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Review Ico (PS2): A beautiful game that manages to engage you deeply.

genre: action, adventure, puzzle

One of the most underrated titles in existence. It definitely is one you need to have played before you pass away. Even if it basically is one big escort mission. Whaaaat? Calm down, it's not as bad as it sounds.

Before I ever played Shadow of the Colossus (SOTC) I had rented a copy of Ico just because the cover looked interesting. The problem was however that even renting video games at that time was quite costly. Also you could only rent the games for a few days so you had to finish the games in a very short time which was pretty difficult even if you were on holiday. Most PS2 games had more than 30 or 40 hours of game play. The consequence was that I had to choose certain games to play and ignore games that weren't appealing at first glance. And usually I chose popular games since these were the games that were written about. "Ico" wasn't popular and got rejected by me although I did notice that it was a beautiful game. 

After having played SOTC I did not immediately felt the need to play Ico, but upon seeing the title in a game shop I was curious if I would love it as much as I did SOTC. Well, without a doubt I can say that I loved the game. Although I found it more annoying at times especially because of the camera that made it hard to see where I was going. This games breathes the same atmosphere as SOTC with one slight difference. The world of Ico was more livelier and colourful than SOTC. Figuring out puzzles in Ico did take more time since absolutely no hint is given what to do next. In SOTC at least hints were given when you were stuck. In Ico you have to figure it for yourself. Also the girl didn't respond as often as I would like (just as most women in real life Ha Ha!!! In case it has escaped you it's a joke, so give me a break.) However soon after I got over this flaw once I saw the little boy holding her hand and guiding her through the Castle. It's very endearing and touching. The boy has to put himself in danger many times just to save and guide this girl who to put it mildly is quite helpless. It never got tiresome. 

There is definitely a cuteness factor that makes this game more appealing. As in SOTC the story is left very abstract and it is not clear what is going on exactly. Still the game managed to suck me in and finish the game just to see if the boy succeeds in protecting the girl. The first ending therefore was very hard to swallow and couldn't believe that they would end the game like that. The second ending (after credits) gives the player the hard earned ending. Ico is a classic that isn't as epic as SOTC but still a beautiful game that manages to engage and reward you deeply.

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