System: Ps2,PS3/Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment/Developer: Team ICO/Players: 1/Initial Release Date: 10-18-05
Over time, you see something in videogame development that turns the tide. Suddenly everyone wants to ride that wave. Then we get used to it, almost to the point of conditioning. Everyone expects a game to have a feature. Think two genres, the Hack n Slash, and the Platformer. In the hack n slash, you expect huge waves of enemies, crazy combos, and some riddles you might solve. Now think about platformers. You expect crazy level design, tricky jumps, and a spin attack. These have become essentials to their respective genres. And then Shadow of the Colossus comes in and dares us to change our perception of these genres. Defying the usual conventions of game design, it dared to do away with a few essentials to drive forth its minimalist approach and to engage the player in a way that hasn’t been since in a long time. How did it work out?
Two trademarks, from two companies, for two hard to grasp games got renewed. First was The Last Guardian from Sony. The ever-tardy game from Team ICO had its trademark expire, making everyone fearful that the game was going to be cancelled. The fear was made worse when reports arose that Kenji Kaido, a Producer at Team ICO, had left Sony and the team. It the midst of all the fear and speculation, Sony reports that they had actually renewed their trademark the same day it expired. So there’s still hope yet for the game’s release.
The other trademark that got renewed was Skies of Arcadia. NeoGAF user Jcgamer60 unearthed a trademark renewal form from Trademarkia. The trademark was renewed on July 11, 2012. One would think that this would mark a Summer release. But today’s Labor Day, and nothing’s come out of it. Fall release perhaps? This high-flying sky-pirate RPG was first released on the Dreamcast to rave reviews and gamer praise. When the Dreamcast fell, it was was ported to the Gamecube as Skies of Arcadia Legends. Both times the game had a limited release (former because of the console’s abrupt end, latter because… well who knows). So many never really had a chance to play this game the two times it was released. I almost had a chance myself back then. The closest anyone had to play the game was in Valkyria Chronicles where Vyse and Aika were available to recruit into Squad 7. This might become the best chance for many (including me) for finally play this game and see what all the hubbub was about.
System: PS2, PS3 (reviewed)/Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment/Developer: Team Ico/Players: 1 (2 after beating game)/Released: September 21, 2001, September 27, 2011
Picture if you will, the beginning of a console. From the moment it’s in its concept stages to when it’s finally out the door and into the homes of consumers, the company that makes it wants it to be successful. It does everything in its power to prove that the console is worth your hard-earned dollars. Features, controls, ergonomics, power… all of these are important to the console. But most of all, the games make the console, and it is the games that will shape the future of your console. And so, the company picks from a bushel of games to showcase around the launch period to show the public. You want to wow these people to buy your product. Since this is a new console, everyone’s going to go on about the graphics. Well, here’s a game that can wow you, while doing a few nifty things on the side. This was the reality back during the PS2’s early life when ICO was released. 10 years later, do those same enamored feelings still hold true for ICO? After the jump, I break down ICO.