Fans of Ico may remember this scene. It’s when Ico, the horned boy players control, gazes with wonder at the mysterious Yorda who is trapped in a cage.
I started playing Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection with Ico since its the first game from what’s now known as Team Ico. Bluepoint Games, the team behind God of War Collection and the upcoming Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, was hired to remaster these two titles. Since Ico was developed for standard TVs, I would imagine their biggest challenge was filling the screen. Compared to the action-oriented Shadow of the Colossus, Ico is an atmospheric game where the focus is on exploring and escaping a castle. The scale of the spiraling staircase Ico runs up before rescuing Yorda feels larger since the game has been extended to fit high-definition TVs. While the game’s graphics have been enhanced, Ico on PlayStation 3 uses the same models so don’t expect a dramatic change.
Team Ico’s games use an unorthodox control scheme where triangle, for example, is jump. Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection let players remap buttons in the option screen. That’s one of the things I did before releasing Yorda from her cage.
Now free, it’s Ico’s job to protect Yorda. There isn’t much combat in the game, but Ico does obtain a few weapons starting with a stick he uses to fend of shadows. The core of Ico is escorting Yorda who isn’t as agile as Ico. You have to pull her up ledges and create paths to guide Yorda out of the castle. The two characters need each other because only Yorda can open certain doors. So, don’t think you can leave Yorda behind. The two characters can take a break at bench, Ico’s version of a save point. Loading times are most noticeable here, but the game moves smoother between areas.
Ico and Shadows of the Collection comes out on September 27 in North America. In Japan, these titles will be released as separate games.