Hey, for $15, I will play almost anything.
But, I had heard about the puzzle game "ICO" as far back as three
years ago, and as Best Buy was trying to clear its shelves of games
that are as old as the Bush presidency, I am quite happy to help
them out...hence, "ICO."
So, the premise of the game is quite simple. You play as a
little boy named ICO, who has been imprisoned and stuck in a large
castle somewhere in Asia, and your only goal is to get out...with
the help of a similarly-imprisoned woman that happens to be the
daughter of the evil queen that runs the castle. Because of
this, you will spend your time trying to escape but mostly trying to
figure out how to leave while assisting the daughter negotiate a
number of puzzles, because she is in a very weak physical state and
needs to be taken extra special care of in order to survive.
For $15, you don't get a very long game...I got through it in
about ten hours, maybe a little less. Further, in a game that
is strung together by a series of mental puzzles, once you have
figured out how to do everything, there is almost no replay value to
the game. But, what a game it is! Puzzles have rarely
felt this rewarding, and in a game like this (there is almost no
challenge to getting through the occasional bad guys that you need
to take down with your trusty sword), sitting around and thinking
your way out of the castle is surprisingly rewarding.
Controls are tight, and the best controls are left for the most
important task--locating and assisting your female companion, who
will make you angry more than a few times as she tries to follow
your directions. Graphics are (for the time, at least)
incredible, the sound effects are haunting and the ending is pretty
good for a game like this. As a rental, this would be a
classic, but for $15, I guess I can't complain too much at all!
Feedback? Comments? Hot doughnut tip?
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": Buy
this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why
that's a good move. A game experience that will almost
guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high
resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end.
after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly,
or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new
games. Usually, that's about $40. You'll feel good
getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite
run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box
for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.
game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from
either half.com or eBay. You also might let a friend buy this
game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make
them feel better. Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy
"Rental": Like my
cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about
first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something
worthwhile. For games in this category, this is the maximum
amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either
gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.
Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you
are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.
Games like this should have never been released. If you play
this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the
experience. Further, if you can get this game for free, don't
do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience