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First look demos with Johnathan Kroncke

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By Johnathan Kroncke

By Johnathan Kroncke

In a world where video games are but a reflection of each other, one looks to single itself out as the new standard.

“Shadow of the Colossus” for the Playstation 2 is breathtaking in both its vast landscapes and its seemingly insurmountable tasks.

A young hero loses the one thing he cherishes most in the world, his beloved. Instead of burying her, he lays her lifeless body at an alter in an ancient temple and begins his journey. He must find and slay the 16 great colossi of legend.

By killing these mythical beasts, our hero will unlock a new life that brings his beloved back from the dead. However, defeating massive creatures the size of mountains that can fly, swim, run, and stomp is no simple task.

Our hero will cross endless plains and traverse treacherous mountain roads to seek out these ancient beasts. After that, he must search for strategic points on the colossi’s body and strike them with nothing more than a sword and a bow and arrow.

Visually, the demo for “Shadow of the Colossus” has some flaws that have now been cleaned up. Otherwise, the game is beautiful.

As the aforementioned hero, players must ride on horseback through the different terrains to find the colossi, which can take up to 20 minutes but is well worth the effort one the colossi are found.

Players are given a sword and a bow and arrow at the beginning of the demo. The bow and arrow seem to the attention of a colossus but otherwise, useless. The sword can be used for stabbing the colossi to death but its most unique feature brings intrigue to the game.

By holding the sword towards the sky, it will reflect the sunlight. Move it far enough to the right or the left and the light will point you in the direction you need to go. There is an overhead map showing your position in the world but for all intents and purposes, its useless. Reflecting the light is not only the best way to find the right path, it makes the game that much more interesting.

Of course, the colossi are the main attraction and they do not fail. Like most of this game, they are visually quite appealing. Enormous in both height and girth, they bring to mind the image of the “weapons” at the end of “Final Fantasy VII.”

Gamers will need clever puzzle solving abilities as well as some quick reflexes in order to fend off any colossus. Each has several weak spots on their bodies that must be exploited in order to take them down. If successful, you are rewarded with a nice cut scene and a chance to do it again…15 more times. Overall, “Shadow of the Colossus” should be a candidate for game of the year.

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