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on December 19, 2013
Remember back when "Artisic" games involved actual gameplay and not running around a space looking at pretty things?

These two are undying relics of that age.

Ico, more of a puzzle game than a action game, has you literally holding the hand of a blind girl, trying to lead her out of a castle complete with traps, and shadow creatures trying to take her back. If you leave her alone for too long or she's captured, she's wisked back to her cage where you have to start all over again. Your weapon against these shadow creatures? A wooden sword. Puzzles involve both characters sometimes, and are more than often timed, with the setting as a beautifully dark yet crumbling castle.

Shadow of the Colossus is another beautiful game, whose settings are wide expanses of plains, but the plains are the actual setting. The monsters themselves, each Colossus stands more than ten stories, and are a setting within themselves. Playing as a young man trying to wake his beloved from a coma, you're tasked to climb these huge demigod sized beasts, ranging from walking up right, to on all fours, to swimming, and even flying, and attack their weakpoints. It's a platforming game meets rodeo, where you have to hang on to dear life as you climb, the colossuses trying to shake you off the entire time.

Both games came at the beginning and the end of the PS2's lifespan respectfively, however, each game is beautifully designed, with backdrops that will just make you gasp. Cleaned up with extra features on the PS3, both games are must haves for real gamers. Both offer different sorts of challenges than normally seen in current video games, and the feeling of taking down a HUGE monster colossus is reward in itself. The difficulty of both games does ramp up. with Ico and SotC needing a logical eye to sort out some of the tougher parts.

These games are well worth more than $20 in quality, and a must have for anyone's library.
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on September 24, 2017
Still one of the most influential open-world games of my childhood, only remastered.. The remaster has a few bugs and glitches though.. but aside that, it's all nostalgia appealing. Zelda meets Lord of the Rings.
This game is damn perfect, like.. you can't even lightly critique it, anything else than controls.
Little to no voice acting, no annoying, repetitive background music, no dumb character archetypes.. just the wind and cries of birds.. The scenery is also something of beauty to admire. Just epic, ground-breaking battles and a rich underscore. This game is a solid 9/10, imo.
Haven't played ICO, I just bought this for SOC.
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on August 28, 2017
When I recently heard of Shadow of the Colossus and ICO and how good the games were I just had to find out for myself. I have to say when I played them I have a whole new respect for games of their calibre. In Shadow of the Colossus your main objective is to save your girlfriend/lover at all costs even so much a making a deal with the proverbial/literal devil. Your only obstacles to your objective are these giants known as Colossi. When you fight/defeat them you get the feeling you are doing a terrible thing and you are. The devil you made a deal with is imprisoned by the colossi with them acting as keys to said prison and with each death that devil is one step closer to freedom. It definitely made me question was what I was doing "just" or was I just mindlessly murdering innocent creatures? It was a major role reversal from your standard mario or legend of zelda game that followed very silmiar formulas, but you at least knew who your enemy was. This game however pushished you by making you watch what your hubris had caused.
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on July 29, 2015
Having played the originals on the PS2, I can understand why some would ask, why get this, its just and upscale in graphics right? Sure enough however, I feel that this game has defined an entire genre of games, and has so much replay-ability. Considering the Last Guardian is soon to come out in the future, its a great time to play these games to understand some of the world and universe that these games take place. Be sure to play it in the Order of Shadow of the Colossus and then ICO, while they were released in different orders, the developers have confirmed that the stories take place in that order. Personally, I would recommend that even if you have played the older version, pick this one up for your collection.
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This collection is one of my favorites on the PS3. I played the originals of both years ago, but didn't finish either. ICO has aged well, it's still a fun, slightly whimsical action-RPG that I always thought reminded me of the Legend of Zelda "Link" games on the SNES. Shadow of Colossus has challenged me for years. I'm not the best in the world at button tapping, but it's well worth the frustration. I never thought I would like the basis of it since you know, there's no little enemies between you and the bosses, but it has been a fun game for me. I had various problems with the boneheaded camera, especially when riding the horse, but besides that both games are near perfect. This would be an excellent collection for a younger gamer/early teens who is just getting into RPGs and games that require some thinking.
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on October 27, 2011
In short: I'm glad I finally picked these 2 up.

Despite hearing about these games for years, I'd never tried them. I didn't have a PS2 during their heyday (I was an XBox kid), and heard about them much later, spoken of by others with reverence. I'd always meant to pick them up, (I now have a backward-compatible PS3), never got around to it, but now that this HD version is out, I guess it's ok that I waited.

ICO:

A brilliant platforming game. Having played the God of War games before ICO, it's plainly obvious to me now where many of those games' platforming elements came from. The animations are very fluid and realistic. Meaning characters sometimes jerk suddenly or stumble as real people would when trying to make certain movements. As opposed to most games where characters just sort of float. It's very cool, kind of reminds me of the original Prince of Persia. The thing that's really striking about this game though is how little is actually explained to you. There is NO HUD whatsoever, at any time. There's no tutorial to explain buttons. I didn't know I could perform one action until halfway through the game, when I needed to do it. And having to bring your companion along is immensely rewarding. You really get attached to her.

Shadow of the Colossus:

I am not all the way through yet. But it is every bit as good as ICO, though it is different in many ways. The animation style is the same - much more like actual human movements than video game characters. The Colossi are HUGE, and immensely challenging to climb. Especially at first when you have no clue how they work. Unlike ICO there is some help available. If you haven't progressed in a Colossus fight for a while, a voice from the heavens will offer a hint. It's usually just something small though, to maybe point out something you missed. There is typically still a lot of work for you to do even after this hint. As I understand it, the 16 Colossi are the ONLY enemies in the entire game. So you can imagine how challenging each of them are, and how long they can take to fight. But it is AWESOME doing so. The last one I fought was the coolest so far - and this has been the case with each one. They just keep getting better.

This is just my feelings on these games. If you want more info on how they play, and the content, etc., look them up on a gaming reviews site I guess.
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on March 9, 2014
I played shadow of colossus when I was young so I loved replaying it again. Its such an amazing game, very beautiful as well especially now that it's been remastered. The controls are a little funky though and Ico should have gotten better in the charts with how awesome the story, graphics, and game play are. Definitely worth keeping and adding to the collection. Ico is better than it was on the PS2, the illusion of depth is better and Colossus feels like it was made for the PS3 due to added polygons although the characters look a little blocky. They are beautiful classics that were redone well and although I feel re-releases are over priced money grabs by the publishers... this one really deserves it and was well done. They did it right this time, particularly in Shadow of the Colossus... The frame rates are much smoother than the original PS2 release, and the atmosphere/presence of the Colossi carries more impact and suspension of disbelief since it's not interrupted by the jagged lines that were in the originals. This 2 for 1 is a great deal~!
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on August 19, 2017
BEST GAME EVER CREATED! Oh my gosh, i have been waiting for YEARS to play this game again, and finally got a PS3 so i could. Thanks so much for making my life wonderful again. ICO has been hard to get into, and it was as a teenager too. Its fun, but i a definitely in it for Shadow of the Colossus. OHMYGOSH. Its the best ever. thanks (:
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on September 19, 2012
I played these two games when they first came out and still have them. In fact, I still play Shadow on my PS2 from time to time. But now the HD remake is here and the graphics have been given a great deal of polish, making both games look amazing. Don't be fooled though, even with the HD upgrade, the games do show signs of age.

Out of the two, Shadow is probably my favourite and the one I've been recently playing through remote play on my PS Vita. To use remote play, you must first update your Vita and then the game itself. The quality of the game and frames will depend on your network and the signal from both your PS3 and PS Vita.

Both games share a key feature. They both have an ominous feel to it that will keep you glued to the controller. The background sounds are creepy and quiet, not really sure how to explain it, but it gives the games a unique feeling.

If there's something I could complaint about, would be ICO's controls, that at times can be frustrating, the feeling is gone after a few minutes of trial and error. Players new to the series may have mixed feelings, because at heart, this is a PS2 game. Fans of the series will pleased to see the great games looking better than ever, but most importantly, to see that the games have not been altered in any way that would ruin the great original experience.
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on July 16, 2012
What is there to really say about these two? They are nothing short of fantastic games but mind you that they are not for everyone.

The following may contain spoilers.

Ico is a wonderful tale of a seemingly ordinary boy who's put under extraordinary circumstances. Solve puzzles and live out a beautiful story of honest and simple friendship. Early in Ico's adventures he encounters a strange young woman whom he must protect and guide. When I say guide, I don't mean that figuratively. Ico generally needs to take her by the hand and lead her to the next location, but every so often she'll take initiative and run after something interesting. This is a very puzzle oriented game, so don't expect high action or anything like that.

Shadow of the Colossus is in fact a prequel to Ico, this time following a young man who seeks to save his loved one by making a deal with the god of death. To do so he must defeat massive beasts, the Colossi, who are puzzles of their own, with vast sweeping landscapes and beautiful adventures along the way, culminating in the most epic and climactic battles between man and mountains. Every encounter is new and a challenge to solve, not just win.

As for this HD rerelease, the graphics are quite stunning. They will not match a new game today by any means, but this is a wonderful addition to my collection. If you've played either of these before, I highly recommend buying this set.

P.S. THE COVER IS REVERSIBLE! The original Ico art on the front, Shadow of the Colossus on the back. The 'standard' box art shown here is really not that exciting.
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