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Shadow of the Colossus: Clash of the Titans

Shadow of the Colossus is a game designed for the adventure, problem-solving gamers out there who love sword-slashing action. Colossus is a game created by the developers of the innovative sleeper-hit, ICO, where the only enemies are the bosses, and each boss has to be taken down in a different manner and is a completely new and drastically different experience.

Your character?s loved one is dead or dying and the only hope for her is to bring her to a sacred temple in a land where 16 colossi roam. The legend says that if you defeat all 16 monsters, they will reveal a key to revive the dead. So now you and your trusty stead, Argo, will gallop across the 200,000 square meter map looking for these behemoths to topple.

One of the interesting aspects of Shadow of the Colossus is the fact that your character is just as powerful at the beginning of the game as he is at the end. There is no leveling up or gaining experience. In fact, you even keep the same two weapons throughout the entire game: your bow and an enchanted sword.

The bow can be used either on foot or horseback. Actually, there may be several times when you need to use Argo?s speed and your flying arrows in order to just get onto the giant. The sword has several purposes. Besides being a weapon, when held up in the sunlight, it will direct you to your next colossus or that beast?s weak point.

When attacking the creature, you can poise your sword and do even more damage than if you just take little swipes. Theoretically you can take down one of the goliaths with just your bow or the simple swings of the sword, but it?s the powered attacks on the creature?s Achilles heels that will earn you quicker victories.

The demo disc for Shadow of the Colossus took me through the first beast. From what I understand, this creature was one of the more medium-sized enemies and even he towered above me and seemed more like a walking mountain than a living creature.

Once you find and awaken one of the colossi (which in itself is a task), you need to identify their weak points (again with the sword) and attempt to climb their bodies while they stomp, swim, fly around, or even try and shake you off. The simple act of climbing is one of the major game mechanics of Colossus that makes it more than just a hyped up platformer or action game. Your grip will actually lessen the longer you hold onto something. If you?ve got a hold of the beast?s hairy leg and they start shaking their foot, after a while you will fly off.

Between the game?s 16 enemies and the massive land you will have to cover in order to get to them, Shadow of the Colossus is a game that will take a lot of mental power. The land forces you to jump, climb and shimmy your way to mountains, lakes and who knows how many other types of terrain.

The beasts themselves will range from the smaller, faster colossi that will have you eating their dust to flying or swimming beasts where you have to do more than just jump onto them in order to get to their sweet spot. There are even some giants that are so tall, when you look up at their heads, all you see is a hazy figure hidden by clouds.

Though Colossus may look like a hack-and-slash action game, it is really a problem-solving adventure title with a sword. Fans of the action/adventure scene will definitely want to take a look at this game when it comes out.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer
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