Shadow Of The Colossus - SCUS_974.72 - NTSC - USB/SMB - OPL0.6
I let the intro-menu-fmv combo run for a while (like 5 times), restarted the PS2, run the combo again and the game never hang for me at the point you specified.
God Of War 2 - SCUS_974.81 - NTSC - USB/SMB - OPL0.6
I have tested your claim of the game hanging at the first save point (after the first encounter with Rodas), to me it works fine, I am currently re-installing the ISO to my USB-HDD to re-test over USB.
Not sure if it matters but my version of the game is the DVD9 and NOT the 2 dvd set.
Re-tested over USB done, game saves fine.
God Of War - SCUS_973.99 - NTSC - USB/SMB - OPL0.6
This is gonna take a while to test as I have to start the game all over and find that FMV, twice (SMB/USB).
All my ISO's are ripped with DVDDecrypter at slow speed reading.
Tested on a Slim PS2 V14 75001, softmodded with FMCB 1.8b only.