More so than ICO ever did, Shadow of the Colossus has proved divisive amongst those who've played it since its American and Japanese releases. But like ICO, it proved hugely popular with our writers (placing third in our Top 50) and with Eurogamer readers as a whole. The latter's arguably more impressive given that it's achieved that entirely on the strength of imports, with the game only due out in Europe on February 17th.
With this in mind, the game's creator Fumito Ueda was high up on our list of "people to bombard with questions after the top 50". Fearing that it would take a while to get through the various channels that separate European journalists from Japanese developers these days, and conscious that we've already spoken to him twice recently (once in Tokyo, once in London), we didn't ask too much, but we did focus on the game as played, rather than the game as a prospect. We only hope it won't be another few years before we get to see Ueda-san and his team in action again.
Eurogamer: We've been enormous fans of yours since you released ICO, and it was lovely to see Shadow earn such a positive reception. What is your opinion of the game now you have finished development?
Fumito Ueda: Personally, there are some regrets, but I think that that was the best we could considering the team's resource and skills. I felt the same with the previous title, ICO, and I think I will feel the same with my future titles. Although I know that it is not possible, I always seek perfection...
Eurogamer: You seem to specialise in creating quiet characters who live through their actions. Why do you think that is?
Fumito Ueda: It is because it has to be like that currently.
I think that the hero is the player, so I want to respect the intention of the player and make sure that character won't act against the player's intention as much as possible. To make it happen naturally without showing strangeness, characters of ICO and Wanda [Shadow's Japanese title] were created that way. I would create some talkative characters if I could come up with a natural and accurate representation.
Eurogamer: Which was your favourite colossus, and what do you find particularly satisfying about it?
Fumito Ueda: That would be the first humanoid type colossus.
I think that this colossus can freely move around the most compared to other tetrapod and snake types, and you can feel that it is intelligent. I can put into various ideas as the colossus is available for different actions and the action that you see when player gets caught is big as well.
Eurogamer: What was your favourite game of 2005, and why was it special to you?
Fumito Ueda: Although it is difficult to pick one as there were many great games in 2005, I would pick "biohazard 4". Overall quality of the game such as graphic, interaction, and sound, etc. was high, so I liked it. My other favourite games include "God of War", "Ryu-ga-gotoku", and "Peter Jackson's King Kong The Official Game of the Movie".
Shadow of the Colossus is due out in Europe on February 17th. It will be joined on the shelves by a re-release of ICO, following several years of people shouting loudly at Sony about its under-exposure.