but having no idea what these games were back then basically killed it for me. They have horrible controls. In Ico I would slide off flat ledges that you could lay down on and spread out if the game would let you or my character would turn around without me touching the stick when I was trying to jump to a ledge and jumped instead to my doom. As for Shadow the controls are a mash-up of awful and craptastic. First off why does your horse have to run on the left side of the screen, like the vary left, now I have no idea whats going on over there but I was reassured that I would have no problems from the right. Also I don't know how you can screw up a camera that the gamer is in control of but they did it perfectly. And another thing is I cant always get on my horse, I know how to but sometimes he would just jump around. Now I skipped the beginning cut scene and this is a big no-no, I ran around on my horse for 20 minutes and couldn't find a thing to do. It tells you to check the map but the map don't tell you squat. Now I'm a huge fan of having a game where you need to discover what to do or let you have your own adventure but you at least need to put something in the game to indicate to the player that if they go here something might happen. Maybe I'll try it again in a month or so cuz it might be one of those games that's perfect for when your in the mood for that kind of style but I don't know if I'll ever be in the mood for bad video games.
I'm not gonna retread the 'gaming as art' debates for these games, troll the 'net for such discussion. What I will say is that these are beautiful games for the PS2 era, somewhat showing their age (they were unfortunate to be played straight after Uncharted 3 for me), but you can get where they are going.
I think I am in the minority, but I prefer Ico to SOTC, despite having to sometimes wait for Yorda to catch up, it has much more engaging gameplay, reminds me of my first Tomb Raidering (if that's a word). SOTC feels overly clumsy with the controls - I think that's a combo of the camera and the fact that I think they were going for the feeling that you are struggling to hold onto the Colossus.
Ico, on the other hand, is such a serene game. I don't think I've ever really noticed things like background music, but I noticed this, because so often it is basically silent. Those used to modern games will say it is too short (I notice there's a Trophy for completing in under 2 hours), but it's quality, not quantity, that I appreciate. Also, I don't necessarily have the bandwidth to get to the end of most games nowadays, so the fact that the end is attainable keeps you going (this is what ultimately put me off Batman AC),
So, I'll give Ico a 10, just because I can. SOTC gets a 7 for me, but I can appreciate people giving it more. I'll give the package a 9 then, with some generous rounding up, and the fact that frankly I'd have been happy with just Ico.
Both games are unique and fun, and they are given a slight boost in graphical quality. But for the most part still very much resemble PS2 games. Certainly worth a rental, unless your only interested in games where you run around and shoot things, if that's the case then you should instead pick one of the hundreds of cookie cutter shooter that are available.