Preview: Wanda and Colossus (PS2)

Publisher: SCEA / Developer: SCEI / Genre: Adventure / Release Date: 2005

The first rule about Wanda and Colossus is: Donâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t ask logic related questions about why the boy, the girl, and a horse are the only things on the planet. Just donâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t. I mean really. Iâ┚¬â”žÂ¢m wondering now, but Iâ┚¬â”žÂ¢m not going to ask questions. Oooooh no. For all I know there is a giant cabbage patch on the planet, slowly slowly churning forth babies. There might be some birds there too. I donâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t know. I didnâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t ask.

From the makers of ICO (indeed, this was previously titled NICO), Wanda and Colossus is the story of young man, a horse, and a dead girl. Yea the girl died. I kind of lied to you in the first paragraph. Suck it up princess. So the young man is traveling, on his horse, carrying around the dead girl. Finally he approaches a shrine deep in a forest, to use as the girlâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s final resting place. As he lays her body down, lightning strikes the shrine and voice booms from the heavens that the boy can restore the girlâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s soul if he takes on the giant golem-like creatures roaming the land without any concern for his own life. At this point, the boy says â┚¬Å”No way yo! I gots me a horse for my needs!â┚¬Â and the horse looks a little uncomfortable and the game ends. Then the boy/horse hentai game begins. Well. Ok maybe not that last part, but that wouldâ┚¬â”žÂ¢ve been a pretty cool game right? You would have bought it yea?

Naturally the boy, brave boy that he be, sets out to fight the golemesque creatures, the colossusâ┚¬â”žÂ¢ if you will. The player must navigate the boy onto the colossus and then find its weak spot and attack it till the beast falls. As the player progresses, finding the weak spot gets more and more complicated and sometimes the monster must be attacked at other spots to make it change its form to make the weak spot accessible. The boy is not alone in this, as I mentioned previously, good olâ┚¬â”žÂ¢ horse is there to back him up. The horse is the equivalent of a teammate, helping him get into battle with some semblance of intelligence (ex. The horse wonâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t run towards an enemy, past an enemy, off a cliff). The colossus will fight back, trying to fling the boy into the great emptiness of the personless world they all inhabit, as well as trying to physically fight back.

The innovative, yet simple plot, is accentuated by a world of beautiful graphics. The landscape the boy travels in search of colossusâ┚¬â”žÂ¢ is stunning, covered in old ruins and ancient forests. Each colossus is immense and somewhat unique looking. Compared to the boy, they really are huge, but very beautiful too, all dark colour and age-old technology looking. I was impressed. The colour scheme is easy and elegant, realistic in earth tones. Like perpetual dusk. Oh god, Iâ┚¬â”žÂ¢m getting girly on you here. Iâ┚¬â”žÂ¢ll spare you a rundown on Colossian fashion. But just look at those lovely screens, and tell me they donâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t make you swoon a little bit.

It’s not a direct sequel to ICO, but it looks to retain the series’ soul.

Set in the same universe as ICO, Wanda and Colossus was started very soon after ICOâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s release. Meant to be a more chaotic balance to the more â┚¬Å”sereneâ┚¬Â, as producer Kenji Kaido put it, play of ICO, Wanda and Colossus is more intense, with a main character fighting relatively immense enemies. The game is due for release in 2005, so be nice to friends and relatives until then in hopes of Colossus instead of coal in your stocking and/or birthday gift.