18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Ico - old but bold,
This review is from: ICO (Video Game)
Ico is quite simply a joy to play. Recently uninspired by the offerings on next genereration platforms, I fancied a bit of gaming nostalgia. Aware that even Space Invaders would have provoked gasps of awe and wonder in its time, I was concerned that my memory of playing Ico was slightly inaccurate.
Upon revisiting this masterpiece, which truly was ahead of its time, I have to say that Ico more than delivers. It has a beauty and charm that I have not seen in other games. The animation of Ico and Yorda as they attempt to escpape captivity in a forboding castle is superbly done. The inability of the two characters to communicate verbally is a thoughtful touch. Their dependence on each other is cleverly established throughout the puzzles and situations that Ico must solve.
Ico is a twelve year old boy cursed with horns protruding from his head and incarcerated by elders from his village. Yorda is a mysterious girl who is destined to remain in the castle at the will of her mother. Both children are supposed to be there. However, the combination of Ico's agility and determination and Yorda's trust in her rescuer and ability to open locked doors make them a formidable team.
The game environment is awe inspiring, lonely and vast. The enormous castle offers challenges as the two charcters struggle to find away out of captivity. There are times when you forget that you are playing a game, so drawn in are you into the story of the two friends. There are some wonderfully moving moments and upon completion for the second time, I felt that this truly is a rare experience - a gaming gem.
With all the recent controversy surrounding disturbing games like manhunt 2, or the debates about polygon pushing power over gameplay, it is easy to overlook the talents of the Japanese developers who created this beautiful game.
People often wonder why grown men play games and looking at the media coverage of the sort of rubbish that makes the headlines, I can see their point of view. Games like Ico prove that videogames can be intelligent, moving and worthy of our attention. It is a shame that games like Ico will only be produced if people want to play them and unfortunately violent games sell, arty games often don't.
I would urge anybody who has not played Ico to purchase a copy and enjoy it. Better than wasting 50 quid on some first person shooter or repetitive racing.