Colossus casts shadow over GDC Awards

Acclaimed Japanese actioner beats out God of War for IGDA's top prize; Psychonauts, Nintendogs, and Guitar Hero also honored.

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SAN JOSE, Calif.--Last month at the annual D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Create, Entertain) convention, Sony Computer Entertainment America's God of War was named Overall Game of the Year at the annual Interactive Achievement Awards. Many industry-watchers dismissed its win, because the even more acclaimed Resident Evil 4 wasn't nominated due to a technicality. When Capcom's game was also not nominated for the top prize at the 2006 Game Developers Choice Awards, many present at the March 22 awards ceremony assumed God of War would once again rule the day.

However, as the evening progressed, it became clearer and clearer to the audience inside the San Jose Civic Auditorium that the game deities were not showing favor to God of War. The game was shut out of every category it was nominated in by a surprising rival--Shadow of the Colossus. The Japanese-developed action game, which was also published by SCEA, beat out its American rival in the Visual Arts, Game Design, and Character Design categories. It also was victorious at the end of the evening, taking home the Best Game of 2005 prize as well.

While Colossus was the big winner, the crowd showed the most enthusiasm for several other winners. Rock-concert-level cheers erupted when Harmonix's Guitar Hero was awarded for having the Best Audio, and howls of approval greeted the announcement that Nintendogs had won the Best Technology and Innovation awards.

However, the most emotion greeted a dual win by industry veteran Tim Schafer. First, his newly formed shop, Double Fine Productions, was named Best New Studio. That honor was followed by the award of Best Writing going to the studio's first game, the critically acclaimed Psychonauts.

Best Game

Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo)
- Katsuya Eguchi, Hisashi Nogami, Takashi Tezuka, Kazumi Totaka

God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- David Jaffe, Shannon Studstill

Guitar Hero (Harmonix Music Systems/RedOctane)
- Rob Kay, Greg LoPiccolo, Alex Rigopulos

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Kenji Kaido, Yasuhide Kobayashi, Fumito Ueda

The Movies (Lionhead Studios/Activision)
- Gary Carr, Peter Molyneux, Mark Webley


Best Audio

Call of Duty 2 (Infinity Ward/Activision)
- Mark Ganus

Electroplankton (Nintendo)
- Toshio Iwai, Koichi Kyuma, Yuichi Ozaki

God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- Dave Murrant

Guitar Hero (Harmonix Music Systems/RedOctane)
- Eric Brosius, Kasson Crooker

Project Gotham Racing 3 (Bizarre Creations/Microsoft Game Studios)
- Nick Bygrave, Guy Whitmore, Nick Wiswell


Character Design

City of Villains (Cryptic Studios/NCsoft Corporation)
- Ocala Bellows Kulig, Ryan Butts, Jay Doherty, Jeremy Mattson

God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- David Jaffe, Terry Smith, Charlie Wen

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath (Oddworld Inhabitants/Electronic Arts)
- Lorne Lanning, Rich McKain, Iain Morton, Raymond Swanland

Psychonauts (Double Fine Productions/Majesco Entertainment Company)
- Scott Campbell

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Atsuko Fukuyama, Hitoshi Niwa, Shunpei Suzuki, Fumito Ueda


Game Design

Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo)
- Katsuya Eguchi, Hisashi Nogami, Takashi Tezuka, Kazumi Totaka

God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- David Jaffe

Nintendogs (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo)
- Tsutomu Kaneshige, Hideki Konno, Shigeru Miyamoto, Kiyoshi Mizuki

Psychonauts (Double Fine Productions/Majesco Entertainment Company)
- Erik Robson, Tim Schafer

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Junichi Hosono, Fumito Ueda


Best Technology

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat (Digital Illusions/Electronic Arts)
- Fred Gill, Måns Vestin

Guitar Hero (Harmonix Music Systems/RedOctane)
- Eran Egozy, Eric Malafeew, Phil Winston

Nintendogs (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo)
- Tsutomu Kaneshige

Project Gotham Racing 3 (Bizarre Creations/Microsoft Game Studios)
- Edmund Clay, Roger Perkins, Phil Teschner, Ian Wilson

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Jinji Horagai, Takuya Seki, Hajime Sugiyama, Masanobu Tanaka


Best Visual Arts

God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- Steve Caterson, Terry Smith, Charlie Wen

Project Gotham Racing 3 (Bizarre Creations/Microsoft Game Studios)
- Gren Atherton, Julie McGurren, Peter Roe, Kiki Wolfkill

Resident Evil 4 (Capcom Production Studio 4/Capcom Entertainment)
- Yusuke Hashimoto, Yoshiaki Hirabayashi, Yusuke Kan, Masaki Yamanaka

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Koji Hasegawa, Hironobu Nakano, Masanori Kajita, Fumito Ueda

We Love Katamari (Namco Limited/Namco Hometek)
- Keita Takahashi, Takeshi Ugajin


Best Writing

Freedom Force vs. The 3rd Reich (Irrational Games/Vivendi Universal Games)
- Ken Levine

God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- David Jaffe, Marianne Krawcyzk, Alex Stein

Indigo Prophecy (Quantic Dream/Atari)
- David Cage

Jade Empire (BioWare Corp./Microsoft Game Studios)
- Drew Karpyshyn, Brian Kindregan, Luke Kristjanson, Mike Laidlaw, Peter Thomas, Mac Walters

Psychonauts (Double Fine Productions/Majesco Entertainment Company)
- Tim Schafer, Erik Wolpaw


Best New Studio

ArenaNet (Guild Wars)
- Mike O'Brien, Jeff Strain, Patrick Wyatt

Double Fine Productions (Psychonauts)
- Caroline Esmurdoc, Tim Schafer

New Crayon Games (Bonnie's Bookstore)
- Phil Steinmeyer

TellTale Games (Bone: Out From Boneville)
- David Bogan, Kevin Bruner, Dan Connors, Troy Molander

Wideload Games (Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse)
- Alexander Seropian


Innovation Award

Nintendogs (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo)
- Tsutomu Kaneshige

Guitar Hero (Harmonix Music Systems/RedOctane)
- Eric Brosius, Kasson Crooker

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Avatar image for comthitnuong
comthitnuong

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god of war did good

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ffmusicdj

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What happened to RESIDENT EVIL 4 for game of the year!?!??!?!

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YEPEE00

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um, in the light of it's peers (games) on this list. i'm happy (glad) for it, for lack of a better suiting term. one of the few worth while (spending time or money on) games this (or last) generation (console cycle). a very well deserved honor for a well deserved effort. ("what the hectic, are you doing? you can't say that!!" why not? "who do you think you are?" hey, i was just... just, argh! rules, smools.)

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vitinho1976

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Shadow of the Colossus is a great game. Along with God of War and others, it shows that Sony doesn't only live on 3rd party support like many say. Through the years, they are showing that they can make good and innovative games. Well done!

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sugreev2001

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Really really happy that finally an excellent experiment like Shadow of the colossus got recognised.Easily the best game in 05 !!!

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FuriousBroccoli

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SotC had a very innovative mechanic, but it was not a great game (it kinda left out everything between the boss fights). I think it deserved the character design award. RE4 or GoW or GH should have taken best game though. I also don't get how Double Fine beat out ArenaNet...Psychonauts was 3 years late, way over budget, and didn't sell so well. Your average developer is such a snob!

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s0l0123

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didn't like shadow of the collosus,

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n64nut

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Good for SotC; it was one of the only games worth buying last year aside from GoW and SC:CT. I'm very glad RE4 wasn't included in the awards; it was the most boring and simplistic game I've played in eons and also one of the most overhyped P.O.S. games in years.

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eliot_holmes

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SotC deserves to win all of the awards it did except for character design. That should have gone to GoW or psychonauts. Also, i dont think GoW is a basic hack-n-slash with a good story, its so much more than that.

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zaheer2020

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GOD OF WAR no awards? poor...i should grab for best Character Design. it's ok GOD OF WAR 2 might win more awards in future. Thumbs UP

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KevComesRipping

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Woot Shadow of Colossus, best game I've played in a real long time, absolutely consuming and breath-taking, rock on and make another one! SPOILERS! Maybe the baby demon "Wanderer" could grow up under the mothering of "Wanderer's Love" and slay more colossi to escape the edge of the world, or anything along those lines.

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arsefacex

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Oh YEAH! Shadow of the Colossus is AWESOME. The whole concept of the game and gameplay seems almost legendary. What I mean is that in a retrospective thought, you'd think you would hear a story like that from tall tales. A wonderful game of adventure, action, passion, and, and rebellion. I love the game and have NEVER forgotten the open lands to roam. ;) BUY THIS GAME, YOU WON'T REGRET IT AT ALL!!!!

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chrisdojo

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yay!!! more stupid award cerimonies!!!!!

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townsenda1

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I never played this game but the reviews were good and the graphics looked great.

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Stabby

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Wait, I'm confused... people have made a big thing of this but looking on the wikipedia... GoW and RE4 have slaughtered SotC awards in like 50 other ones, many being long term and offical and rich wise... meh, atleast SotC won best game in one awards section atleast, huray! Should of got more though...

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Poochie0709

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Whoa. RE4 got jiffed out of everything. . .

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Fallout_red

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SotC was the best thing out there... better than both GOW and RE4.

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Pegnose

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SotC needs all the praise in the world...that jem!.. i have it in a golden box near my bed.

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soulessjay

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Cool

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SavoyPrime

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I'm shocked about God of War being shut out. But I'm extremely pleased with Schafer, Double Fine, and Psychonauts getting the props they deserve.

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umaque

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Shadow of colossus is one cool game played it ,loved it now can shadow colossus 2 achieve greater victory (~ _--)

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sanstereo

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If only ICO would've garnered this much attention. I still love Shadow of the Collossus, but ICO is far closer to my heart. Just like films, we should be rewarding those that are forward thinking, not the ones with the biggest enemy / explosions / breasts on its female characters.

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Donkeljohn

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Kudos for SotC and Double Fine!

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mickel_darmawan

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GREAT!!

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sandy4v

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I have played both there is no competition to God of War Its amazing game this was a partiality that God of War dint won anything a fool will also say that God of War is the BEST!!!

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swhorl

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I agree with the specific awards for the most part, but I had more -fun- playing GoW than I did SotC. And Resident Evil 4 was -at least- as fun as GoW. I still need to get my hands on Psychonauts.

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kirkover

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Yeah, SotC definitely deserves the rewards; it rocks.

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snarple_basic

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Why wasn't Resident Evil 4 nominated for more then just 1 award? SOTC is awsome but i totally feel RE4 was the best game of the year.... I played it for about 30 hours and was never bored with it. And the graphics are amazing.

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tmacyao111

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Shadow of the Collossus deserved it and should get more recognition then it did get last year.

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AngelArms

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MyGrover - "how many colossi did you kill before you started feeling guilty about doing it?" I agree, this was a staggering thought I kept having while playing, how bad I started to feel. It reminded me of the Godzilla films, especially Godzilla 1985, and the strange feeling of pity and remorse over his death we are left with in the end. And here we are given no reason to feel malice against these giant creatures, made all the more upsetting once you've found what actually lies in store for you after dispatching so many ultimately harmless and docile beings.

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Corvin

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Shadow was an outstanding game and deserves some more recognition, not that God of War wasn't a great game as well but its already had its times in the sun. I just thought it was strange, that Shadow was also nominated in the Best Technology award field, along with some other games that I don't really associate with any particular technology. At least Nintendogs and Guitar Hero used unique input devices or sound recognition. If having a solid game engine that takes advantage of a game system is good enough for the Technology field it seems to me that Renderware-built games should be in there?

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n2Deepeth

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When you play Ico, you can also see the connections between the two games. I love it when game characters are motivated by things like sense of justice or love rather than hate and anger.

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Stabby

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SotC was a good game but character design? Wander was bland and dull hero... tuh, the colossus were the only good thing... meh, this is only ONE award show out of many others...

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MyGrover

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The main reason Shadow is the greatest game of the year.... how many colossi did you kill before you started feeling guilty about doing it? I think that started for me on number three. Never have I been so moved by a game.

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bigdrew172

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I've always said SOTC was one of the best games of all time. I've played GOW and it was also great however, I think SOTC deserves to be game of the year

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easy33

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If I had a PS2, I would love to play Colossus. Too bad they couldn't port it to another console.

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AngelArms

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WTF WHY DID CRASH WIN FOR BEST MOVIE THAT WAS AWFULL COWBOY LOVE FTW Oh wait. I think we may have really turned the corner with Shadow of the Colossus. IMO that game more than any other showcased the capability of a video game to transcend simply being a "game" like Monopoly or Dodgeball, and actually succeed in becoming a work of art. And to find its own success in doing so in the US is a BIG step. Whether or not you like more "arty" games, just like with movies, photography, painting, and everything else that has become a longrunning staple of world culture, it's integral for video games to establish themselves as attempting to be more than just the sum of their parts. Otherwise we'll just end up getting sick of playing the same games over and over again to the point that nobody wants to buy them anymore.

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jonnyjd

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Haven't tried Shadow but I guess I need to try it out. Weekend rental...

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ReyWing

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I think ANet should have won best new company, imho.

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sigma8

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If Resident Evil was "shut out" of this award (like the DICE award) due to a technicality, why does it show up as a nominee in the Best Visual Art category? Anyway, I agree SotC deserved the wins, but will point out there was no "gameplay" category. If there was, SotC should not have won that. There were too many camera issues and the controls felt a bit slushy. Two things I happily overlooked to beat an otherwise amazing game.

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sinn_gamer

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Oh my god I'm so happy SOTC won!! This has got to be the best news I got all week!! God of War was a good game but SOTC was better. Oh and Psychonauts won too?! hurray!! Finally, Psychonaut got the respect it deserved, go Tim!!!

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NeoJedi

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Wow, a shutout for God of War... and only one nomination for RE4. :|

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xcalibur890-roy

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RE4 should one award the best game last year for a fact

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Star2020

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it has cool graphics.

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h2887

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mice job shadow

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lageasy311

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Shadow was great, I bought both, but cmon how did god of war lose to ALL those categories, somebody had it out for them. Shadow deserved the win, it was easily the most creative game ever made up to day......but like i said wtf is this commie bull $hit!!!!

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Kwiksilva

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It was a good game and all on these lists deserved to win

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Orasion_Seiz

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Shadow Of the Colossus does deserve the awards.

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JamesHetfield89

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I liked GoW better. The level design was fantastic, some of the best ever. I liked SoTC, mainly its art design, and I think it should win for that, but I didn't find its gameplay as original as some. Go around a big beautiful world and kill what amounted to, 16 bosses. Granted they were big, colossal if you will, bosses. The fighting, climbing, stabbing, none of the "action" gameplay was original. They slapped alot of general ideas together into a new package with maybe one somewhat original (to me, it didn't come off that original. People are saying its VERY original the same way they'l say the first flying car is original, but neither are) concept, really big enemies. Put on a great coat of paint, it truly was a pretty game w/ out alot of technical details.

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Hellisunreal

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Finally, Shadow of the COlossus has this long over due.

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