It’s no secret that Shadow of the Colossus is one of the finest video games ever made. The endless praise, and acclaim that the game has amassed over the years has given it an untouchable status. With review scores hailing it as a 9.7/10 (IGN) or 91/100 (Metacritic), it’s hard to see just how they made a title so gracefully gigantic. Naturally, it’s not perfect. The frame rate can be choppy. The camera doesn’t really cooperate half the time, and sometimes the grab keys don’t work. Since nothing ever truly is perfect though, it’s pretty close in relative terms.

In keeping with the theme of the month, great boss battles, anyone would be hard pressed to not talk about this PS2 gem in all its glory. SotC is regarded by many gamers the world over to be one of the best examples of truly unique boss design (as well as just awesome fun). This style of design, whereby the team only has boss-level enemies, works wonders for the gameplay because you get to approach each one differently. There’s no interruptions either. No annoying side quests, no mobs, no NPCs to butter up. Hailed as one of the few games that can be considered art too, SotC is minimalistic in its execution.

The beauty of many of the Colossi isn’t in their intimidating size, or the way they react to Wander, instead it lies in the way you’re forced to engage them. Bosses usually have a specific gimmick that, once learned, allows players to slay them faster on another run through of the campaign. Each of the 16 Colossi have a specific weak point to attack, and while that may seem to be a tried-and-tested method of wearing down a bigger enemy, their brilliance is in how Team Ico crafted each one. Some of them are so big that they physically don’t notice the player making attempts to attack them, others are more aggressive in their assault. Because of their size, it relays this fantastic sensation of terror, and wonder.

Their boss design was so inspirational that other games have since made ‘titan’ class enemies that require a player to grapple them, or scale them in order to reach the soft spot. Lords of Shadow attempted to replicate the grandeur of these fights with their own larger bosses, but were nowhere near as nail bitingly fun to battle. What they lacked was a sense of danger. A real, overpowering feeling that this creature before you can, and will, kill you without so much as an afterthought. While Team Ico weren’t the first to have massive boss enemies, they were the first to nail the formula to the letter.

Other titles like Dante’s Inferno, Demon’s Souls, Twilight Princess, and so many more, all borrow tiny bits, and pieces from Team Ico’s original designs. This emphasis on size over the protagonist is something that we now see everywhere, with enemies in games becoming bigger, and tougher to try and relay more of a challenge to the player. The original vision to change how players should see bosses in games was lead by designer Fumito Ueda, who decided to strip everything else away from the game in order to focus the team’s efforts.

With only a team of thirty-five, and four years of development, Ueda, together with lead composer Kow Otani, and producer Kenji Kaido managed to create a masterpiece. Once you see how other games have been influenced by these Colossi, it’s difficult to unsee. SotC is one of the rare few titles ever produced, that makes its mark so prominently on the community that it’s seen in other games for years to come.

Hello there! If you’re reading this, then you’ve either read my content, and enjoyed it, or you’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere. Either way, let me tell you a little about myself. I’ve been writing about video games for almost two years now, and I’m definitely getting more “good” I swear. In a nutshell, I’m a RPG/shooter fanatic, with a soft spot for pixel art, and indie games that explore weird concepts.

Leave a comment below.

Latest Posts

MGM and Warner Bros./Time Warner Inc. have released the first trailer for Tomb Raider, which features Alicia Vikander as the iconic video game heroine.
metroid-samus-returns-themed-new-3ds-xl-system-announced_exn1

NXpress Nintendo Podcast 110: How to Get a Job Writing About Video Games, Animal...

This week on the NXpress Nintendo podcast, a few of the editors from Goomba Stomp offer some advice for aspiring writers who are trying...
Mom and Dad

TIFF 2017: ‘Mom and Dad’ Reflects On Youth Through Brutality

It's easy to just enjoy the ride of 'Mom and Dad,' but there's an uneasy feeling at the center of the film that makes it occasionally difficult to wrestle with.

TIFF 2017: ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ Questions The Necessity Of Violence

'Three Billboards' takes itself to Hell and back in order to present a textured portrayal of grief and culpability in a small community.
super hydorah

‘Super Hydorah’: One of the Greatest Shoot-Em-Ups Ever Made

Locomalito has once again created an unforgettable experience that stands head and shoulders above the competition.

Walking Within Visions of Gothic and Cosmic Horror in ‘Bloodborne’

Via visual storytelling, Bloodborne writes the perfect epitaph for the world in which you now hunt; a world that is not yet dead but is instead in the process of dying.

AMC Releases ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 8 Key Art, Synopsis and a Special Featurette...

AMC has released the official key art for the highly anticipated eighth season of The Walking Dead, which returns Sunday, October 22 at 9:00 p.m....
light fall

‘Light Fall’ Coming to Nintendo Switch

Light fall has been announced for the Nintendo Switch, having previously been announced for Windows, Mac, PlayStation, and Xbox.
Final Fantasy IX

‘Final Fantasy IX’ is an Often Overlooked Classic

It seems like Final Fantasy IX was destined to be overlooked right from the outset. The game was released for the original PlayStation after the PlayStation 2 was out and selling like warm buns, and the high fantasy setting was in stark contrast to the popular cyber-punk and more realistic settings of FFVII and VIII (two of the best selling entries in the whole series).