You've spent the past few years learning about how pivotal the Team ICO titles are, but you've never actually experienced them for yourself. You've looked on eBay, but the original PS2 titles fetch a packet. You've all but given up.
Thankfully HD remasters do serve a purpose after all. With Sony readying a bundle of both ICO and Shadow Of The Colossus later in the year, they intend to open up creator Fumito Ueda's imagination to a whole new generation. Both games have been remastered in 3D for those of you with compatible televisions, but the biggest upgrade is the bump in resolution bringing both games into the HD era.
But the Team ICO Collection has not made our most anticipated breakdown for graphical reasons. Sure they help, but it's the simple fact that this game is getting re-released at all that is important. In an age where new releases are dominated by modern military shooters, the Team ICO Collection feels important. In most modern video games, the R1 button is used to pull the trigger; in ICO it is used to clasp the mystical and helpless Yorda's hand.
ICO is a subtractive experience, prompting Ueda to famously explain "less is more". It's all about clambering through a vast, expansive abandoned castle.
Shadow Of The Colossus is a similarly ambiguous experience, stripping away much of the filler and settling for a series of encounters with 16 behemoth creatures. Colossus is a game of scale.
It's hard not to get too hyperbolic about Team ICO's output thus far. With The Last Guardian on the horizon, we've no doubt Ueda et al are about to blow us away all over again. But with The Last Guardian indefinitely delayed, this holiday will be all about two of PlayStation 2's most memorable titles.
We suppose it's unusual touting the collection of two classic PlayStation 2 games as an important 2011 release, but that's perhaps testament to the strengths of both ICO and Shadow Of The Colossus. Whether you're experiencing them fresh or not, we've no doubt the Team ICO Collection will end up sitting at the top of your game of the year breakdown come 2012.