Shadow of the Colossus (2018 Remaster): Complete

Over the weekend I put some more time into this classic title and was finally able to complete it last night. All in all it wasn’t a very difficult game, but for its time it would have been a tad more difficult, only because we weren’t as apt to Google game walkthroughs. For the most part I was able to figure out the puzzle of each colossi, but there were a couple tricky ones (particularly the last boss) that required some research to complete. One thing I forgot to show off the last time I posted about the game was the fact that there is a gallery of comparison shots and it really shows off how much better this version of the game looks. Hearing this from someone is one thing, seeing for yourself is another:

Such a huge difference when the pictures are put side by side! It’s night and day, really. The remainder of the bosses I had to defeat continued to ramp up in difficulty, but as I said it wasn’t anything too terrible. I don’t think I had to take a break and come back later save for on the final boss, as in most cases I quickly dispatched the colossus and moved onto the next. Here are most of them, falling in battle, along with some other generally nice looking screens:

Spoiler alert, your horse falls into a chasm helping you get to the final colossus, and a moment of silence was had for its loss. After the final colossus falls, there is a long drawn out epilogue that is half watched and half played. If you haven’t completed the game yet, I’d avoid the rest of this post.

If you’re still here, I’ll explain what’s happening in the pictures above. Basically there is a group of shamans or druids or something like that which were revealed a couple of fights prior to the last boss in a short cutscene. They are travelling to the shrine where you began your journey, but its not clear at that time what they are planning to do. After defeating the last colossus you aren’t immediately teleported back to the shrine. These folks arrive first, find the dead girl on the altar, and start mumbling about things when you do finally teleport back. When you arrive it’s clear that something isn’t quite right; the shadowy figures you’ve seen throughout the game are also appearing now to everyone else. You rise like a zombie and move in to attack the priests. A fight ensues, you’re stabbed, it doesn’t kill you, then you are covered with the shadowy substance and it is revealed that an evil demon was broken into 16 shards and those shards placed within the colossi, and now he’s possessed the character you’ve played the whole game. You briefly get to control him and attack the people, but they end up escaping across the bridge and destroying it on their way out. Of course, now that you’re dead, your lady friend has awoken. More happy news, your horse didn’t die, but it clearly broke its leg and is now hanging out with your friend. Roll credits.

A strange ending to say the least, and not really much of a wrap up. The priests sealed this temple with some sort of spell to keep the demon locked away, but now this chick and your horse are left behind with no other people in sight. Seems like you cursed her to a doomed existence. I guess we’ll never really know.

You can get a copy of this title for $40 right now if you’re interested in trying it yourself. I’d recommend it.

Thoughts on Gears of War Ultimate Edition


Most of you who have been reading this blog for any length of time will know my gaming origins, and realize that I’m primarily a PC gamer these days, despite loving the Playstation consoles. I’ve been pretty clear that I don’t really understand the need for a Microsoft console when I have a PC running windows, and that I have no love for the Xbox or its controller. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t play the games on those systems, particularly if they are console exclusive (which really makes no sense when that console basically runs windows, so why have exclusives at all?). For instance, you might recall that I hadn’t ever really played Halo until a recent experience of running through the Master Chief Edition at a friend’s house. I still haven’t beaten all of the games (we ran though Halo 1 & 2 but got side tracked after that) but from what I can tell it’s a so-so shooter that wasn’t all that amazing after the fact. That’s not to say I wouldn’t have been more impressed if I was to have played the games back when they released, but seeing the archaic control schemes for those games left me wanting for a more modern experience. Enter Gears of War.

I had played some Gears of War in the past, but again, only on friend’s consoles. When I did play it back in the day, it was probably GoW 2, and it was strictly multiplayer deathmatch stuff that we played, and overall I enjoyed the feel of the combat system, and enjoyed the game. I didn’t get that chance to play the campaign though, so when my friend Chris told me that he had picked up the Gears of War Ultimate Edition recently, I knew that I needed to check it out. Just like Halo, Gears allows campaign co-op, and that’s probably one of the better selling points for both of these series, which is something games I’ve enjoyed in the past (like Call of Duty or Uncharted) haven’t included (though Black Ops III is supposed to have a 4 player co-op campaign, which is awesome).

Gears of War is a 3rd person shooter, with a cover system that works nearly identically to Uncharted’s. Being a huge fan of that series and loving the mechanics, it was a natural fit for me to enjoy Gears of War on a mechanical and fun level. It does have the feel of a Saturday morning cartoon, where a group of heroes is trying to accomplish a goal, and a whole load of crazy shit goes down. Of course, it’s meant for a mature audience so though it has that over-the-top cinematic feel of cartoons, it still has mature language, concepts, and gore. This is all great in my book, so when it comes to the main appeal of the game and the gameplay mechanics, I’m all over it.

Where Gears of War starts to lose its appeal is in its character development, and overarching dude-bro attitude. For starters, there isn’t really an introduction into what’s going on, or if there was, I didn’t really care. In fact, I didn’t care about any of the characters. Of the four main dudes, there’s Marcus Dude, Dom Dude, and a couple side bro dudes. They all look exactly the same save for their faces. Two of em are white, one is brown I guess, and there’s the token black guy dude. Of course he speaks like he’s retarded and straight out of a rap video, and there’s actually laughably bad song while the credits roll where they’ve taken his sound bites and arranged them into a rap song. It’s stereotype after stereotype, and it’s just bad.

Meatheads might relate to these guys. Military men might as well. For everyone else? Well fuck you, here’s some explosions and aliens to kill.

Thankfully I’m not the type of person who focuses on these things when it comes to these types of games. I typically focus on the gameplay and the graphics, and those are top notch, though we did find some bugs that were rather frustrating. Again, I never played the original when it originally released, but my friend tells me that they didn’t fix anything that was wrong with the original game, so that’s probably why we still found bugs. He also said that the storyline doesn’t really get fleshed out until the sequel, so perhaps some day I’ll play that and be the judge. From what I’ve seen here, I could take or leave any future entries, but I’d still probably enjoy the hell out of the PvP.

That’s where games like this can get away with a lack of story, character development, or empathy for that matter. If you give me solid mechanics and other people to kill, I’ll still play the game anyway. In the end though, I prefer a game like Uncharted that has the great gun play and multiplayer PvP, but still has characters I care about and a storyline that is more relateable. Then again, I don’t think anyone can relate to blowing up aliens in space, so perhaps I’m expecting too much. Though I can say I actually felt things for the characters in Mass Effect, so that can’t be entirely true.

Have you played any of the Gears of War games? Do you relate to my observations, or would you disagree?

Apparently, Lil Hunter is the bane of my existence. Since I’ve been doing these daily runs and recording them, I’ve made it past him just the one time. Anyway, this was another random selection and this time I got fish, who did me proud for most of the run. Felt like a bullet-hell this time around though.