Monday, May 6, 2013

TOP Tracks #26 - "The Opened Way"

I do not remember exactly why I bought this game back in 2005. I had played and enjoyed Ico which is the first game made by developer of the same name, Team Ico. I really don't recall what pushed me over the edge to purchase this game right at launch. What I recall of ICO is that it was oddly artistic and emotional. You felt connected to the characters and the world in a way that is rather describable. Perhaps I expected Shadow of the Colossus would continue to convey their artistic spin on game playing - and truly look no further than Shadow of the Colossus for proof that video games can be art. The game is astoundingly beautiful in design and in story. It is minimalism in nature, featuring only a handful of lines of dialogue in a foreign tongue - then leaving you to pursue your goals. I've done quite a write up on just what it's like to play Shadow of Colossus almost a year ago - that can be found by clicking here: The First Colossus, Valus the Minotaur.

The entire soundtrack is similarly stunning. I'm not familiar with any other work of Kow Otani, but every single track in this game is so fitting to the scene. In a game about climbing these giant, living mountains and slaying them, you can really feel in this track the immense task at hand. You can feel the lumbering giant, and the treacherous climb to its hidden weak points. Another thing absolutely amazing about the music in Shadow of the Colossus that can't be captured on an album is the way the music tracks blend into each other. This song is one of slaying a giant, but if you should lose your footing, or find yourself far from the monster it will blend back into a more softer song - one that lets you feel you're on the approach. The way the music plays into itself in the game is another way this game will really capture your emotions in unparalleled ways. Shadow of the Colossus, as far as I know, is really one of a kind in the way it captures your emotions completely and immerses you in such an artistically depicted world.


For some strange reason, when my trusted advisers and closest friends say, "You MUST play this game, "I rarely listen. I couldn't tell you why I have this particular personality defect, but ultimately it means I have barely played Shadow of the Colossus. TOP mailed me his copy of the HD PS3 version, but I only managed to take down two colossi. The gameplay was a little too precise for me, and my button-mashing methods were detrimental to any giant-slaying efforts. When I returned the game to my brother in person, however, I watched as he beat it in a matter of hours. Watching this cinematic game was such a treat and Kow Otani's score made the experience all the more immersing and enjoyable.

"The Opened Way" is the antithesis of "Revived Power." This track embodies the struggle that comes with fighting a giant stone monster, wielding nothing but a sword and some arrows. It's heavy and laborious, the way Wander must feel as his stamina nears running out just before reaching the top of a mighty colossus. Regardless, it also conveys a sense of perseverance, of which the main character and player both must have plenty of throughout their quest.


Derivative Tracks

Shadow of the Colossus: Wanderer on the Offensive by B33J, Cerrax, Sixto Sounds, yodaisbetter on Grooveshark

Drum & Bass Remix by Aaron Pena -

The Opened Way - Remix by niraphat111 -

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