Let me first state that I loved both games on the PS2. SotC more than Ico. Ico felt more artistic, but was still enjoyable. SotC was a game that felt epic, and that feeling stayed with me for years (until I played this disc).
What changed? Well, for Ico, I was able to more fully enjoy the game with the guidance of challenges brought about by trophies. There really is quite a bit to just watch and enjoy in this game, but when I just played to finish on the PS2 (since it was a hyped game), I only got so much of it. Yes, there are still questions left unanswered (ie, is the story just incomplete, or is something lost in the translation?), but it feels like a mature story I could easily see play in an art house movie theater.
As for SotC, I was actually disappointed. Yes, it's a great game, but what I enjoyed 5 years ago (I looked up an old review I put on a blog) was allowing the gaming experience to envelop me. I didn't think the graphics jumped out to grab my attention then, nor now (their beauty is in the fact that they DON'T stand out: you can envision them as being almost realistic). I didn't like how the story is short , and only told in a few places through the game. I didn't like how the game left so many questions unanswered. What I originally liked was the scale of everything going on around you. On the PS2, I was just able to experience it, without realizing there were collectibles to find, time trials, or a hard mode. With trophies, you know it's all there. Since I normally go for trophies, I spent so much time and energy on trophies that I missed the grandeur of the game, and I'm really upset over that. Yes, I saw the greatness here, but no, I couldn't experience it because I was so focused on the trophies. Rather than get more frustrated and get the final gold (beat the time trials on hard), I'm just cutting my losses on nostalgia, and returning the game.
Get and play this disc if you can spend the time/energy to let it envelop yo
This review was kind of annoying to write. While Shadow of the Colossus was a good game with some minor camera control issues, ICO was a complete waste of time. Both games were like a Legend of Zelda game, with the same basic story line and game layout. Shadow succeeded in capturing that game style. The only thing I would say about it is that some Zelda gamers may not like this game, because it essentially takes all the story out that normally lies between dungeons. Shadow just jumps from Colossus to Colossus. I, personally, liked that, but can see how some might not. ICO, on the other hand was just ridiculous. The trophy system was poorly organized, while the movies between play time just bored me to death. The story was slightly interesting, but it wasn't enough to get me to overlook the fact that the puzzles made me want to kill something. Overall, this game is worth checking out if you are an adventure gamer...just skip ICO.
I've played some of the other PS2 HD remastered collections and they were much better than this particular collection. It's mainly how unresponsive and frustrating the controller issues are in both games. Bogs down what would have otherwise been a fun foray into these two PS2 "classics."