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Shadow of the Colossus (fairly large image in here)
#71
Beat this last night, and man was it a great experience. Beat a couple of the normal time attacks and got the whistling arrow which, as far as I can tell, is pretty useless. I tried climbing the Shrine, but can't seem to pull it off yet. I dunno if i'm climbing in the right place, or if i'm just not strong enough yet. I'll try beating a few more colossi and then trying again. Also, Russ, any tips for ripping the score? I especially dig the intro and end credit pieces. Very cool stuff.
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#72
I finally climbed up to the secret garden, and theres nothing there as far as I can tell, it looks nice enough, but it sucks that theres nothing else. I soon left the garden and ran all the way across the bridge (it takes like 10 mins), and what did I find at the end? The giant gate you came through in the beginning is still cracked open, but a strong wind won't let you go through.

This sucks.

Also the garden isn't actually at the very top of the temple, so there may be a way to climb to the very top, I just don't know how.

So for now I'm just beating the game for the 6th time, on hard mode again, and having fun throwing the spear at the colossi. I wish I could also use the exploding arrows in this mode.

I'll probably trade the game in soon, I love the game, but I need the credit and I'll probably pick it up again some day when it's 20 bucks, and after I've taken a break from it.
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#73
Hey just beat the game again for the 6th time. Tried to start a new game while holding the circle button (this is supposed to give you a white horse), but nothing happened.

Any official word on the white horse Russ?

Off topic I started playing Battlefield Modern Combat on Xbox Live today and it was great, some really cool maps, and I got used to the sometimes laggy moments.
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#74
Un-fucking-real. This is next-gen, this is videogames as an art form, this is pure goddamned creative genius. This is a very special game, and I hope it is remembered as such.

I still can't believe how good that ending was.
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#75
SPOILERS:
Regarding Agro...

I think he IS killed when he falls into the ravine before the 16th colossus. The spell that revives the girl also revives the horse, and apparently fixing broken legs wasn't part of the bargain. At least, that was my thought when I watched the ending cutscene.

Anyway, I died enough times in that ravine to believe there's no way anything could survive that fall.


END SPOILERS
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#76
My take was that (SPOILER):

The horse didn't die at all, but simply survived somehow. Perhaps the ravine is deeper than it looked.

End Spoiler.
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#77
I beat this game last night and all I can say is that the last boss is one of the hardest bosses I have ever fought in a video game. It honestly took me 2 hours to "get" to the last boss and beat him.


As for the ending.. pure awesomeness.
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#78
My roommate borrowed this game and spent 15-20 minutes looking for the first Colossus. He then turend it off stating it was the dumbest and most boring game ever because he never found the colossus. Question, how hard is it to find the first bugger? He's the type that gets frustrated with games so I was just wondering how hard it was.
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#79
The first Collossus is practically in your lap when you start the game.

There are valid complaints to be leveled at this game, though, especially the way that any small mistake can lead to your being thrown off the boss, finding yourself tediously re-tracing your steps (running, swimming, climbing, timing jumps, etc.), only to be thrown off again as soon as you make your way back.

It's far from the perfect gaming nirvana some seem to be crediting it with. Don't get me wrong, I love the hell outta this thing, but by no means is it a perfect 10 out of 10.
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#80
Just like no movie is a 10 out of 10, no game is a 10 out of 10.

...well, maybe Mario 3.
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#81
I would say that Mario 64 and The Ocarina of Time are as close as we've ever come to a perfect 10 game.
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#82
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jacob Singer

The first Collossus is practically in your lap when you start the game.

There are valid complaints to be leveled at this game, though, especially the way that any small mistake can lead to your being thrown off the boss, finding yourself tediously re-tracing your steps (running, swimming, climbing, timing jumps, etc.), only to be thrown off again as soon as you make your way back.

It's far from the perfect gaming nirvana some seem to be crediting it with. Don't get me wrong, I love the hell outta this thing, but by no means is it a perfect 10 out of 10.

Of course. The play control is clunky and the camera angles are downright horrible at times when you get on top of a collossus. It just gets extra points for originality and FUN factor.
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#83
Quote:

Originally Posted by thecallahan

My roommate borrowed this game and spent 15-20 minutes looking for the first Colossus. He then turend it off stating it was the dumbest and most boring game ever because he never found the colossus. Question, how hard is it to find the first bugger? He's the type that gets frustrated with games so I was just wondering how hard it was.

I've only played the demo, which I'm assuming is the first colossus, but it's insanely easy to find the first guy. Step into the sunlight, raise your sword, scan the area, and go in the direction where the beam of light is most focused. It took longer to get to the Colossus than it did to find the guy.
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#84
It's definitely a "more than the sum of its parts" game, or at least it succeeds in spite of some fairly significant drawbacks. I got used to the controls after the first two or three colossi, I was definitely not being deliberate or patient enough until then. Part of me wishes they had held off on this until the PS3.. talk about launching with a work of art.
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#85
Quote:

Originally Posted by The LD

I would say that Mario 64 and The Ocarina of Time are as close as we've ever come to a perfect 10 game.

Are you serious?

Super Mario 64 was revolutionary and invigorating from a graphical standpoint, but I had zero interest in the child-like, insipid tone of the game. Ocarina, similarly, left me wanting to run through the glorious game world but the plot and mechanics of the game left me wanting.

I consider 10/10 to be "as perfect as can be expected in this imperfect world". There are numerous games that I consider to be 10/10 at the time they were released. The multi-player version of Halo, Knights of the Old Republic (except for the load times on the XBOX), Wing Commander 1 and 2, Doom, The Star Wars vector Arcade Game, Super Mario Brothers 3, Baldur's Gate, Street Fighter 2, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider (still incredible!), the original Legend of Zelda, The Secret of Monkey Island, Grand Theft Auto 3, and probably a few others.
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#86
Quote:

Originally Posted by Overlord

Are you serious?

I'm glad I wasn't the only one who had that reaction...

Quote:

Originally Posted by Count Floyd

Part of me wishes they had held off on this until the PS3.. talk about launching with a work of art.

Also agreed.
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#87
Quote:

Originally Posted by neaux

I beat this game last night and all I can say is that the last boss is one of the hardest bosses I have ever fought in a video game. It honestly took me 2 hours to "get" to the last boss and beat him.


As for the ending.. pure awesomeness.

Really? I thought the last boss was maybe the easiest of all.
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#88
Last boss: Doing more damage does not equal Hardest Boss. Matter of fact, when it comes down to it, the bastard's perfectly linear when you figure out what you're supposed to do from the start.


And for the record, that whole thing about games being 10/10 the time they're released is the main reason WHY I don't believe there's such a thing as a perfect game. At the time, sure, it's probably awesome. But many of the games you mentioned have also aged like shit. (especially Tomb Raider and the first Resident Evil)

It's why Mario 3's one of a scant few games that might fit the bill. The game hasn't aged a day. Hell, even the graphics still get the job done.

The verdict's out as to whether I'll be saying the same thing about GTA San Andreas or God of War 15 years from now.
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#89
Quote:

Originally Posted by Overlord

Are you serious?

Super Mario 64 was revolutionary and invigorating from a graphical standpoint, but I had zero interest in the child-like, insipid tone of the game. Ocarina, similarly, left me wanting to run through the glorious game world the plot and mechanics of the game left me wanting.

I consider 10/10 to be "as perfect as can be expected in this imperfect world". There are numerous games that I consider to be 10/10 at the time they were released. The multi-player version of Halo, Knights of the Old Republic (except for the load times on the XBOX), Wing Commander 1 and 2, Doom, The Star Wars vector Arcade Game, Super Mario Brothers 3, Baldur's Gate, Street Fighter 2, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider (still incredible!), the original Legend of Zelda, The Secret of Monkey Island, Grand Theft Auto 3, and probably a few others.

2 Principles I want to get out of the way before I write this:
1) I hate videogame debates...They always end up being very frustrating, and I wasn't trying to start one.
2) I'm going to be brief, because I don't want to derail this thread.

Ok, so Mario 64...the tone of the game is obviously going to be a subjective quality. I enjoyed it, even though it was probably a bit young. That being said, compare the graphics (which you admit) and the mechanics to something like Jumping Flash. It really did crush all 3D games that had come before...at least those that I'm aware of. I really have no problem with your disagreement, but I think to take the statement as a joke is a bit much, as the game remains one of the best-reviewed games of all time.

Again, with Zelda...either a plot hooks you or it doesn't. I personally loved the mechanics of the game (though I thought Majora's Mask was better in some respects, but also more flawed), and I don't really know what other criticisms you have of it. I don't want to lean on reviews as though they give my opinions any more validity, but again...the game was critically adored.

As for your suggestions of perfect games, I agree with most. I would argue that Street Fighter 2 was at its best in the Turbo Version, that Tomb Raider was a clunky mess (I just couldn't enjoy it due to the controls), and I liked Knights of the Old Republic, but the combat system was enough to keeep me from saying it was actually perfect (by your definition). Seriously, though...no quarrel here. Just thought the dismissal was a bit much.

EDIT: Also, GTA 3 was fantastic, but Vice City and San Andreas bore the shit out of me, simply because the feel like EA-style sequels, even if they do improve upon the formula.
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#90
Thanks for the info guys, I'll pass it along to my roomie.
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#91
Quote:

Originally Posted by Crow

And for the record, that whole thing about games being 10/10 the time they're released is the main reason WHY I don't believe there's such a thing as a perfect game. At the time, sure, it's probably awesome. But many of the games you mentioned have also aged like shit. (especially Tomb Raider and the first Resident Evil.

I didn't say 10/10 was "perfect", I said it was as perfect as we have the right to expect from a game of that type at that time. If we set the bar at true "perfection" (an unachievable ideal for any human endeavor) then you'd be right that there is no perfect game...or perfect anything, for that matter.

All games age. It is inevitable. One day we'll be plugging games into our nervous system. That's why you have to judge them as of the time of their release. Typically, great games hold up okay. I had an opportunity to play the star wars vector game recently, and I was blown away by how fun it still is.

Quote:

Ok, so Mario 64...the tone of the game is obviously going to be a subjective quality. I enjoyed it, even though it was probably a bit young. That being said, compare the graphics (which you admit) and the mechanics to something like Jumping Flash. It really did crush all 3D games that had come before...at least those that I'm aware of. I really have no problem with your disagreement, but I think to take the statement as a joke is a bit much, as the game remains one of the best-reviewed games of all time.

Again, with Zelda...either a plot hooks you or it doesn't. I personally loved the mechanics of the game.....

As for your suggestions of perfect games, I agree with most. I would argue that Street Fighter 2 was at its best in the Turbo Version, that Tomb Raider was a clunky mess (I just couldn't enjoy it due to the controls), and I liked Knights of the Old Republic, but the combat system was enough to keeep me from saying it was actually perfect (by your definition). Seriously, though...no quarrel here. Just thought the dismissal was a bit much.

Both Zelda and Mario 64 were epic achievements technically, but the tone of both games is one of the main reasons I stopped buying Nintendo products, and choose Playstation/XBOX over the 64 (as much as I loved Goldeneye....which I think is FAR superior to both Mario and Zelda). I was so stunned by your pronouncement I went and read a few reveiws of Zelda, and maybe I didn't give the game enough time. The pixieish characters, cutesy targetting system, and overall bright color scheme gave the game a cartoonish feel that turned me off, but the reviews are so gushing, maybe I missed out. The game was absolutely gorgeous...so maybe I was a bit harsh as to Zelda.

For Mario 64, however, I stand by my "WTF?" position. That was a game for elementary school kids, if that. I thought the 3d engine was fantastic, and I enjoyed hopping around and flying, but I want to know at what age you played it.

I didn't realize what a true masterpiece SFII was until years later.
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#92
Quote:

Originally Posted by JuddL

Really? I thought the last boss was maybe the easiest of all.

gdamn I hope you are joking.. unless you used a hintbook or the internet.. I don't know how you could figure out all that stuff and call it easy.


The easiest boss for me was the "Fire Bull". cuz It only took me 15 minutes to beat him.
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#93
Quote:

Originally Posted by neaux

gdamn I hope you are joking.. unless you used a hintbook or the internet.. I don't know how you could figure out all that stuff and call it easy.


The easiest boss for me was the "Fire Bull". cuz It only took me 15 minutes to beat him.

SPOILERS:

After him nailing me with those fire missiles a few times, I realized you're just supposed to duck behind those stone walls until you can reach a tunnel. I was actually dissapointed at how straight forward it was, I expected more. The hardest part for me was figuring out that you're supposed to shoot his shoulder once you climb onto his right hand (I ran around for 20 minutes on that fucking hand trying to find a way to his head).
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#94
Overlord, I'm a little confused about your criticism of Mario 64. You ranked "Super Mario Bros. 3" as a 10/10, but you can't take Mario 64 seriously because of it's childish tone. Doesn't SMB3 have the same tone- colorful world, trippy enemies, cheerful music and sound effects, and so on? I can completely understand why someone would be turned off by Mario 64's kiddie-land feel... but wouldn't that criticism extend to all Mario platformers?

My personal opinion- I've never liked Mario 64 much. I can see its technical brilliance, and the youth-oriented themes don't bother me at all, and I recognize that it's the template for practically every 3D platformer. Problem is, I don't LIKE 3D platformers. The gameplay mechanics always bug the hell out of me. The closest thing to a 3D platformer I enjoy is Metroid Prime, which is about 25% platformer and 50% shooter and 25%... pinball.
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#95
Quote:

Originally Posted by The Sphinx

I can completely understand why someone would be turned off by Mario 64's kiddie-land feel... but wouldn't that criticism extend to all Mario platformers?

My ears are burning...
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#96
Super Mario 64 felt like an adult game with adult parameters that was trapped in a kiddie shell. Super Mario 3 was just a kid's game.

It could also be that I'm not a kid anymore, too.
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#97
Quote:

Originally Posted by Overlord

Super Mario 64 felt like an adult game with adult parameters that was trapped in a kiddie shell. Super Mario 3 was just a kid's game.

Wrong on both counts.
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#98
I had at least five "counts" in my statement. And you are wrong in your single count. Nyah nyah nyah.
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#99
Ok, so you're wrong on five counts.

Mario 64 and Mario 3 were both exactly what all Mario platformers are: Easy enough for the average 4 year old to pick up, play, and get somewhere. hard enough so that the average adult will be challenged, and bright and colorful enough that anybody who drifts by will be attracted.

Where Mario 64 slips a little is the fact that so many of its missions wound up being fetch quests in the end. Granted, they're mostly fun fetch quests, but they still get repetitive, especially near the end where those damn red coin quests are the only way to get into Bowser's tower.

Mario 3 was straight platforming that manages to stay fresh through all 8 levels.

The fact that they were bright and colorful just means it was just that: bright and colorful. The way they play and how condescending they are to the player's age determines how kiddie they are.

Now, you want an example of actual kid's game trapped in "adult parameters"? Play Ultimate Spider-Man sometime.
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Yup
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I play through all the Marios every few months or so. When it comes to 3D platformers, the 64-bit iteration fits the loosest definition of the word perfection. The controls nearly fit even the strictest definition. Ocarina begs an additional playthough every so often as well, but it's the play mechanics that draw me into the world. In that respect I agree with the 10/10 ratings. I agree with most of the other examples brought up as well. Be it genre-defining/refining or just a hell of a lot of fun, "perfection" can still be achieved. You just have to define your subjective take on the word. With true perfection being unattainable, I feel we should make use of the entire scale when reviewing. I prefer to concentrate on the merits of a particular game (or movie, etc) and discuss flaws should they detract from the experience. It is this experience that is the most important.

The game this thread is centered upon is an example of this. Issues with controls and camera movement are valid, though I simply chalk it up to the fact that they are intentional setbacks to completing your monumental task. Cop-out, you say? Maybe. But it didn't feel like it to me. The development team had time to address any issues from their last game, which had similar controls (used quite differently), but didn't change TOO much. The horse is a major addition, to be sure. It took a little while for me to master the act of mounting the horse, but it was never frustrating. I think both games had the intent of conveying the difficulty your hero faced by making menial tasks take a bit of extra effort (but I don't think I had NEARLY as tough a time as Jacob did when it comes to falling from colossi/retracing steps). It added to the realism of the world and the gravity of the situation. GTA, for another take on controls, isn't a shooter. Thus, shooting folks is pretty much always going to be a damn chore. Driving isn't as tight as a racing game, fighting is far sloppier than a fighter, etc. But it's still a great time playing it, frustrations aside. As has been mentioned, the sum of a game's parts is what makes or breaks it.

Again, I think most of the issues folks have about SotC were intentional for the game's overall experience, which was magnificent. Hardware limitations and the length of the initial adventure are valid criticisms, but don't in the least disturb my supreme satisfaction with this game. Perfect? In my book: Yes, if I were a reviewer, I'd rate it a perfect score and stand by it (with a handy definition of the rating scale to assist in deflecting attacks against it). But I'm not, and don't (currently) feel comfortable doing so. Is Doom (the movie) better than Batman Begins (also the movie; what an awful game)? Who cares?! Is Mario (the game) better than Tomb Raider (note to self: choose fewer franchise titles with ties to both movies and games for future examples)? Doesn't matter. Did you have a good time with these entertainment products? Did you have a GREAT time? What you identify as your "favorite" film, game, album, whatever, should be more important than a numerical rating. But only slightly. And don't let them identify YOU. And save it for the "lists and drafts" thread category.

This is not a call to action as this thread has done quite well in regard to what I am about to summarize, but it is a plea to avoid a preoccupation with rating and ranking (as well as ranting and raving, which I see I've been doing): What it comes down to is that whatever method you choose to relate your experience with an entertainment product is going to be subjective anyway, so I recommend, unless you are a paid reviewer, simply RELATING YOUR EXPERIENCE. But don't tell us what you had for breakfast before playing the game/seeing the movie or anything like that. And for God's sake, don't spend as much time thinking about this as I have (but if you do, consider adopting a more concrete thesis should you wish to discuss it on an interweb message board).
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Another thread exterminated.

*pats back*
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I'm pretty conflicted on this, actually.

As an artistic achievement in gaming, it's unparalleled. As an actual game, though, huge chunks of Shadow are just hopelessly broken, namely the camera and the control set-up.

I don't know. Maybe this was a victim of hype for me, but all the fluidity and intuitiveness of ICO seems to be missing here. Hoping the next 12 bosses change my mind...
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A little past the half-way point, and I'm feeling conflicted about it as well. The focal point of the game must absolutely be experienced by anyone who has a PS2. Climbing up these enormous creations and being dragged along for the ride is an experience totally unique to anything I've played. Nothing has matched the sense of scale, weight, and power that is expressed in this game.

But on the flip side, that's literally all there is. Figuring out how to take them down is the entire point of the game. Once you do that, there's nothing left to uncover. Throw in some controls that make your character jump around like Hoppy the Spring-legged Dipshit instead of mounting his horse, and you've got an absolutely must-play title that just isn't worth paying $50 unless you feel you're engaging in some sort of principled activity in the hopes to support games like this.

Perhaps if there were something more to uncover. Maybe if there were some reward for exploring the world around this game (like gleaning more information about the mythology of this place), it would hold more value.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Egg

Perhaps if there were something more to uncover. Maybe if there were some reward for exploring the world around this game (like gleaning more information about the mythology of this place), it would hold more value.

Play it through till the end.
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