Please don't kill me. I have a copy of Batman: Arkham City at home, and it remains in its cellophane. I wanted to play it, I really did, but I got distracted - by a five year old game. What the hell is wrong with me!
In case you haven't read the headline, I'm talking - of course - about Shadow of the Colossus.
I had some spare time on Saturday afternoon, and with lots of people coming in and out of my house all day long, I didn't feel like starting a new game I'm genuinely excited for. I wanted to light some candles, put on the comfy pants and get loaded up with pringles for Batman: Arkham City. That's not really possible with a horde of family and friends chattering in the periphery.
Enter Shadow of the Colossus, a game I had already played, but really wanted to experience again. It seemed like the perfect choice - the equivalent of putting on a familiar movie to fold laundry. Just something to distract me.
Surprisingly, within an hour, I was completely engrossed. I think, more than any other PS2 game I can think of, Shadow of the Colossus was really deserving of a HD upgrade. The PS2's architecture struggled with the game originally, with chuggy frame-rates, and bugs galore. This remake, with its sharp visuals, really utilises the PS3's grunt to real effect. The game feels transformed.
Shadow of the Colossus was always one of the most aesthetically pleasing PS2 games available, but unlike other titles, the move to HD doesn't age the game - it adds a whole new dimension. Wander's character model, in particular the face, really benefits from the upgrade. It could hardly pass for a next gen title, but it comes closer than most.
Plenty had complained about the controls - but I continue to be a fan of games that work their control systems outside of the box, instead of defaulting to a set of control that have become ubiquitous. The controls match the game. It makes sense within the whole stamina/risk/reward matrix that makes climbing atop the colossi so engaging.
And the game still works as a spectacle. The scale of Shadow of the Colossus remains completely startling. It's the consistency of the design, the variety, the sheer size of the beasts, the reward of working out how to take them down, the thrill of edging up the fur on their back, the twinge of regret as they come crashing down to earth. Shadow of the Colossus is timeless.
Has anyone here picked up the collection? Or does anyone simply want to wax lyrical about the original games? Let us know in the comments below.