Going Old School: the Boy with Horns. Video Game Review: Ico

 

 

Over the past month, I was able to gather up some time to go through the world of Ico on my PS2. Totally old school here. Released in 2001, it has received very high acclaim. So much so, they re-released the game combined with Shadow of the Colossus on the PS3 a few months back. Even the announcement of lead designer Fumito Ueda leaving Sony and Team Ico, has also received plenty of press.

The game itself is not very long, 10 hours max (took me 8), and it’s very pleasant. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys video games. It’s not a game (at least for me) that drew me into playing it for long hours at a time. But instead a game that you play for a few hours, get fully engaged, appreciate it, then take a rest and come back later. There are so many small, subtle details that really make the game shine. From the subtle vibration tugs when Ico is holding Yorda’s hand, the detail in landscape which makes you feel that you can interact with any object, and the sound effects that make it feel so real.

And to think it was created in 2001!

It was such a simple game; a boy figuring out some puzzles, escaping a castle, and saving a girl. In its simplicity lies the power of the game and story. Such a fresh/refreshing view on a video games, even compared to all the games that have been released since then.  Next, from the same studios, I’m going to take a stab at Shadow of the Colossus. And I can’t wait for the Last Guardian, the latest Ueda project.

 

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