To elaborate further on Shadow of the Colossus, I think it’s kind of a miracle. Team ICO somehow captured lightning in a bottle with this game.
While it has its fans, their first game, ICO, was yet another light platforming/puzzle game. Their latest,The Last Guardian, went overboard with the whole AI animal partner thing and is kind of a chore.
But Shadow of the Colossus is somehow both action-packed and moody and reflective. It’s basically a boss game with horse-riding in between, but I don’t think anyone had ever seens bosses quite like this before. Its story (“Save the Princess”) has been streamlined to zen-like impact.
Another lucky accident: many of the colossi ended up being cut during development, but they apparently already had their spot on the world map. So the game has a lot of these strangely empty but seemingly significant these spots, which somehow enhance the game’s mysterious nature.
Agro the horse is still probably the best video game animal partner I’ve ever had, maybe the best partner, period. Interestingly, the horse controls are a bit stiff but pretty realistic: if the left control stick is the reins, you can turn and brak with it, but no go foward, that’s not how reins work. The gas pedal is your legs, not your arms.
This remaster is not a remake, so its 99% the same and apparently running on the same engine too, but they did add a few extra secrets. It’s not much, but it’s something and the fans went wild for a few weeks trying to find them. And they did correct the biggest pet peeve of mine, which is that you couldn’t have all the extra items on the same save file because they were linked to difficulty. Now you can.