The Let's Play Archive

Ico

by Non-EuclideanCat

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Original Thread: Taking Naps and Holding Hands - Let's Play Ico

If you liked this LP, you might also like Atelier: Arland Trilogy by Sylphid, El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron by Non-EuclideanCat and Resident Evil 3 by The Dark Id

Introduction



First released in 2001 by Team Ico, Ico is an action-adventure game that’s actually a puzzle-platformer that’s actually the video game equivalent of a mood piece. It was specifically designed in such a way as to distance itself from its contemporaries due to the bad image video games had at the time. Lead designer and director Fumito Ueda accomplished this through what he dubbed “subtracting design”: the reduction or removal of “game-y” elements that would interfere with story and setting. Things like any sort of HUD or interface, enemy variety, and mechanical complexity were all either stripped down or removed in order to make things as immersive as possible.

The game is called a “cult classic” and is often cited as an example when “are games art” comes up. It flew largely under the radar in North America in the face of the big names and bombast of 2001 (and also atrocious North American cover art). But nowadays its minimalistic design and use of quiet, intimate set-pieces are so well-appreciated that many consider it one of the best video games in history. It was also one of, if not the, first video games ever to use bloom lighting effect and key frame animation. In 2011 it received an HD rerelease with its prequel Shadow of the Colossus on the PS3, which is the version I’ll be showing off.

About the LP
This is one of those games that really speaks for itself, so I’ll do my best to let it do so; commentary will be kept to a minimum and I’ll keep my voice low so as to not be too intrusive. I’ll also be showing off all the secrets and surprises the game has to offer.

In terms of spoilers: not counting the opening cutscene, the game has 5 “plot moments”; like I said, it’s very minimalist. Feel free to discuss any of the set-pieces, but if you talk about any of the “moments”, wrap them in spoiler tags.

Videos

Episode 1 - Coffins & CagesYouTube
Episode 2 - Boxes & BridgesYouTube
Episode 3 - Moms & Mad DashesYouTube
Episode 4 - Crates & ContraptionsYouTube
Episode 5 - Swords & SorceryYouTube
Episode 6 - Widgets & WaterfallsYouTube
Episode 7 - Beatings & BombingsYouTube
Episode 8 - Bolts & BreakdownsYouTube
Episode 9 - Leaps & LightningYouTube
Episode 10 - Waves & WreckageYouTube
Episode 11 - Collections & CollaborationsYouTube
Episode 12 - Mumblings & MelonsYouTube
Ico - Walking in the Footsteps of GiantsYouTube
Ico - Prototype and Concept VideoYouTube
Ico - Walking With Giants: A Candid Talk with the Visionaries Behind the Games (Finale)YouTube
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