Ico

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Ico

Post by ThaliaAnderson on Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:24 pm

(If you're on IVI, you've seen this. I'm pasting what I wrote there here, hahaha)

Oh gosh; Sophie (XBlueEyedAngelX) got me totally addicted to this game. If you're subscribed to her, you'll know she uploaded an Ico video recently. A few years back, my older brother bought it and afterwards told me I would love it. Never found time to play it. After I saw Sophie's video, I jumped down to my PS2 and started playing (I kept the PS2 when he got married, ahahahah).

I beat the game in about eight hours but oh. my. gosh.

This was by far the best game I have ever played. I mean, I thought nothing would ever be able to top Final Fantasy X for me, but Ico flew by everything that game was. Don't get me wrong; FF is great. But there's something about this that was just...beyond anything I've ever experienced.

The game is a puzzle game, like Legend of Zelda. The story centers around a twelve-year-old boy named Ico, who was born with horns on his head, a bad omen for the village. Upon his twelfth birthday, he was taken to a secluded castle to be sacrificed for the good of the village. However, a tremor went through the castle after the guards left him there and he was able to escape from his tomb.

He stumbles across a girl by the name of Yorda in the castle, the Queen's daughter. She's incredibly weak from being trapped in a cage for who-knows-how-long and Ico vows to help her escape. But evil spirit creatures are after her, determined to drag her back where she belongs. Yorda speaks a different language than Ico and her subtitles are written in a strange text that you can't understand (unless you beat the game and replay it), so Ico takes hold her hand to guide her through the castle.

The main idea is to get through the castle and escape with Yorda. If the spirits take Yorda, then it's game over. Ico can climb chains and ropes and jump up to certain places that Yorda can't get to. It's up to you to figure out how to help her get through the castle with how weak she is. There are doors only she can open, so even if you wanted to, you wouldn't be able to escape without her. If you leave her alone in a room for too long, the spirits will appear and attempt to drag her through their portals. If Yorda is attacked while you're in another room, you hear her gasp and have to return to her as soon as possible. You can reach down and help her up to high places, call to her to help her find you, reach out and have her jump across chasms to you and hold her hand to guide her through the castle, not to mention pull her out if she's taken into a spirit portal.

Ico isn't like normal RPGs in that it doesn't have any items. Nothing. The spirits don't drop anything and there are no enemies besides the spirits. There are no treasure chests, no equipment to keep track of. Either you fend off the spirits using a stick or a sword you can find later, it's one or the other. The pause//start menu consists of "Options", "Return to Game" and "End Game". That makes it feel so...real. There aren't side quests. The only goal is to escape with Yorda and Ico. It feels so amazing when playing because it feels plausible. That's something that no FF or KH game could have, because of all the stuff. Ico focuses on the story and only the story. So you're not distracted, but you can get through the game in eight hours and take away just as much emotion as you would with an SE game. Not to even begin to mention that the area felt totally real. If you stood on the edge of a castle parapet and looked around, you could actually see places you'd been to at other parts of the castle. I stood on one end of the caslte, looked across the area and saw the exact windmill that a few hours earlier I had been standing on.

Ico uses hardly any dialogue, too. You can find the entire script on google and it probably fits on about seven word document pages. The bond between Ico and Yorda is formed by the fact that they hold hands throughout the game, despite the fact that they cannot understand each other.

Really, this game is amazing. I was left in tears by the end, and just thinking about it afterwards left me in an emotional wreck sort of stage, not because the game was sad, but bittersweet. I loved it so much that I wanted to cry. Is that weird? I don't know, hahhaa. But it leaves the player with something unexplainable when all is said and done and fills you with some weird feeling that's completely indescribable unless you've experienced it.

If you've got a PlayStation 2 and a few bucks to spare, go buy this game right now. It's probably the best gaming decision you'll ever, ever make. And even if you don't have a PS2, but rather a PS3, Ico is being rereleased with its prequel game, Shadow of the Collosus as a PS3 collection in 2011. But...really. Just...go. It's really, truly amazing.

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ThaliaAnderson
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Re: Ico

Post by BlackLolitarose on Sat Dec 25, 2010 12:16 am

Hmm... It sounds pretty interesting, but I don't know if it'd be my kind of game. But who cares about that? xD
I think it's great you found a game you love so much!
I guess it's "your game". The one you'll always love and that will probably always be your favorite, right?
It's like me and Kingdom Hearts. The way you describe that game, is exactly how I felt about KH when I played it. xD
But, that's really awsome! Yay for games that make us so happy. ;D
(and I might consider trying it out if my sister wasn't going to sell her Ps2 soon. T__T )
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