Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Genre Character of the Week: Ico

So as I’ve been working my way through the PS3 catalogue of games I came across one called ICO/Shadow of the Colossus at in a bin at a grocery store for $20. I figured that although the games listed were PS2 games upgrade to work on the PS3, they came out to $10 each and hopefully someone thought they were good enough to be put on the newer system. (NOTE: After writing the review, it became apparent to me that both games actually rank highly on many gamers best games ever lists – but I was unaware of this until after writing the post)

Anyway, I haven’t touched Shadow of the Colossus yet, but I did just finish the other one and can now introduce you to this week’s genre character: ICO.

The game is incredibly minimal in back story, so here is just about everything you know about the character: he’s about ten-years-old, he comes from a village in some sort of fantasy world, he has horns (see picture), and because he has horns, his village has sacrificed him to die of starvation in some creepy sort of statue in a giant spooky castle.

Due to a mild earthquake the statue breaks, freeing Ico, who then proceeds to try and escape from the castle. Along the way he finds a strange girl named Yorda who he spends the majority of the game trying to help escape (she can be both intriguing and incredibly frustrating throughout), and the majority of the game is sort of like Myst but with fighting involved. Basically you solve puzzles and move Ico and the girl through the castle looking for a way to escape.

Although you (the player) use the character of Ico to solve the various puzzles to escape from the castle, as a character this little kid is really smart and very dedicated to rescuing his friend (even though they don’t speak the same language).

In the end the game took me two weekends to finish (so it was pretty short), but at the same time it was visually stunning and well worth the purchase, and for me a big part of that was due to the title character.

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