|I love puzzle games. I am a huge fan of computer and console game that involve brainpower over button mashing. I had great hopes for Ico on the Playstation 2, and in general those hopes were fulfilled. With a few minor exceptions.|
First, the graphics are lovely. The moody castle, with textures and ghosty monsters really draws you in. You're a young boy with horns that is being sacrificed by your village "for the greater good". Lovely. You manage to escape, though, and you come across a waif-like young girl that seems pretty helpless. And this is where the story begins.
You "drag" the girl around, really grabbing her hand and pulling her after you, to get out of the castle. When monsters appear you defend her, then tug her along again. She's pretty inept. She can't get many places that you can. So you leave her behind, go around to find a way through for her, then go back and bring her through.
It does tug on your heart strings a bit when she jumps to join you and you reach out to catch her, pulling her to safety. But you have to wonder - this boy is half her age. How come all she can do is stand there in the center of the room, going "Jeez, I don't know WHAT I should do now. Won't you come yank my arm out of my socket and show me where to go now?"
Also, many of the puzzles are mighty contrived. Most puzzle games these days have puzzles with some sense - something has broken and you're trying to put it back together, say. But in Ico, the puzzles are old school. There's a box on the floor. When you push it, stairs appear out of the floor. Excuse me, and this makes sense why?
Also, the game is REALLY short. Maybe 10 hours. Compare that to something like Final Fantasy X where you literally play it for months and months and are having fun the entire time!
In general though, this is a great game for kids to play, ones that you want to keep away from Grant Theft Auto 3 for a while. Peaceful, brain-challenging and a good help-others message!
Buy Ico at Amazon.Com