Ico (2002, Game, PS2 on PS3) – 10/10 review

Game Designer: Fumito Ueda
Director: Fumito Ueda
Kazuhiro Shindou: Ico

Ico (2002)

Ico’s fate had been sealed since his birth, since that fateful day when he emerged with horn’s protruding from his tiny head. Now twelve-years-old, his family offer no resistance and weep none when the mysterious horsemen come and take him away to be imprisoned in an ancient fortress. The horsemen seal him inside a stone casket and Ico is sentenced to spend eternity in silent torment…

10/10

Without question, one of the most remarkable videogames ever made. Expressively animated and atmospherically presented, this gentle puzzle action game is full of gameplay goodness that would become touchstones in modern gaming (God of War is highly reminiscent of this). It also supplies one of the single most brilliant moments in videogame history when you take the hand of your companion Yorda and realise that you will be protecting this delicate, ethereal girl and tackling this adventure together literally hand-in-hand. Genius.

This game contains fantasy violence, mild gory and unpleasant scenes.

Classified OK 3+ by ELSPA. Content OK 3+.

Available on PlayStation 2.

PlayStation 3 backwards compatibility update: v2.01

Seeing as Sony’s 40Gb PlayStation 3 dumped backwards compatibility like a diseased potato, I presumed that the firmware updates would no longer herald greater BC. However, I went through my non-compatible PS2 library and found that one had changed status and was now playable. Good news!

Links

My full BC list.

Backwards Compatibility Update

PlayStation 3 logo

Should play on PLAYSTATION®3 with some minor issues

Title Product Code Widescreen System
updated Headhunter: Redemption
Very minor frame rate problems in movies and in gameplay but nothing that adversely affects the game.
SLES 51682 2.01

Sony announce ‘We’re making the PlayStation 3 worse. Now give us your money.’

From the official 40GB PlayStation 3 Sony Computer Entertainment Europe announcement:

The new model is no longer backwards compatible with PlayStation®2 titles, reflecting both the reduced emphasis placed on this feature amongst later purchasers of PS3, as well as the availability of a more extensive line-up of PS3 specific titles (a total of 65 titles across all genres by Christmas).

Isn’t that bizarre? I was under the impression that backwards compatibility was currently being executed via software emulation. This seemed to be borne out by the fact that the state of backwards compatibility changes with firmware releases (system updates).

For me backwards compatibility is important. For many it is not. So while the above seems a fair statement, it seems unfair and pretty stupid to remove a feature just because they can.

I note that few choose to use the tilt sensitive functions of the Sixaxis controller. As Sony say, that feature has “reduced emphasis” among purchasers of PS3’s. Does this mean that this feature will too be removed in a future hardware iteration?

I suspect that the vast majority of PS3’s are not connected to 5.1 surround sound amps and HD displays via HDMI. Will those be removed in a future iteration?

The removal of backward compatibility seems a bafflingly arbitrary decision.

According to the remainder of the press release, 2 USB ports, a card reader, 20GB of hard disk space and backwards compatibility cost the best part of €100. Yeah.

While you can nip down PC World and purchase a USB hub and a card reader if you need them for around €40 you cannot go and purchase backwards compatibility.

Sony really seem to be flailing around at the PlayStation division at this time. The announcement of a reduction in price (and let’s not forget that the standard PS3 has just dropped €100 in price) should be a cause for celebration. Instead Sony have managed to shoot themselves in the foot for the umpteenth time regarding PlayStation 3 and issue a press release detailing how their HD entertainment center is getting worse, not being improved.

Slimm Says

Sony should have just dropped the price of the standard PS3. Nothing else. This is a decision only an accountant would make, not a visionary or lover of the brand or videogames. Sony’s press relations division are idiots (we knew that anyway) and getting your company run by accountants is the beginning of the end. At this rate, PlayStation 3 will be the swansong of Sony as an videogame giant.