and they had to be against giant mofos that I had to climb to find their weak spots. This game delivered in a very excellent way.

The main problem with Shadow of the Colossus is that it emphasises art over actual gameplay. The boss fights are certainly unique, but they each require one specific technique to climb a colossus that you inevitably have to repeat endlessly when you get knocked off while trying to whittle down its humungous health bar. The final one is so tedious and tricky that I have get to muster the patience to finish it in the HD collection. Ico has some of the same problem.

I really like the game's minimalism. More is less and all that. After you kill each colossus you gain more max health and stamina but it doesn't bother you with a flashy Level Up screen, you can just see that the bars are bigger. It doesn't hold your hand, only telling you the controls at the right context and then not reminding you every few minutes. The hints it gives to kill the colossi are given after a fair while and even then they're pretty cryptic. Along with that the controls and UI are fairly intuitive and so long as you don't mess up too much the fights don't feel dragged out.

Basically I find that the game treats me like an adult.

LordofPurple:
I'm curious as to why everyone sees this game as some sort of pinnacle of game design excellence.

I will say the boss fights are absolutely spectacular and exciting and feel huge and require a great deal of thought, and the atmosphere of the game does create a sense of isolation and a vast, open world.

I think you've just answered your own question.

It also develops a character bond with an NPC through gameplay and not through dialoge or cutscenes. Just like in Ico.

And just like in Ico, the minimalistic narative adds to the mystery.

'Cos it's awesome.
What other reason do you need?
But in all seriousness, watch Yahtzee's review.
It pretty much hits the nail on the head.

I love it because when you get on the back of a colossus the music shifts.

I love it because I always have to try and escape the darkness and I never can.

I love it because it tells such a huge and profound story without saying anything at all.

I love it because Agro is the best friend a man could ask for.

I love it because true love wins over everything, even death.

I love it because behind every corner of every rock there is a sprawling, tear-inducing landscape.

I love it because it makes me want to go outside and make the best of my life.

I love it because no matter how bizarre and pther-wordly my oponents were, no matter how impossibly large and dangerous, I never doubted my mission.

I love it because even if winning meant my own death and I knew it all along, I was happy when it did end.

It just was an amazing game. Jumping on to a flying colossus, and then being dragged into the water clinging on for dear life while you try and reach the colossi's weak spot is just an experience not many games can match. kept God of War. that game was awesome. But if you want a real reason, Shadow of the Colossus is able to keep to the KISS principle. Keep it Simple Stupid.

It was different at the time. Its not so different now because many games have taken what SOC made revolutionary at the time, and implemented it into their games.

Also, it was simple, solid, stylish and elegent. It was a game that understood that less sometimes is more. You don't need 200+ minor enemies for every big boss enemy. Sometimes just one majestic epic encounter with a small platforming journey to get there, can work so much better.

Sometimes the journey the player imagines, is better then the journey they are told.

Secret confession: I Actually don't. I found it was too hampered by the technical limitations of the PS2 as a platform, and although I quite liked the colossus climbing gameplay it wasn't enough by itself.

Now Ico I really did love tremendously.

Get to the ending, man. It'll all come to you then.
What everything you've done builds up to.

If I were to describe to you the experience you're supposed to have through the game and what it means in the end, it would only ruin it.

LordofPurple:
the boss fights are absolutely spectacular and exciting and feel huge and require a great deal of thought, and the atmosphere of the game does create a sense of isolation and a vast, open world.

pretty much that.i am probably a bit biased since I was just playing shadow of the colossus for the first time . in fact I just saved and turned of the ps2 to drool to my friends on steam about how awesome it is but i can tell you that the boss fight 5 (i think) with the massive bird monster in the lake may well be the most enthralling ,engaging ,fun experience I have had on a console period.

EDIT:found more things to drool about.The horse.i don't know what it is that makes me love riding on the horse so much.it isn't just that it has the best controls of any horse ever in a video game,that isn't a great achievement seeing as how your only rivals in horse control is those barbie games or something made by rockstar.but riding arrgo.i don't know why it is so awesome.the camera angle,the scenery and the ambient music just make it incredible.
i also cant forget the music.the music itself aint to great.the music placement and use is probably the best i have ever heard.the way it changes depending on what's happening is magnificent.

Because of the fights on the scale of epicness with wonderful music. Because of the atmosphere. And because it's one of the very few games that made me feel for the characters involved. I'm pretty sure I cried in the end, too. And any game that manages to make me cry deserves a place in my personal top 10 list.

Jaga Jazzist:
I really like the game's minimalism. More is less and all that.

Casual Shinji:

And just like in Ico, the minimalistic narative adds to the mystery.

Exactly. This game boils down what a game is to its bare elements, and comes out stronger for it. It's also unconventional in that the level designers would have to think of the body of the Colossi as their own unique level, which is really interesting to me. That, and I think the grip mechanic is simplistic brilliance.

I just find it fun to figure out how to climb up to a colossus's weak spot and kill it with the epic music and the colossus trying everything in it's power to get rid of you (especially that bird one at the lake which many people have said already).

Emotion and music. Very few games can ever combine those two perfectly, but Shadow does, and it's enough to bring tears to your eyes at times.

"AGRO! NNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....!!!"

I finish climbing up the cliff to reach the first colossus, sneaking up on the beast, accidentally press whistle button, "oops, that's not what I meant to......oh shit!"

I think it's one of those games you had to play when it came out . Back on ps2 , the game looked spectacular. Add the atmosphere and the setting and you really felt the emotion the game tried to portray . You are a man and his horse trying to save a girl that you love. Going to any means necessary to mae it happen. You feel the loneliness of the world , you feel the awe when facing a colossus , you feel the determination and struggle when climbing the collosi. The game is incredibly immersive . YOU ARE , the main character . You feel what you would feel is you were in that situation .

Anyways thats my take into it.

The muic is brilliant, the visuals are still amazing, even after all these years (espcially on the HD version), and the game manages to tell an amazing story with very few words.

And because you're not the good guy.

Every time you kill a collossus, look at Wanda's appearance, notice how haggard he becomes, it's having a bigger effect on him than it should.

You're killing these majestic creatures, not because they attacked you first, no, you seek them out, kill each and every one, without hesitation. And for what? Because some deity hinted that it could resurrect a girl from the dead?

It's brilliant.

I loved it for the gameplay. I loved roaming the land on a horse and climbing the colossi.

Bear in mind that Shadow of the Colossus was first released in 2005 to a very unsuspecting public.

As for 'how' and 'why' it became special in my books, let me try and sum up how I first experienced the game on a Saturday night in 2005: At first, it felt like Zelda for grownups, then the surreal, mostly empty landscape evoked feelings of isolation and angst we've first (and probably last) gotten in, say, Silent Hill on PSX. The minimalist approach made everything you got so much more special, like that horse of yours... and the colossi, of course. Also, don't forget your hero player character starts out with nothing but a horse, a stolen sword with seemingly magical powers and lugging around the dead body of his beloved lady of choice. That's not exactly Dora the Explorer stuff.

The first time you encounter a colossus, or some of the colossi, tends to feel like a special occasion, and that - lasting - feeling of amazement and wonder was, and is, a true achievement for any medium. I remember it also didn't quite feel good to kill that huge and special creature. It did not feel instantly rewarding like, say, hunting, or jumping on a goomba, or taking out an enemy soldier with a headshot. It was hard work, and in the end, something amazing which you never quite got to grasp in full was dead. This is, of course, a personal experience, the quality of which depends largely of your own thoughts and notions and the books/stories/fairy tales/movies you've consumed up to this point. Once you reduce any possible distraction and dedicate yourself to playing Shadow of the Colossus (and ignoring its technical shortcomings) I think you're in for a special treat.

I remember looking forward to playing it, but I had no clue as to what it is about or what to expect. I know that did I not intend to spend hours on it in the first go. Back then, it was quite a superb and unique experience. These days, the controls have not aged well. I also think it's a shame the original game can be made to look better in an emulator than in the re-released HD collection.

I would very much welcome a proper reprint with all the old goodies (or new ones) intact. But, alas, I guess that's just not very modern and it's definitely not how the majority of distributors roll these days.

The flying serpent and bird colossi fights were 2 my favorite bosses of all time.

I had a similar experience until the fifth colossus. Then I was just like, "daaaaaaaaaaaamn."

One reason I like it is because the game told me so little, and yet I became so attached to the characters. Even though it was a linear game pivoting around a single character, I felt my motivations shifting from that of my own to that of Wander's whilst I played. Not many games can claim such a feat.

I will not spoil the ending, but everything from the fifteenth colossus on absolutely BLEW MY MIND.

 

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