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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

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Game Profile
PlayStation 2
Sony Computer Entertainment Japan
GENRE: Adventure
October 18, 2005

The Last Guardian

Team Ico Collection


 Written by Chris Reiter  on January 27, 2005

First Impressions: Some women like 'em big. Others like 'em Colossus-sized.

Beauty, passion, and obsession all rolled into one. That in a way is what playing ICO was like. ICO is one of the greatest achievements in the PlayStation 2's stream of life. This was an adventure game that dazzled with a world so imaginatively real you could sense it all over. A boy with horns had just been locked away in a tower, when he breaks free from his future doom. Finding a princess trapped in the same castle, it occurs to ICO that he must help her from the shadow enemies who apparently will not tolerate her freedom. That of course was then, this is now. Four years in the making, the game ICO fans have been waiting for are finally about to have their wishes granted. From the same team that brought us the tale of the horned boy and the chick with powers, Sony presents Wanda and the Colossus.

Set in another mystical land, the story of Wanda and the Colossus is aimed to unfold upon a boy on horseback carrying a girl named Wanda: and she's dead. Riding forward, the boy eventually comes across a flight of stairsleading to a vast field and an altar. Placing the girl's carcass upon the altar, the boy suddenly hears a voice. Telling him that there is a way to revive the girl, the boy hears the voice say that in order to accomplish this feat, he must first defeat an army of giant creatures. Then and only then can he bring this sleeping beauty back to life. And so, for whatever connection this boy holds to this girl, he hops on his horse and flies off to find and fight these beasts of overwhelming power.

For those who don't actually remember ICO very well, or haven't played the game (there was a reason why many considered ICO to be 2001's sleeper hit), ICO was heavy on puzzle and heavy on combat. The basics were as ICO, your task was to solve riddles concerning pathways that would lead not only ICO, but princess Yorda and him safely across the castle grounds so she could use her powers to unlock doorways. The only thing stopping ICO and she were shadow demons that would frequently try to suck Yorda down into the depths of the ground below. Wanda and the Colossus, though not actually a sequel to ICO, will follow some of the same type of gameplay qualities ICO before it possessed. For example, the main character of the boy in the game will act like ICO did before him where the horse is kind of like his Yorda. The horse gives the boy speed to ride up to creatures in the game and climb onto them. Some of these monsters will be slow moving, while others are fast. In certain cases, the horse will be able to dodge obstacles on its own while the boy (being you) is able to focus on attacking a creature with a bow and arrow weapon.

What these goliath monstrosities actually are, is an assortment of giant rock creatures. Ranging from humanoids to a birdlike species, it'll be up to the hero in this story to figure out ways to destroy each of them. He might be a small person, but even ants can crawl up people. Wanda's concept basically is to have the boy ride along on horse back through giant fields, awaken the creature, then defeat them. This primary objective will get completed by literally clinging onto a giant, and striking them down at certain points on their body. In one example, there's a giant who wields a blade weapon. By drawing its attention and letting it pound its sword into the ground, the boy will be able to climb onto the blade and up its body in order to discern how to beat this massive pile of rock. Don't think of the gameplay as simple, though -- latching onto a giant and actually scaling it will be a shaky ride as it's able to walk around while simultaneously is trying to squash the boy in the process. You on the other hand will view its body in a sort of maze pattern, as you'll find distinct points where you must injure it in order to continue along the path.

Very much in common with ICO, Wanda and the Colossus will be established as having none other than wondrously detailed visuals. Remember the surreal and lifelike polish ICO brought to the table, with doves, grass, water, and even sparkling sunshine outside and natural castle dwellings inside? In Wanda and the Colossus, the game is looking to take that same type of reality and update it for a new cause. Bigger and broader in design, immense fields will be the playing grounds for the boy, his horse, and the golems he's aiming to climb. Texture-filled mountainous beasts, storm cloud-ridden skies, and a whole extravagant world to explore are surely looking to give Wanda a very attentive eye for detail, and lots of it.

Final Thoughts
Undoubtedly one of the finest examples for how to make an unforgettable gaming masterpiece, ICO is one of Sony's best-ever games. It's a shame more people haven't experienced ICO already. If you haven't yet, you should. If you have, you should definitely play through it again. But, getting back to Wanda...this game, this Wanda and the Colossus game so far is definitely one of the titles on the top of my personal anticipated list. Bringing down an army of giant stone creatures? That's the kind of concept that immediately brings the words "AWESOME" and "GIMME" to mind. All you ICO lovers out there, Wanda and the Colossus is tentatively scheduled for a fall 2005 release. Brace yourselves. This one is going to be hot.

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