I fully admit that it shouldn’t have taken as long as it has. I blame my inability to resist Guild Wars and the fun Wintersday in-game events at the start of the year. My hands tremble with excitement at the thought of another PvP snowball fight, alas not until next Wintersday. Real life stuff also encroached a bit, so my apologies.
With all the critical acclaim that Wanda and Shadow of the Colossus has been receiving, I am glad that more people are now playing the overlooked Ico. I did not have a PS2 until one year ago, but I have known about, and have wanted to play, Ico for a while.
I have a long-standing opinion that the North American box art of Ico is an unconscionable sin. When I returned to the States several years ago, looked for the game on eBay, and finally found it, I was irritated that Sony could make such a bad marketing decision for a game that deserved far better treatment. Up to that point, I had only seen the box art for Europe and Japan. The North American box art is generic and uninteresting, unlike the artwork in the game, and unlike the box art for Japan and Europe (they sport the same artwork). I believe that the North American box art, coupled with weak or non-existent marketing efforts, contributed to the poor sales performace of Ico, despite its positive critical reception back then.
Anyway, I enjoyed writing this final progressive review, though challenging as it was to try and capture the magic of that game. The title of this post is a reference to the main theme of my final Play Rating.