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Dec. 28, 2005
Shadow of the Colossus - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price

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These early graphics look superb.
If you haven't played ICO then you have, in our opinion here at Future Gamez at least, missed one of the best games release on the Playstation 2. The game wasn't about the most polygons, the best times or the biggest weapons. At its heart Sony Japan's title is one of the most pure and enjoyable puzzle solving titles ever. Combine that with some of the most impressive artistry ever and it was a receipe for success. Indeed the reviews were stunning but that never translated to sales. Today the game is one of the most sought after on the second hand market with the game often selling on EBay in second hand condition for as much as what it cost new only a couple of years ago.

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Riding across the plains.
While many expected this game to be ICO 2 it's not the case as the developers have unveiled a quite different, but equally unique game titled Shadow of the Colossus (or Wanda and Collosus in NTSC territories). The storyline in itself isn't the most original, but sets up the game nicely. The game is centered around a young man in an ancient land. One day he discovers the lifeless body of a young girl whose soul is trapped in his horse. After traveling the lands he enters a large shrine which, upon entering, looks like endless fields. He soon discovers (through a god-like voice) that the only way to revive the girl is to defeat giant beasts that live in the lands.

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Beside the enemy.
Using your horse you need to swiftly travel over plains to awaken and then catch up to these giants. When you get close enough you simply press the R1 button to jump onto the monsters and climb up them to attack their weak spots. Inevitably these are at the furthest point from where you start, or at least the most difficult spot to reach. Sounds pretty easy really right? Well its not. As you're climbing the monsters they keep on moving and you must quickly adapt to their new configuration. Ledges that were there disappear while new ones are created. It really isn't too dissimilar to progressing though an ever changing maze.

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Attacking the weak spot.
The lands are deserted from all other characters making it a very desolate place to be besides the enemies. While rushinh through the plains your horse demonstrates some intelligence by avoiding obsticles and following paths. The range of enemies in Shadow of the Colossus is impressive. While some look like giant human-type vehicles, or colossus', others are more bird-like by taking to the skies. Each has its own personality and unique methods to be defeated.

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Those monsters are massive!
Visuals in Shadow of the Colossus really are quite superb. Once again the development team has retained that wonderful ICO style of graphics - that is, simple at first appearance, but stunning. You really have to see Shadow of the Colossus in motion to get a sense of scale for the enemies. Some are absolutely massive. Animation on both the hero and enemies is stunning with some superb touches to both. One difference between this game and ICO is that while the former game was based in the close confines of a castle this game takes place on wide open spaces.

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Monsters look wonderful.
Without a doubt Shadow of the Colossus is one of the titles we are most looking forward to here at Future Gamez. Forget about the racing titles, the first person shooters and the GTA inspired adventure titles. This game looks set to break the mould and in the process create a game that will hopefully reach a larger audience then the developers previous title ICO (which will also see a re-release in February!). Shadow of the Colossus is a unique game with some wonderful ideas that if implemented well could become the game of the year.

Shadow of the Colossus was released in America on October 18th, 2005 and in Japan a few days later on October 27th. The game has received massive critical praise and fortunately sales seem to be quite strong as a result. PAL gamers will sadly be waiting until February with Australia given a date of February 16th. What's more, Sony are releasing the title at $79.95. Time to party.