Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Game Diary: July 9, 2008

After one hour, I've got three Colossi down and thirteen left to go.

The thing that strikes me most about revisiting "Shadow of the Colossus" just one week before E3 is that I'm convinced this game was only successful because of the huge marketing push that Sony put behind it. That's not to say that the game isn't art, but I recall a number of two-page ads, a commercial, and similar endorsements created to generate buzz for the obscure sounding game (and I only hope that they eventually learned this).

My first experience came with a demo sent to me in the mail (prior to that, i never knew what a Colossi was). And what a demo indeed! It captured the first battle with a Colossi (I think it ended actually before you even fought him). You look up at this lumbering creature roughly the size of a five or six story house (actually he's petite compared to his comrades) and BAM! Demo over. End Scene.

But what is it that specifically makes this game feel enormous, even by today's standards? Is it the immense proportions of scope and scale as you battle enormous creatures that can, and will, kill you if they land a blow? Is it the connection to your horse, the only character in the game you'll interact with during the eight to ten hour game? Or is it the futility of the Wander's mission, as he is fooled into believing that his sacrifice will reunite him with the woman he loves?

People on the internets continue to argue that "Shadow of the Colossus" is a sheer representation of games as art, and that's fine. But I argue that if "Shadow of the Colossus" is art, then "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" is our Mona Lisa (and forget the constant comparisons to film, as if nothing ever existed before Citizen Kain). I make this argument because as much as Shadow does so much with very little, it's really a minimalist version of the stuff Link has done for decades. The only detractor being that Zelda bosses never appeared as complex on the surface (they didn't make you feel anywhere as pathetic as some of the Colossi can).

However, Nintendo's constant refinements to the franchise (without introducing anything really new) are slowly making the series lose its luster.

Besides rolling around and cutting up some Colossi, I managed to sneak in some time in Animal Crossing. I named my town Cali (for obvious reasons), and my character doesn;t have enough money to pay the rent. I'll try to stick with this one for as long as I can, but i have a feeling its not going to last.

Maybe I should invest in the DS version instead.

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