Shadow Of The Colossus Review – Spoiler Free
Shadow Of The Colossus is a newly released exclusive game on the PlayStation 4 console which is a remake of a much loved game of the same name originally released on the PlayStation 2 in 2005. Shadow of the Colossus on the PlayStation 4 was developed by Bluepoint Games and JAPAN Studio.
The game has you play as young man named Wander who has the goal of resurrecting a young lady named Mono. In the process of doing so, Wander visits some ancient ruins where a God like entity tells him that if he can take down a variety of Colossi around the world in which he lives, that possibly he can save young Mono. The game’s story is pretty much that and from that point on, you venture out into the world and come across your first colossus and then eventually many more.
I had never played Shadow Of The Colossus on the PlayStation 2 or its remake on the PlayStation 3, so this is my first experience with this game, I know many out there would likely be big fans of this title and would be eagerly awaiting its release so they can play it again, possibly for the third time and relive some old nostalgia with it. But for me, playing through the game had none of that. What I can say about it as a first timer with this, it seemed to me to be quite similar to The Last Guardian which also released recently on the PlayStation 4, also as an exclusive title. If you happened to have played through The Last Guardian and enjoyed that experience quite a bit, then Shadow Of The Colossus will certainly peak your interest and I’d feel comfortable recommending it to you.
But if you haven’t even played The Last Guardiian, what can you expect from Shadow Of The Colossus? I guess the best way I can describe this game, is that although there is a certain story to it, much of it is heavily gameplay focused. This isn’t a game that is going to be telling you what to do in much of the levels, with only a few hints here and there. There is more than a dozen Colossi in the game for you to take down and these are massive creatures spread throughout the large open world of the game. They won’t even at first be on the map for you to find, you’ll have to figure out where to go and there’s no instructions, or limited ones for you to know how to take them down. As a gamer I felt that when compared to much of the modern video games out there which seem to hold your hand as you progress through the levels, with obvious lines to follow. Shadow Of The Colossus is a little different in that you’ll have to actually use your brain in certain moments to figure out what to do. It’s not a game you can mindlessly rush through, it’s more like a slow exploration of an unknown world filled with unknown challenges to encounter. There’s some good stuff in that, but also at times, I myself was completely lost with what to do and that can be quite frustrating and it happened a lot to be honest.
The open world of Shadow Of The Colossus is a beautiful one to explore. It’s filled with long grass, mountain landscapes and forest areas which you will explore during your time with the game. There’s a photo mode in the game which lets you take picture at any time, or easily you can just screenshot a lot of things you see. I felt that graphically everything looked beautiful in game and I was playing on an original PS4 (not the fancy pro version).
The colossi you encounter all look visually stunning too, it’s a very nicely presented game overall. The only downside I feel in that world, was that although the grass looked great and Wander and his horse looked great and the trees looked great. There’s not much else out there to see. It’s all nature and you’re pretty much the only person there the whole time, there’s very little wildlife as well. When compared to something like Horizon Zero Dawn which is also a PS4 exclusive, that world was filled with life and things moving around, in contrast Shadow Of The Colossus is an empty world and as a player running around by myself, it felt like a lonely experience.
The gameplay component is the most challenging side of the game. Your character is always underpowered and never really reaches a point where he could ever just brute force any of the colossi. The colossi that you do fight act as sort of bosses in the game and each of them offer a different challenge for the player to overcome. Each colossi and the overcoming of each of them is like a small puzzle in their own way and the way to defeat them isn’t always straight forward. It’s nice that there’s hints quite a few times, but prepared to be a little lost along the way. But luckily we live in YouTube age, so there’s tonnes of guides out there should you get stuck.
Overall Shadow Of The Colossus is an interesting game experience. It provides gamers with a challenging world to explore, filled with difficult to overcome enemies which can’t be beaten so easily. The game has a variety of puzzle like bosses to defeat and it’s nice to have to think how you would approach a task from time to time and it feels rewarding knocking down each of the Colossi as you go through the game. The feeling is even more rewarding if you were stuck for some time and then all of a sudden had a light bulb moment for what to do. The game is graphically beautiful and looks even better on the PS4 pro than it does on the original console that I played on. But the only downsides that I can see with the game is that the open world does feel quite empty at times, with very little things happening in any of the environments which left me as the player feeling lonely. Also some of the challenges and even just trying to figure out where to go can be frustrating at times, which might hamper some players and their experience with the game. But overall Shadow Of The Colossus is an interesting new title in the PS4 library which offers a challenging experience for players.
Crawl is a film which comes directed by Alexendre Aja who some may know as the director of The Hills Have Eyes (2006). The film stars Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper.
Crawl is a film about a young woman named Haley (Kaya Scodelario) who attempts to save her father (Barry Pepper) who is trapped in his house during a category 5 hurricane. Tremendous damage has occurred to the home and the surrounding area during the storm, with the streets slowly flooding But that’s not the only danger to be wary of, the flood waters have paved the way for dozens of alligators to come into town and they’re ready to feast on anyone still around. Will poor Haley and her father survive though?
Going into this film. I was actually quite excited. I do enjoy these action films where there’s some creature out there and it’s preying on whatever character the film is about. This film is a little similar to The Meg, but it most reminded me of Anacondas (2004). All of these films and Crawl included wouldn’t be ones I’d say were legendary films, but gosh, I definitely have fun watching them!
Crawl as a story is about survival. There are themes all throughout it related to man vs nature and also the idea of the apex predator is scattered all throughout it. Both characters in the film are constantly challenged and struggle to survive in the a town getting torn apart by the storm.
The main reason most people would go to see Crawl at the cinema would be for the action and that’s the same reason I wanted to go along and see this one. I wanted to see what the alligators could do and I wanted to see some people get eaten up. Did I get that? I certainly did! Did I need much more out of this? Probably not.
As for Crawl being scary. I’m not too sure, I find it all quite fun. But there are people who this would probably frighten a little. Much of the film is cgi and for what it is and for the type of movie this is I think it was just the right quality. They didn’t try to go too big like in The Meg where the cgi seemed to struggle in certain areas. Although the limitations of the cgi are visible in Crawl, it’s not too bad in the end.
The acting in Crawl isn’t too bad. Kaya Scodelario is who you’ll be watching for basically the entire film and she delivers a pleasant performance. Some may recognise this actress from her appearance in The Maze Runner (2014) where she played Teresa. Hopefully there is more to come from her in future films.
The tone of the film, while at times can be a little intense with all the danger out there did actually feel a little light. Alexandre Aja seemed to keep the tone not too serious and embraced the silliness of it all in certain areas to keep it light and fun. But it was also tense and scary when it needed to be.
Overall I had a good time with Crawl at the cinema last week. This isn’t a film that is going to blow anyone away with how good it is, but it’s something to see for a bit of fun over the weekend. You get to watch two characters try to survive a massive hurricane and not get eaten by alligators. Crawl was 1 hour and 27 minutes of fun!
Sea Of Solitude Review
Sea Of Solitude is a game which was developed by Jo-Mei Games and was published by Electronic Arts. It is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC via Origin. It is a single player third person adventure game. The game has the player control a character named Kay who explores an abandoned and flooded city.
This was a game which caught my eye only very recently when I first heard about its release. After watching the trailer, I thought the art style, strong colours and animations looked very interesting. Also as a person who went mad one day and subscribed to EA’s Origin Premiere late last year so that I could play some games I had missed out on over the years, I was pleased to see something new added to the store that wasn’t a typical Electronic Arts style major franchise game. Knowing I could get this one for free was enough to give it a go. But if you’re not part of that program to get it for free, I’d say that the $26.95 asking price for this digital title is certainly worth it.
The game isn’t too long, most hardened gamers will probably be able to finish this one in a single session, which I actually managed to do yesterday morning. I didn’t time myself, but I’d say to expect about 3 or so hours out of it, a bit more if you look around for collectables.
On the surface, Sea Of Solitude is about a young girl named Kay, who is searching through a city, which is for some reason flooded. You start the game all alone on a tiny boat, way out at sea on the water. You make your way to the city, where you find a monster clad in darkness is blocking your path. Through exploration and activating certain things, Kay brings light to an otherwise dark city.
Underneath the main plot though, is a game with strong messages and themes related to loneliness and relationships. Kay as a character is someone who has become lonely, isolated and quite depressed after issues with her family and her boyfriend. The game sends the player on a journey to free Kay and other characters from suffering from the effects of loneliness and related themes. What I didn’t expect this weekend, was to play a game which seemed to have the objective of tackling these mental health issues in this way and I never expected to play something this weekend from the gaming genre with such deep meaning to it.
In many ways, Sea Of Solitude reminded me of my experience with Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice which was also a game that focused on mental health issues and is still a game I hold in very high regard. Both of these games were experiences that I could not put down once I started playing as I just had to find out what was going to happen with my character. Games tackling these mental health themes and the issues involved are quite rare in this medium, so when an experience like this does come along, it’s very unique and interesting. The difference between Sea Of Solitude and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is that Sea of Solitude is a little lighter in tone and not the intense gruelling experience that Senua’s was. This makes a player’s time with Sea Of Solitude one that is peaceful to experience.
The art style in Sea Of Solitude is something I enjoyed looking at. The animations are very rounded, colours stand out on the screen and the use of blacks in contrast with visibly bright blues, whites and orange was what I loved the most. The music and also the voice acting, was soft and did fit in well with the tone of the game’s themes and art style. All together, visuals and audios seemed to be just right.
The gameplay in Sea Of Solitude is something I’d say is probably a little simple. It’s essentially a platforming game where you will jump, swim, drive a boat and shoot flares onto enemies. There aren’t any button combinations to learn or any level up systems. The game is accessible to people of most ages and even to people new to gaming could easily pick this one up and get through it.
Overall coming out of playing Sea Of Solitude, I was filled with positivity and happiness. The story is quite heavy when playing through it, but very warm in the end. The art style and animations are nice to see and the sound and voice acting was just right. I do like to see that the games industry can use the medium to tackle such heavy topics and release games like this which show how well this medium can tell a story and provide its audience with something of great meaning. I’m happy to recommend Sea Of Solitude for your gaming collection.
Stuber is a film which comes directed by Michael Dowse and stars Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani and Betty Gilpin. The film is an action comedy adventure about an Uber driver and a policeman who go on a wild ride together.
Going in to see Stuber I didn’t really know where to set my expectations. Knowing only that the film was a comedy, meant I went in for the lols and didn’t expect all that much from the story. But coming out of the film, I’m sorry to say, but it’s not really that great.
The film starts off okay and the opening scene features both Vic (Dave Bautista) and Sara (Karen Gillan) engaged in a dangerous shootout with some bad guys. Both are seriously injured and Vic loses his eyesight, which means he gets some urgent surgery. His eyes need time go recover, but as soon he’s able to walk he calls for an Uber and continues on with his police business, which is catching the bad guys who got away in the opening scene. This is where Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) comes in and the journey between this awkward duo begins.
I wish I could say that it was all good once the Uber ride began but it wasn’t. The film is only really mildly funny. Dave Bautista who I do really like in action films really isn’t great at comedy. Kumail Nanjiani basically was just screaming and yelling the whole time and talking about his Uber rating and reviews. I admit I did find some of the bad reviews he got from his previous customers in the film funny when they were shown, but that’s about it. Some of the jokes were also drawn out way too long. Dave Bautista’s character being blind was kind of funny in the first minute when you saw him trying to walk around without being able to see. But it’s only funny once and they did this joke over and over again almost all the way until the end!
In addition to this, for quite a bit of the film, I wondered if this was some sort of product placement or advertisement for Uber. There were so many mentions of Uber, Uber reviews and the difference between Uber products and services. What are we paying to watch here? Who cares about Uber!?
In the end I would suggest avoiding Stuber at the cinema this week and choosing literally any other film currently showing. After leaving this I instantly thought that Stuber needs to be on my list of worst movies of 2019 which I created just after seeing this and that says a lot because I was not compelled to make one after seeing X:Men Dark Phoenix.
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