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Author Topic: I almost wound up hating Ico (Spoilers)  (Read 2455 times)
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Dafones
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« on: August 02, 2005, 04:35:22 AM »

Good, good, good game. I'm so happy that I picked a copy up (basically the GG/CG forum effect in effect), though I wish I'd been able to find a rental copy - the game did play quick. However, I gotta say that I really started to hate the game after Yorda was captured, a.k.a. when the game prevented me from saving until I finished it. I just had to say it. I can't understand the logic of forcing a player to power-marathon a game like that. I mean, hell, check-point saving pisses me off enough, but to remove the check-points all together??? What the hell is that about? And the joke? I may have wound up playing the game straight through anyway, but I hate being forced to do it.

It was a beautiful, creative, atmospheric, even haunting game with a fantastically cinematic end-boss and ending, but fuck, what a final stretch.
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Nth Power
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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2005, 11:23:10 AM »

My feelings about the game mirror yours, except for the save part.  I don't even remember there being a long stretch between saves.
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« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2005, 12:53:33 PM »

Quote from: "Nth Power"
My feelings about the game mirror yours, except for the save part.  I don't even remember there being a long stretch between saves.


Neither do I.  I don't remember pulling any marathon sessions in Ico, but it's been a long time since I played so I may have just forgotten.
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Dafones
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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2005, 02:46:40 PM »

I didn't find the save points too far apart ... just that they came to a stop with about an hour/hour and a half left in the game. Once Ico went solo, he really went solo, and the save couches went bye-bye.
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Amalzain
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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2005, 08:22:42 PM »

Okay, call me a heathen, but I didn't like Ico.  I just finished playing it this weekend, and immediately took it to Gamestop to trade in for something else.  I don't understand why people call it a piece of art.  To my way of thinking, the basic concept of the game is 'Look, let's make a game out of the fact that we can't make our AI do everything the player can.'  There was something about the fact that Yorda couldn't make a moderate jump without 'nearly' plummeting to the ground below, especially when the exact same animation takes place four times in a row (the last challenge before the East tower sequence, running from the couch save point to the exit, because the first time I played through it, the game froze when I opened the east tower).  The color scheme is the drabbest I have ever seen in my life, even worse than Quake.  I never felt involved with Yorda; she wasn't interesting.  She was a helpless shadow.  The ending didn't do much for me either, especially not the coda.  All in all, the game was a frustrating third person puzzle game with a somewhat novel concept of a single, well-explored environment.
Maybe it had to do with the fact that my gaming time was spaced out over a month, but I just didn't feel anything for the characters, except annoyance.  And don't even get me started on the logic behind a couch as a save point.  
Yes, the characters moved fairly fluidly.  Yes, the continuous environment was fairly unique.  Some of the music was okay.  But it doesn't seem like art to me.

What would I consider art?  Well, if we're going for Story, Grim Fandango and Baldur's Gate II (Throne of Bhaal Expansion) had the story, and both made me tear up at the ending (Specifically Keldorn's story).  Or Planescape:Torment.  The story arc was amazing, no matter which end you reached.  These were characters I was attached to.  These are stories I will revisit with my daughter when she's old enough to understand them.
 
As for environments, well Psychonauts has some unique ones, though I'm not too far into it yet.  Honestly, the original Unreal had environments that were equal to if not prettier than Ico's castle.  I'll admit that there aren't that many games that make as solid-seeming a fantasy world as Ico did.  But I also wouldn't call it beautiful.

And if we're looking for something that exists as an experience rather than a game, go back about 7 or 8 years and find a little known program called 'Eve.'  It takes Peter Gabriel music, ties it to environments created by artists, and pushes you to find samples that you can combine into your own visual art/musical pieces.  All the while discussing (in perhaps too elitist a manner) the things that make up a man.  It's an experience, and a lot closer to art than I'd ever call Ico.

So what is it that makes everyone call this game artwork?  Before I played it, I thought it was, and I was looking forward to Wanda and the Colossus (or whatever the game's name is now).  Now, I'm not so sure.  


Oh, and I agree on the problem with the lack of saves for the final sequence.  If my death on the cliff wall (by a jump that wasn't recognizable as  badly aligned until I died, another sin the game has) had taken me back to the last save, I would have turned the game off then and never touched it again.  Fortunately, it just restarted that section, but it was still a headache.  

And as for the end-boss; well I had come across a joke that gave away a big piece of the end battle, so maybe that influenced me, but it didn't seem that impressive an end boss.  Kingdom Heart's final boss, that was... well, if not impressive, than at least a challenge.  The end boss killed me once.  And I'm not that good of a gamer.

So I'm sure I've alienated the world, but I'm calling it as I see it.  Ico is not art to me; it's a puzzle game built on a poorly implemented AI character.
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TheMissingLink
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2005, 09:59:52 PM »

You are no heathen.

I tried to play through it in a weekend and just couldn't.  I've always wanted to go back to it, but I just...argh!  I don't know.  I can't do it.

Kingdom Heart's endboss, hell the whole end sequence, was fantastic.  I haven't gotten to the end of Ico, but now I'm interested to see it, so I just may try that.

And I feel differently about Yorda, from what I've played, while she is merely a helpless shadow (or whatever she is), I just really like the fact that the character can hold her hand and lead her places.  It's cute <3
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Dimmona
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2005, 02:31:45 AM »

I haven't read any posts in this thread as I'm currently right at the end of Ico, but my willpower is failing... I guess I'll just have to finish the game tonight so I can join in smile
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Canuck
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2005, 02:36:04 AM »

You're both heathens Tongue
The game is amazing.  Yes there is a bit of a long stretch near the end where you can't save.  In fact I never saw the ending of the game because I finally made it through and then the game crashed when I beat the final boss.  I couldn't bring myself to play it again.  In my opinion it's better than Prince of Persia.
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2005, 04:50:15 AM »

One thing that I fear is that it will look like absolute hell on my TV.  I don't have any smallish televisions (yeah, boo hoo) and have read several places that the textures look pretty bad on a big set.  Is this a valid concern?
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Dafones
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2005, 06:54:16 AM »

Quote from: "Canuck"
In my opinion it's better than Prince of Persia.


See it's funny. The whole way through Ico, I kept thinking that I'd done this in PoP. I know that Ico came first, and therefore influenced Sands of Time ... but I think that Prince of Persia did it better, and had better combat, and had the amazing time-powers as well.
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mytocles
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« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2005, 07:15:29 PM »

Quote
One thing that I fear is that it will look like absolute hell on my TV. I don't have any smallish televisions (yeah, boo hoo) and have read several places that the textures look pretty bad on a big set. Is this a valid concern?
I"m guessing that it matters what you consider small vs. large televisions!  IMO, it's gorgeous (in a refined, brush-art, artistic way, not exactly what some people - heathens! - call "great graphics" these days).  I do not have a "big screen" tv, though - but I've played it on a 32" and a 35" regular set, and it was fine.

If you have better than that Stiffler, can't help you - but I might be visiting soon! Tongue  ...And if you want to borrow a copy, just email me! Cool
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Mytocles (MY-toe-cleez)

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stiffler
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2005, 12:53:02 AM »

I appreciate the offer, Mytocles.  I picked it up some time ago at Best Buy for $15.  Just never started it on account of feeling I need to be in a certain mindset.

I don't even know what size the TV in the living room with my PS2 is, but I know it's a hell of a lot bigger than the 34" in my bedroom.
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TheMissingLink
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« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2005, 12:09:45 PM »

I'll trade you televisions, stiff.

And if you won't accept that offer, how about souls?

LMK OMG TTYL!
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mytocles
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« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2005, 04:25:03 PM »

Quote
And if you won't accept that offer, how about souls?


Too bad, most of us here have already sold our souls to the Master Chief, Vivec, Dante, or...  whoever!  :lol:
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Calvin
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« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2005, 04:45:38 PM »

With regards to Ico-this is now the third time I have acquired it (Well a couple months ago) and tried to get through it. Each and every time I lose interest about 1/4 through. At some point here in the near future I swear to god I am going to finish it.
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Amalzain
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« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2005, 06:42:22 PM »

Rage, I know exactly how you feel.  I started not wanting to continue the game at about the half-way point, but I'm a stickler for finishing non-SHMUP games once I start them (well, excluding Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles.  Hated that one too, but was playing SP without GBA's, so that may be a good portion of the reason why), so I slogged through the rest of it.  I'm not sure it was worth the effort, but I guess I'm making my judgments on a complete experience of the game, so that may justify it.  

I think overall I just wasn't in the right mood for the game any of the times I played it.  It got to the point that it wasn't fun, and honestly, what's the point of playing game when you don't enjoy it?  This is a hobby, after all (well, for most of us).  

And Canuck, I'm curious why you couldn't bring yourself to play the game again.  I know why I won't (besides the whole 'not owning it anymore' thing), but was it just that long stretch without saves that kept you from trying it again?  Or perhaps the worry that it would crash at the same place if you did it again?  I haven't played Prince of Persia yet to compare, though it is in my backlog.
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stiffler
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« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2005, 09:50:40 PM »

Quote from: "TheMissingLink"
I'll trade you televisions, stiff.

And if you won't accept that offer, how about souls?

LMK OMG TTYL!


Send me your brother and I will ship the big tv back in his place.  I always wanted one of those, and now I can play all the RPG's I have stacked all over the place.  I'll just open his cage and tell him to get on with the grinding.  He will play until the final boss, where I will use the uber-magic to finish him.  My life will be complete.  Ship him in a really big box.  If you send along his Yzerman jersey and anime collection I will pick up the shipping.

Deal?
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« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2005, 10:05:34 PM »

I got Ico at Gamerush and tried playing it two weekends ago.

I lasted about 45 minutes before losing interest.  I don't intend on picking it back up, either -- it's getting traded back in to Gamerush toward Radiata Stories or Dragon Quest 8.
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« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2005, 12:46:21 AM »

short take: ico was my first ps2 game, & i've yet to play anything since, on any platform, that i've loved more...

go figure...
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« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2005, 01:04:51 AM »

Quote from: "Amalzain"
I haven't played Prince of Persia yet to compare, though it is in my backlog.


If it's Sands of Time, open up the shrink wrap and start the game right now.
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Dimmona
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« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2005, 05:27:43 PM »

So I'm at the same part Dafones originally complained about - I was wondering whether or not I was going to get another save point before the end of the game; looks like my fears have been realized... oh well, guess I'll just have to power through it.

For what it's worth, I've owned the game for over a year, and like a lot of people I would start a new game, get maybe 45 minutes into it or so, and then just lose interest.  After about the third start, something weird happened - about an hour or so into it something finally 'clicked', and I haven't been able to put it down since.  The graphics, the sound, the controls, the story - I can definitely see why Ico is used as the prime example of the 'gaming as art' argument.  You guys might want to give it another try and stick with it a bit.  

Oh, and the annoying shadow creatures get much, much less annoying later in the game when you get an upgraded weapon smile
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« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2005, 05:36:29 PM »

Quote from: "Dimmona"
So I'm at the same part Dafones originally complained about - I was wondering whether or not I was going to get another save point before the end of the game; looks like my fears have been realized... oh well, guess I'll just have to power through it.

For what it's worth, I've owned the game for over a year, and like a lot of people I would start a new game, get maybe 45 minutes into it or so, and then just lose interest.  After about the third start, something weird happened - about an hour or so into it something finally 'clicked', and I haven't been able to put it down since.  The graphics, the sound, the controls, the story - I can definitely see why Ico is used as the prime example of the 'gaming as art' argument.  You guys might want to give it another try and stick with it a bit.  

Oh, and the annoying shadow creatures get much, much less annoying later in the game when you get an upgraded weapon smile


Comic is hilarious, and Dimmonna hit my 45 minutes at a time thing to a "T", unfortunately, the click has yet to come. Oh well, you know I will try it again smile
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« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2005, 05:54:37 PM »

Quote from: "Dimmona"
After about the third start, something weird happened - about an hour or so into it something finally 'clicked', and I haven't been able to put it down since.  The graphics, the sound, the controls, the story - I can definitely see why Ico is used as the prime example of the 'gaming as art' argument.


welcome smile ...
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Dimmona
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« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2005, 10:11:40 PM »

Ok... tonight I'm going to power thru this thing once and for all to see if the ending I've heard so much about is as good as everyone says it is.

I've haven't seen a good videogame ending since, well, Zelda:OoT or Bionic Commando...
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Dimmona
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« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2005, 10:48:15 PM »

Finished it Friday night.  The end sequence was satisfying, and the ending was pretty good (although not near as awesome/emotional as people had been hyping it).  Overall it turned out to be an awesome experience - I'm glad I stuck with it!
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Dafones
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« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2005, 11:58:55 PM »

That's the stuff. Still wish I'd rented it for a week instead of going through the hassle of tracking it down on eBay.
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Canuck
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« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2005, 12:02:36 AM »

Quote from: "Amalzain"


And Canuck, I'm curious why you couldn't bring yourself to play the game again.  I know why I won't (besides the whole 'not owning it anymore' thing), but was it just that long stretch without saves that kept you from trying it again?  Or perhaps the worry that it would crash at the same place if you did it again?  I haven't played Prince of Persia yet to compare, though it is in my backlog.


Meh it's a fairly long haul from the last save point to the end with lots of annoying jumping and then you have to beat the end boss on top of that (which was extremely cool I must admit.)  I just couldn't be bothered.  I technically beat it anyways although it would be cool to see the ending because I was developing an emotional attachment to that girl I was saving smile
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« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2005, 04:37:20 AM »

Ico is one of my all-time favorites. Its "you had me at hello" moment was when the ghost girl first stepped out of her cage and they show a close-up of her little pigeon-toed feet. They do an amazing job getting you to care about those two characters using only the subtlest sounds and animations. Beautiful work.
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