the Evil Network

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Zoinks! Magazine | Nerdflood

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Ico Review

Posted by Dacquin at 7:23 AM
GamingWhen my friend said he loved playing Ico over and over again, I kept thinking, what would possess a person to do that? Of course, I had to try it out. The group has also made Shadow of the Colossus, which I'm going to try also, but, for now, I wanted to see what he saw in the game.

The basic storyline is your a kid named Ico. You're being exiled from the village because you're a boy who, for some reason, is growing horns. Three men take you to an abandoned castle where you're going to be imprisoned the rest of your life. When they leave, you struggle in your cell and break free (kinda make sense or else there wouldn't be a game here).

While exploring the castle, you find a girl in white named Yorda who's imprisoned in a cage. When you release her, a spirit comes out of a black portal trying to take her away. Grabbing a nearby stick you fight to save the girl. Now, your goal is the save Yorda and escape from the castle prison.

This is a beautifully designed puzzle game. They put a lot of effort into creating the castle, all the rooms, and the puzzles. In the beginning, you're starting to learn a little about what you can do. There will be moments where you will be stumped and have no clue what to do and then slap yourself silly thinking, 'Why didn't I think of that?'. About halfway through the game, you should have learned all you need to know about your character to progress through the game.

One of the nice things about this game is you have no life bar, but that doesn't mean you can't die. You can be killed if you fall from too high a place and if the spirits are able to pull Yorda into a black portal. To kill the spirits, you start with a stick (which will be your primary weapon through most of the game), and get better weapons through the game, making fighting the spirits much easier. If you leave a room without the girl, only do so for a short period of time, because if you aren't keeping an eye on her, the shadows will easily take her. That means only leave her alone when you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO.

The only reason I dislike this game a little bit has to be Yorda. When you call her to follow you, it takes a while for her to respond. Also, if you want her to follow you with a respectable speed, you have to grab her and run instead of just calling for her. The other nuescence is having to keep her by your side the entire game. It's a puzzle to get her to go to certain places, but it's a bare not being able to explore so much having to keep her near you all the time.

The main reason to like this game is because it's very graphically appealing. The designers of Ico took their time to design the castle and the puzzles that you see. There'll be moments in the game where you would just love to take a snapshot and frame it up on your wall. There's even one place where you can see the entire layout of the castle that will blow you away.

I wish the game was longer and there was more replay value to it, because graphics won't bring you back to play a game over and over again (despite what my friend says). But, it's still a worthwhile game to play. I give it a 7.8/10.

Edit: It's now an 8.2/10. In beating the game, I cried during the ending. If you can create a game that makes you cry, you deserve many more points.


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