So James is playing “Shadow of the Colossus” which we were both sort of interested in.

And we’re playing.

And damnit, it’s sad. You ride around, find these gigantic, rather interesting, but melancholy seeming giant stone creatures. Some of them attack you (mainly by stepping on you) but some of them just sort of wander by until you attack them. And then you climb all over them, find their happy fun spot, and jam a sword into it repeatedly until oil sprays out and they drop dead.

One does not get a sense that the world is a better place for you having skewered these creatures. One or two are vaguely humanoid and have weapons and attack you straight out, and then you get that sense of justified outrage. But the rest…they seem large and bewildered and not terribly aggressive, and they’re so huge you feel like you’ve killed a bit of attractive scenery. It’s like stabbing the Sphinx to death. Sure, it was a giant monster, but…well…it was just sitting out in the desert, minding its own business…

It’s funny, because I can cheerfully dive into Zombie Nazi Massacre Bloodbath #7: Zombpocalypse Now! or whatever, where blood flows like wine and your finishing moves involve twisting people’s heads off and juggling them while singing “Born in the USA.”* But killing big, sad stone robo-statue things is sort of tragic. “I didn’t realize they’d be all big and sad and lonely,” said James glumly, who has personally run over several thousand grandmothers and nuns in Carmageddon.

Maybe it’s supposed to be–it’s got that cryptic Japanese film mood goin’ on. There is pathos. Perhaps it perks up somewhere. We kept playing because…well…it’s a game, damnit! You can’t just leave these things hanging! I’ll feel at least justified if the chick we’re doing this all for wakes up at the end, slaps you, and says “You bastard! You killed those nice colossi! I hate you!” and then steals our horse and rides into the sunset.

Still. Note to self: If ever working on a game where hero is forced to kill giant interesting monsters, design the eyes to look scowling instead of baffled, and have the narrator at the beginning mention repeatedly that they are Evil. Hammer Evilness home repeatedly. Killing sad giants is a major downer.

*Shut up, it’d totally sell.

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