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Shadow of the Colossus Review

This is a discussion on Shadow of the Colossus Review within the Game Reviews forum, part of the Trophy Guides, Reviews & Articles; Originally Posted by grimydawg No, I don't think it's biased at all. Of course the games back then aren't gonna ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by grimydawg View Post
    No, I don't think it's biased at all. Of course the games back then aren't gonna be today's standard. Technology is always evolving. However, chances are if you like a game ten years ago, you're still going to like it today. For example, I have Zelda Ocarina 3d on my 3DS and the game is still awesome, just like how I remember it 10+ years ago. Like I said before, I'm not criticizing you guys. I just simply think if you would have played the games in their prime, you'd think otherwise.
    You didn't read what I said. I stated that I played the game when it came out and I throughly remember it. It's the one and only reason I bought it now. I even gave obvious pointers throughout the review that I've played it before and compared it to the game it was back in 2005. I've loved games such as the first Crash Bandicoot games that came out when the PS1 was released, but playing them today I have a completely different idea of them.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerwan_Ratchet View Post
    Nah it's no problem. From my name a lot of people make that mistake. And apprantly a lot of people seem to also think that I am reviewing the game by 2005 standards. When you compare it to today it's obviously dated. Do we go by 2005's standards as we remember it or by today's, but 6 years later? It's not an easy choice.
    The choice is made by for you by the way the game is packaged and promoted. It's not being sold as a brand new release with brand new gameplay. It's being released as an HD update of a classic game, with pretty much everything except the original graphics intact. Add to this the fact that the games come packed with bonus content, detailing concept art and making-of-documentaries... this makes it an essential purchase for any serious fan of videogames in general.
    The purpose of HD Collections was not to try and trick the buying public into purchasing 'new' games to replace the current top-shelf offerings. I believe it's probably the greatest piece of fan-service that we have received as gamers. These are games that we loved when originally released, but may not have touched in some time due to obvious reasons such as newer hardware releases and the like.
    If you really want to see the type of Rerelease that deserves a 7 or 8 out of 10, I urge you to play the recent Resident Evil updates. Both the titles have not been 'remastered' in the same way as Ico or SotC, they have merely been upscaled to HD and look quite ordinary for it. Whilst the gameplay is as expected, these titles have not been given the lavish attention and care to detail that we were luckily enough to receive with Ico and SotC.
    I'm not sure how many other people have noticed this either, but how good is it to play SotC with a decent frame-rate? Back on the PS2, this was the one fault I had with the game... When the action increased, the frame-rate chopped up a fair bit.
    I respect Kerwan and Jack. Maybe not for their opinions on this subject, as I believe they're approaching it from completely the wrong angle. I believe you need quite a bit of experience and an understanding of the history of gaming and what is important in that history to be an effective critic. You also have to be able to take criticism yourself (sorry, guys! lol), and in this instance I feel the criticism is warranted. But hey, that's just my opinion. And Kerwan and Jack are quite entitled to theirs. Keep it up, guys, regardless of whether myself or anyone else disagrees. At the very least, you've given us something to talk about!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ_Keyser View Post
    I respect Kerwan and Jack. Maybe not for their opinions on this subject, as I believe they're approaching it from completely the wrong angle. I believe you need quite a bit of experience and an understanding of the history of gaming and what is important in that history to be an effective critic. You also have to be able to take criticism yourself (sorry, guys! lol), and in this instance I feel the criticism is warranted. But hey, that's just my opinion. And Kerwan and Jack are quite entitled to theirs. Keep it up, guys, regardless of whether myself or anyone else disagrees. At the very least, you've given us something to talk about!
    No problem. Everyone should be able to take criticism, and there's nothing out there that can't be critizied anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by grimydawg View Post
    Yeah I did. I wasn't talking to you
    Then why did you say this?
    Quote Originally Posted by grimydawg View Post
    . Like I said before, I'm not criticizing you guys. I just simply think if you would have played the games in their prime, you'd think otherwise.
    It's refering to both of us. I don't have any problem with you expressing your opinion on the subject - but just let it be known that I have played SotC before and grew up with games around that era. That's it.




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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ_Keyser View Post
    If you really want to see the type of Rerelease that deserves a 7 or 8 out of 10, I urge you to play the recent Resident Evil updates. Both the titles have not been 'remastered' in the same way as Ico or SotC, they have merely been upscaled to HD and look quite ordinary for it. Whilst the gameplay is as expected, these titles have not been given the lavish attention and care to detail that we were luckily enough to receive with Ico and SotC.
    But I think that's the issue. You guys are basically asking him to grade the game on a curve because it's old. When I read a review, I want to know whether or not I should buy it compared to something else, and that all comes down to how much I'm going to enjoy it. Call me a "member of the CoD generation" or whatever, but I want to play something that's fun, and if a game is not fun to me now, I'd rather play something else than have to sit there and think "well, it sure would have been fun 6 years ago!"

    As a side note, I bought this collection and plan on platting both games, but I've never played either of them before, so this isn't really about whether or not I agree with his score. I'm just saying that I think he's doing the right thing in grading it based on how it stacks up with what's out there now. You realize that the graphics are going to look dated on a remaster, but if the gameplay feels dated or clunky, that's a fair criticism. There have been plenty of other remakes (Sly and GOW come to mind) where they didn't look all that great, but the gameplay is still good even by today's standards.





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    I think it's a fair enough review, but just a tiny bit of too much emphasis on "Clunky" controls.
    Sure they are clunky when trying to do multiple actions like ride/steer your horse and aim/fire your bow & arrow at the same time, but equally it wasn't mentioned that there are only two or three times in the entire game that you are required to do this, so it appears slightly negatively balanced in that regard IMHO.
    I just hope those who have never played SOTC aren't, after reading this review, dissuaded from purchasing it.
    I know there are a lot of people out there that didn't manage to get to play it on the PS2 due to it being on sale for so short of time and have been looking forward to it.

    It's just got such a different feeling/atmosphere to this game, that it's something you need to experience yourself to truly appreciate why it is still held in high regard as a classic.

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    I thought the review was detailed and a fair assessment and all I would add is that if you did not play these 2 games back on the PS2, you should buy it.
    A true masterpiece in gaming IMO and I am looking forward to deafeating the Colossus's once again, my copy arrived yesterday, the only problem being RAGE is released tomorrow and I am looking forward to playing this game as well, maybe I need to give up working - 44 years old and I still love gaming!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ONUOsFan View Post
    But I think that's the issue. You guys are basically asking him to grade the game on a curve because it's old. When I read a review, I want to know whether or not I should buy it compared to something else, and that all comes down to how much I'm going to enjoy it. Call me a "member of the CoD generation" or whatever, but I want to play something that's fun, and if a game is not fun to me now, I'd rather play something else than have to sit there and think "well, it sure would have been fun 6 years ago!"
    Well, this begs the question... Does the reviewer want to be taken seriously as a critic or do they only want their reviews to apply to those with exactly the same mindset as them? Imagine if Roger Ebert declared 'The Godfather' only warranted 8/10, because last week he saw Transformers: Dark Of The Moon and that had way better special effects. Sure, 13 year old boys the world over would adore the critic for his reasoning, but he would be laughed off the face of the planet by anyone who's voice had broken.
    I guess I'm taking this too seriously. The point being put across is that games are being reviewed on a fun-factor, as opposed to being judged on their own merits according to the effect they may have had on the medium itself. Whilst I can definitely appreciate fun games and would apply high ratings to those experiences also, I believe that respect should be shown for efforts that have looked outside the box that videogames themselves have squared themselves away in... you know, the idea that they're for kids with short-attention spans.
    Ico and SotC are pretty much as close as you can get to 'art-house' games. Films of the same genre don't have the same budgets, look or feel as Hollywood blockbusters, but they manage to convey certain emotions and experiences that their bigger-budgeted cousins can not. It would be a shame if these types of experiences were over-looked because they engage the mind and provide food for the soul. Human brains are capable of devouring more than just mindless fodder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ONUOsFan View Post
    But I think that's the issue. You guys are basically asking him to grade the game on a curve because it's old. When I read a review, I want to know whether or not I should buy it compared to something else, and that all comes down to how much I'm going to enjoy it. Call me a "member of the CoD generation" or whatever, but I want to play something that's fun, and if a game is not fun to me now, I'd rather play something else than have to sit there and think "well, it sure would have been fun 6 years ago!"

    As a side note, I bought this collection and plan on platting both games, but I've never played either of them before, so this isn't really about whether or not I agree with his score. I'm just saying that I think he's doing the right thing in grading it based on how it stacks up with what's out there now. You realize that the graphics are going to look dated on a remaster, but if the gameplay feels dated or clunky, that's a fair criticism. There have been plenty of other remakes (Sly and GOW come to mind) where they didn't look all that great, but the gameplay is still good even by today's standards.
    True, but I reviewed it based on what it was back in 2005 and what it compares to today. It's a game that's going to split gamers down the middle and I wanted to be on both sides. It's a game that appeals to a certain crowd, and I'm going to say what suits everyone. It's to help you decide if you want to play it now; not if you want to know how good you thought it was in 2005. It's been years since there and the bench mark has dramatically changed. There's not a lot anyone can do about that....




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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ_Keyser View Post
    Well, this begs the question... Does the reviewer want to be taken seriously as a critic or do they only want their reviews to apply to those with exactly the same mindset as them? Imagine if Roger Ebert declared 'The Godfather' only warranted 8/10, because last week he saw Transformers: Dark Of The Moon and that had way better special effects. Sure, 13 year old boys the world over would adore the critic for his reasoning, but he would be laughed off the face of the planet by anyone who's voice had broken.
    I think this would be more accurate if Ebert had just given 'The Godfather' re-release on Blu-Ray only an 8/10, because the transfer was bad, the audio got all chopped up, and there was noticeable screen tearing that they could have fixed during the remastering process. He wouldn't, in that effect, be rating the movie badly, but the presentation.

    To chime back in on where the discussion has gone, I only felt that Kerwan was ever-so-slightly harsh on the game in the body of his review, but I completely agree with the 8/10 score the game received. Considering the status of the game, I don't think the condition of the graphics should have been that big a focus, as there's only so much that can be done in that department, but his criticism of the controls is completely fair game, as those were bad even back when the game first came out.
    I look forward to reading his reviews in the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ_Keyser View Post
    Well, this begs the question... Does the reviewer want to be taken seriously as a critic or do they only want their reviews to apply to those with exactly the same mindset as them? Imagine if Roger Ebert declared 'The Godfather' only warranted 8/10, because last week he saw Transformers: Dark Of The Moon and that had way better special effects.
    I am going to step in here though and point out that while your analogy is apt, being taken seriously as a critic doesn't mean you conform to a specific mind-set either.

    Fact of the matter is critics have to be careful grading on percieved scales, and generally speaking I ask RT members not to grade games relative to other games, but rather rate the game as itself.

    Its a difficult concept to get through, but the problem with the simple one (the "scale") means that you constantly have to go back and 're-assess' previous scores. Like Final Fantasy vs 13 comes out, and now all of a sudden I have to re-look at FF13, VC, etc and if those come up I have to say "Well, I hadn't played vs13 yet, so those games aren't as good now."

    I want scores to stand on their own, sure you are dealing with limitations, but I don't want situations where within the games arena its score is relative to some baseline. When I give a game like Deus Ex a 10 or Dragon Age 2 a 6.5, those scores are my viewpoint on the game from here forever on, but the classification is always it being as a PS3 game.

    Its generally a problem with representing a complex subjective opinion with an objective system of measurement.

    Its also why, using your Ebert example, I would hope he wouldn't say Transformers: Dark of the Moon deserves a 10 because it had better special effects than any other movie or The Godfather deserves an 8 because it has worse special effects than movie X.

    I would hope he would give the Godfather a score, and then his critique only be based around elements that The Godfather is in control of... By critiquing the movie on its own merits, the critique is always relevant.

    I'd also like to stick up for KR here for a second by saying, publically, that no aspect of his review is unfair or unlevel. This is a difficult game to review because it is a last-generation game, so while the story will always carry the same impact, various other aspects of the gaming world have evolved. He inately is caught in an impossible situation, particularly since SotC is not a game in a classical sense. Kerwan clearly states at several points in the review his rationality. Its this rationality that is the review, not the score. I found it very easy to read Kerwan's review and relate it back to my tastes because everything is explained well.

    You may disagree with his assessment, we are all dealing with opinions here, and I LOVE discussing the various aspects of people's assessments, but a good review isn't about having the score everybody agrees on... Its about having a well explained set of views and a lot of supporting evidence and information so that people can take your critique of something and mold it to their specific tastes. More information is garnered through fair critical analysis than through nearly anything else available.

    I'd also like to add, much like reviewing Heavy Rain, its not the reviewers specific mindset that comes into question, but rather how to critique something in one median that is not representative of the traditional values of that median.

    The gameplay of SotC is slow, monotonous, and difficult. The story is almost devoid of characters and you spend 75% of the game alone with your horse wandering a desolate world. While all these things are stylistically intentional, its still problematic for a reviewer because do you critique the game based on the median or the experience? There is no correct answer to that question, and I appreciate Kerwan's take by finding a balance to that.

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    You can only review what's put in front of you I guess. However, I think comparing the graphics to modern-day games is slightly redundant; the game's weren't built with the PS3 in mind. This collection was released due to the enormous praise and admiration this game, and ICO, generated from the gaming public. And anyone who appreciates what is was, and still is in this generic gaming cycle we're in now, will still love it in its new guise.

    I personally think what made this game so special for me and so many others might be lost on the current generation of gamers, who thrive on online gaming and explosions. There's a tender charm to Shadow of the Colossus that I haven't found in a game since, and doubt I'll find until The Last Guardian ships.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gauss View Post
    You may disagree with his assessment, we are all dealing with opinions here, and I LOVE discussing the various aspects of people's assessments, but a good review isn't about having the score everybody agrees on... Its about having a well explained set of views and a lot of supporting evidence and information so that people can take your critique of something and mold it to their specific tastes. More information is garnered through fair critical analysis than through nearly anything else available.


    Roger Ebert gives your post the thumbs up.
    But seriously, I appreciate your post, most of your posts actually, as I can see you are an intelligent and well-spoken individual who makes a lot of sense. Always a thought-provoking read, which we need more of to be honest. I've already cleared things up with Kerwan. I didn't want anyone to think I was having a go at him personally, I'm beyond that now, ey KR? ;P I just had a strong difference of opinion.
    I 110% agree with your statement regarding differing opinions. I also love differing opinions and analysing how they were reached. You could say that I love arguments, not so much for the inherent hostility involved in them, but for the fact it is two different outlooks squaring off against each other with no room for middle ground. I believe that we should never be satisfied with one side to a story, we should always be questioning and demanding more information than what we have in front of us. It's this quest for knowledge outside our own boundaries that enables us to advance our mindsets to a point where we may one day have a chance to see the world as it really is...
    Having said that... Kerwan's wrong this time. SotC = 10/10 Na na, na naaa na!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ_Keyser View Post
    I've already cleared things up with Kerwan. I didn't want anyone to think I was having a go at him personally, I'm beyond that now, ey KR? ;P I just had a strong difference of opinion.
    I 110% agree with your statement regarding differing opinions. I also love differing opinions and analysing how they were reached. You could say that I love arguments, not so much for the inherent hostility involved in them, but for the fact it is two different outlooks squaring off against each other with no room for middle ground. I believe that we should never be satisfied with one side to a story, we should always be questioning and demanding more information than what we have in front of us. It's this quest for knowledge outside our own boundaries that enables us to advance our mindsets to a point where we may one day have a chance to see the world as it really is...
    Indeed so.

    Also, what you said was true about the middle line - as impossible as it is to find. You either choose one or the other - or your own.




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    I love ICO and i'm starting to love this also lol.


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    The game is a classic, and reigns as one of the top 5 all time PS2 games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeVeous View Post
    The game is a classic, and reigns as one of the top 5 all time PS2 games.
    It was great when it came out for sure, but personally I wouldn't class it there personally.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerwan_Ratchet View Post
    It was great when it came out for sure, but personally I wouldn't class it there personally.
    Out of blind curiosity, what games would you class there?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gotakibono View Post
    Out of blind curiosity, what games would you class there?
    To be honest I can't honestly say. Possibly FFX and FF12, but also classics such as the Spyro games and Kingdom Hearts.




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    With this review it's good but I have to agree with Gauss 2nd opinon more on the score but still a good review. There is one area though I do disagee with, trophies being easy and they for the most part but going for Hard Time Attack #3 is hard. It's not too far off being in the same difficulty as challenge 6 in Vanquish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by omnislash View Post
    With this review it's good but I have to agree with Gauss 2nd opinon more on the score but still a good review. There is one area though I do disagee with, trophies being easy and they for the most part but going for Hard Time Attack #3 is hard. It's not too far off being in the same difficulty as challenge 6 in Vanquish.
    Well I played the game as a kid so I didn't find it to be that hard...but then again it's been a while...




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