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Shadow of the Colossus

(Boss Fight Books #10)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  238 ratings  ·  38 reviews
A massive, open world, brimming with mystery. A gauntlet of giants to overcome, living levels that must be destroyed... but to what end? Since its 2005 release, Fumito Ueda's minimal-yet-epic masterpiece, Shadow of the Colossus, has often been hailed as one of the greatest video games of all time.

But why is Shadow still utterly unique over a decade later? Nick Suttner exam
Paperback, 194 pages
Published December 2015 by Boss Fight Books
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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Peter Derk
Dec 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Well, the parts that were good were GREAT. And the parts that weren't as good were super not as good.

Wow. With reviews like that, who needs Michiko Kakutani?

The best parts of this Shadows book are the parts that go beyond what's happening on the screen. When the author gets personal, or when he gives me some inside info from a fairly in-depth interview with the game's creators.

The parts that didn't light me up as much were the repetitive "I wake up at the temple, cross the land, get to the col
Travis Riddle
Apr 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I've never fully played Shadow of the Colossus, but it's a game I've been read about and been interested in for many years (and might pick up now after reading this).

This book's structure is fairly interesting, mostly following along the author's playthrough (which reads somewhat like a novel, somewhat like a walkthrough) while certain moments are interjected with related information like interviews with those who worked on the game, interviews and examples of how it influenced games that came
May 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul J
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this reminiscence of one of my favourite games. The author runs through all sixteen of the colossi battles, mixing in analysis of the themes and mechanics of Shadow with anecdotes about what the game means to him. It's been years and years since I played the game so it was a pleasant stroll down memory lane. It's hard to try and view the book from the perspective of someone who hasn't played through the game, but I think the author sells the fact that it is an important, unique ...more
Erika Schoeps
Mar 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
A retelling of the narrative of Shadow of the Colossus part by part from a passionate consumer of the video game. He adds little dramatic flairs to his retelling of the story, adds his own interpretations and imaginings to the narrative happenings.

Suttner also intersperses interviews with the game director, internet forum comments, and Japanese-only bonus content releases into the narrative retelling in order for the reader to get the most out of the retelling. As we experience Suttner's view
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: video-games
I was late to Shadow of the Colossus. I heard of it when it came out, as a 13 year-old rather tuned into the gaming scene, but somehow never ended up playing it. Despite owning a PS2, I pretty much only used it to play Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, devoting most of my gaming time to various RPGs and strategy games across the Nintendo consoles.

I actually started Shadow of the Colossus in May 2015 on the PS3 (yet another purchasing decision driven by a desire to play Kingdom Hearts), and playe
Morgan Haro
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A great read which revisits the entirety of Shadow of the Colossus (which should be on everyone’s list of best video game to ever video game ever) with all of its visceral action and quiet moments, and overlays it with wonderful anecdotes on the game’s development, the people that made it happen, its influences on other game designers, as well its impacts on the author’s own life; all of which made for great reading.

Reading this book was a fantastic way to re-experience the game in a new way, a
Nicholas Zacharewicz
Nick Suttner's contribution to the Boss Fight Books catalogue is rather curious to me because it's the first of the series that I've read that covers a 3D game. I mention that because all of the other Boss Fight Books volumes I've read so far have been about games that could be summarized in just a few paragraphs, whereas Suttner goes to great lengths to walk the reader through his playthrough of Shadow of the Colossus. As someone who hasn't played Shadow before, this approach to describing the ...more
Apr 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
First of all, I didn't play the PS2 original, I only played the PS4 remake. And it was an amazing experience. I was really looking forward to reading this book, because I was curious how the game came to fruition.
I didn't like this book very much however. I was hoping for more insight and interviews on how the game was made and the creative process behind it (as was the case with the other Boss Fight book I read, the one on Katamari Damacy).
What I got was a first person description of how the
Kamel Dupuis-Perez
What an incredible read! The book made me relive my first and only playthrough of what quickly became my favorite game of all time. I first played Shadow of the Colossus, years ago, during its launch week. Everything I felt and experienced back then, I still think about to this day. The game was that powerful. And this book really captures it. All thoughts, emotions, and questions I had when I played this game are in this book. The author did an amazing job of really laying out why this game is ...more
Matthew Cohen
Jul 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I am an eternal devotee of SOTC; I read every scrap of information I could find prior to it coming out, bought it on release, became immediately obsessed with it, and have never stopped loving it. It remains one of my absolute favorite games.

I enjoyed this (Boss Fight Books makes good stuff) but I didn't get as much out of it as their Final Fantasy V book (which was great). Its a love letter to one of the greatest games ever made, and if you are a fan like me give it a read. Just know its ~100 p
Bob Anderson
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Suttner parallels a play-through of SotC with a running meta-commentary, covering the game’s design, predecessors, secrets and fan base. It’s very literate, very informative, and altogether a great companion piece to a great game. Some of the Bossfight Books series can be take-it-or-leave-it, but this one is up there with Spelunky as a valuable accompaniment to its subject.
Kevin Gleason
Aug 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Compared to other Boss Fight Books...Books....
This one was very interesting to me. The writing has you going in and out of the writer's experience in life while playing the game, but constantly has you thinking about how to feel about the events in the game. If you've played the game, I strongly recommend you read this as it will have you thinking about a lot of what you did in the game.
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The author played through the game and novelized his experience, walking through each story beat and stopping at each Colossus to discuss background and influences, both from past games and to future games.

Great overview - I haven't played this one and now I want to experience it.
L. Lawson
Jan 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Odd to read a book about a game I’ve never played, but I like Nick Suttner, so I figured I’d give it a try. Ended up being a great reflection in the game and his experience with it. Now, I want to play the game!
Jan Martinek
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Simplicity of the book mirrors the game. Retelling of the story with some detours noting broader topics has surprisingly familiar shadowy feeling.
Bob Makin
Apr 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Great read
Nick Carraway LLC
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
1) "But what interests me is just how far Shadow swung away from those other hits. Its reductions were across the board, and uncompromising: Only sixteen “enemies.” Only two weapons, both of which you start with and will never level up. You’ll never learn new moves, only (almost) nothing to collect.
Yet despite all that isn’t there, Shadow is absolutely riveting. At a time when games were doubling down on the gamer by betting big on proven formulas, and leaning on the legacy of film to tell their
Andrew Scarpati
Nov 14, 2018 rated it liked it
This is just an LP in the traditional sense. While I appreciate that the game resonated with the author, I don't feel like it was worth the $15.00. This book is a perfect microcosm of all the best and worst of Boss Fight Books in general. Half the time the author goes off on long, self indulgent anecdotal stories, just straight up explains what you do in the game, and costs way too much for the content. On the positive side, there are some interviews with the devs explaining the process of devel ...more
Ross Orlando
Jul 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
As my favorite game of all time, I was excited to stumble upon the 10th book of the Boss Fight Books series where people who really love games write about them.

Suttner truly does have a love for the source material and his interspersed anecdotes of real life thing to what was happening in the game worked well most of the time. It is also worth mentioning the the quantity and quality of interviews, sources and quotes that he uses are incredibly impressive including the creator of the game himsel
Brian McDonald
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
A book about my favourite game on the PS2.

Suttner evokes the world of Shadow brilliantly by describing the landscapes and the majestic colossi in the game. The book takes the form of the authors encounters with the Colossi, interspersed with personal thoughts on what the game means to the author and also the thoughts of game designers and academics.

This is an excellent book for those who love the game, at points Suttner's descriptions take me back to my first play through. There are also some ex
Dec 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
A combination analysis, "let's play", and love letter of the titular video game. I'm a big fan of the game as well as the previous one from the same team, Ico, and I think Nick Suttner has a good eye for details and an ability to convey his own enthusiasm really well. If you don't have any interest in video games artistically, then this likely won't do much for you, but if you are a fan to begin with, you'll probably enjoy it. ...more
Thomas Maluck
Jun 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: gaming
Suttner's experience strongly resembled my own playthrough of the game. Where this book's concerned, the most consistently interesting bits had to do with trivia surrounding the game's development and studio's habits. SotC as a game features several repeating elements, and commenting on them in prose becomes a little dull by the end. Still, an observant stroll through an exceptional game (with a significant amount of text devoted to Ico for context/comparison's sake). ...more
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: games
I don't think I've ever read a more heartfelt account of how a game can impact someone's life.

On a spoilery tangent, recently I found out how you can triumph over Shadow of the Colossus. (view spoiler)
Thomas Hale
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
A solid companion to a really excellent game, Suttner walks the reader through challenge by challenge, using each of the game's colossus encounters as a touchstone around which to explore another aspect of its development and impact. A quick read, as all the Boss Fight Books are, but a satisfying one. ...more
Jamie Perez
Jan 17, 2016 rated it liked it
This wasn't my favorite of the books, but I'm glad I read it -- if only because Shadow is such an amazing game and this is a great way to revisit it and what it's all about. The book could have benefited from some compression -- maybe not a need to walk through every fight? But read it! ...more
Aaron Burch
I'd never played this game before; unlike some (most?) of the other Boss Fight Books, where personal connection to the game had varying but not necessarily total influence on my enjoyment of the book, this one didn't really work for me. ...more
Mar 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a fun read with some interesting thoughts about game design (particularly around what makes a game fun + memorable and how to teach mechanics within a game).

Heavy on the nostalgia, but not in a bad way.
May 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic retrospective on one of the best games you could ever experience. I could actually see all the events in my mind's eye as I read through, which was a lot of fun.

Informative yet personal, and with a lot of entertaining anecdotes! I loved this book.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a nice window into what it is to be a massive SotC fan, in that you laboriously pour over a game that ain't that deep for all sorts of meaning that ain't there. It's actually really nice to see someone just genuinely nerd out in a warm affectionate way. ...more
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