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142 of 156 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two of the greatest games ever made.
This isn't the first time I've played these games, in fact I've played them both several times before, but this is the first time I've been able to play them in stunning high definition and with a frame rate that both games deserve, which is a steady and constant 30 FPS. That doesn't sound great by today's standards, but it is a vast improvement on the originals. Anyone...
Published on 30 Sep 2011 by Bertie Buggerington

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Appeals to the patient and methodical
I've only very briefly dipped my toe in Shadow of the Colossus, so I can't really comment on that yet. But Ico is a very interesting game. I would class it as a flawed masterpiece. The atmosphere is lonely and bleak. You explore a huge deserted and crumbling castle and it really feels like it was originally a building that was built to be lived in, rather than just a game...
Published on 15 Jun 2012 by Luis Villazon


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142 of 156 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two of the greatest games ever made., 30 Sep 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection (PS3) (Video Game)
This isn't the first time I've played these games, in fact I've played them both several times before, but this is the first time I've been able to play them in stunning high definition and with a frame rate that both games deserve, which is a steady and constant 30 FPS. That doesn't sound great by today's standards, but it is a vast improvement on the originals. Anyone who has played these games in the past, particularly Shadow of the Colossus, will tell you of the frame rate issues that plagued the PS2 versions.

I believe the frame rate issue was a victim of the over ambition of the projects, as Shadow of the Colossus in particular really did push the humble PS2 to its limits... and then some. But before I get into SotC, let us go right back to the beginning. Ico. In my humble opinion, the first game to transcend the medium of mere video game. Being conscious of not wanting to sound pretentious, I still cannot avoid calling a spade a spade, and so believe me when I tell you that Ico is art in the purest form. Ico is the story of a boy imprisoned in a castle by the elders of his village, as they believe him to be cursed. I won't delve much further into the plot for fear of spoiling what little there is of a story for you. Upon breaking free of the stone tomb he is placed in, Ico has the freedom of the castle from the beginning of the game. And he soon discovers he is not alone. Ico comes across a young girl, Yorda, who it appears has also been locked away in this vast castle prison. Escape from the castle is the premise and objective of the entire game.

Each section of the castle that you encounter is filled with puzzles, but you are not just trying to free yourself now, you have Yorda to rescue, too. And therein lies the beauty of the game. Tapping a button will allow you to take hold of Yorda's hand so you can lead her around. Tapping another will allow you to call her to you. If you have crossed a chasm and you need to get Yorda to your side, you can call her name and she will come running and jumping, trusting you to safely catch her. When I first played this game several years ago on PS2, these were totally new concepts for me in the world of video gaming. And boy what a breath of fresh air it was. In an age when many of my fellow gamers couldn't see past first person shooters, Ico was a revelation. That is as true today as it was when the game was released all those years ago. This is why I place Fumito Ueda in that little pantheon of gaming gods I like to call `The Auteurs', as for me the likes of Fumito Ueda, Shigeru Miyamoto and Hideo Kojima really are the Hitchcocks and Kubricks of the video gaming world.

The vast castle in Ico is stunningly realised. The open areas with bridges, a train tack (complete with usable hand car), a windmill and the like are as much a vision to me now as they were back upon its original release. It_is_beautiful. Only now it is also in stunning 1080p high definition and even more pleasing to the eye. As regards the recent raft of `HD Collections' released for PS3, it is safe to say that some have received better treatment than others, so you'll be pleased to hear that Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are up there with the best, if not THE best. It is clear that they have not only upped the definition but have also subtly worked on the textures, lighting and shadows. The result is a joy to behold.

During your bid for freedom you encounter several waves of enemies, in the form of smoke-like beings, who will try to snatch Yorda away from you. They appear from dark swirling portals that open up in the floor and they will attempt to take Yorda back through these portals with them. Should they succeed, it is game over. There are a few instances where you have to leave Yorda a considerable distance away, or even in another section entirely. These attempts to abduct Yorda make time very much of the essence. At first Ico is armed only with a wooden stick with which to fight these assailants off. However, during the game the sharper eyed amongst you may manage to upgrade Ico's weapon.

Onto Shadow of the Colossus: For me it is still one of the best video games ever made. Of course many will not agree, but I am not unique in bestowing such an accolade upon this game. SotC is the story of a desperate young man, Wanda, who has travelled to a far off land on his trusty steed, Agro, carrying the body of what appears to be his dead girlfriend. He has heard that the spirit like beings of this land, The Dormin, can bring the dead back to life. Upon communing with The Dormin, it is made clear to our hero that for them to grant his wish, he must first destroy several vast Colossi that inhabit the land. However, they warn Wanda that even should he complete this task, his wish will only be granted at a great personal cost. There are sixteen Colossi in total, and defeating them is more or less all there is to do in the entire game. Well, there are one or two other things to do... not so much side quests, but rather a couple of enjoyable (and worthwhile) distractions, but I will let you discover those for yourself. So basically it is a game of sixteen beautifully crafted boss battles. If that sounds odd, it's because it is. I was raised on games that involved battling hordes, minions, henchmen... whatever. Wave after wave of them until you come to the big guy himself - the end of level boss. Well SotC breaks the mould entirely; apart from yourself, your horse, your deceased girlfriend and the Colossi, there's just the odd bird, fish and a few lizards... and that is it.

Of course you do have to discover each of the giants before you can attempt to slay them, so off you go on your trusty steed to seek each of them out. You would think, what with no filler enemies, that travelling to each encounter would be tedious. Well it isn't. It was Ueda's intention that you spend this time in anticipation of each encounter to come, and also contemplating your actions as regards the previous battle. And let me tell you, killing some of these beasts can leave you with an awkward feeling of guilt. You are pleased that you are progressing in the game, but at the same time wondering about the morality of your actions. Many of the Colossi are almost cute. Giant... yes, defensive... yes, but also cute. One even has the look of a big teddy bear. And there they are, minding their own business until you come along to destroy them. It really does get you emotionally tangled. As with Ico, the director has managed to tug your heart strings. This game can touch you on the same emotional level that a book, poem or film can.

The land of SotC is vast and beautiful, but at the same time bleak. It is an ancient, desolate land with nothing more than crumbling ruins, sparse vegetation and the aforementioned animals. However, it is beautiful and it begs you to explore every inch. The Colossi themselves are stunning to behold, and the David versus Goliath sense of scale will make the uninitiated wonder how on earth they are supposed to bring these guys down. Some are bigger than others, and each presents a different kind of challenge. It is how to physically get onto each Colossi that is the puzzle element of the game. Once you have got onto each beast, it is a case of scaling them to find certain weak spots, which you stab with your sword until the beasts are felled. The lumbering behemoths are made of fur and masonry, a bizarre combination indeed... totally surreal. I think Salvador Dali would have loved this game!

Sound has also been improved greatly, and the 5.1 surround sound tracks are extremely welcome as they are far more expansive and richer than the old stereo tracks. For those with the right kind of TV, Stereoscopic 3D has also been provided. The smattering of previously unreleased extras will be of interest to fans old and new alike. These include videos featuring early concept footage of the two games and the musings of the production staff. Also included are two dynamic themes for the PS3 XMB. Unfortunately, unlike the releases of this game in other territories, these extras come to Europeans by way of a DLC code found inside the case, as opposed to being on the actual disc itself. Please don't be tempted to buy the game pre-owned if these extras are important to you, as the codes in a pre-owned game may be missing or already activated.

If I had to pick one negative point about either game I would honestly struggle, but it would be fair of me to point out that controls and physics in video gaming have moved on a lot in the years since these games were made. The controls in the games can at first seem a little unwieldy, but I can assure you that you soon adapt and they become perfectly natural. For the life of me I cannot deduct points from my review score for this as it would be tantamount to nitpicking, and I am also keeping in mind that these are not new games. I would also warn that if you're the type of gamer who usually plays the `shoot everything that moves' type of game, or you have a limited attention span, then perhaps Ico and SotC are not for you. If not, then you're in for one hell of a treat. I'm sure if I spend long enough on my death bed, I will remember the first time I rode a bike, held a girl in my arms, flew on an aeroplane and when I first played Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. It is that big a deal. Games come and go, many we forget, but not the games I have described for you today. This is a chance in a lifetime, to own and play two of the greatest games ever made, on a single Blu-ray disc, in brand new HD paint. What are you waiting for? Just buy it.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking, 30 Sep 2011
By 
Dr Evil (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection (PS3) (Video Game)
ICO and Shadow of the Colossus are both arguably two of the best games that were released on the PS2 (originally released in 2002 and 2006, respectively) and have had a cult following with its loyal fans since. A few months ago Team ICO announced that HD updates of these classic games would be released and since then I have been dying in anticipation. Finally the other day my preorder arrived and after spending quite a lot of time with both games I can honestly say that these games are actually even better than I can remember them being.

Both games are extremely atmospheric, unique, eerie, beautiful and most importantly, incredibly fun to play. In ICO you are a young horned boy who must help a girl escape a prison, whilst Shadow of the Colossus you must bring down 16 gigantic and different beasts.

It is instantly obvious after trying both that more time has been spent updating the visuals on ICO than on Shadow of the Colossus - the textures and colour on ICO are a lot more rich and the graphics even look a lot more updated, whereas Shadow of the Colossus (although still looks stunning) looks to have been just upscaled rather than fully updated.

Trophy fans will be pleased as both games have their own collection to earn, some easier than other (complete ICO in 2 hours being one of them - is this even possible?) but a great addition which will surely provide a lot more replay value to both titles.

Overall, whether you have never played these games before and want to see for yourself what all the fuss is about or if you've played these games before and want to re-try them in all their HD glory then I highly recommend this game. There really are no other games out there like this and it is honestly the closest art and gaming has been.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Region editions issue - otherwise amazing, 23 July 2012
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection (PS3) (Video Game)
I ordered this game while it was being sold by Global Xpress, here on Amazon.co.uk. It had a lengthy shipping time, which was a little frustrating, but on arrival it turned out to be an American release of the game - with Region 1 noted on it. While the region appears to be pretty much redundant at the moment, as the game does work on my UK PS3, this isn't exactly ideal and therefore will be somewhat more reluctant to buy from non-Amazon sellers/fulfilled by Amazon sellers, who do not specify regions on their products.

This experience is what is putting my rating down as far as it is, otherwise... Shadow of the Colossus alone is stunning, and I'm very happy with it. Enjoying it immensely - very atmospheric. It truly is a unique game and I find myself deeply moved as the story progresses. The battles are varied and interesting, and the sheer scale is incredibly impressive. The controls are quirky, at best, but to be honest... Play it for a while and you get used to it, just like anything else. Just takes a bit of learning.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A deep emotional journey..., 12 Oct 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection (PS3) (Video Game)
I haven't play neither Ico and Shadow of Colossus on the the PS2.. I just purchased the collection and Iam really shocked how intelligent, deep, and artistic those two games are.. In fact Ico, it is the best videogame I have ever played... It was an emotional journey to an unbelieveable unreality world, and the same time you feel like you are in this castle... Never a game touched my emotions so gently and deeply as Ico.. This game its difficult to describe, and others in other reviews they have already done it..I just want to say, if haven't play these games buy the collection NOW!! Its a very special game!

Shadow of Colossus is also a very well-crafted game, with fantastic enviromens and very interesting gameplay. I enjoyed it very much, but I fell in love with ICO, so I want to focus there..
Anyway, team ICO is the best, Iam so impatient for their new game, "The last guardian"
Thank you very much mr Fumito Ueda for making so different, emotional, and intelligent games!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relaxing and immersive games., 1 Feb 2012
By 
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection (PS3) (Video Game)
I will start by advising that I play very few games compared to the dedicated gamer, so I am not qualified to comment on the technical aspects compared to the multitude of other games. Every game I have played has some technical imperfections, these are no exceptions. Personally, I do not think they have any real affect on the gameplay.

While I have tried a fair few games in my time, only a very few draw me in to play to the conclusion. I don't sit with a guide at my elbow to race through a game in the shortest possible time. I rather prefer to play the game and find the solutions myself.

ICO was perhaps the first game I played that I can say I thoroughly enjoyed. It has an atmosphere that is unique and drew me into it. It is unlikely to satisfy dedicated dragon slaying, war mongering or platform gamers. It is a game best played at a leisurely pace, and is most definitely not a game you can just jump into for a 15 minute bash. It was the first game my wife actually enjoyed because she didn't have to battle something out every few minutes. Visually it is almost surreal and very much a work of art that made it so well known. You control the lead character who has to lead a young princess out of a deserted and decaying castle, occasionally being obstructed by spirits that seek to grab the princess and foil your escape. The puzzles are not difficult to solve.

The Shadow of the Colossus, was the game I discovered after playing ICO because I simply wanted to play another game that had a similar atmosphere. It generally goes without saying that if you enjoyed one you will probably enjoy the other. The actual gameplay is different because in this one you seek out each colossus and fight it. It is very much a David and Goliath thing. You have to find the way to its weakness so you can destroy it. The weakness is visible when you get close to it, so the puzzle aspect is how to get to it. The fighting itself is not one that requires you to be fast on the buttons so don't let the fact that a fight is required put you off.

Because the two games are so unique, it is difficult to make comparisons with modern ones. They are updates of the original so you get the chance to play them on your PS3. If you have played and enjoyed Zelda twilight princess or Okami, you will very likely enjoy them. You will not be on the edge of your seat in anticipation of a sudden attack. More likely you will be relaxed, immersed in the game and simply stirred into alertness at the appropriate time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 26 July 2013
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This review is from: Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection (PS3) (Video Game)
I haven't finished Ico so let me tell you my thoughts about SOTC. Rarely have I come across a game so perfect. I feel as if it is a piece of art. It really is hard to explain through text. So my advice buy it. Buy it now. (Unless you PS Plus because its free if you do)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The music!, 11 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection (PS3) (Video Game)
Having only played Shadow of the Colossus, I can say that this package is absolutely worth buying! It is a stunning game in every way, and without a doubt a true classic among video games!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classics for this generation also, 11 Nov 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection (PS3) (Video Game)
Ico and Shadow of the Colossus were arguably two of the best titles released for the good old PS2. Whereas it's easy to have mixed feelings about todays climate of constant reissues and deluxe repackaging, some games really deserve to be seen by a wider audience. That certainly goes for these classic, challenging, beautiful and heartwrenching tales from Fumito Ueda. I do hope that those who missed them the first time around will pick up this generous package. Be sure to use the enclosed download codes for extras that are definitively worth a look!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GAME EVERYONE MUST OWN!!!, 27 Oct 2011
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection (PS3) (Video Game)
Making it short and snappy- there are two types of people who will buy this game:

People who bought the PS2 game: The graphics are not just in HD, some of the movement is updated and the sound quality is much clearer (if that makes any sense). Most of the graphical changes focus on the main characters, such as ICO- and they look even more beautiful than before. It's worth just playing it all over again because the game experience is so unique, plus it's a piece of art that I just had to own for the PS3. One con is that the backgrounds and landscapes, building walls etc. are quite inferior to the games now which kind of bothered me- but you have to look past that. Just buy it again for the experience, especially if you threw away the old one with your PS2.

People new to the 2 games: people who haven't heard of these two games or haven't tried them should definitely buy this game, despite being classics the elements of beauty and STUDIO GHIBLI style, Japanese mythology that surrounds the stories are really quite unique in the commercial gaming world. These games were deemed masterpieces in their day- and when you play them you should respect that they do not have the latest graphics engine technology. (It's like when people play pacman, they don't care about the graphics because they love it so much). When you've got the BUG from these games you should go and grab THE LAST GUARDIAN, the next instalment- the graphics look amazing- (story is a bit vague however).

Honestly recommend, especially for collectors and those that value the artistic side of gaming.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb. Nostalgic to a time of great games., 1 Oct 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection (PS3) (Video Game)
I love these games a lot - both are throwbacks to a time when gaming was far less 'mainstream' and far better quality.

Each game is very unique. Ico is a platformer game with a fantastic story told almost entirely without words. You must escort a young, helpless princess girl across a shadow monster riddled castle. The gameplay is based mostly on puzzles with a couple of rare combat areas - you must traverse the perilous and beautiful landscape creating a path for the girl to follow. The soundtrack, atmosphere and gameplay is so masterfully created you will no doubt wonder why no one made a game similar to this in the current generation. It works flawlessly.

Shadow of the Colossus is a very different game. You play a young hero on a horse who must slay his way through giants to save the girl he loves. Gameplay is very unique - climbing giant ancient lumbering monsters, much like the God Of War 3 style boss battles. Each colossi has a different weak point and method to kill, and that is the puzzle. The sense of scope and epicness is very advanced for a title that came out in the PS2 generation - and if I am totally honest with those reading it is still very powerful even today.

Both games have very unique and artistic worlds, created by true masters of game development. The team currently has a new game in the works, The Last Guardian. If their new IP is anything like these 2 gems, I will be very happy.

Games like this are the closest to 'games are art' can be. At this price you are getting an absolute steal - Highly recommended to pick up if you are a hardcore gamer with a taste for unique games.
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