TheArcadeKid

Anyone else disappointed?

24 posts in this topic

Oh, boy. I first played Shadow of the Colossus on the PS2 a few years after it came out, and although I had certain issues with it - most notably the ending which left me cold and slightly bemused - it went on to become, in my memory, one of the best games I'd ever played. It was my go-to example of gaming as art, made all the more substantial because, unlike the likes of Journey and other indie titles, this one actually had the makings of a traditional, triple-A video game. 

 

Revisiting it on PS4 for the first time in eight years (I never got round to the PS3 remaster), I've just beaten Colossi 11 and it's fair to say I'm largely disillusioned. There are moments of sheer awe - grabbing the shoulderblades of Colossi 5 and soaring up with it into the air, or likewise grabbing the tail of Colossi 7 and plunging into the depths of a lake - but far more often are horrendous failings on both mechanical and artistic levels. Perhaps the biggest problem, gameplay wise, lies with the colossi which heavily rely on AI in order to defeat them. This becomes painfully clear with the fourth colossi, in which you have to hope the four-legged bastard will actually approach the cave you're lurking in and stay there while you sneak out of another one and run up to it from behind. Colossi 9 has the same problem, where you have to lure it to geysers and again hope that it stays there long enough to flip over. It's tedious, immersion-breaking and completely at odds with the grandeur the game apparently wants to achieve. 

 

I understand that this isn't God of War - you're not supposed to feel like a badass. Most of the fights aren't meant to be played quickly or fiercely, and the colossi themselves are supposed to feel more like animals than enemies. And yet, there's often no avoiding a frustrating slog of an experience as a result of this. More than that, it impacts a multitude of artistic intentions. When a Colossi's AI proves non-responsive, I don't feel it's docile or animalistic - I feel it's stupid and needs to hurry up so I can slaughter it. There's numerous other discrepancies that strike me now as bizarre: we've got a gloriously barren, depressive open world, but the minute you latch onto a colossi, the music transitions into something undeniably triumphant and heroic. For all the moral ambiguity of Wander, there certainly doesn't seem to be anything highlighting this during the actual fights. I haven't reached the ending yet but I imagine it'll leave me as underwhelmed as it did with the original release. Meantime, over halfway through the game I've come to believe that the minimalist storytelling owes more to laziness than anything else. You have an empty, virtually contextless storyline for 90% of the time, and in the last 10% a lot of shit goes down that tries to manipulate your response. Yeah, I don't think it'll win me over. 

 

I'm genuinely curious how others feel revisiting Shadow of the Colossus after all this time, or maybe even playing it for the first time. Is mine a case of blinding nostalgia and high expectations? Or are there genuine faults with the game that seem to have been ignored for so long? I really did want to cherish my playthrough - it's incredibly rare for me to buy games this close to their original release, and I even waited until I had time off work to dive in - but somehow, it's gone from a beloved title to a muddled disaster. 

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I actually love SotC as much as I did on the PS2 which was a lot. It's definitely not one of my favorite games of all time but except for some control-precision issues I had, nothing really disturbed me in the remake.

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I dunno...

Never played the original or any version before.

Had a blast even playing it more than once for Platinum.

A really great game, i love how the emphasis is on the boss battles and that they cut all the other stuff you'd usually see in a game before reaching a boss.

Just making your way to the bosses is a great experience.

Music is superb, probably one of the best i've ever heard in a game.

I never felt frustrated by AI in this game, 4th one was real easy for me even on time attack normal and hard. (was the least interesting one for me too).

The one fuck up in AI i did notice, is with Cenobia. You'd reach a certain colum where he just stands there, no matter how many arrows you shoot at him. (Solution is to fall down and attract his attention, kinda annoying)

Also that piece of shit Celosia stun locking you to hell if you dare let him hit you once, while Wander taking his pretty little time getting up.

 

Overall, i don't regret buying this one bit.

It's a must have if you never played it.

Can't say if it is if you have, since... it was my first time and all that.

 

 

Edited by SnizelPS
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Quote

Revisiting it on PS4 for the first time in eight years.

I think this is your main issue here. The game isn't anything like you remember, yet the mechanics & AI haven't changed at all.

Quote

There's numerous other discrepancies that strike me now as bizarre: we've got a gloriously barren, depressive open world, but the minute you latch onto a colossi, the music transitions into something undeniably triumphant and heroic. For all the moral ambiguity of Wander, there certainly doesn't seem to be anything highlighting this during the actual fights.

This is more of a personal nitpick than an actual flaw. The music is great! And it portrays the heroic struggle that Wander is going through in order to bring back the one he loves.

 

 

The game is what you make it. I personally love this game and think it's beautiful!

Edited by RedSkyKing
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I'm assuming you played the western release on ps2 and not the Japanese one back in the day. Both ps3 and ps4 ports are based off the Japanese version, which was a lot harder. The colossi moved and shook a lot more, making defeating them much harder. I know I welcomed and enjoyed the challenge. I guess if you want easy mode, you'll have to stick to the ps2 version, otherwise, I think you're going to be very lonely on your viewpoint here.

Edited by Phil
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Nope. Gold standard for the way remakes (or remaster, depending on which bandwagon for this argument of semantics you should fall under) should be handled going forward. Played and replayed the original extensively during my college years, so much so that I skipped the PS3 version since I was still playing the PS2 version. In my opinion, Bluepoint did everything they had to with this game: update the game enough with the best technical presentation available for this game, while still preserving all the original intent of the original.

 

Don't agree with you at all about the music, though. It's very in the moment, with the ominous cues of the orchestra as your indecisive protagonist peers upon a waking mountain that has just appeared before him, trying to figure out what will make it fall, to the heroic thematic boom as your Wanderer is scaling it with all the righteousness backing him from the moment he entered the Forbidden Lands -- nevermind the completely selfish reason for it all or how there is no real morally right reason to be doing what you are doing, but in the moment, you are David taking down Goliath in the most epic way possible -- and THEN: the orchestra dials back into a somber track as the beast majestically falls down lifeless, leaving you questioning "what have I done?" Still the best example of audio/visual design, especially when factoring in the intent that seems to be hardcoded into the actual game, it's only enhanced with all the bells and whistles from today's technology.

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On 25/02/2018 at 9:42 PM, Asvinia said:

I haven't played the remake myself yet, but what you're describing sounds a lot like nostalgia-vision.

Most games don't feel quite as amazing when you play them again years later. Maybe this type of game doesn't interest you anymore? Or maybe now that you're older you're just able to point out it's flaws better than a younger person could. For Colossi 4 though, I always found it easier to wait for it to crouch down to look for you and jump on it's dangly face bits. Though I always had that issue with number 9.

 

I also find playing on a tiny TV like mine (19") makes what would be amazing scenes, look kind of 'meh'.

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I admit that this may be the case. It's a combination of being a harsher critic, and of course that the game of 2018 comes nowhere near to matching the game of my memories. A shame, really. I've also got Final Fantasy VII downloaded on PS4, and haven't touched the original for about a decade. Perhaps I'd better lower my expectations for that one as well...

On 25/02/2018 at 10:20 PM, SnizelPS said:

Also that piece of shit Celosia stun locking you to hell if you dare let him hit you once, while Wander taking his pretty little time getting up.

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Yeah, fuck that guy. It was almost as bad as Silver in Sonic '06. Almost

On 26/02/2018 at 6:11 AM, Phil said:

I'm assuming you played the western release on ps2 and not the Japanese one back in the day. Both ps3 and ps4 ports are based off the Japanese version, which was a lot harder. The colossi moved and shook a lot more, making defeating them much harder. I know I welcomed and enjoyed the challenge. I guess if you want easy mode, you'll have to stick to the ps2 version, otherwise, I think you're going to be very lonely on your viewpoint here.

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It's not about difficulty, because the game is, for the most part, dead easy. I'm actually getting through the remake much faster than the original PS2 version, despite not remember how to defeat most of the colossi. My point is that for the many colossi that have to behave in a certain way in order for you to defeat them, the battles become inherently tedious. You've already figured out how to kill the thing, but it takes twice as long to do so because it just - won't - move. To me it's an archaic game design that hasn't aged well. In being forced to recognise the (slow and meandering) attack patterns of many colossi, and having to wait for them to play out before you can make your move, you're continually being reminded that this is, without a doubt, a video game. 

On 26/02/2018 at 6:31 AM, iamjax said:

Don't agree with you at all about the music, though. It's very in the moment, with the ominous cues of the orchestra as your indecisive protagonist peers upon a waking mountain that has just appeared before him, trying to figure out what will make it fall, to the heroic thematic boom as your Wanderer is scaling it with all the righteousness backing him from the moment he entered the Forbidden Lands -- nevermind the completely selfish reason for it all or how there is no real morally right reason to be doing what you are doing, but in the moment, you are David taking down Goliath in the most epic way possible -- and THEN: the orchestra dials back into a somber track as the beast majestically falls down lifeless, leaving you questioning "what have I done?" Still the best example of audio/visual design, especially when factoring in the intent that seems to be hardcoded into the actual game, it's only enhanced with all the bells and whistles from today's technology.

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You've highlighted the exact issue I have with the music - it's inconsistent. Wander isn't a hero, so why does the music treat him as such when he's repeatedly stabbing a colossi to death? I can make a comparison to God of War here, very similar thematically to Shadow: he's an anti-hero trying to right a personal wrong without any thought to the rest of the world. Yet God of War's soundtrack, across all the games, never reaches the same tones as Shadow; it never celebrates what the character is doing, which is what Shadow seems to do the moment you start climbing a colossi. Having such majestic tracks, immediately followed by ominous tones after a colossi's defeat, sixteen times without failure, doesn't strike me as a sensible artistic decision. I admit that the music by itself, however, is very impressive. 

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I was not disappointed revisiting FF7, but I hated how I wasn't even required to play the game properly to get the trophies. :( 

On 2/26/2018 at 7:11 AM, Phil said:

I'm assuming you played the western release on ps2 and not the Japanese one back in the day. Both ps3 and ps4 ports are based off the Japanese version, which was a lot harder. The colossi moved and shook a lot more, making defeating them much harder. I know I welcomed and enjoyed the challenge. I guess if you want easy mode, you'll have to stick to the ps2 version, otherwise, I think you're going to be very lonely on your viewpoint here.

 

Are you sure it's Japanese version and not European? Not much difference between Japanese and European, and I think there's an exploit in the Japanese version making it easier.

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" The frame rate being locked at 30 causes the controls to behave differently. The colossi don't actually shake more or anything of that sort, it's just that there are more physics and input calculations being done per second and the result is the sense that it's harder to cling on. "

 

I'm pretty sure the Japanese version wasn't different to the western one. This has always sounded like the most reasonable explaination to me

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I played the Playstation 3 remake, it's on my backlog of games, I plan to finish the trophies for, someday. I enjoyed the PS3 remaster, but I think there was a missed opportunity here, to make this version even better than the original/PS3 release. I mean besides the visuals, because I definitely prefer the look of the PS4 remaster. This game is the ideal way to introduce someone, to Shadow of the Colossus. It's the game I remember only better visually and in other little ways, like animation, such as how Wander can jump onto his horse Argo. And the new trophy set, makes it feel like a fresh, trophy hunting experience.

Edited by James_Tonto
Spelling error fix
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I'm playing SotC for the first time. I have done multiple play throughs of which only once focusing on the cinematics. Or should I say cutscenes since the game is pretty much a video scene game. 

 

Gameplaywise, most of the time you are riding a horse and rest of the time climbing vines or monsters to stab them a couple of times to weakpoints. Only the fun part of that, to me, was the stabbing, which is about 5% of the actual time spent playing the game. Then again, if video games can be sub-categorized as video scene games then this is an AAA video scene game, but definitely this is not a masterpiece of a video game.
Camera controls do not by any means meet the criteria of a masterpiece. They are jerky and automated controls that shouldn't be in a remastered game. Of course, an argument of keeping the old camera controls can be valid to some degree, but, in my opinion, remaking a game should be an improvement in all aspects, even in camera controls. Option for disabling automated camera would have given this game a huge boost in my review score.

 

Spoiler

When it comes to story, it's hard for me to say if it's rich enough to be one of the top ones. Starts out dull until you reach the end, but throughout the game you have the classic plot of saving a female. Without knowing the story, one of my guesses was right about what's going to happen in the end. So, it was too inevitable. The beauty in the story is that the end is so powerful and full of meanings that it can fulfill empty holes in the storytelling. Which kind of empty molds it does fill, depends on how the viewer assimilates the ending.
Even though the story is splendid, it feels like undone. What are the names of the colossi, what is Dormin's true motive, are the colossi formed same way as Wander did, who are the people riding the horses, are the arthropod legs sticking out of demonic Wander's back meant to resemble mother figure etc. Remaster could have change it a bit, unless the death of a heart of their development ceased it.

Religious references of rebirth and devil make a good story.
Also, it's pretty hard to review a story of a remaster by obvious reason of being a remake.

 

From graphical point of view, this is a masterpiece by my standards. It's just top notch.

 

Lastly, quality assurance seems to be low-funded. Without knowing much about the challenges of developing games, feels like this part of the development could have ensured better functional product. There were too many glitches to even list in this forum reply that could have been probably fixed.

 

I can't say I was disappointed in the remake, because I didn't expect much else than general reviews of being a masterpiece. But I do am disappointed in wide range of critics claiming this to be a masterpiece, when clearly it has fundamental flaws.
For the sake of dull moments, poor camera controls, lack of engaging storytelling, movement glitches and overall iterative gameplay, I rate this version of the game 84/100. Currently, I can't rate the original game.

Edited by vex1993
Grammar
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Shadow of the Colossus has been my #1 favorite game since I first played it back in 2006.  Starting this up again on the PS4 Pro with 60 FPS brought back a flood of emotions and replaying the whole thing has proven again to me why I love this game so goddamn much.  The peaceful trek to each colossus is just the break you need from each adrenaline-packed colossus fight.  The colossi themselves being more animal-like versus well-programmed AI is a bonus to me in my opinion.  Still feels like they have personality in that way instead of being mindless drones.  The story-telling isn't only in the actual presented story.  A lot of it has to do with your own perceptions, your own fights with each colossi, etc.  You complain about colossus 9 where it's difficult to get him on the geyser while it's one of my favorite boss fights due to all the explosions, dust, and lasers being shot at you as you ride around on Agro praying for dear life that you dodge them just in time.  It's okay if the game isn't for you, but it's a masterpiece in my eyes and no game has dethroned it from my personal #1 in 13 years.  

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Posted (edited)

I grew up with the Ps2 version and it opened my eyes to gaming as an art form. I fell in love with EVERYTHING about it. The ps3 remaster was great as well and I still felt the sense of awe, and wonder and breathtaking beauty of the world. I haven't played SotC in about.... 3-4 years and just tossed in the Ps4 remake last night at about 12am. It just called to me somehow. And when it loaded up and the opening cutscene played and Wander began to make his trek across the bridge... Wow! That slow pan of the camera that revealed the enormity of the bridge and the precise layout of the architecture.... I mean I felt like that 11 year old kid again. My jaw dropped. I literally said, "Oh my god....". It's amazing that it looks EVEN better than I remembered. Playing it for a few hours I actually fought the first two colossi and then Agro and I ran around the world. Just exploring. And there were several moments where I said, "I don't think I've even been here before in any of my playthroughs." It was magical to feel like I was experiencing things for the first time again. There have been a couple gameplay issues for me, and maybe it is just the nostalgia talking, but I LOVE this game. And sometimes it stops feeling like a game and begins to feel like a sentient thing. Like this place is real in some far off land. Exploring ancient dwellings and aqueducts and "what became of this ruin?" Or "What was this temple used for?" It's just a massive treat and I cannot gush about this piece of art enough. Is it for everyone? No. Close friends of mine don't like it. Some just find it alright. And that is okay. As individuals we love what we love. And if someone has a differing opinion or taste, that its just fine. This is MY journey, and experience. I'm just a stranger in a stranger land, and my best friend is my steed.

Edited by D-Square23
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I don't know (haven't played the PS4 version) but it can't be as bad as playing the game on the PS3.

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Have never played any version so can’t comment but the PS4 version is on my to play list. I have read through this and it’s refreshing to read a thoughtful, respectful, civilised and intelligent exchange of viewpoints. 

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8 minutes ago, Ringtonwhaledog said:

Have never played any version so can’t comment but the PS4 version is on my to play list. I have read through this and it’s refreshing to read a thoughtful, respectful, civilised and intelligent exchange of viewpoints. 

I love genuine discussion. Games should bring people together, even if there are differing viewpoints. If someone hates this game, I prefer to understand why and hear their reasons rather than just hurl insults. Sometimes a game matches some people's brain waves and sometimes not. If someone hates your favorite game, that's alright. Why should someone who hates it detract from your enjoyment? There are plenty of others who share your opinion still. *Shrugs* I say all this to say, I agree with your statement. I love the thoughtfulness, respect and civilness going on here. :)

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For me it's without a question one of the best games i've ever played. Kinda makes me sad that you didn't enjoyed as much as I do, but well, tastes are tastes.

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Unfortunately I have to say I'm a bit disappointed too. I really liked the story, the fights against the colossi and the graphics are the super phenomenally beautiful. I've played quite a few games that looked imo fantastic but this is maybe even over the top yet, absolutely mind blowing. Everything looks fucking gorgeous. But two major elements were not good. These are the handlings of the horse plus especially the camera. And the other thing is that there is nothing much to do except riding and fighting against those giant colossi. Wish there would have been small enemies to kill, maybe little villages to visit or treasures to find. I know the game wants to focus on other aspects but this is what I'm really missing. 

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The remake doesn't really capture the essence of the original, Fumito Ueda had a vision and he shaped his 2006 masterpiece around it.

 

Bluepoint did a phenomenal job making the old game rise and shine, but in the process removed some of it's characteristics: they removed the bloomy/gloomy yellowish tint and greatly turned down the brightness. This is most notorious when talking about the edges.

 

I know that Ueda was (and still is) busy at the moment (when Bluepoint was working on this) but they seriously should had asked for his guidance, this isn't an Ueda work and it shows.

 

It still is a phenomenal remake (9/10) but the original is and will always be my favorite game ever.

 

Also, some other veteran fans complained about the changes in Wander's design but I'm completely fine with it.

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1 hour ago, BlitzkriegHottie said:

The remake doesn't really capture the essence of the original, Fumito Ueda had a vision and he shaped his 2006 masterpiece around it.

 

Bluepoint did a phenomenal job making the old game rise and shine, but in the process removed some of it's characteristics: they removed the bloomy/gloomy yellowish tint and greatly turned down the brightness. This is most notorious when talking about the edges.

 

I know that Ueda was (and still is) busy at the moment (when Bluepoint was working on this) but they seriously should had asked for his guidance, this isn't an Ueda work and it shows.

 

It still is a phenomenal remake (9/10) but the original is and will always be my favorite game ever.

 

Also, some other veteran fans complained about the changes in Wander's design but I'm completely fine with it.

 

I really like the remaster as well but for me it doesn't capture the feeling of the PS2/PS3 version for other reasons. It just looks too good. :) The feeling of isolation was much stronger in the older versions due to its limitations. The PS4 title looks to "lively". When the grass and the trees move in the wind combined wth other aspects of this game it just doesn't capture the feeling of isolation as strong. In the old version you felt way more lost and lonely which was crucial for my first experience with SotC. Nevertheless I think I would tell everyone to play this version. 

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Nope ever since I played the remake I didn't see a point in going back and playing the original or the HD remastered.

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