The Last Guardian Review – Beast Of Burden

Well, it’s finally here.

01

Developer: Team Ico
Publisher: Sony
Format: PS4
Released: December 6, 2016
Copy provided by publisher

The Last Guardian, a game many people bought a PlayStation 3 for, has finally materialized in the realm of mortals, though by now we’re far into the PlayStation 4’s life cycle and Team Ico long since abandoned the previous generation’s console. I hope those who bought PS3s back in the day enjoyed playing Resistance: Fall of Man.

Team Ico’s previous games, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, are beyond beloved. Famed for their clever environmental puzzles and enthralling narratives, the studio uses conservative dialogue and vividly animated visual cues to convey some of the most heartfelt ideas the medium has ever enjoyed.

I’ll admit right now to not being the world’s biggest Ico fan (you’ll need this admission to justify your reactions to this review later), but I can at least admire the sincerity of both it and its spiritual sequel.

Like Shadow of the Colossus before it, The Last Guardian is not a direct sequel but a successor to Team Ico’s work in every other way. In many ways, the magic of the studio’s prior work is captured in The Last Guardian without missing a beat. In fact, you could say it feels like Colossus came out only a few years ago when compared to this latest production.

This is both a blessing and a curse.

04

To speak positively, The Last Guardian misses no beats in capturing all the things that made its predecessors such critical darlings. It candidly explores how relationships blossom through mutual adversity, its world is both haunting and beautiful, and its characters feel truly alive, more than simply playable avatars.

To speak negatively, Shadow of the Colossus was released in 2005, and The Last Guardian feels like it should have been as well.

A boy wakes up in a dark cave, his body covered in symbolic markings, with a large wounded creature chained nearby. Feared for its size and tendencies to eat human beings, this creature – known as Trico – is just as much a prisoner as the boy, and it soon becomes clear they need each other in order to escape their mysterious surroundings.

Like a mouse removing a thorn from the lion’s paw, our boy hero first tends to Trico’s wounds and finds him food, discovering glowing barrels that the gryphon-like feathered dog swallows down eagerly. After earning enough trust, it soon becomes apparent that Trico’s immense body can be gripped onto and climbed, allowing the boy to remove the spears stuck in its flesh.

After finding the lever on Trico’s collar and freeing him, the boy discovers a strange shield that emits a long shaft of light. This light guides an arc of lightning that flies from Trico’s tail, destroying portions of the environment and eventually leading both of them out of the cave.

Despite a plan to go separate ways, the two find out they’ll need to do more than simply escape a cave if they’re to leave a world of bizarre architecture, hollow suits of armor that pursue them relentlessly, and eye-shaped wards that appear to terrify Trico and keep him at bay until they’re destroyed.

05

The adventure running through The Last Guardian is a quiet and reflective one, though it’s regularly punctuated by tense, dangerous, and effectively terrifying moments. As the bond between the boy and the beast deepens, it’s difficult not to care for Trico, lovingly brought to life by Team Ico and remarkably adorable in its every movement.

Those moments where it looks like the beast might be in peril are truly frightening. Every time a pursuer jabs a spear into its body, every time the creature scrabbles at a ledge trying not to fall to its death – it can all be felt intensely by the player, and the work done in making Trico both an impressive monster and a vulnerable friend has paid off most successfully.

A vast majority of time is spent navigating caves, ruins, and cliffs in order to find a means of escape. Lots of levers must be pulled, many ledges are to be climbed, and Trico himself is essential in creating feathery bridges or leaping – with the boy clinging on – across otherwise insurmountable gaps.

The Last Guardian is full of clever environmental puzzles, and at many points it will subtly clue players into what needs to be done in a real smart way. There are moments that left me wide-eyed, impressed at the thinking behind an obstacle and its inventive solution.

It generally avoids repeating itself, with each new area of the game full of different ideas and fresh obstacles. It’s littered with unforgettable moments, such as the section in which the boy is trapped in a rolling cage and needs to find freedom from the confines of a glorified hamster ball.

Some of the best segments involve the aforementioned wards, as players navigate intricately designed structures riddled with boardwalks and scaffolds in order to reach and smash the objects of Trico’s fear.

06

Sadly, the positives of The Last Guardian are marred by a strong undercurrent of interconnected problems that course underneath its surface and frequently rise up to absolutely puncture both the mood and the accrued goodwill of its best portions.

To begin with the most glaring fault, Trico truly puts the “artificial” in “artificial intelligence.” While sometimes he’ll follow commands and do what’s necessary, trying to get him to perform simple tasks is all too frequently like pulling teeth.

He’ll regularly turn around and go back the way he came, unresponsively dawdle around despite repeated calls for action, and generally be a complete pain in the arse to deal with. I cannot thoroughly enough express the sheer frustration involved in knowing exactly what the beast has to do, knowing how to get him to do it, and being left exasperated as Trico just won’t do it.

Sometimes I had to lead Trico away from an objective and then lead him back in order to get him to act. Sometimes he’d just take ages to do anything and I frequently was left in quiet suspense, not knowing if the game had ignored my command or was just taking forever to process it. Despite knowing how to provide visual clues, The Last Guardian is frequently awful at communicating or confirming things, and you just never know if the game’s working as intended.

Trico can’t even eat those barrels without great difficulty, needing them in exact spots before he’ll gobble them up. Sometimes you can throw the barrels and he’ll snatch them in mid-air, which is both cool and cute. Sometimes he’ll let the barrel just bounce off his stupid bloody face, and it’ll look bloody stupid.

A command system is in place, but it’s bizarre, relying on holding down a button and using the left stick to point at things. What are you pointing at? The game provides no HUD elements or visual stimulus to let you know. Most of the time, you’re commanding blindly and hoping for the best.

It seemed beyond Team Ico to make things clear when it comes to commanding Trico. You have to guess what the developer was thinking and then hope to God that Trico will guess it too.

[Addendum: By the way, for those set to defend this by saying it’s “realistic” for an animal not to listen to you, I should remind you that purposefully bad game design is still bad game design. It’s antagonising to not have this creature respond, especially at a rate inferior to my own real-life dog, who happens to be an asshole. 

More to the point, Trico is a dog with feathers and wings. Let’s not start throwing “realism” around as an excuse.]

Nothing in the game is highlighted with much clarity. A platform Trico can reach and a platform Trico can’t reach is differentiated not by height or distance, but by what Team Ico wants to have happen at that current time.

This design leads to environments with a ton of red herrings – false ledges, paths that lead nowhere, and large areas with tons of potential routes and only one real one.

At various junctures, one can’t help but feel these falsities are deliberate, especially when you find one of the game’s rare spots of climbable vines and find that, unlike every other time they’ve appeared prior, these vines are insignificant and actually aren’t part of the area’s puzzle. They just exist to waste time.

02

From a control perspective, The Last Guardian has severe issues. A single button, for example, is used to grab things, to climb things, to use the shield, and to pet Trico’s feathery body, which can lead to a confused interface if more than one interactive item is nearby.

The boy’s jumping and hanging abilities are unpredictable and often off-kilter. You can think you have a jump lined up perfectly, only for the protagonist to veer wildly away from the chain or ledge you wanted to grab and come tumbling to his idiotic death – or worse, he’ll break his leg for a few seconds and spend ages hobbling about incapable of action. It’s actually quicker to die and restart than to survive and limp.

At one point I simply randomly fell of Trico during the beast’s jump animation. At other points I failed to grab clearly grabbable ledges. The Last Guardian just doesn’t work periodically.

All these faults are worsened by ponderous animations and unwieldy physics that often see unnecessary stumbling, characters snagged on bits of scenery, and things taking much longer than they ought to. The simple act of putting down a barrel for Trico can be a nightmare as it rolls away from the perfect spot or Trico himself bats at it and sends it trundling away.

Hell, some of the puzzles themselves rely on the game’s wonky physics and are by far the worst portions of the game, requiring luck more than skill or thought.

Then there’s the camera. An unhelpful, unwieldy camera that is difficult to steer in some of the directions needed to locate the next objective, often blinks into darkness abruptly while correcting its unprompted, and generally fights the player whenever it can.

For all the times The Last Guardian made me smile, it had me cursing at my screen. I’ve yelled at Trico dozens of times, especially when I was led to believe a solution was wrong due to his inactivity only to have it suddenly do the thing I’d spent the last several minutes trying to make it do.

I’m willing to put a lot of this down to age.

Despite releasing in 2016, The Last Guardian absolutely looks and feels like a PS3 launch title, and the burdensome A.I., weird physics, and glitchy animations reek of the PS2 era. There are advances made in audiovisual feedback, controls, level design, and NPC behavior that simply aren’t present in this game, as if the last ten years never happened.

On the one hand, it’s understandable that a game with more than a decade of development time feels dated. On the other, it’s still a game being released for the modern age, and it’s quite far removed from modernity.

03

If judged on a purely technical level, I’d go so far as to say The Last Guardian is a disaster.

For all its environmental beauty, this game’s chaotic physics and capricious controls conspire to erode the trust a player ought to have in their game. I couldn’t trust this game to be straight with me, to offer a working solution or let me know when I was on the right track.

After so many false starts, random deaths, and obfuscating level design, I was left perpetually unsure of both myself and The Last Guardian. So much waiting to see if Trico would actually respond, so many opportunities provided by the designers to go in the wrong direction, so few clear indications that Trico’s working instead of just faffing around.

I can forgive some of this due to clearly troubled development and the excruciating amount of time this thing took to materialize. What I can’t look past, however, is the sheer number of times this game made me feel completely lost even while knowing exactly where to go.

The kicker, of course, is that there’s still so much about the game to like despite its many flaws – and there are many.

Its second half is infinitely superior to the first, easing up on some of the randomness and Triconfusion that nonetheless does persist. When The Last Guardian opens up its world somewhat and starts to really get into the friendship that blooms between its principle characters, it reaches heights that are truly enchanting.

07

Trico is fascinating simply to watch, at least when the camera lets you keep a bead on him. Great pains were taken to ensure every part of him moves individually, and his idle sniffing of the air, shaking out of his feathers, and concerned looks toward the boy are simply darling.

At times, the beast will face off against those armored antagonists, and these battles are never not thrilling. Players themselves are almost entirely defenseless and forced to play a minimal support role at best, pulling spears from Trico and occasionally shoving some of the hollow knights to make them drop their own little eye wards.

It’s an interesting concept, taking the power completely out of the player’s hands. It’s hard not to feel like the Yorda to Trico’s Ico sometimes, and it’s a reversal of traditional player roles that I admire.

The knights themselves – if “knights” is the right term – are a real highlight of the game.

Clunking and creepy, they’ll try to catch the boy and drag him to one of many strange doors that litter the world, forcing players to button-mash in order to break free. Silent except for the clang of their armor, they’re as curious as they are unnerving and their appearance generally signifies the onset of some great gameplay.

08

The Last Guardian is a game of its time, but sadly that time was ten years ago. With its cumbersome controls, clueless companion behavior, and archaic design sensibilities, it’s tough to appreciate for all but those who think nothing of the advances made in games since Shadow of the Colossus first arrived.

It would be remiss, however, not to take note of the love and care that’s gone into it, a love and care that reflects back onto its audience and weighs the experience of the journey against the mechanics of the product. Taken simply as a puzzle game, The Last Guardian is awful, but as an honest story of friendship through adversity it manages to retain some merit, even though you need to fight tooth and nail to see it.

I wish I could say I love the game, that its plagued by only minor setbacks, but I cannot honestly do that. I can’t look back at how much time was spent not enjoying myself, at how much time was spent actively wrestling with the game to wring anything worthwhile from it, and say I played the masterpiece many are going to say it is.

Maybe, a long time ago, that’s something I’d have been able to say. Not today though. Not today.

6.5/10
Alright

 

  • buttman

    Its been so long i honestly cant remember why people were and still are excited for this game.. was it because it looked like a cute adventure about a small child and a large friendly beast that will obviously die/come close to dying? I cant say the market is particularly wanting for that sort of thing anymore…

    • I think it’s just down to the developer, rather than the game’s own hook. Team Ico built up a lot of love with their other games.

    • Powermad80

      It’s because people love Ico and Shadow of the Colossus and this comes from the same people, that’s all really. People had reason to expect they’d put out something truly special.

      • guy smiley

        Does it though? How many names in the credits match with Shadow of the Colossus? I’m not trying to be smart here btw, i genuinely do not know and am curious.

      • Fallen Prime

        And maybe if it had actually finished and released when it was supposed to, it would have been.

  • Father

    that’s pretty much what I expected. I’ll probably pick it up sometime in the future on a sale or something.

  • spyro2060

    I’m just gonna sit here and wait for the inevitable Sony fanboy butthurt (BTW, if I call you a fanboy it means your up Sony’s ass and won’t accept that they made an average game or that someone hold a different opinion from yours, if you don’t fall in this, then you’re not one of them)

    • If they’re butt hurt by an opinion then they’re a fanboy. That being said this is also one man’s opinion as well. Just because Jim Sterling views it as ‘Alright’ doesn’t make it a fact. So your ‘won’t accept that they made an average game’ displays your faboyism for Sterlingmeister.

      • spyro2060

        Most reviews are coming in mixed from what I’ve seen, so hardly a “fanboy” of Sterling, but ah well, I judged it off the consensus so I suppose I’m a sheep

        • Trenton Burton

          metacritic which includes Jim currently has it at 83. SO the Majority are very positive and Jim is near the bottom .

          • Fallen Prime

            And the majority gets their paychecks from the publishers, lest we forget.

        • Magic Doogies

          What the user was saying was that you had only looked at Jim’s review score of the game and nowhere else (at the time) and concluded that if someone disagreed with what and how Jim reviewed a game they were instantly Sony sheep.

          • spyro2060

            I said I looked at other reviews, what part of that do you not get? Also, I said that they were sheep if they flipped the lid because HE PERSONALLY didn’t think it was that great, not just if they “disagreed”, it’s fine to disagree, I disagree with him on Dishonored 2 and Batman Arkham Knight, but there’s a difference between disagreement and being a prick

  • Edward Turvey

    In before the DDOS

    • Powermad80

      It took me like 3 minutes to load this website and everything else worked fine so I thought it had already started.

  • person

    The thing I don’t understand is why team Ico didn’t either scrap this game and start making a new one, or just start developing TLG from scratch while taking advantage of new technology. With middling reviews and 10 years of dev time, surely there’s no way this game will make anything close to a profit.

  • Damn. Perhaps that second part of the game is what was worked on recently then and they simply decided not to revisit the previous parts and update them from what was planned ages ago…
    What you describe can be at least slightly fixed. Not fully, especially with level design, but some of it can. I hope it is :/

  • I pretty much called this years ago.

    A PS3 game which for all intense and purposes was cancelled, but brought back from the dead to fuel the Sony hype-machine, with little visible improvement of it being improved since the PS3 and the constant years of delays with ever increasing promise by Sony PR.

    The fact the game is mediocre should be amazing, I was all but expecting the game to end up being total trash.

    • SilentPony

      To be fair, Might No 9 and No Man’s Sky have set a new record for utter trash after an overly long development cycle.
      TLG just needed to not shoot your dick with aids needles, and it’d get a pass just to say 1 game turned out okay.

      • Was No Man’s Sky’s development cycle really that long, or was it just the hype surrounding it?

        • TheDeadFellow

          I’d say hype. Tis a dangerous thing.

        • Sony’s hype. They put it up on the stage and put a bunch of marketing money behind it.

      • SmaMan

        Mighty No.9’s development cycle wasn’t *super* long. It still came out in the same console generation it started in. But I see your point.

        It’s a good reason why Duke Nukem Forever tanked as badly as it did. It felt like a 90s shooter, but released in the 2010s.

        • SilentPony

          Weren’t there delays in its launch? Or did I just assume that because its so utterly shit, it must have had delays…

          • SmaMan

            Oh it was delayed a lot. No doubt about that. Did that factor into why it came out the way it did? Probably. I’m just saying that in the grand scheme of games with long development cycles, Mighty No. 9 and No Man’s Sky were short compared to DNF and TLG, which started with a target of one console’s development cycle, but wouldn’t come out until a later one.

          • SilentPony

            That’s totally fair, yeah.

        • diamond

          DNF actually did sell pretty well, I liked it well enough, as someone who does not like 90s FPS, to me DNF did not feel like a 90s FPS, it felt like a mid-2000s FPS games that kept on being updated to stay relevant.

    • I believe you meant intents and purposes there, friend.

  • TheDeadFellow

    So, it’s basically The Tree of Life but in video game form? Huh.

  • Rhymenoceros

    That’ll do dog/dragon pet, that’ll do.

  • Harrowing

    This is about what I was afraid of, so I can’t say that I’m surprised. I’m not even really that disappointed, except that I fear that if this game is a flop, it’s death for any similar efforts from Team ICO in the future.

  • I’ll give it a go, hopefully it’s an emotional experience. Here’s hoping I disagree, we shall see. Gameplay by the sounds of it, is the main drawback.

    • aimei66

      Looking at the range of scores I think it is the emotional experiance it does really well. So on that score you should be fine.

    • Rachel McVeigh

      I’ve read a few reviews now and they all mention the emotional experience. For the most part bad gameplay seems to be dragging the game down. I’m sure if the story was worse or the characters less likely it would be getting 5’s and below.

  • Fallen Prime

    Dammit, we lost another vaporware joke. And this one’s not even trash enough to be remembered in the long run like Duke Nukem Forever.

    • Magic Doogies

      Honestly Sony would never allow it to be as hot garbage as Duke Nukem.
      But it would be foolish to not expect the game to play like this. However reviewers, and fans who really hated how the previous two games played and new fans not used to the era of God awful controls may not be very forgiving.

      • diamond

        Eh I liked Duke Nukem Forever.

    • diamond

      I didn’t think that game was trash at all.

  • Andrew Barloq

    Damn… the central premise still sounds good enough that I can probably get over the frustrations, but definitely waiting til it’s on sale… and I have basically nothing else to play. Still, after all this time, not too surprising that it would end up being something of a mess. :/

  • YuriFan

    It was nice knowing yah, Jim.
    I’d probably give it 2 days until the Sony army charges at your door with a Knack head Battling Ram.

    • HelixShade

      Or they could try to DDOS the site again. Place was slow loading on my way in, so…

      • CaitSeith

        Let’s hope not. I would be really saddened if the Team ICO fans were no better than the NMS fans. 🙁

    • Powermad80

      UH OH
      DID SOMEONE SAY KNAAAAAAAAAAACK?

  • NukaCola_Quantum

    Attention whore

    • WE GOT A LIVE ONE

      • NukaCola_Quantum

        Only one?

        • Watchmedance

          To quote a wise man: “There can only be one.”

    • HerbertGW

      Nice to see you announcing yourself, but it really wasn’t needed.

  • DiGiTaLM4N

    Jim it seems your site might possibly be getting hit it keeps going down for me or loading really slow I assume some fans are pissed LOL! Keep it up with the honest reviews! 😀

  • bimmyz

    oh oh, you dun goofed now Jim, sony fanboys are after your ass now..

  • aimei66

    Thanks for that very well argued review Jim, as you can imagine everyone else is giving it 9s because you know, games journalism. So its nice to read something that feels more complete in it’s argument. When I play it I might not agree with your score, but I can’t argue with how you came to score it that way.

    • In fairness, not everyone else is giving it 9s. Please don’t do the usual “games journalism lol” stuff – while Jim’s review and accompanying video are brilliantly detailed, other sites are similarly calling the game out for its flaws.

      • aimei66

        It is getting mainly 9s. Polygon, IGN and Jim are pretty much it from what I can see. And I think we all know that too many sites have a 10 point system and only use 4 of them pretty much.

        • Not that I want to get into a petty argument about review scores but at least 25 publications so far have given it 8 or less, and roughly half of them have been 7 or less. Certainly not “everyone else giving it 9s”, as you put it.

        • diamond

          I’m surprised Polygon didn’t like it much, this type of game seems like it would be right up their alley.

  • Francisco Velo

    Man, I amost knew something like this could happen, I’m genuinely sad this game has so many technical shortcomings, but with a development cycle so tormentuous I’m not surprised

  • Altoryu

    It always seems to be the case with these games that spend so much time in development limbo, the end result just doesn’t seem up to scratch for something people had been waiting ages for.

    Let’s hope some patches will fix this.

    Can’t imagine that the fanboys will be too thrilled with this review but better to point out the flaws that need fixing then to remain ignorant and it remain a broken mess.

    • Uldi

      Final Fantasy XV seems to have avoided this, in my opinion. I haven’t enjoyed a Final Fantasy game as much as XV since IX.

      • Altoryu

        Well of course there are always the outliers but seems like its a general trend that games that take so long to come out don’t live up to the hype. I mean FF13 was a pretty good example and also infamous cases like Duke Nukem Forever.

    • Even when it’s not “too much”, but just long enough it can lead to issues. Unless people have limitless resources and huge franchise, so they can pretty much redo the entire game from scratch (or the opposite – no recognition and no real budget so no one would notice, but if they can they will). I still remember Vivisector: Beast within being like 3 games from 3 different time periods due to it being developed for about 4 years or so. Opening levels look like something from 99, then several levels being from 2002 and then last levels finally feeling like a product of 2005. It was more felt in those years too, both visually and mechanically.

      I can think of only one game that managed to do a pretty serious redesign and still be pretty good – TimeShift. And they still kept a lot of different level parts from earlier builds in.

      • diamond

        Beast Within is a weird but fun game.

        I loved Time Shift and wish it would get a sequel, though I guess with Quantum Break we really don’t need two games involving time travel.

        Resident Evil 4 was redesigned several times and turned out pretty good.

        I actually think F.U.S.E. turned out pretty good as well, I didn’t follow development of that game, so I was unaware of how different it once looked.

  • jimbo ton

    We get it Jim, you miss your objective markers, glowing points of interest and detective vision. Such a shame not every game can be as forward thinking and modernly designed as that!

    • YuriFan

      “Ignore the camera issues, bad controls, and bad AI. Ignore all problems, because you’re wrong.”

    • SilentPony

      Isn’t Jim on record saying he likes open-world games that don’t hold your hand and reward clever think and exploitative nature? But he’s hampered by bad controls and terrible interface…
      Fuck me, he liked Ostrich Island! Which really should have been The Last Guardian come to think of it…

    • Watchmedance

      “A command system is in place, but it’s bizarre, relying on holding down a button and using the left stick to point at things. What are you pointing at? The game provides no HUD elements or visual stimulus to let you know. Most of the time, you’re commanding blindly and hoping for the best.”

      Sounds worse than just not giving visual cues about where to go. Sounds like there’s little indication about what commands do, and the commands sometimes don’t work because reasons.

    • Silvershock

      Ah, my favourite fanboy method of dismissing criticism of obvious flaws – pretend those flaws make you smarter than everyone else! It’s like every time you criticise a Nintendo fuckup, someone will always be there to yell “LOL go bk 2 COD dumb gamr”.

    • Allan Weallans

      Yes, glowing points of interest are terrible. I miss the days when games were so lacking in detail I got to have the mental workout of discerning which of the exactly one things lying on a table was relevant to me, for sure.

      • diamond

        I don’t think they are “terrible” at all, I don’t have the fucking patience to do “mental workouts”, when I play a game I don’t want to feel like i’m doing my fucking homework.

        • Jeddostotle7

          Allan Weallans was being sarcastic.

    • Wolfie

      You’re a diagnosed idiot, aren’t you? They don’t have medication for that, do they?

      • jimbo ton

        You know, I don’t think idiots are diagnosed. They reveal themselves to the world by ineptly failing to articulate their thoughts in writing and resorting to rage and insults instead. And no, I don’t think there’s medication for that, but I’m sure you’ll get by. Sort of 😉

        • Wolfie

          Necro’ing an insult after 3 months?

          Wow. That’s pretty pathetic. Magic gone, not interested.

          • jimbo ton

            I seldom write in these parts, so I only just noticed. But it’s never too late to put some uneducated internet moron in his place, that’s what I always say!

  • Bert Schnalz

    Yet another disappointing release after FFXV…

    • SilentPony

      To be fair, looks like BackStreet’s Back Simulator had nothing to do with Bird Walk Simulator being mediocre

    • Father

      I surprisingly quite enjoyed FFXV after expecting it to be trash since its announcement.

      • Uldi

        I feel the same. I’m quite enjoying playing it. The camera is occasionally annoying, and the Block mechanic in combat takes a bit of getting used to when fighting multiple enemies, but I still look forward to playing it.

        • Father

          I would add that it’s also not perfect by far but I’m having fun with it. It has a fair few shortcomings and it is not what I wanted from the series but it was an enjoyable experience for me on the whole.

          • Bert Schnalz

            Fair enough, but considering masterpieces like FFVI were made back in the 90s and did pretty much everything better than the newest installments, it is a collossal disappointment.

          • Father

            I mean I never imagined that it could stand up to games like FFVI and it doesn’t.

          • InfamousDS

            There’s setting a quality bar and then there’s being unrealistic.

            I think expecting SNES-era quality when most of the people responsible have left SE, decided they are bored with “old FF”, or been given non-developer positions is ludicrous.
            I mean, let’s take Nomura for example. He wanted V13 to be unlike any game he’s ever worked on (which includes practically every FF since 5). At one point it was a musical, and the man just kept stapling new ideas and concepts onto an ever-growing mass of game. I heard there was a script rewrite after every major game convention or release before he stepped down to work on KH3 and 7Re.

            Tabata did the best he could with a bad hand, and it shows with just how good the final product turned out to be despite the rocky start.

  • SilentPony

    Holy shit, I totally forgot this game was coming out!

    ….wait, what game are we talking about and why should I care?

  • cowboyjimmy

    yep, definitely feels like a game that was made for the ps3, then got canned, then it was resurrected from the dead, stitched together, and made for ps4, meanwhile the whole gaming advanced 10 years ahead, and sony thought we wouldnt notice?

  • Day_is_Over

    Sounds like Trico’s A.I. is the main problem and he’s a huge part of the game.

  • Maroš Goč

    Amazing JIm! finally a good review …ah fuck that stupid gamespot’s review “Love is patient” ….will you be reviewing Final Fantasy XV?

    • サイラス

      yes

    • I do intend to review FF XV, yeah.

      As a spoiler, I’ve been really enjoying it so far, even if some of its design is baffling.

      • Maroš Goč

        really? I think the sidequests are the worst quests I have ever seen…..but …it is difficult to like an openworld RPG like this after The Wichter 3

      • Marcello Crocitti

        Was the site down because of an attack following this review, or just random internet problem?

        • Altoryu

          I think just too many people trying to access the review at the same time

      • Maroš Goč

        Jim, what weapon combat system do you prefer? the one in the final version of the game, or that one we could see in the Duscae demo?

        • InfamousDS

          I don’t remember them talking about Duscae in the Podquisition beyond some news involving Prompto’s clothing change, and Jim has taken a firm stance against game previewing ever since Dying Light was half-assed empty promises so I doubt he played it regardless.

          If he answer though, be sure to let me know I look like an idiot, cause I won’t see it unless he respond to me.

      • RifleAvenger Sashiro

        You about summed up my opinion. I’m having a lot of fun, but many aspects of combat and the pacing of the story in general makes me go “WTF?”

        The magic system in particular confounds me.

      • Aristatide

        Ah, you wildcard you.

  • Terriosaurus Hex

    I’ll still try it, kinda have a soft spot for wild animals, and being brought up around creatures such as cats, gives me a bit of patience with cuties that don’t necessarily do what you want or expect of them. Even if unintentional, which is probably the case here, I still value the beauty of nature over the desire for instant progress. Still best wait for a patch I guess.

  • marcelostockle

    always appreciate your honest work

  • Jim_Watford

    Games are one disappointment after the next, I might take up knitting instead.

    • TheDeadFellow

      Accuse me of wearing nostalgia goggles, but the last gen was so much better. Just a few months ago, I finally got around to playing Alan Wake and was amazed how much a six year old game held so incredibly well, both visually and quality wise.

      • Jim_Watford

        I don’t think it is nostalgia goggles, games are getting worse, I can count the number of good games released this year on one hand.

        • Father

          to be fair to this gen I do think this year has been particularly bad. Pretty sure we had a similar year in like 2007 or something?

          • Jim_Watford

            Towards the end of the last gen things started heading south and they’ve not really picked up since, not for me anyway.

          • Powermad80

            Wasn’t 2007 remembered as particularly great though?

        • diamond

          I don’t think they are getting worse at all,

      • Altoryu

        I still remember playing Resistance 2 on PS3, it’s coop missions are probably some of the most fun I have ever had in a co-op game.

        • Silvershock

          I usually hate FPS on consoles and I was surprised at how much fun Resistance 2 was.

          • diamond

            I love FPS on consoles.

      • diamond

        I think this gen is really damn awesome.

        • TheDeadFellow

          I won’t deny that there have been some games that have really struck a cord with me (Wolfenstein TNO, Alien Isolation, Dragon Age Inquisition, a majority of DOOM) but it really hasn’t pulled me like the previous one did.

          • diamond

            There have been great games like Watch Dogs, Watch Dogs 2, Quantum Break, Mad Max, Phantom Pain, Black Ops 3, Advanced Warfare, Battlefield Hardline, Infinite Warfare, Titanfall 2, Homefront Revolution, Sunset Overdrive, Uncharted 4, Killzone Shadowfall, Dead Rising 3, Just Cause 3, Shadow Warrior remake, Fallout 4, The Division, Arkham Knight, Technomancer, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, Gears 4, Until Dawn, Infamous Second Sun, Ratchet and Clank, Halo 5, Rise of the Tomb Raider, GTA V, etc

            Didn’t really love Isolation though, it was OK but a bit too long for it’s own good, it’s cat and mouse style gameplay got tiresome for me, plus the game’s pacing felt way off(twice the game felt like it was building to a conclusion only to keep on dragging it’s feet) and on top of that, it’s one of the glitchiest games i’ve ever played(it was almost Unity levels of bad, with doors and entire ceilings frequently disappearing and weapons randomly not working).

          • TheDeadFellow

            Advanced Warfare was actually pretty good in my eyes. Easily one of my favorite COD campaigns in quite some time. I also really wanted to play Phantom Pain but unfortunately, my computer would keep crashing every time I’d play it, no matter what settings I set it to.

    • Watchmedance

      I get the feeling that if you like Team Ico’s work, you’ll like The Last Guardian. That’s what I’m getting from other reviews. It’s holding at 80% on Metacritic.

  • I know you’re probably not gonna read this, but I have a huge admiration for your work Jim. You’re one of the few reviewers that are actually honest, that write their reviews like an actual gamer would.

    I don’t have much interest in The Last Guardian, not a fan of Team Ico’s games, but it’s sad when such a hyped game ends up dissapointing. I can’t wait for your Final Fantasy XV review, to know if it met your expectation of if it also ended up dissapointing.

    Continue the fantastic work Jim. Thank god for you!

  • Sharadufobash

    ” Sometimes he’ll let the barrel just bounce off his stupid bloody face, and it’ll look bloody stupid.”

    Lol.

    What an excellent review. I’ve no intention of playing this game but just enjoyed getting a sense about what’s good and bad about it from a critic who knows how to write about both the mechanics and the atmosphere/less tangible aspects of games.

  • oshigoroshi

    add this one alongside AC2 and TW2

    • TheDeadFellow

      Assassin’s Creed 2 and The Witcher 2?

      • oshigoroshi

        yes!?!?!?!!?

        • TheDeadFellow

          Ah. The “Games Everybody Liked Except Jim” list. What a magical thing it can be.

          And I’m with him on Witcher 2. Wasn’t much of a fan of that game, I’m afraid.

          • Mark Darcy

            I wasn’t particularly fond of Witcher 1 or 2. Fucking love 3 though.

          • TheDeadFellow

            The temptation has been there, but due to my computer not being entirely up to snuff + the fandom, I really haven’t mustered up the interest to check it out.

  • Austin_sj

    Reviews like this are why I come here, it’s a really thorough look at the points, good and bad that helps to see whether I’d like a game much more than the number. I know a lot of it will depend on a personal viewpoint but is the game worth playing despite it’s lows?

    • BAH!

      His Squirty Play does a decent job of highlighting some of the issues mentioned here. If you don’t care about gameplay spoilers, I’d suggest taking a look.

  • Hank Garretson

    It’s almost as if spending almost a decade in development makes the game not quite to live up to its expectations… Something Laura K Buzz should consider in regards to a sequel to a certain Ubisoft title…

    • Father

      I’m sure she has

    • I think she knows and is hoping against hope that something worthwhile will come of it.

      Of course, as we recently learned, it only JUST went into pre-development, so if it ends up being crap then we’ll know it won’t be because it was in development for too long.

      • InfamousDS

        We can look no farther than another game that came out last week to know that long dev time doesn’t always mean rubbish.

        5 years in active development out of 10 years of passive development after an exciting announce trailer and an almost nonexistent drip-feed of status updates until 2014.

  • OctopussGrift

    I think watching this game may be more satisfying that playing it for me.

    • Tubey84

      Not really… I think it’s actually one of those games that make a fantastic trailer, and little else.

  • BAH!

    I just want to say, Jim, that this is why I like your reviews. Not because they “buck the system” or anything, but because you can be so god damn articulate. You very clearly, vividly described a number of problems that I simply do not want to wrestle with, and a number of feature I wish I could experience for myself. You have given me a good idea of what I would and would not like with this game, and thus helped me as a consumer.

    Or, at least, you would have if I owned a PS4. But still!

  • Tubey84

    Really glad you haven’t fell into the trap of reviewing the hype instead of the game.

    This is clearly well reasoned, and watching your video on it then, if anything, you’ve been generous with that final score. Unfortunately, not many of those who will inevitably tee off on you for this review will actually read the thing, or play it themselves to see whether it’s true or not – they’ve bought into yet another bandwagon and learned nothing from No Man’s Sky and the dozens of similar hype trains before.

    Keep the honesty coming Jim; pretty much the one bastion of honesty left in games media.

  • Kevin Schnaubelt

    I feel like they could have just handed this over to a modding community and this game would have been flawless. And probably released like 5 years ago.

  • goodbyejojo

    taken from the gaf forums:

    “Jim Sterling shows once again how miserable of a person he is. The guy is soo impulsive with his decisions on games it’s impossible to ever take his word on anything.”

    wild card strikes again!

    • BAH!

      He writes an entire article painstakingly describing his issues with the game, and that’s “impulsive”? Boy I’d hate to see Jim’s “thoughtful” review.

    • Bert Schnalz

      “Impulsive” is a term the quoted person should look up in a dictionary.

    • HAHAHA!

      • SilentPony

        I don’t get it Jim. You have a what, 3000 word review explaining in detail, dare I say ad nauseam, everything you felt about the game. How are you impulsive? Miserable maybe, because no one has asked you to voice Rita in a power rangers game. But impulsive? In what way?

        Impulsively having a different opinion of them? Or is that where the misery comes in?

        • BAH!

          “Ah! After ten thousand years, I’m free! It’s time to write a middling review of The Last Guardian!”

          • Nathan Aldana

            “alpha, steal 5 oddly nearly 30 year old “teens” off the street because they have middling martial art training and force them to wear goofy jumpsuits!”

        • 09philj

          I impulsively write artistic analysis all the time. Just the other day I composed a dreadfully misjudged ten page essay about the homoerotic undertones in Romeo and Juliet before I realised the whole thing was total bollocks.

          • BAH!

            No more meth for you!

          • SilentPony

            That’ll teach you to clickbait your papers!

      • diamond

        Hey Jim, have you thought about doing a mid-week JQ on how you don’t enjoy not liking games like Last Guardian? Since this is the third time you’ve not liked a Team Ico game, it would be fitting to do a JQ version of that “Oil and Water” article you wrote many years ago.

    • TheDeadFellow

      Has someone taken the poster for that Jason Statham movie and photo shopped Jim’s head on to it?

    • H.E.V.nix

      Neotard forums? Imagine my shock.

    • Nathan Aldana

      Internet videogame forums seem to all be screaming forums for fanboys who cant stand their precious being hurt

    • Thomas Halvorsen

      If it’s taken from the gaff, the greatest forums on the internet besides gamefaqs, it must be accurate.

    • Pieman280

      The funny thing is (maybe due to the presentation) that I read that exactly in the same voice as some smug critic who’s carefully analyzed a medium, and is talking about some kind of distasteful art. …but it’s an internet guy talking about a critic as a personal attack. Have we really reached a point where people are standing by to rate a critic’s approach to doing a review? Well if so, I’ll get ahead of the game and start this with forum posts by suggesting that guy gets a 4/10 for bias, and he’s probably being paid by sony to not praise Jim.

  • Themoonlightwolf1

    Kind of a shame to hear how much of this game is puzzle based, I loved Shadow of the Colossus but I could never get into ico due to the puzzles.

    • Kevin Schnaubelt

      Shadow was a puzzle game.

      • Silvershock

        What? In what way is Shadow a puzzle game?

        • InfamousDS

          Each Colossus has a very specific weakness and climbing pattern, as well as an attack tell and a way to bring them in range for a counter where otherwise they are literally insurmountable.

          It’s a puzzle in the sense that the combat doesn’t work like other games despite building from the same pile of blocks.

          • Silvershock

            I don’t know if “figure out how to stab the big thing in its head and if you can’t figure it out basically instantly then the game tells you anyway” (seriously that pissed me off so much, and you couldn’t turn it off) makes it a puzzle game. Fecking awesome boss rush game, but there wasn’t anything particularly puzzling about climby climby stab stab to me.

  • ThePiePieper

    Well, this is about what I expected, so i guess I’m not disappointed by how disappointing this game is.

  • Hmmm… I’m a huge Ico fan and I don’t like very much “modern level design sensibilities” if that means I can guess that inside that hole there’s a treasure for sure.
    That said, if the bugs are as you describe them (and I have no reason to think they aren’t) I do agree with your score.
    I’ll likely keep my pre-order, but I’m not gonna be happy as I hoped I’d be ;__;

  • RuRiK_87

    From what I saw from your video I’d say this is a fair review and 6.5 is not a bad score, anything above a 6 is good and worth playing in my opinion. I’m probably one of the few Sony fanboys that will agree with you on this one and as someone that hopes to be working in the game dev industry within the next year I am glad that you don’t kiss ass when it comes to being honest in your reviews

    • Bert Schnalz

      This industry needs more reasonable people like you.

      • RuRiK_87

        A review like this one helps developers challenge themselves and make a better product next time, or at least it should.

    • If anything, being flawed is probably a good clue why it was held back for so long.

    • Scott John Harrison

      I am glad for the 6.5 – I was afraid that it would be 4 or lower meaning that it fails at someway core to its design. but 6.5 tells me it is the Third Team Ico game in all its high and low points.

      • RuRiK_87

        we are in a culture where anything bellow a 8 is considered trash and people go nuts over it when a game they still haven’t played gets that type of score. Also why consider a game to be amazing even before you play it just because it’s from a studio you like? A studio can’t always make flawless games.

        • Scott John Harrison

          Why I decided if/when I write reviews to use a 4 point grading system. Excellent 4/4, good 3/4, okay 2/4, bad 1/4 (Also 0/4 is digital homocide .)

  • How *dare* you Jim! How *dare* you have mixed feelings on a highly anticipated release.

    • Watchmedance

      Opinions are like Jim… I mean assholes. Jim is a Jasshole? Jim’s real name is Hugh? That’s it! Jim is Hugh Jasshole!

      Hugh Jasshole is obviously conspiring with Microsoft to sink The Last Guardian’s metascore and take over the world.

      • BAH!

        Diabolical!

  • Max

    So what I got from this review is that I’ll probably love this game, but I also suspect I’ll enjoy it less than shadows which is a shame.

    And Jim I want to applaud your review. I really felt a sincere appreciation for the story/characters and frustration at the more dated and hampered elements of the game shines through in your words.

    • Harvester of Sorrow

      wipe your chin

      • Fallen Prime

        You shame Metallica with your username.

  • anonymous gamer

    I’ll take Ico and SotC over any tripple A modern game which was playtested by and designed for modern gamers with serious “autism”. Jim what about games like Deadly Premonition (unplayable bugfest which you loved), are they suddenly bad by “modern” standards? maybe you’re just a big fat (no pun intended) hypocrite?

    • WE GOT ANOTHER

    • faraday

      So edgy.

    • Watchmedance

      So what you’re saying is that The Last Guardian doesn’t live up to Ico or SotC?

    • TheDeadFellow

      Oh boy.

    • Forrest Kayssen

      I’m confused by the use of “autism” in this butthurt rant. What exactly are you trying to say about modern games here? Are they too easy? Too precise and exact? Too all over the place? What kind of autistic gamer are you ranting about here?

      • anonymous gamer

        We need more creative games like Ico and SotC but reviews like this one are not helping us get there.

        • Forrest Kayssen

          Those games were creative when they were made ten years ago. Since then, there have been hundreds of games, most of them indy titles, which have trodden similar ground. The Last Guardian doesn’t stand out anymore, no matter how pretty and affecting it wants to be.

        • Just because a game is an entry in the style of game you want to see MORE of does not automatically exempt it from being flawed. It’s disappointing, sure, but NO game gets a free pass just for being different.

        • nagatsu

          Sooo…. just because something is creative it can’t (or shouldn’t) be called out for its bad parts?

        • BAH!

          That’s an interesting philosophy. We’ll ignore the idea that critics and reviewers are in any way obliged to the creators of the thing in question, and move right to the heard of the matter:

          The core of such a thought is that criticism is *only* detrimental, and must be avoided/suppressed if we want more of the things we like. And frankly, I genuinely don’t know how anyone could possibly think such a thing. At all. Ever.

          Criticism, when properly applied (as seen in Jim’s thoughtful, articulate breakdown), is an aid for creators. It helps them see flaws (or strengths) they might not normally see due to their proximity to the creation and creative process. It is absolutely key to the improvement of any product or work, and, if accepted and utilized, will lead to “more of the thing we like”. If you don’t understand that, then you really have no place commenting here or anywhere.

          • anonymous gamer

            This all stands in most cases but not in this one. I think games like The Last Guardian (which are exceptionally rare!) should be judged by what they are set to accomplish, what themes/feelings they’re trying to convey and how well they are doing it. That’s certainly not beautiful graphics and effects or technical excellence. Ico and SotC also had many flaws but they are still great and unique games no matter what Jim thinks about “groundbreaking modern design” which actually made games painfully easy, accessible, casual, boring, simple, stale, unoriginal… It’s as if Jim wants that every future game looks and plays like Call of Duty or Assassins Creed which is sad. Do you really think creators/developers are not already well aware if their game has some technical flaws, bugs or AI problems? Maybe they will patch it in near future? It’s type of criticism that doesn’t help in aiding creators but it’s meant to scare of potential buyers which aren’t diehard fans like me. I didn’t have opportunity to play and experience it yet but I seriously doubt it’s so unplayable and broken to justify this piss poor 6,5/10 score. That’s why I mentioned before a brilliant game Deadly Premonition where countless number of bugs or flaws didn’t prevent Jim from giving it high score and recommend it to everyone.
            These type of games are also INTENTIONALLY not designed for casual players in mind so that they could casually play for half hour to be positively stimulated (like fucking Pavlov’s dogs) or busy players who need to finish it on autopilot in one evening and feel good about themselves (fucking uncharted fans). In that manner “archaic design sensibilities” is not bad thing for majority of audience this game is targeting and the reason this review is not helpful at all. I get that Jim is pro-consumer and that he doesn’t want people to buy faulty product but many of us will still buy it and enjoy the hell out of it no matter what he thinks or his obnoxious fans who troll everyone here with different opinion. Guys this is not some sect or ku klux klan. 🙂

          • diamond

            whether design has made games today “boring” is just your opinion, it’s NOT an indisputable fact like you seem to think it is, I for one think most AAA games are pretty goddamn awesome and get better every year.

          • diamond

            Your post is not helpful at all, that attitude that people should ignore flaws in this game because it’s a Team Ico game is bullshit.

            Also most of his fans are not obnoxious you moron.

            Don’t insult Uncharted fans just cause you don’t like that series you fucking idiot.

            I don’t buy the excuse of these games not being aimed at casual players, that’s horseshit.

          • RedWolf

            *sniff sniff* Eww, I smell a hipster… -_-

          • BAH!

            1. Paragraph breaks. They help.

            2. Your criteria described a significant part of the review. The other part was the technical aspect, because it’s a *game* that people *play*.

            3. Your hyperbole/strawman argument tells me you’re not actually putting any thought into your argument.

            4. 6.5 is not “piss poor”, it’s “alright”. And if you take that to mean anything other than how Jim uses it (which he clearly defines elsewhere on his site, as many others do), then you are wrong.

            5. You’re ignoring the fact that Jim holds Deadly Premonition in the “so bad it’s good” category. In other words, the game is enjoyable *because* of its massive, glaring flaws, not despite them. So you can stop trying to use that as “evidence” for your argument.

            6. Yes, sometimes developers don’t realize the designs they’ve implemented aren’t good or intuitive. That’s one of the reasons QA and testers exist, and critics also supply aid in that way, as well.

            Listen, I’m going to tell you something important. You can have an opinion on the game when you play it. And if you enjoy it, then great. No one would be able to say “you’re wrong” because that is a wholly subjective matter. But the value of critics and criticism in *all* media and forms of art is not up for debate. At all. In this way, you are wrong.

            And by the way, Jim’s less-than-glowing review is not going to impact sales in any noticeable way- especially if the general reception is much better than his individual opinion. I don’t know why I have to point this out.

          • anonymous gamer

            I’m just disappointed that Jim (who is a very talented writer) talked so much about things that aren’t important to me as a gamer. I expected that he’ll like this game despite some glaring flaws in design and be inspired to write a review that will go deeper into the themes and meanings of the game. Team ICO games are so rich with visual storytelling and symbolism that it’s a shame not to write about them in depth (to hell with spoilers). I find talking so much about AI and bad camera is just lazy and typical grunt work that every blogger or e-celeb can do just like the angry Mexican guy on youtube.

            Back in the day when I played ICO I accidentally stumbled upon the story guide written by Peter Eliot which made me love and appreciate the game on a whole different level not just for great puzzles or strangely unique world and atmosphere. Being able to interpret it in many different ways made the game feel so much more than sum of its parts. If The Last Guardian is even remotely similar to ICO I know I will love it the same way.

          • BAH!

            Not getting what you want out of a review is a thing that happens. No doubt there are others out there that can scratch your itch. But if you’re disappointed because he didn’t do what you expected (even though this review is kind of typical for him), then that’s on you.

            But the funny thing is that Jim does compare it to ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, so if that’s what you needed, it’s there. Get yourself the game and enjoy. Really.

        • Wolfie

          Then people should make more creative games. They aren’t beholden to reviewers. Doesn’t mean it can’t have bad parts.

        • diamond

          well other reviewers liked it, but not everyone HAS to like it, get the fuck over it.

        • Ian Goldberg

          Constructive criticism does not detract from the game, user’s should be made aware of the game’s technical shortcomings before deciding to make a purchase, no matter what positive direction the game may or may not push the industry in.

    • BAH!

      1. Jim himself has fully admitted multiple times Deadly Premonition was awful. But he loves it, anyway. Weird how opinions work like that.

      2. “Autism”? Really? Ok…

      • diamond

        I don’t think it was awful, I think it was an interesting game marred by some bad design choices(Who thought having your car actually be able to run out of fuel in an open-world game was a good idea?)

    • DBurningham
      • Fallen Prime

        Ain’t broke, don’t fix.

      • diamond

        I really like Shadow.

    • Silvershock

      Can ya smell the fanboy? Deadly Premonition sits squarely in the “so bad it’s good” category, does it not? Also, calling anyone who doesn’t like the game you haven’t played yet autistic…..classy.

    • Agusarg

      Deadly Premonition is still really fun and enjoyable for what it is. In some way, how outdated and cluncky it is makes it even more fun, which I doubt is the case with this one.

    • Deadly Premonition wasn’t a game in development for a long period of time being pinned as a hot exclusive for a major console.

      • Uldi

        Hell, it was a $20 dollar game. And Jim reviewed it as a perfect example of ‘it’s so bad, it’s good’.

    • [x] Reference to autism
      [x] False review equivalence
      [x] Personal attack
      [x] Hyperbole

      Yep, it checks out: you’re a cunt.

      • anonymous gamer

        And you sir are a scholar and a gentleman.

        • diamond

          and you sir are a moron.

    • Wolfie

      Someone has a wee bit of a branch stuck up their bumbum! Baby needs a nap!

    • RuRiK_87

      Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are good games but even I have to admit that this one seems pretty clunky and 6.5 is by no means a bad score. Your reaction to his review shows that you are a pretty sad person

    • diamond

      Not me, I think too many people give Ico games a free pass, excusing things like bad camera angles and awkard controls that they would not excuse in any other games

      I would rather play Aliens Colonial Marines, Ride to Hell or Heavy Armor then a Team Ico game.

    • diamond

      Maybe you’re just a big fat moron who can’t accept it when people don’t like a Team Ico game.

      Jim is not a hypocrite, Deadly Premonition is fun in spite of its flaws, I would not give it the same rating Jim did, but it’s enjoyable unlike Ico’s games.

    • diamond

      Also fuck you for insulting people with autism, both me and Laura Kate have Asperger’s syndrome.

      • anonymous gamer

        Having Asperger’s on internet must be fun or you’re just some dumb underage troll. Using autism as slang is nothing new or controversial, grow up. Calling everyone “moron” doesn’t help Jim gaining more audience so please stop and try to be more strategic. 🙂

        • diamond

          I’m not an underage troll you stupid fucking piece of shit, a mental condition should not be used as slang, you are a moron because you keep on randomly insulting fans of other games and using ableist language.

          You’re not helping Jim at all, one of his friends on the podcast happens to have autism, so he’s not going to take kindly to you casually using autism as an insult.

          You’re the one that needs to grow up dumbfuck.

          You should be more “strategic” by getting lost and not being a troll.

          • anonymous gamer

            great bait bro. 🙂

        • diamond

          It’s more fun then being a brain-dead piece of shit like you LOL

  • Popop Popk

    love and care does not equal a great game.

    People should give games a pass because it “means well”. LOL.. Good review

    • Forrest Kayssen

      Yeah, it doesn’t matter how much attention goes into crafting a cake… If the cream goes rancid, that’s all people are going to be able to focus on while they eat it.

      I think this metaphor works. I might just be hungry.

      • BAH!

        Maybe something more like:

        The cake may be great, but people are going to have a difficult time enjoying it when all they have are butter knives for silverware.

  • ikiryou

    Do game developers still have paid quality assurance testers? We’re seeing a lot of glitchy games released that would otherwise be 9’s and I dare say 10’s if they were more technically sound at release.

    • Watchmedance

      From what I’ve read, the issues that some are having with The Last Guardian sound like deliberate design decisions or omissions that weren’t considered.

      • BAH!

        A loose, unresponsive AI partner could be purposeful, I suppose. I don’t know why anyone would do that, though.

        • Thedrunkardkid

          Well, I guess it would help make the player less depressed if Trico dies for good at some point in the game.

          • Forrest Kayssen

            Like in Resident Evil 4, when Ashley gets kidnapped in cutscenes. You’re supposed to feel worried and motivated to save her, but instead you’re excited for the next chunk of gameplay because you don’t have to escort her around for a while.

    • Tao

      The customer is the quality assurance tester these days, and we get to pay upwards of $60/£50 for the privilege.

  • OctopussGrift

    I wonder how this compares to Papo and Yo?

    It had a similar gameplay structure, but I felt like the monster acted very predictably.

  • Giorgos Katsas

    Don’t mind old mechanics in a 2016 game. I am still playing the AM2R remake 😛 If that’s all that’s wrong with the game, then the review paints it in a positive light for me, mersi Jimbo.

    • Nothing wrong with old mechanics if the old mechanics are good.

  • Drew C

    But here is the most important question the review didn’t cover. Does the feathered dog die?

  • Silvershock

    This honestly sounds like a collection of everything I absolutely hated about Ico, that massively overhyped dumpster fire of a game. The controls there were absolutely maddening, Yorda was a pain in the arse who never did what you wanted and would actively place herself in danger. The camera made me homicidal. I’m basically reading a review of Ico all the way through here, which doesn’t surprise me at all TBH.

    • Mark Darcy

      “Yorda was a pain in the arse” should’ve been on the front cover of Ico.

      • Silvershock

        I remember pissing off a whoooole buncha Team Ico devotees by comparing the game to Amy, but that’s the best comparison I can give. One long escort mission for a brain-dead suicidal NPC with god-awful controls, one-button combat and a camera that hates you. Sounds like Amy to me.

        Oh, and BLOOM! BLOOM! SO MUCH BLOOM! I originally played Ico on a plasma TV and it made my fucking eyes hurt. Take PS1 game, cover it in bloom, that makes it a PS2 game, right?

        • diamond

          I would rather play Amy then any Team Ico game, I actually didn’t have too many problems finishing Amy, but finishing a TI game is like pulling teeth.

          • Silvershock

            I quite enjoyed Shadow of the Colossus, though it took the “bleak landscape” a bit too far, to “Jesus Mithras Muhammad this is the most boring scavenger hunt in history” levels. The actual fights are pretty brilliant.

          • diamond

            Yeah, it’s funny how some people like to complain about games being too bleak nowadays, when Ico’s games are bleaker then anything i’ve played this gen or last.

    • Powermad80

      Did you play the original USA release of Ico? I hear that one was an earlier shittier build with much worse AI, which was also the case for the box art.

      • Silvershock

        Nope, European release. It’s an awful game no matter which region you play it in. I played the HD version afterwards hoping they’d have at least fixed the controls. Nope!

  • Allenspellwaver

    Took me so long to load the review. I was afraid the site was DDoSed again. 😀

    • Wolfie

      Same here!

  • bimmyz
    • TheDeadFellow

      YES! OH THANK GOD FOR JIM!

    • DBurningham

      *mwah* Beautiful. Nice touch with the inital.

    • BAH!

      YAAAAAAAAAAAS

    • Forrest Kayssen

      Download yourself a cookie, you marvelous individual.

    • Drew C

      Personally I would gone with Uncharted 4,Gears of War 3 and/or Vanquish rather than FF13 and RE6 (because the popular opinion is those two are both shit) but kudos regardless.

      • Forrest Kayssen

        Maybe Modern Warfare 3? Or even Sonic Colors, because of that one douche that couldn’t leave well enough alone.

        • Drew C

          Those are both excellent suggestions.

          • bimmyz

            yeah, something to consider for future revisions.

          • Forrest Kayssen

            To be honest, the list is so big you’d need a smaller font to fit them all in. But then again, that’s what you get when you’re using a reviewer who uses the entire range of numbers between 1-10 as a scoring system, instead of 6-10 like everybody else.

    • oshigoroshi

      tag line should be, he’ll shuffle your jimmies, or jimmies will be shuffled.

      • Forrest Kayssen

        “There will be boiled piss”

    • I don’t think TW2 review is that wild here too.

      Also, surprising that for the “wild card” thing coming from EA there are no EA games in the list 😀

    • diamond

      RE6 review was less surprising then the others, as that game had pretty mixed reviews, I would’ve put Dishonored 2 on the poster instead.

  • Lambadelta

    Sony fanboys and Jim defenders are gonna be busy lol. based on other reviews it seems that Jim has a point here though case they have similar issues with the game apparently.

  • Folks already forget the flimsy, quirky-armed lessons of ‘Trespasser’. Realism in games rarely translates into fun.

    • Thomas

      But I can quote half a dozen reviews that complained the ‘realistic’ horse controls in Shadow of the Colossus doesn’t translate into fun.

      Yet with the perspective of time, its clear that’s one of many elements that make SotC what it is

      • Misha

        thats because the horse actually listens to your command inputs, its just the movement itself is a bit clunky (which i actually didnt mind). but its not like the horse would just sod off somewhere that wasnt in the direction you were pointing.

        • Thomas

          Well it kind of does. There were areas and situations where your horse would be spooked and not move in the direction you told it. It also was pretty leisurely at turning and speeding up.

          Either way, the real innovation of Shadow of the Colossus – the one that barely anyone has copied since – is that it didn’t always do thing to be fun and sometimes deliberately didn’t. For example the Shadow of the Colossus camera was deliberately bad and moved to highlight mood and atmosphere rather than to give you the clearest view of where you were going. The navigation was clunky, backtracking was mandatory, there was no gameplay in most of the game.

          These are the things that made it great.

          Now I’m not saying The Last Guardian does those things (from the sound of it, The Last Guardian camera isn’t deliberately bad, its just bad), but I am saying the majority of reviewers at the time couldn’t see those things and just said “This doesn’t translate into fun”

          • diamond

            Bad camera made that game great? That sounds like a weak excuse for me.

          • Thomas

            Don’t worry, I’m feeling no concern that you don’t believe me. I’ve played the game and there have been whole academic essays on it by professional animators and designers. If you’re interested (its pretty cool) I could point you to some good YouTube videos on it, but if you’re not that’s fine too.

          • diamond

            I don’t give a fuck what they say, for me bad camera is inexcusable, that does not make a game enjoyable regardless of any half-assed “artistic” excuses people come up with. That’s the problem I have in general with Team Ico games, they are very much style over substance.

            I don’t feel like watching videos that do nothing but circle-jerk over how good Team Ico’s games are and never actually offer any real criticisms.

          • Thomas

            Chill, as I said I’m cool with whatever you want to think about a game you’ve never played. Im not going to spring links on you

          • BAH!

            You must be new here. Diamond is not what we would call “a reasonable individual”.

          • Thomas

            To be fair, I’m not being that great either. I get how people saying ‘its meant to be broken’ can be pretty lame and SotC isn’t actually bad. Its actually doing something very difficult and impressive and achieves it in a smart way. Its just people called it ‘bad’ because they didn’t really latch onto what SotC was doing differently. Which is kind of what I’m pointing out, its easy for people to miss when a games aiming for something different.

            And that’s okay, because I don’t need diamond to like the game. Enough people like what it does and thought about it for the game to gets its reputation and earn the developers a sequel. So it doesn’t really matter if Diamond’s not interested in it. I’m sure there’s a lot of other cool stuff out there that Diamond is into

          • BAH!

            I’m just saying there’s no reasoning with him once he’s dug in his heels. Or even before, actually. You’re wasting your words, whatever they may be.

  • nikolas orava

    It doesn’t matter if the game is good or not. It’s being held hostage by an afful system that i probably will never own

    (I think Xbox one is equally bad so calm your tits)

  • MyBodyIsReady

    You can tell Jim has a very PC-centric audience, let’s just ignore the fact that a game 90% of people thought would be shit has 82 on metacritic. For the record no Jims lowish scored review doesn’t bother me

    • TheDeadFellow

      Sterling gave Bloodborne a 9.5 if I remember correctly.

      • Father

        he also reviews most games on console as well

      • MyBodyIsReady

        A 10 actually!

        • TheDeadFellow

          Yeah, just looked it up after I said that. I surprise even myself!

    • Silvershock

      The original Watch Dogs has an 80 on Metacritic. Hell, No Man’s Sky has 71. That’s your ultimate judge of quality, is it? Is it not simply an accepted fact at this point that paid or influenced reviews come from the major sites?

      I think there’s a reason you had to add that qualifier at the end of your comment. I think the lady doth protest too much.

      • MyBodyIsReady

        Yeah, the biggest gaming site gave it a 7 so I’m not sure what your point is.

        • Silvershock

          My point was about using Metacritic as an ultimate judge of quality? I’m pretty certain that was in there.

          • MyBodyIsReady

            Kay

      • diamond

        Watch Dogs is a good game IMO.

        • DasGaus

          The sequel seems like it stepped up the quality. I might look into picking it up.

          • diamond

            In some ways it’s better, in other ways not so much(I.E. side activities not being as good, being forced to get collectibles to unlock certain skills, use of non-lethal weapons being discouraged).

          • Henriette Gaston

            The “super cool minority dude with friends who wants to help the community and kills people for fun” thing doesn’t really work for me.

    • Wolfie

      Not that that matters, considering a review is a personal experience rather than an objective statement.

    • cowboyjimmy

      are you saying that Jim has a bias towards PC? have you seen his yt channel? he takes the piss out of steam almost every day.

  • Tauramengo

    I think I read something about the game making it so that the beast delibarelty ignores some of your orders at the begining of the game and that it changes depending how you treat him. Also something about the color of it’s eyes changing. Wonder how much of thath is true and how much is excuses from ICO for bad AI programing.

    • Joshua Chap

      If that’s the case the game did a terrible job explaining that

  • Yiffy Savanah

    Great review, Jim! I appreciate that you’re being very critical on the technical issues and flaws here, because I know those are going to be a deal-breaker for a lot of people, and the reviews that highly praise this game kind of glide past those.

    Even though I’m the kind of player who loved Ico, and is willing to ignore the flaws and technical issues you’ve mentioned here, I think it’s extremely important that there are a wide spectrum of reviews on a game like this. Thank you. <3

    • BAH!

      This guy gets it.

    • THANK YOU!

      • Wolfie

        Features comments… new thing you’re trying?

        • TheMagicLemur

          The man gets death threats and slurs; let him boost his ego a little. Dude’s earned it.

          • SilentPony

            Oh I think Jim boosts his ego to SFM gifs of mass effect pron plenty.

          • Wolfie

            Oh I wasn’t criticizing it, by any means.

          • Henriette Gaston

            Would be nice if this place didn’t turn in Derpstrucfail.

          • TheMagicLemur

            Wow. That the best snide fake name you could do? Like, there’s no time limit on comments; you can think ’em out.

          • Henriette Gaston

            Classics are classics for a reason.

          • TheMagicLemur

            Can you also menton the Gaystation? Maybe throw in an “M$”, too?

    • Jinx 01

      Mature disagreement? On the internet?!

  • wryguy87

    I mean, a game’s design being antiquated doesn’t mean many of us can’t love it.

    Jim still loves Dynasty Warriors after all. That shit hasn’t evolved in over a decade either.

    • wryguy87

      Plus, some of us don’t think game design has really come very far in 10 years anyway.

    • TheMagicLemur

      True. I think part of the problem is that, from what Jim’s saying, it captures that gameplay both for better AND worse.

    • Skias

      There is a difference between troubled buggy game and series that hasn’t evolved.

    • Mr Ink 5000

      True, you’re free to love it n don’t have to justify it

    • Misha

      antiquated =/= buggy. antiquated is what you call silent hill 2’s gameplay. TLG’s gameplay straight up doesnt work when you hit the button that you were told to press. and thats bad, no matter what the ‘excuse’ is.

      • wryguy87

        Will reserve judgement for myself. From my days at GameStop I’ve heard too many people complain about games being buggy when they weren’t.

  • Joshua Chap

    It’s really not surprising at all that a game that was never meant to be released to be even as good as it is. That said this is an great game for 2006, but in 2016 it’s a rather bit of a disappointment then anything else.

  • Shui Gor

    Given the numerous delays, Fumito Ueda and members of Team Ico leaving Sony, and the switch to an entirely different platform, I’m not totally surprised by the technical difficulties with The Last Guardian. Thanks for the heads up, Jim.

  • SilentPony

    Now that I think about it, do all the Ico games take place in the same universe? Is the feathery dog thing what the shamans based some of the Colossi on? Pelagia or Celosia maybe?
    I can totally see whatever the kid’s name is growing up and being the big king in Shadows, and uses his love and memories of the feather dog as the basis for the guardians against evil in the realm.

  • TheMagicLemur

    OH MY GOD YOU GAVE IT A 6.5 MY ENTIRE LIFE IS RUINED ARGHLEBARGHLEBLAGBLAGBLAGAAAAAH

    Seriously, though; it’s a damn shame. This should’ve taken a lesson from Duke Nukem Forever; you can’t keep scrapping development to keep up with the tech. Sometimes you just gotta say “Only forward from here.”

    • Cindipool

      In the case of DNF, they should’ve just pulled the plug about ten years prior rather than continue sinking money into it.

      • TheMagicLemur

        The thing is, it would have been an awesome game if 3D Realms had just stuck to an engine and released the goddamned thing.

        Game devs get too hung up on being cutting-edge that they end up releasing inferior products hamstrung by their obsession.

        • drownedsummer

          Instead their development time ended up being longer than both world wars.

          • Cindipool

            And with roughly the same num- okay no I can’t make that joke, it’s just wrong.

        • diamond

          Yeah, 3-D Realms should’ve been given an ultimatum to finish the damn game already, still I think it turned out pretty well.

          • TheMagicLemur

            Well, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Can’t say very many agree with you, but as long as YOU got the game you wanted, that’s all that matters. Me, I’d rather play a Digital Homicide title. Y’know, if they were still on steam.

          • diamond

            I dunno about not that many, since the game did sell pretty well, quite a few people on a forum I used to frequent liked it.

            Saying you’d rather play a game by a shitty company like DH is a bit extreme.

          • TheMagicLemur

            Uh… I mean, sales don’t mean shit. Colonial Marines sold well. The overall critical and fan consensus is that the game was hot garbage water.

            Like I said though; I don’t begrudge anyone actually enjoying it. As Jim often says, you do you. But let me put it this way: if I dropped 5 bucks on DH game, I’d have been annoyed. If I’d dropped 60 bucks on DNF, I’d be absolutely furious.

          • diamond

            They do mean something, they can’t just totally be ignored. The general consensus was far from as bad you said, as the game has a three star average on Amazon.

            I got DNF used for about 20 bucks, but I would’ve felt far better about paying full price for that game then Federation Force.

            DH games are force, you can’t say that Gearbox didn’t care about Duke, but you can say that DH does not give a fuck about anyone, I can’t see eye to eye with people would willingly spend money on a game company that tried to sue Jim for no reason.

          • diamond

            They do mean something, they can’t just totally be ignored. The general consensus was far from as bad you said, as the game has a three star average on Amazon.

            I got DNF used for about 20 bucks, but I would’ve felt far better about paying full price for that game then Federation Force(which I did pay full price and was thankfully able to get a full refund)

            DH games are far worse, you can’t say that Gearbox didn’t care about DNF at the very least, but you can say that DH does not give a fuck about anyone, I can’t see eye to eye with people would willingly spend money on a game company that tried to sue Jim for no reason.

      • Jinx 01

        I remember seeing the trailer in 2000 or 2001, it was so great. I think it was Unreal Tournament’s engine. And it looked damn near done. They should have just finished it as it was and moved on to the next game.

    • Misha

      the joke is that the tech doesnt even look that good lol the clipping in jim’s video was fucking awful, and shit i expect from a gamecube game

      • BAH!

        I noted that right off. Like, literally the first thing that caught my eye was the kid’s hand clipping through the shield. Not a great first impression.

        • DasGaus

          This maybe irrational, but the tutorial button prompt windows that kept popping up in the video seemed like they were lazily made.

          • BAH!

            I don’t know about “lazy”, but it sure as hell was annoying how it kept coming up every single time anything could be done.

    • diamond

      The problem is it does not look like they kept scrapping development, it looks like they started in 2006 and never tried to update their design philosophy for modern times, it looks Team Ico never tried to change with the times, I would actually rather play Duke Nukem Forever then anything by Team Ico.

  • mrhair

    I tried to play Ico twice, and each time I was impressed with the atmosphere, but totally put off by how dull it was to play, the combat especially, so I can’t say anything here sounds particularly shocking to me. I’ll still probably try it, one of these years…

    • Day_is_Over

      As someone who played and adored Shadow of the Colossus, I agree, Ico bored me to tears in the first hour or so.

      • Chris JT

        Too bad. It gets so much better and one of the greatest endings of all-time with one of the greatest ending theme songs!

    • Plectrophenax

      Its something of an acquired taste. Or perhaps its just a taste some people will never be able to understand.

      Personally, I really like slow-paced atmospheric games and I have never gotten bored while playing them. Especially when they are well executed enough to not dampen the experience by making you frustrated for things outside of your control.

      I would recommend a game like Ico to someone like you in a heartbeat (good on you for giving it not one but two fair shots), but I would be *very* hesitant to recommend the Last Guardian.

      • diamond

        You mean like alcohol? I fucking hate the taste of alcohol myself and i’ve never been drunk and never will be(my family does not have a good history with alcohol, two of my relatives drank themselves to death).

        • Plectrophenax

          A better comparison would be something like Kitsch in art or cornyness in films. Some like it inherently, some grow to like it over exposure, some can learn to appreciate it without ever liking it, and some will never like it while being completely baffled by how anyone else could.
          It applies to almost all taste-related things, but I feel as though things like the evocations inteded by a game like Ico or the Last Guardian are particularly apt examples of this (what can come across as bland, drab, boring, tedious, etc to one type of person can come across as inspired, facinating, engaging, enjoyable, etc to another).

          Incidentally, I also never acquired the taste for alcohol and was also never inclined to force myself to do so, not by peer pressure nor the promised effect of drunkenness. Lucky for us who can afford making autonomous choices, right? 😉

          • diamond

            Right, my cousin’s death because of drunk driving(not 100% her fault, her father was an asshole who drove her to start drinking in the first place) is a powerful motivator for me to never get drunk.

    • Chris JT

      You have to truly truly love the world and the concept to enjoy how ICO plays. For me, I could just run around in the windmill area and jump in the pond for hours and have fun. I’m just like that…I love great art and execution.

  • SilentPony

    I just realized I don’t even care if there’s a Jimquisition today. We got two reviews, and enough salt mining to make us the King of Navigators
    Remember, the spice must flow!

    • 09philj

      There is one coming. Probably taking the piss out of the Game Awards. That safety razor man is definitely going to be a new meme.

      • SilentPony

        Yeah sure, but he could wait a day and we’d all be entertained here.

      • drownedsummer

        I’m kind of hoping for one on Pixel Empire but that might have occurred too recently as it was within the last day or so.

  • Leah

    There are so many good games coming out on PS4. Uncharted 4, Last of Us 2, Ratchet and Clank, Last Guardian, FFXV. Unfortunately, I can’t play them because they’re not on PC. And even if I could afford to buy a PS4 to play them, I don’t think I would, because I firmly believe that exclusivity is incredibly anti-consumer, and I don’t want to have anything to do with it. Which is a huge shame since the games all look so good.

    • Jinx 01

      It’s a shame it isn’t on PC, maybe modders could fix the issues lol

    • RuRiK_87

      lack of exclusivity means that there is no need for multiple systems and what about all of the PC exclusive games? which are many more than console games, isn’t that anti-consumer? by your logic you shouldn’t want to have anything to do with PC either

      • Eon264

        The reason the majority of those games are exclusive to PC has more to do with the fact that the devs would have to negotiate with Sony and Microsoft as a small-time studio than anything else. Almost every big-budget release that comes out on PC comes out on at least one of the other consoles. The reason console games are exclusive to consoles is because if they released everything on PC there’d be literally no reason to buy a console at this point.

      • Helmic

        PC is an open platform, a hardware standard. No one pays royalties to develop on PC, there’s just retailer cuts. Most Linux distros are even free and open source.

        In fact, in terms of hardware there’s very little to set apart a console and a regular computer. All that consoles really do is arbitrarily limit what you can run on them. In fact, it’s possible to run Linux on a jailbroken PS4 and run Steam games on it. Valve would never do anything to prevent Steam from running on any device that can play games; the same can’t be said of console manufacturers.

        PC exclusives are not the result of any desire to horde games on the platform, they’re the result of a high barrier of entry in consoles or matters of input devices. You can just decide to make a game on PC and no one can stop you, you need Microsoft or Sony’s expensive blessing to make a game for their consoles.

        That’s why PC gamers want HTPC/Steambox setups to take off, they (ideally) should do the same thing but allow all games to one day written on all devices with no arbitrary middlemen, where all games scale with your budget and you can do whatever you want with the hardware you paid for.

      • Leah

        If there are PC games which can be ported to consoles, but are not, then that is indeed anti consumer. However most PC exclusives cannot be ported because they are either small indie games without the money to port games, or they have an interface which can’t be easily converted to console (like Civilisation).

      • Nitrium

        No you’re wrong about that line of thinking. “Exclusive” means that the developer was FORCED to NOT make the game available for other platforms by Sony/MS/Nintendo.
        Leah is saying that a developer/publisher should be able to CHOOSE to make games available for any platform they like, without interference from the platform owner.
        I don’t know of any genuine PC exclusive where Microsoft/Linux/Intel/nVidia/AMD specifically forced a dev to make it 100% PC only (i.e. they weren’t allowed to release on other platforms). If there are, I’m sure you’ll be able to count them on one hand.

    • Misha

      if you cant afford a ps4, how can u afford all those games tho 😮 ps4 slim was only 200 during black friday, and all together those games are around 250 bucks, give or take some price drops!

      • HerbertGW

        You should probably learn to read.

      • Fallen Prime

        I feel like you missed the rest of the sentence you’re responding to.

      • Leah

        I can buy a PS4, but not the games, or I can buy the PS4 games, but not the console I need to play them on. The end result is that I’m not going to buy either. That sucks for me (though I can just watch the games on youtube) and it sucks for Sony, because they could have made a tidy profit from me.

    • drownedsummer

      15 will hit PC eventually.

      • Leah

        I’m sick of PC gamers being treated like second class. GTAV, Skyrim, RotTR and now this. Why can’t companies just treat PC gamers like they’re valid?

  • Harvester of Sorrow

    Typical and expected. Too much nuance and thought for a hipster douche to comprehend and appreciate. Nice clickbait too. The only thing worse than this tool and his reviews are the mindless sheep followers who regurgitate his drivel.

    • DBurningham

      And here we see the rare “salty boy” in his native habitat. Quick to anger, and very sensitive to changes in the status quo, the salty boy is in the process of jumping at his prey. Stay tuned to see if they are successful or not.

    • 09philj

      You do understand that clickbait means nothing here because there are literally no adverts or analytics?

    • Fallen Prime

      You speak of regurgitation, yet spit out the same cookie-cutter derogatory nonsense as the rest of his “critics.” And yes, he has ACTUAL critics who make genuine points about his style and persona, which is why I separated your ilk with sarcastic quotation marks.

      Also, he doesn’t get ad revenue and has all traffic-viewing metrics shut off so he can’t see. He has NOTHING to gain from clicks, not even an ego boost.

      No, what DOES boost his ego is your salt.

    • Retro

      How does one have “click-bait” on a site with no ads?

    • GamingSage

      someone lack brain cells to even know what clickbait even means

    • Jinx 01

      This review is the opposite of “hipster douche”. It’s actually interested in the gameplay’s substance. A hipster would just like it because it looked cool.

    • bray4ever8

      Your tears are delicious… keep them coming!

    • Nemrex

      Jim must be wiping away tears with the money he makes from all that ad revenue here.

      Wait, he makes 10K from Patreon?

    • SilentPony

      G8 b8t m8t

    • Wolfie

      And the only thing worse than us is a shit-sniffing dumbass who’s base intelligence equates to a mossy rock. I mean, for christ sakes, the old “clickbait” chustnut again? On a site without ads?

      What are you, fucking incapable of anything beyond what the neogaf playbook has written down?

      • Chris JT

        Dude, just because there are no ads doesn’t mean it’s not clickbait. LMFAO!!!
        Jim WANTS people here to read his reviews. He wants as many people as possible to read them. Why else would he be writing them? For himself? He wants his website to create traffic. Period!

        • Wolfie

          For fuck sakes. Alright. Okay. I’ll play ball.

          He wants people to read them. Now, take it to the next step, son. What does he get out of it?

          • Chris JT

            He gets enjoyment and gratification. And I already said he gets traffic. The more the merrier. That’s why he has this site, right? So people can come and read his stuff? He sure got MY attention with that 6.5, for example. 😉
            Come on now, really?

          • Wolfie

            So basically, it’s “clickbait” because you want to define clickbait as literally as broadly as possible to make your point to discredit him.

            Why does anyone put anything publicly on the Internet? To be read. So literally fucking everything publicly on the Internet is clickbait.

          • Chris JT

            Congrats, I’ve never face palmed so hard before.

            *cringe*

            Ok, so you’re actually going to make me write this….

            Games like TLG and FFXV have been waited upon for YEARS. The fans that have been waiting are extremely loyal. There’s even like a myth surrounding these games because at one point it’s like they were “dead and gone for good.” So, well, the fans are expecting them to be well-received. 8+ ratings. But when you see something like a 6.5 (and again, this is something a mother or father would not be proud of on a report card) then yes, it can be seen as clickbait. Definitely had ME curious as to why this game would land in mediocrity when previous titles were praised universally.

          • Wolfie

            That’s their fault, not the reviewer. They are the ones who demand that their expectations be met and it be rated positively to a degree they find agreeable.

            However, reviews are not objective, there are based on personal preference and enjoyment. Something people seem to forget, to the point where some rant about a review NOT being objective! Well duh, that’s the point!

            Take, say, horror movies. The Conjuring was highly praised. I thought it was god damn shit. Fucking hated that movie. Just because you’re curious about someone’s score does not make it clickbait. Clickbait is purposeful, it’s manipulative, just by the virtue it’s called “bait” demonstrates that.

            Jim’s reviews are not that. They are honest to how he feels about a game. That’s not being clickbait just because he doesn’t always agree with the majority. It just means he’s part of the minority and that alone isn’t enough to be “baiting.”

          • Daniel Jensen

            Jim has plainly stated in the past that
            1. He’s manually turned off the counter that tells him how many views his articles get, which by the way make him no money because Patreon > Ads

            2. If you have nothing to post but angry bile, HE DOES NOT WANT YOUR CLICKS OR COMMENTS. He would much rather you get over it rather than hurl insults and get into arguments with everyone. As would any sane bloody person.

            And even ignoring that… nobody publishes articles that they don’t want people to read. That and I would question why you are hunting for reviews of a game you’ve already decided is a 10 if you have to cry “clickbait!” at anything less.

    • If this isn’t sarcastic, then the world is a much bigger place than I could begin to imagine.

      • SilentPony

        Oh these people exist, in droves. And Jim is an expert in getting them to come out of the woodwork to whine and gnash their teeth at his different opinion.

        All the while he sits back, blissfully unaware because that shit is shit and he’s got better things to do than argue online with fuckwad shitheads.

        • Well, his name is Harverster of Sorrow, so I was staying optimistic.

        • drownedsummer

          There’s little need when they generally derail their own argument most of the time.

    • Uldi

      Except it’s the hipster that usually goes on about nuance, thought, and subtly about a game. Come back when you know the proper buzzwords to use.

    • And too much ‘nuance and thought’ for him?
      He was objectively looking at it as a game — in the review, he does say the story and visuals were mesmerising, but he also examines the main body of games. The gameplay.

      Have as much thought and nuance as you like, if a game plays like shit for its genre, and everything it achieves is ground into the dust.

      Besides, 6.5 isn’t bad. Above average if nothing else.

    • Mr Ink 5000

      Click bait with no ads? How does that work then?

      • Mark Satan

        Jim doesn’t clickbait for the ad revenue or the glory. He does it so he can talk to his server admin. That’s what all this is about.

        • Fallen Prime

          Okay, what ARE you? You’re saying some of the same things the more braindead detractors are, but in such a way that it seems deliberately goofy.

          You intrigue me, Hercule.

          • drownedsummer

            Jim mentioned it on twitter the site was experiencing issues when this review went up.

          • Mark Satan

            I knew it!

            It’s time to just be honest, Jim. Giving relatively low review scores to games that I’m fairly sure I will like just to stress your servers so you can email someone is no replacement for saying what you really feel.

          • Aristatide

            “? You’re saying some of the same things the more braindead detractors are, but in such a way that it seems deliberately goofy.”

            IE: Poe’s Law.

      • Chris JT

        Well hey, I hardly ever come here yet I did based on his score of TLG. That’s one clickbait for ya haha.
        But this is the last time I’ll be coming here. I won’t fall for it anymore because I have come to realize both with this game and FFXV that in the end, reviews just don’t mean shit.

        Why should someone tell me this game is a 6.5/10 when I think it’s a 10/10??? Why should I care???
        And I don’t really play games for the gaming. I play games much the same way I would watch movies except that I am actually interacting with the art., which makes the experience even better than a movie. Games like FFVII-FFX, The Last of Us, Uncharted games, Silent Hill 2, ICO & SotC, Metal Gear Solid games, etc. They are true experiences.

        • Mr Ink 5000

          But that’s not what click bait is.

          • Chris JT

            Yeah, click bait is basically creating a misleading article in order to lure people in as they discover it wasn’t completely honest upon reading the full thing.
            So yeah, while it’s true this isn’t quite the same thing I can’t help but feel the review feels like it should be about a 7-7.5 or something. Something that can be looked upon as at least “good” as opposed to mediocre.
            But I just don’t care any more. I feel fatigued discussing this any further. It just feels so futile in the end as it’s just, well, some other person’s opinion. I guess awkward controls just don’t do it for him.

          • Mr Ink 5000

            Its fine that you aren’t happy with the review or the score or Jim’s opinion, but as a whole the internet needs to stop using words wrong as they begin to lose their impact and meaning.

            Click bait is a perfect term to describe a common problem of misleading titles used to generate ad revenue by clicks. Thats not possible on this site. Jim is funded by Patreon, it’d have to be one hell of a piece of bait to get you to sign up to a monthly donation.

    • drownedsummer

      You made the clickbait point before it was pointless then as well.

    • Jpkurihara

      Can you people come up with a better point than “clickbait” which is debunked literally every single time a controversial review of his pops up or is it too much strain for your two brain cells?

      • Chris JT

        It IS clickbait, no matter which way you put it. It’s click bait in the way that it will stir up controversy and create traffic flow to his website.
        He wants people to flip out from his reviews. He wants to rattle people up so they can come here and wonder why he would give this game so and so review.

        • Jpkurihara

          No. No he doesn’t. He earns LITERALLY FUCKING NOTHING by doing this.

          • Chris JT

            Now, I just find this hard to believe. Who would be doing all this work for….nothing???
            I mean, to be playing all these games and then writing these long, thoughtful reviews….for nothing?

            Ohhh man, if that’s really the case I gotta say that’s pretty sad.

          • Jpkurihara

            Because he gets his support from Patreon.
            The chances of an inflammatory controversial review getting him pledgers are about 0.01%.
            All he gets is headaches thanks to retards like Mr. Sorrow above.
            Now answer me: what reason does he have to be a contrarian on purpose?
            That’s like eating a delicious vanilla cake during your office party then pulling your pants down and taking a dump on it just to upset everyone. Sure, you got some “lulz” for yourself, but you ruined the innocent vanilla cake and got everyone disgusted and angry and you’ll probably get fired. It’s not worth it.

          • Chris JT

            Ok, understood. Thanks for that bit of info.

            Anyway, it is what it is. If he truly found the game mediocre, so be it. Why bother trying to change his mind? You can’t. Oh well and that’s the end of it.

            I just don’t agree. But hey, that too is what it is.

    • diamond

      you are a brain-dead moron, you do realize Jim does not earn any revenue from people visiting the site right?

      Dumbfuck.

      • Chris JT

        He doesn’t have to, man. He wants the traffic flow and attention to his site.

        • diamond

          Jim does not even KNOW how much traffic the site gets you fucking moron, he doesn’t care about that.

          • Chris JT

            [email protected] fucking moron! Wow, try some anger management dude. Shit, life’s too short for that kind of shit. Ease the fuck up.

            Anyway, I even know he gets a decent amount at least. You can even judge based on the amount of comments he gets per review.

            Usually highly controversial games like say this or even now FFXV – which are expected to score well – that get low scores instantly garner attention and will have the most comments. That’s just obvious and anyone can see that just by looking.

          • diamond

            I’m not angry, just tired of morons who aren’t part of this community insulting Jim every time he dares to not give a glowing review to the hot new release of the week.

            Popular games are not scored low just to “Get attention”, Jim gets no monetary benefit whatsoever unlike other gaming sites, so for people to assume he does it for views is asinine and nonsensical.

            Jim does not give a fuck about how many comments he gets, that means nothing to him.

            You’re the one that needs to “ease the fuck up” moron, i’m not the one who’s butthurt cause Jim didn’t like you precious game very much.

          • Chris JT

            I haven’t really insulted him but I am just disappointed in his viewpoint. So much so that I have lost all faith in reviewers. I just can’t waste my time thinking about what others think anymore. I remember back in the day when there was no metacritic or anything. Now everything is judged according to that and it’s a bit of a mind fuck.

            Anyway, YOU however did insult me aggressively. I get it, you like the guy and his site so you’ll defend him. Of course you’re not going to accept what I say. It’s like having a friend with a statement that is wrong and you KNOW he is wrong but you’re gonna take his side anyway because it’s your friend. Cool, but you won’t convince me man.

          • diamond

            lost all faith in reviewers LOL, you can’t expect everyone to blindly like everything you like, the world does not work that way.

            I won’t accept people blindly discrediting Jim’s opinion cause they are butthurt over him giving a game a lower score then expected.

          • diamond

            Your post is obviously stupid and anyone can see that by looking.

          • Chris JT

            Well yeah, no shit sherlock. Of course you’d say something like that! So don’t worry, i won’t hold it against you too much. The site is obviously full of Jim fanboys such as yourself. You’ll lick his a@@ if he asked you to. Hey, if that’s your thing go for it!

          • diamond

            You are a brain-dead shill. You’d probably jump off a cliff if a game publisher told you to do so.

        • Jeddostotle7

          Why does he want the traffic flow, though? he doesn’t make any money off this site whatsoever. He doesn’t even have analytics on this site (he deliberately removed them). Sure, he *might* be able to guess based on the amount of comments on an article, but so what? What does knowing that do for him? Nothing.

          Also: why is 3-4-hours-ago you so different in temperament (read so much more of an asshole) than 1-hour-ago you?

    • Tank Dsouls Ordialot

      So you’ve obviously decided you know enough about Jim’s work, and feel compelled to visit this site reguardless.

      Congratulations! You’ve won “the sadest prick on the internet awards”

      • Chris JT

        It’s “saddest” & “regardless”, for your information. Man, don’t you have spelling check on your cpu?

        • Tank Dsouls Ordialot

          No im on mobile, and literally cannot be fucked to carefully tap my keypad when im talking to time wasting idiots.

          • Chris JT

            Then don’t bother posting at all.
            Mobile pretty much finds the words for you, so it’s even worse in your case.
            (Nice to see you went back to “correct” though.)

          • Tank Dsouls Ordialot

            Yes, my shitty version of Android finds the wrong spelling!! And considering you understood what i meant, i would say your being pedantic.

        • Tank Dsouls Ordialot

          Right fine!! Ive gone back and edited it. I forgot that spelling and grammar are more important when writing shitty comments online, then they are when writing a fucking dissertation.
          I salute you Chris JT, seems only polite people manage to get to me.

    • Weasel Biggs

      You’re adorable.

      Is it so hard to understand that some game design choices can be difficult to work through or process?

      • Chris JT

        It really depends on the individual player and how each individual perceives the game design. I watched people play SotC and have soooo much trouble with it which I found cringe-worthy. I felt like saying, “ohhhh geeez just GIVE ME THE DAMN controller already and I’ll show ya how it’s done.”

        It’s all in the mind and perception. Some people will get it and others won’t. SotC played like a dream to me.

    • Chris JT

      Wow, it took guts for you to write that but man….pretty much nailed it right in the head!
      Jim is all “hipster-wannabe.” Whatever, if that’s his thing let him have it. He has enough followers giving it to him and allowing him to be who he wants to be, so good on him. But man, I see through all of it as I’m sure you do. I can’t take his reviews seriously.

  • Dr Dub

    Well done for being brave on this one. I listen to your criticisms of the game, watch footage of it and it certainly vibes/rings true with what I can see. I for one will be making an informed decision not to buy it as those issues would ruin it for me.

  • Mike Wallace

    My only expectation for this game was Team Ico’s predictable game design, and I don’t give a damn about this interactive Sarah McLachlan commercial. I feel more for the fate of Isaac Clarke post-Dead Space 3 than I do for a sacrificial lamb cynically designed to make you feel bad for playing the game. All so Ico can sniff their own assholes and bark about how “video games are art!” like that fucking debate even matters anymore.

    • 09philj

      Not many games are confidently subversive any more, which is a shame. I’ve been enjoying Thief II recently precisely because it never feels the need to let the audience know that the writers are also in on the joke; it relies solely on the strength of it’s writing and design to get across the comedy.

      • Mike Wallace

        The writing, and the voice acting. Stephen Russell (praise his name) and the rest of the cast do an amazing job with that excellent writing.

  • Mark Satan

    I wanted this game to be good Jim. Did you consider that for even a moment before you did this? I am upset.

    • Fallen Prime

      Damn you, Poe’s Law.

    • Benderesco

      Well, Eurogamer called it essential and Kotaku loved it. Destructoid liked it a lot, too. Jim is not the only person with a reliable opinion in the world, you know, His reviews are not the gospel.

      • Mark Satan

        But what if they are?

        • Benderesco

          Then we are all doomed, because I doubt anyone will have the patience to collect all his teachings from the god-knows-how-many reviews he has written.

          • Wolfie

            It’s the Trial of the Faithful. Like Mohammad spending his nights in the cave writing down the words of God himself.

      • Helmic

        “His reviews are not the gospel.”

        Last I checked, nobody thanked God for Kotaku, Eurogamer was not a literal prophet speaking on behalf of the God of Abraham. Now I’m not saying Jim is God, but you better shut your mouth heretic.

  • Great, insightful review, Jim.
    I hope it’s still successful despite its flaws, however — Team Ico do some excellent things, and it’d be a DAMN shame if it was ruined.

    • SilentPony

      Same here. I really want a Shadow of the Colossus 2. Absolute shame if Ico goes belly up for this ill-timed game.

      • 09philj

        They don’t necessarily need to make a sequel, but something more like SotC than Ico next time would be welcome.

        • SilentPony

          Not like a sequel storywise, but a spiritual sequel. The Bioshock to SotC’s Systemshock.
          Hell, I’d love a steampunk version of Colossus, especially if you have magic powers.

          • Justin Graham

            I don’t think steampunk would really work for a Team Ico-style game. It’s hard for me to see how the aesthetic and atmosphere would really match up.

  • David James Booth

    Its ok, 25% of game development happens after release these days… Kappa

    • Jinx 01

      Yup, AAA just means you’re paying $60 for an Early Access title anymore.

      • Wolfie

        Only a matter of time before the DLC itself will start costing $60 because “it’s the full DLC experience” or some shit.

        • FutureFox

          And you know people ( en masse ) will defend that practice too.

      • Tank Dsouls Ordialot

        AAAccess

    • Nitrium

      So we can expect it to be finished in, what, 2-3 years, assuming they work at the same rate as the other 75%?

    • Yeah, that’s the “modern games” smell Jim’s is going on about here. (I want to ask him: care to elaborate?)

  • Read a ton of reviews by now. Big fan of SotC and I can tell I’ll love it. I know myself enought to know that. Even if it wasn’t a Team ICO game, just the concept alone sounds like a game I’d buy regardless of the general consensus of the game’s quality.

    But I really appreciate your review and honestyl and lack of bias.

    Also “The Last Guardian is a game of its time, but sadly that time was ten years ago.” is the best line regarding this game. And given how much I know I’ll like it, it made me both laugh and cry.

    Damn you, Jim. Great review.

  • Diortem

    A “cinematic” and oh-so-deep PS game that’s… awful to play? Shocking! Saw this coming a mile away. Great review.

  • GroundZero

    Shadow of the Colossus isn’t really a treat to play either. I mean I love the game but getting the protagonist to do what you want is just not fun.

  • diamond

    I smell butthurt from Team Ico fanboys incoming, I wonder if Jim plans on doing a JQ version of his “Oil and Water” article on Destructoid(Which is all about how he didn’t enjoy not liking Team Ico’s games)

    • raihidara

      I doubt it. It might be wishful thinking but I imagine that fans of Team Ico are probably some of the more reasonable gamers out there. I rank Shadow of the Colossus as one of my favorite games as well but I can definitely appreciate Jim’s opinion here.

      • diamond

        I dunno about that, check out Jim’s Destructoid article “Oil and Water” where he talks about how he does not enjoy not liking Team Ico games, the butthurt in the comments section is astounding.

        • raihidara

          Well shoot, that’s unfortunate. Every fanbase has some bad apples I guess.

        • CaitSeith

          That was years ago. Hopefully people may be less defensive with Team ICO’s games criticism. On the other side, just read The Completionist’s comments in his Shadow of the Colossus video…

          • diamond

            Is Completionist insulting people who like the game or something?

          • CaitSeith

            Not really. He gave the game lot of criticism about the controls, climbing mechanics combined with the stamina and the way you improve your health and max stamina. The main backlash in the comments was “don’t blame the game that you suck at it”.

          • diamond

            Ah OK then, glad to know me and him are in agreement.

  • nick

    I did read somewhere that the AI for Trico was going to not be obedient at first then listen to you more depending on how you treat him throughout the game, it was there to show the increasing trust that Trico and the boy build during the game so maybe that’s what you were experiencing.

    When I first heard it I did feel that it could be incredibly emotional or it could turn out to be incredibly frustrating, disappointed that its the latter.

    Anyways great review thanks for the heads up jim.

    • drownedsummer

      The problem is that feature in the game? Or is it just bad AI design.

      • Justin Graham

        As Jim pointed out in his addendum, people are already excusing the terrible Trico AI for being “realistic” despite Trico being a fantasy creature in a video game.

        I could understand if Trico displayed obvious hesitance at following directions, like he doesn’t quite trust you. But it doesn’t seem to be the case. Going by Jim’s gameplay video on his Youtube channel, it seems Trico just sometimes doesn’t do things that he absolutely should and leaves you waiting arbitrarily without recourse.

        This sounds less like a feature and more like AI design that just isn’t smart enough or responsive enough to be player-friendly.

      • CaitSeith

        More importantly: can the player tell the difference?

        • drownedsummer

          Having just watched a video of the player character dropping from a ledge and past the bird/dog/thing where you would expect it to grab him instead he just lets him fall to his death.

    • KreskinsESP

      If it was intentionally designed to be that way, it would behave in a consistent manner. It does not. I suggest watching the Jimpressions video, it shows the gameplay issues without any real spoilers.

    • Aristatide

      Yeah. There’s a game that does that. It’s called Haunting Ground, the dog training system works perfectly, and it was PS2 title. (I mean the second half of the game is pants, but that’s not because of Hewie.)

  • The Outsider

    It’s 2016. Not 2001. Controls and AI have come a long way in most games, as Jim mentioned. Clunky controls especially is something I don’t want to deal with anymore.

    • Lies That Bind

      Exactly. I remember being a bit put off the HD re-releases because of the obtuse controls. I still liked the games but i had to put up with the gameplay to get the story.

    • AliasAlterego

      If you can’t get used to the controls after five minutes walking around, I’m sorry, but there’s something seriously wrong with you and you need to get checked up.

      I’m not even being facetious. I’ve even seen this being parroted around this comment section. Either you people have the worst hand-eye coordination in the history of ever, or I’m basically a girl genius. The very notion of someone not becoming used to the controls after five minutes is mind-blowing to me and can only be summarized in someone getting lost trying to tie their own shoelaces.

      • The Outsider

        I think you’re mistaking “difficult” controls with “clunky” controls.

        It’s not that one forgets which buttons do what (not that this is possible with the tutorial prompt showing up every single time), it’s that it doesn’t feel smooth or all that intuitive.

      • Henriette Gaston

        Blame the user all you want, but the user is taking its money elsewhere in the meantime.

  • Canneddirt

    Jim, thank you for the clear eyed review. Kill your heroes and all that. However, I have had this friggen game on preorder since it was announced. I bought a PS3 just for this game. I am getting it anyway, and I will play it and I will love it. If Nintendo can ride the nostalgia laurels for 2 decades, then so can Sony. At least for this one game. Then I will go back to being a critical, reasoned gamer.

    • diamond

      I remember pre-ordering Sleeping Dogs back when it was called True Crime: Hong Kong, I was SOOOO angry when I heard it was cancelled and then so happy when it got brought back from the dead.

  • greyXstar

    Ten years ago I worked with a guy who bought, and also sold loads of people on a PS3 on the backs of The Last Guardian, Kingdom Hearts 3, and the rumor of the Final Fantasy 7 remake. And the back of the PS3 boxes at launch had a screenshot and call out for Final Fantasy 13, which meant 15 was effectively in development at that point. And 13 didn’t come out for another like four years! The video game business is weird.

    • ManuOtaku

      If just the games of today had the same steady performance of 10 years ago, we would be way better, and no first day patches, dowloading issues, etc. Backwards is forwards, someone said.

    • Justin Graham

      That was a rough patch for Square Enix, no doubt. XIII had delays, Versus XIII was a series of unfulfilled promises, FFXIV launched in a terrible 1.0 state, and while they initially didn’t plan to create sequels to XIII, they ended up doing so any way because 1) They wanted to make good on perceived shortcomings of XIII and 2) they were trying to get their house back in order with XIV 2.0 and turning Versus XIII into XV.

      They seem be doing well in clearing those hurdles, though.

      • greyXstar

        Too many big, ambitious projects at once. They’re all great ideas but well, for every Toy Story there has to be a Planes so you don’t over-extend yourself.

        • Volvagia

          You mean Cars or Brave (how the crap did that WIN Animated Feature? Up (a movie that annihilates the central theme to have a villain) at least had that brilliant opener.) or Monsters University, because Pixar didn’t even make Planes. Other than a flawed example, though, good analogy.

      • AliasAlterego

        XIII is the fourth best selling game in the series and Lightning consistently scores high, if not first, in many official and unofficial fan favourite contests.

        Final Fantasy XIV is one of the most successful subscription-based MMORPGs ever made and it receives new content every three months. It has one of, if not the most active director in the business right now, who makes it a point to personally address fan feedback and actively streams to answer questions and personally attends to as many different conventions as he can to be with the players.

        I personally have mixed feelings about XV but it’s getting nothing short of glowing praise everywhere, but that’s mostly because of the westernized design, which is exactly why I think Final Fantasy’s public perception had been diminished in the west. Back when Final Fantasy VII was big, the japanese market was basically at its peak performance and they had been ruling the market since forever.

        When the PlayStation3 and Xbox 360 were out, the western market had already caught wind of this videogame thing and people had a much more grounded set of expectations; western players had preference for western-style game design and they expected it for everything, forgetting in part that Final Fantasy had never been a western game and that they enjoyed it simply because they had never played anything bigger.

        In short, Final Fantasy hasn’t really changed, at least until FFXV. People changed. The industry changed. And my hope for FF is that it goes back to being a japanese game. Not a western game with a set of japanese characters in it.

        • Henriette Gaston

          FFXIII is absolute trash. It’s time to accept it after 7 years.

          • Justin Graham

            There’s no reason to accept your opinion of XIII as fact.

          • Henriette Gaston

            How delicate.

          • Justin Graham

            You certainly are.

          • Henriette Gaston

            ZIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING

          • Justin Graham

            You certainly don’t seem to care about saying anything that might help your case.

          • Henriette Gaston

            FFXIII is my case, son.

          • Justin Graham

            You’re talking to a Final Fantasy XIII fan, so you’ll need to try harder.

          • Henriette Gaston

            No drill is strong enough to penetrate such thickness, diamond or not.

          • Justin Graham

            You’re not good at insults.

          • Henriette Gaston

            Being thick-headed at something is nothing to be ashamed of. Don’t be insulted. Just pick better things to be thick-headed about.

      • The Venn diagram of people who think Taylor Swift is the apotheosis of western music and post-Yoshitaka Amano Final Fantasy has any business existing is a perfect circle.

        • Justin Graham

          That was needlessly antagonistic.

          • (Sorry, there wasn’t a reply-to-all button. Don’t take it personally. We all fear what we cannot understand. For me that’s Final Fantasy XV.)

          • InfamousDS

            Yoshitaka Amano did the bulk of the monster designs for XV (since they were based on his works from older games), has continued to do the cover arts for every game (including spin-offs and XV), and the fact he did promotional artwork was a big enough deal that it was used as a marketing tool and a PS4 theme.

            He isn’t gone, he just cashes a different kind of check.

          • They always look like out of place reanimated corpses to me; but also the designs are embellished which is like the sorcerer’s apprentice dabbling in things completely beyond their comprehension. The games would at least be more whole if they’d let the new employee’s do things the way they’d do them. I’m aware of his involvement, but it’s not about Amano, it’s about drawing the line in the sand, and saying this is acceptable, and this is not… there could’ve just as well have been a replacement for Amano who did things even better. But Amano is a vital spirit of what made the original series charismatic, so I’d hate to make the decision to find a replacement.

            But the flavor of the old series is very different from the Idol chic’ flavor of the new. The main thrust of the new FF is to be like Tiger Beat fuel in Japan.

    • This game is my go to pitch on why video games can’t be left to corporations. They can’t even turn out an Ico or SOTC once a decade. We’ll all be toothless and dead waiting for these fuckers to do anything worthwhile…

  • Doortothe

    I remember Argo always listening to my commands. In Shadow of the Colossus the riding controls are designed so you’re always controlling Wander. So it always takes a while for Argo to listen to you. But on the flip side, Argo would do things without your input, and the game was more immersive as a result of this unconventional control design.

    Also Argo would always come to you when you called. Argo is the best horse in video game history.

    • BAH!

      There’s a PA comic about the horse in AssCreed being a better assassin than you are, but I can’t find it.

      • diamond

        You sure it wasn’t a Ctrl Alt Del comic?

        • InfamousDS

          No, it was Penny Arcade. I remember the comic, it was around the same time as AC3 since the horse would just “appear” when called.

    • Delicious Taffy

      Agro is a fucking BRO.

    • Yeah, but that’s how a well trained horse behaves. I live with horses, and I’m always surprised by how remarkably stupid they are, yet can still pull these feats of control off. I think if they weren’t so stupid they wouldn’t be so easily commanded. (They are the most evil creatures too. It makes me think sometimes that evil and stupidity are somehow two sides of the same coin. That’s such a boring explanation for evil though.)

  • Thomas Neo Anderson

    Such a shame. Thank you Jim for your honesty and integrity.

  • Plectrophenax

    I have the same conflicting view. How nice it would be to say that it has flaws that can be rendered secondary by all its amazing feats. But, unfortunately, the flaws are not only equally amazing but affect a part of the game that is simply impossible to ignore – gameplay.

    A supremely fair review. Even people who love this game will have to admit how frustrating the non-responsiveness of the game leaving you hanging in uncertainty for minutes at an end can become.

    One more thing:
    “An unhelpful, unwieldy camera that (…) often blinks into
    darkness abruptly while correcting its unprompted, (…)”
    Its unprompted what, Jim? Its umprompted what??!

  • Chip Self

    Damn shame. I was really hoping this would be good, but I know the annoyances would be a deal breaker.

  • Nitrium

    Not surprised that a game in development hell turned out mediocre. At least it turned out superior to Duke Nuke ’em Forever. Also those still waiting on Half Life 3 need to look at these titles and think about what that game might well turn out like should it ever eventuate.

    Some typo’s I spotted (Jim says he appreciates readers pointing them out, before anyone berates me for doing so).

    “At one point I simply randomly fell of Trico during the beast’s jump animation.” – off Trico.

    “often blinks into darkness abruptly while correcting its unprompted, and generally fights the player whenever it can.” – while correcting unprompted???

    • drownedsummer

      Well that does beg the question is HL3 even in development?

      • Wolfie

        I personally doubt it.

        • drownedsummer

          Same.

      • Clem

        I seriously doubt it. Valve dont need to make games anymore so why would they? They just have servers running making them millions.

        Either way by this point if hl3 came out it would be a disappointment considering the expectations of that game at this point

    • CaitSeith

      To be fair, Postal 3 wasn’t even made by the same studio than the rest of the series. In fact the original studio was so ashamed of it that they asked the fans not to buy it, and the first thing that the most recent Postal 2 DLC did was to say that Postal 3 was just a dream.

      • Nitrium

        Actually neither, ultimately, was Duke Nukem Forever, which while started by 3D Realms/Triptych Games, but was finished by Gearbox/Piranha Games.

    • Chris JT

      Only mediocre in Jim’s eyes and a few others. It’s a VERY divided game with a way above average of 83 on metacritic right now. It has at least 10 perfect scores and a few 6/10’s as well. Gamespot even gave it a 9/10 while IGN gave it a 7. So so divided.

      It’s basically…if it’s your thing get it, if not then don’t.

  • Tank Dsouls Ordialot

    Clumsy AI is a total immersion-breaker for me. Snappy control’s and logical solutions to environmental puzzles are an absolute must, especially when these are the games primarily mechanics.
    The tough question is: do the moments of delight and wonderment outway the ball-ache? Frustratingly, there is no possible way to answer this question without playing it myself.
    Jim, thanks for providing your honest, subjective opinion on such a difficult question.

  • AnGer

    Jim’s back is broad
    but it’s-a hurtin’
    And all he wants
    is for us to say fuck konami

  • Rattlehead

    Glad I avoided getting the game. I don’t have a love for the developer myself, ICO never really looked good, though I did enjoy Shadow of the Colossus, but I was worried it would suffer the same clunky controls as Shadow. Awkward controls and poorly responsive AI will ruin a game for me. It could be the most charming game ever made, but if it’s not fun to play, it might as well be worthless. I’ll wait till next year and see if it gets patched up to fix the problems. I’ll just make my December game Dead Rising 4 instead.

    • AliasAlterego

      The controls aren’t awkward, you’re awkward with its controls.

      It’s called adapting; when you play a game, you’re expected to get accustomed to the weight of the character’s animations and adapt. If you’re incapable of that, that’s on you, not the game.

      Can’t say I’m particularly sad that you won’t be purchasing. Considering your game choices and complete inability to adapt to really simple and basic control schemes, I think not having your voice in the pool of feedback is only bound to be good.

      • CaitSeith

        tl;dr “The games don’t suck, you suck!”

      • Rattlehead

        And way to be a condescending prick. Congratulations. Nailed it.

        If I can’t get use to the controls, whether there is an issue or not with them, they are then awkward, and therefore a problem with my enjoyment. Not everyone can adapt to every control style. I hate how the original Resident Evil games play, even in the most recent remasters, so I don’t play them, even though I’ve dabbled in most of the Pre-RE4 ones.

        Some people just don’t like how games play sometimes.

  • Christophe Dubois

    “…especially at a rate inferior to my own real-life dog, who happens to be an asshole.” You slay me, Jim. Great review, as always.

  • Manioc

    Jim’s complaints about Trico’s AI are giving me Half Life 2 flashbacks, where your resistance allies operated on some inscrutable system of directives which would have them ignore medkits for ages, or refuse to equip themselves with a better weapon unless you placed it in just the right spot at their feet.

  • M.

    Am I the only one who hates the stylistic choice of having a glowing, featureless, cel-shaded player character set against a realistic world? He sticks out like a sore thumb taped to a flare gun that plays the Macarena and it ruins any potential immersion for me, I half-expect “RABBITS DANGEROUS” to flash on screen.

    • Casepb

      Yeah the kid’s model bothers me too. Reminds me of the PSX Final Fantasy games ha. Low poly and low texture models clashing with the highly detailed pre rendered backgrounds.

      • FFVII had an endearing quality to that, but it outgrew its welcome in follow-ups. There it was more like matte painting backgrounds with cel-animation on top, which is very common in animation, and anime. (Ever noticed how the trap door or collapsing wall doesn’t quite match the background in an animated feature?)

        And it’s the only place contemporary realtime-3D shadows ever looked good! That is in the stylized FMV sequences. And it’s because there they were used to cartoon effect. Shadows in video games are so hideous we shouldn’t even be deploying them to this day. That they don’t exist as such in Ico or SOTC is what makes those games so beautiful.

    • George

      I agree with your opinion.

    • Jpkurihara

      Ffs don’t do this to me man, don’t make me laugh this hard

    • Yeah, I agree. If you’re not Cool World or Who Framed Roger Rabbit, you don’t have the artistic license to get away with this.

      (Just looking at it, this is the misgiving that flashes to mind.)

  • whiskytangofoxtrot

    “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad” – Shigeru Miyamoto

    • oshigoroshi

      star fox zero

      • exmp4

        star fox zero actually not in delay much, but the force of using the motion control and two screen that make the game less fun and enjoyable, and part of the bad design itself

    • Wolfie

      At some point, though, a “delay” becomes “stagnation.”

    • Jpkurihara

      Mighty No. 9.
      Miyamoto was wrong

    • Jeddostotle7

      That gets blurred a bit (in both directions) by the presence of things like “updates”, and examples like Mighty No. 9.

  • Dane Barrett

    Fantastic review Jim. Hopefully some people will actually read it and understand the 6.5 score doesn’t mean you bagged the game, as you focussed on as many postitives. I was really worried that the controls would be flaky (if you play Shadow of the Colossus nowadays it doesn’t control well either), but I’ll probably play the game anyway as I enjoy this series.

    • AliasAlterego

      I fundamentally disagree that Shadow of the Colossus “doesn’t control well”.

      It takes all of five minutes to get accustomed to the weight of the character’s animation. Then again, we are part of a generation of gamers who are completely physically incapable of adapting to controls of any fashion and require everything to be spoon-fed and generic.

      • CaitSeith

        On the other hand, the button mapping was kinda awkward. It felt much better to have the grip button in the right trigger.

      • Dane Barrett

        I’m from the generation of gamers that started with “Pong” and worked our way up. Shadow of the Colossus is a fantastic classic title with controls that leave much to be desired (especially the nonsense auto-correction on the horse), especially when compared with games much older. Sure its easy to get used to any control system; that doesn’t mean it was great to begin with 😛

  • Ffordesoon

    It’s interesting to read the reviews of this game, because it’s one of those Roschach-test titles where the exact same things listed as minuses in one review are listed as pluses in another. Like, you could genuinely boil all the reviews down to “The bird-dog-thing doesn’t listen to you and the controls are clumsy,” but one group of people is saying that phrase in a really enthusiastic way. Like, Christian Donlan’s review over at Eurogamer starts out talking about how amazing and wonderful it was to spend twenty minutes coaxing Trico to do a thing, rhapsodizing about how much depth the game conveys through mechanics alone.

    I’m sure many commenters are already moaning about how Donlan is lying to himself and the game is clearly shit, but I don’t think that’s true. Nor are the people on Donlan’s side (and I suspect I might be one) going to be correct in saying you (Jim) “didn’t understand the brilliance” of the game. The reality is that Team Ico has always designed its games around communicating the emotional friction inherent in a fictional situation through intentionally unorthodox mechanics. This game is about the reluctant cooperation between two mismatched characters who are unable to communicate in a straightforward fashion but slowly come to rely on one another over time. Both the negative and positive reviews tell me they have succeeded once again at their design goal. The thing is, it’s not a design goal which prioritizes player enjoyment over the intended experience, and that’s going to infuriate as many people as it delights. I’m one of those people who’s pleased to feel frustration in a game when I can tell it’s intentional on the part of the devs. A lot of people aren’t. Both reactions are valid.

    • Weasel Biggs

      It’s a matter of perspective. If you’re expecting Trico to control like a frightened and suspicious wild animal, then him being unresponsive will strike you as a plus. If, on the other hand, you’d rather treat Trico as a kind of four-legged Elisabeth or as the Ellie to the player’s Joel, then it’ll strike you as being unresponsive.

      Some people can integrate mechanical hardships or challenges as being part of the experience, others absolutely expect technical fluidity from their games.

    • Paul G.

      But is it intentional on the part of the devs? You say they succeeded at their design goal and this was the intention, but it seems like that mindset is venturing into “it’s not a bug, it’s a feature” territory. I admit, I haven’t followed the development of The Last Guardian, but in what I did see/read it never highlighted or advertised these components as being part of the game.

      If it helps with the immersion for people, well, that is a nice side effect. But unless it was legitimately their intent, which I sincerely doubt it is, it doesn’t change the issue at hand.

      • CaitSeith

        At the end it depends on how the players perceive it. Does the game do a good job in communicating that the AI is intentionally designed to disobey the commands? Does it really feel like you are training a new pet? Does it feel gratifying when it follows your commands? Or is the player left too frustrated because there was nothing indicating that it shouldn’t had obeyed in the first place?

        In other words, is Trico’s feature as bad as “Hey you, Pikachu!”?

      • AliasAlterego

        Team ICO has never had any need to delve into that “territory”, as you call it.

        Both of their games are chock-full of stuff that many people think are bugs. This was already the case back when Shadow of the Colossus and even ICO were released. It took years for people to wisen up to both games and to really understand them.

        I realize it sounds pretty pretentious to say this but neither game was something people immediately opened up to and yet they are now considered masterpieces by basically every reputable source in the industry.

        The only possibility is that something went horribly wrong. At which point I have no doubt it would have been addressed in some fashion. We’re not talking about EA.

      • Ffordesoon

        Well, creative intent is a tricky thing to suss out most of the time, but Ueda has been asked about the decision to make Trico uncooperative many times in interviews leading up to the game’s release, and he’s always said the game works exactly as the team intended, even outright acknowledging that it’ll probably frustrate some people. In a recent interview with Eurogamer, he said exactly that, then went on to say pretty much what I said above:

        “EG:Trico can be quite disobedient. Do you worry players might find that frustrating?

        Fumito Ueda: It’s something that’s deliberate in the game. There is a worry that it might stress out some people out there. But this game isn’t continual action, it’s not fast-paced. Whether pepole stress out about that is down to personal preference. If you take music, some people like hard rock music that’s a bit more fast-paced. Some people might like slower music. Their personal preference might stress them out.

        […]

        EG: The way people play and react to games has changed in recent years. You see something like No Man’s Sky, and that anticipation worked against it. Are you worried something similar might happen to The Last Guardian, where 10 years of expectation work against it?

        Fumito Ueda: To say that there’s no worries at all would be a lie. There’s always a slight worry. But it’s nothing major. People could look back and say Ico, it was quite an empty game. There are no items, there’s nothing much content-wise. You’re just holding hands.

        If you take Shadow of the Colossus, it’s just an empty field where the giants are. People could look at it that way. It’s something I’ve done twice before, every time I’ve released a game. What I believe makes the kind of game I’d like to play myself, I’ve achieved that with those games, and this time is no different. It’s just a question of how many people are out there that are like me, that would like the game.”

        I mean, you could always argue Sony is making him say that, but it doesn’t feel like a massaged PR answer to me. I mean, he’s essentially saying in a very polite way that he made the game he wanted to make, and while finding out that other people liked it would be nice, it’s not required. Can you imagine anyone from EA saying that prior to the game’s release?

        And, you know, if you look at the team’s previous games, they have pretty much the exact same quirks. I know a lot of people (including Jim, to an extent) like to say “games have evolved since [insert year here], and this just doesn’t cut it anymore,” but that’s always struck me as a weird argument, because unless you’re speaking in a purely graphical sense, there have always been games which conform to what we now think of as “modern” design sensibilities. When Ico came out, many contemporaneous games had much tighter and more responsive controls, not to mention more responsive AI-controlled characters and “better” (for certain values of better) animations. Same with SOTC. I know; I was there to watch it happen.

        It’s also not well-remembered that Ico and SOTC were both sleeper hits which didn’t do all that well on release. Ico in particular had absolutely dismal sales in the beginning, taking a whole year to crack even 250,000 copies sold. SOTC did modestly better due to Ico’s eventual success, but by no means was it a massive blockbuster. Both games are widely beloved cultural touchstones now because they were sleeper hits which sold at a steady rate for years after most games would have slipped into irrelevance.

        And it’s worth remembering that neither of Team Ico’s previous games were universally praised. Though they were critical darlings, a non-trivial miniority of critics didn’t like or get Ico, and while that had become a bit of a heretical opinion by the time SOTC came out, a number of people were still very down on it, and even a few people who liked Ico a lot viewed SOTC as a disappointment on release. And the common criticisms of both games among detractors are almost wholly identical to the common criticisms of TLG.

        So yeah, I think we can reasonably presume that whatever you think of Team Ico’s house style, their games are the way they are on purpose. Whether you like the games the way they are is between you and your deity of choice, but the games are apparently doing what they’re supposed to do.

    • anonymous gamer

      I think you nailed it with last couple of sentences. It’s not as if devs don’t know how to implement modern game mechanics, fast, smooth, fluid movement and smarter AI but it was intentionally designed to be like this. Jim also negatively compares this game to ps2 era games but we can argue that many of the games even back than had perfect character movement and camera control on par with current gen. Even on old PSX we had games that played much more fluidly than Ico with perfect camera (spyro, mgs, crash…). FPS Fear was release in 2005 and still has better AI than most modern games.

      • DasGaus

        I disagree with the notion that Trico was intentionally designed to be difficult to control in order to contribute to the narrative. I find that to be a convenient excuse for poor implementation of a mechanic.

        Spot on about FEAR, however. I remember playing that when it came out, took me by surprise.

        • AliasAlterego

          You really have no way of knowing if that’s the case until you actually play the game itself. Does the animal have specific animations for when it purposefully didn’t listen? Does it behave any differently when it disobeys? Then that’s intentional.

          Slowly enhancing the AI’s level of obedience would make for a beautifully well crafted piece of design that really emphasizes a blossoming relationship between two characters who can’t initially communicate very well.

          It’s not like this is a new thing either, Capcom did something similar for Dragon’s Dogma.

          • DasGaus

            Did you watch Jim’s video?

    • Michael Campbell

      I think that when taken in concert with the hit or miss responses of the platforms, the camera, the jumping/grabbing, and the contexual controls (none of which are going to be argued as “converying depth through mechanics”), Jim is assuming that this is also an unintended negative.

      If the dog not listening was isolated, sure, it would get more credit as being a deliberate representation of working with animals. But with all the other bugs/issues in the same kind of vein? Less likely.

    • Jeddostotle7

      The thing is, as Jim mentioned, there’s no way to tell if Trico not listening to you is intentional or if it’s just the game not processing your inputs. If it gave a clear indication that it just straight-up wasn’t listening to you (and also didn’t have the actual input problems), it wouldn’t be as much of a negative.

      • It might be a deliberate attempt to frustrate players that insist on a fast pace, since these games tend to want the player in a ponderous mode. The director definitely doesn’t want to make responsive toys, and I’d say a a criticism of Ico and SOTC for me, was the grabbing mechanics were completely unbelievable, and that made me feel like the character was a veritable Spider Man.

        I would’ve welcomed the occasional tragic end to a desperate gambit. 5 missed grabs out of 6.

        Anyway. I think if those vines felt like a “waste of time” to Jim, it was because he’d already decided that the whole business was a chore, a waste of time, and he kept at it, but that’s what he has to do, because it’s his profession.

        Anyway! I hate modern games. So Jim, please define “games of today” so I can know what the fuck to avoid. 2005 isn’t far enough back for me.

        (I love dead ends. I love being rewarded for things I didn’t do. Not being rewarded for things I did do. That’s life. That’s what makes a 3-D world feel real.)

  • exmp4

    From what you have write, it is a bad design from the game designer, make it more realistic pet, with the unrespon call is not a good think, it should the dev make another optional to make it realistic

  • Harry Mason

    I was going to get a PS4 for this game but the reviews are so polarized that I don’t know whether or not to get it.

    • DasGaus

      Let the hype die down a bit and then re-evaluate.

    • ben

      wait for the gamers to judge it. Reviewers have a difficult job in this case. Jim might be bang on for this game and other reviewers might be concerned with how the fanbase of this game feels about it being good or bad.

  • DasGaus

    Great review and video. Gives credit where credit is due. Beautiful game though not my cup of tea. From gameplay that I’ve seen it looks like It combines the boring parts of Assassin’s Creed (ie not shoulder charging people off ledges) with a wonky AI buddy to go on a puzzle solving adventure.

  • Squinty

    Does the creature die in the end? Thats all I want to know really

    • Jpkurihara

      And if it does, does it get brought back.
      That fucking horse man I swear to God

    • Delicious Taffy

      I’ll let you in on a secret. Trico both dies and does not die.

      • He’s reborn as a devil-griffon.

      • Squinty

        Schrodinger’s Trico?

  • Knight_On_Fire

    Here is one of the rare instances I hope a clunky game sells well because we all know the industry needs more visionary games like this in the AAA space.

    • Uldi

      Honestly, I don’t. Why? Because those sales don’t come with a reason for why the game sold. Publishers don’t get a breakdown of sales that show them what the customers liked and disliked about the game.

      So the message they could be getting is that a game with poor controls is fine as long as the story is good. Come to think of it, considering Team ICO’s other titles, that’s almost certainly the message they are receiving.

      And is it really all that visionary? 10 years ago, probably. Today? I’m not so sure. Since this game started development, we’ve had “The Last of Us” and Ellie; even “Portal” had the Companion Cube. Even the level design isn’t all that revolutionary, with games like Dark Souls out there.

  • Chris JT

    Haha, this guy didn’t even like ICO and it received a 90 on metacritic and is a critical darling. ICO is one of the greatest games of all-time as is SotC – I bought them on PS2 and also bought the collection on PS4.
    Well written review, sure, but it doesn’t apply to me. In fact, this review just confirmed to me to never EVER read another game review ever again.

    These critics have agendas. Many of them who praised the previous games are now criticizing THIS game and they share similar qualities (if not identical). Hahaha one can argue that in today’s gaming world “it’s dated” blah blah blah. I call bullcrap, really.

    You either like it or ya don’t. At least with Jim, he didn’t even like ICO anyway so that to me is actually fucking fantastic to read. The best part of the review and all I needed to read, really.

    I just can’t wait until this game is FINALLY in my precious little hands.

    (Note: On metacritic, I have never in my life have seen reviews so divided….first half of them are green and many are even perfect score and then the next half is yellow with 6’s. Yep, you either get it or you don’t.)

    • MJC

      You certainly don’t.

      Get how reviews work, I mean.

      • Chris JT

        No, I do. Trust me, I heard it all and I get it. Everyone can argue whatever they please, positively or negatively. It doesn’t matter. it’s like getting some tough guy to sit through Titanic and not understanding what makes the film sad. Sure, they’ll be people like that and there’s nothing wrong with it, I just feel sorry for these people that cannot appreciate what makes something truly “special.”

        You don’t really play Team Ico games for the control. It’s not like you need the most precise and amazing controls for getting like a best time or something or best score. These games are far too personal and made for the individual experience. It’s really the experience that matters here, nothing else. And if ICO and SotC did it I’m sure this will be the same thing.

        • Justin Graham

          No, you really don’t seem to understand how reviews work.

          It’s not about Metacritic. Jim wrote his honest thoughts on the game which are far from glowing because his experience with the game was far from glowing. That was Jim’s “personal” and “individual experience.”

          • Chris JT

            That’s fine, I accept that. I cannot tell him otherwise. And it’s just too bad for him, I guess.
            Some may argue that the control in Tekken is awful and slow or sluggish but that’s just how it plays. And I personally love it more compared to something like Street Fighter.

            That’s what I was getting at, though, It’s all just opinion. When I was reading his thoughts on his frustration it just made me, personally, cringe because I know when I start playting I’ll be saying to myself, and “where exactly is this frustration?”

            To each their own, man.

          • Justin Graham

            You haven’t even started playing, so how can you be so sure what your reaction will be? You’re obtuse, going up and down the comments defending a game’s flaws when you haven’t even taken the time to play the game.

          • Chris JT

            Well, you’re right! But I’ve never played ICO or SotC either until I bought them. I just have faith, man. I’ve already heard from fans that if you liked how ICO and SotC played you’re gonna love this. That’s basically all I need to know. The story does the rest of the work and I know it’ll be worthwhile.

            It’s just really as simple as that!

            And I’ll admit, I’m not saying there can’t be improvements to the controls. I’m just way more forgiving about them because I value the other things much much more.

          • Justin Graham

            Again, you’re defending something you haven’t played. More specifically, you are defending aspects of a game that you couldn’t possibly even begin to judge for yourself until you have actual hands-on time with it. This is the calling card of a fanboy. I’d recommend you stop trying to defend the game until you actually understand from your own experience what it is you’re defending.

            Jim has played The Last Guardian from start to finish. You have yet to play a single second. It doesn’t matter that you like Ico and Jim doesn’t. Ico and The Last Guardian aren’t the same game. It’s possible to like one without liking the other. It’s also possible to like neither of them because different people have different tastes. And in the case of The Last Guardian, some people will simply not be able to enjoy the game because of the technical hiccups.

          • Chris JT

            Well, tjhe thing is that yes I am a proud fan of Fumito Ueda. I respect is art and vision. With two games in a row, he truly delivered some of the finest gaming experiences I have ever encountered. Both in terms of gameplay execution and narrative.

            But yes, you are still correct. I have yet to play this game and should be open about the idea that the faults he lists may actually be quite “real.”
            So yes, I kinda do know what I’m gonna be getting here but I’ll just wait until I play it. It does sound rather ridiculous to defend something I haven’t played, I admit that haha.
            There is always the possibility that I may be wrong about this game, no matter how unlikely that may be.

        • Wolfie

          “You don’t really play Team Ico games for the control. It’s not like you
          need the most precise and amazing controls for getting like a best time
          or something or best score. These games are far too personal and made
          for the individual experience. It’s really the experience that matters
          here, nothing else.”

          This reads like a bullshit marketing pitch. No, the mechanics don’t matter, it’s the EXPERIENCE! Yeah? And he experienced shitty controls that hampered an otherwise pretty good game.

          Cause, you know, it’s the mechanics that actually allow you to INTERACT with the world. If you want a game that’s nothing about “the experience,” go play Dear Esther.

          • Corrodias

            But look at all the EMOTION! David Cage would love this guy.

          • Wolfie

            And you know what pisses me off?

            I wrote a satire post using exactly that. It’s EMOTIONAL, JIM. Fucking auto-moderation wouldn’t let me post it. Maybe I’ll tweak it and try again.

          • Chris JT

            Hey, EMOTION is life!! 😀

          • Chris JT

            Hey man, take it easy! Relax!
            All I’m saying is, so long as the controls aren’t shit to the point where you cannot complete the game. And they are far from being THAT bad (thankfully.)
            I myself had a blast with the controls in ICO and SotC. Those are truly unique games that make you forget about reality for a little while. A great escape to a majestic world.

          • Wolfie

            Yes, says the person who thinks this review is “clickbait.”

            Like I said, you are just fucking full of shit. Go fuck off. Good for you, you enjoyed it, fantastic. But you have the fucking audacity and idiocy to berate someone for not liking it, because you do.

            You’re a real bag of dicks.

          • Chris JT

            🙂 *ahem* Thank you!!!

            I don’t care what you or ANYONE else says, but he (Jim) had to have known that giving this game a 6.5 was going to create traffic on his site. Truthful or not.
            He even stated how he enjoyed the story and concept which alone should merit an 8. I don’t know, this guy truly has a strange way of scoring his games. But OK, he doesn’t like it. The end. I get it.

            And you’re right, I’ll definitely fuck off. Good idea! 😀

          • Wolfie

            Story and concepts should merit an 8. Minus frustrating controls. Leads to 6.5. Because controls are frustrating and hamper the experience, as I said. That’s not strange, that’s reasonable.

          • Chris JT

            Well, I meant like an “8” as in overall score. Not just for the story. The thing with me, is if I truly enjoy the story, the art direction, the music and everything that has to do with just “liking” something – the characters, their actions, what I learn from the story, etc – well, then I can be very forgiving with the controls because the other things may have changed my life for the better.

            Because at the end of the day, I was still able to achieve what I was supposed to do in the game.

          • Wolfie

            And that’s fine, in that case, you do you, but you should not then turn around and say “he should do me, too.” Non-sexually, of course. To him, the way something controls can be pretty hindering, because it’s frustrating. I’m kind of the same way; if something makes me frustrated, my enjoyment of it can drop dramatically, because of how frustration affects us on individual levels.

          • Chris JT

            Yeah, I do understand that.
            I’ve played games where I’ve had those very exact experiences and no matter how hard I tried, I would always land in the ditch or just miss that ledge for example, or whatever and then I’d just throw the controller in disgust haha.

            Fortunately for me, I’ve not had those kind of experiences with any Team Ico game. But yeah, if someone just kept falling off the Colossuses and had to keep climbing them over and over again, for sure I can see that it can get frustrating real fast.

            Well anyway, it was interesting debating/talking. I appreciate it and respect your opinion (and Jim’s.) I don’t agree, but I respect. So cheers and happy gaming. 🙂

            I meant no harm.
            I’ll learn to be more civil from now on.
            I mean, Jim is by far not the only one who has given this game such a low score so no worries. But I’m still just a little baffled as to why suddenly these things matter when they did not for ICO or SotC – I mean, both those games received 90’s when they came out. I guess that’s my main gripe…what’s so different about this game???

          • Wolfie

            Yeah, apologies for the hostility. Please understand we do get some really shitty people who come through here, who have no interest in discussion and solely want to throw bullshit around because, well, I really don’t know why. I’ll never understand those kinds of fans.

            And I think the main difference is, quite simply, time. Ico was 2001, SotC was 2006, but it’s now 2016. Things have changed, technology has gotten way better, the same stuff that was okay for back then has either been used to the point of normalcy, or feels so outdated that it just doesn’t feel appropriate for the current times.

            Like, hmm… lives, for example. Just the idea you have a limited amount of lives, and then it’s game over, and you have to restart from the very very beginning. It made sense back in the day, when cartridges and arcades didn’t have a means to save a game, but nowadays, unless the title was specifically trying to embrace that era, it’d just be unacceptable by today’s standards.

          • diamond

            SOTC was 2005 actually.

    • Michael Campbell

      Did you just look up random reviews to write dribble on? Clearly you aren’t familiar with Jim, or even with metacritic if you have “never seen reviews so divided” before.

      • Chris JT

        Well, if you think what I wrote is dribble then alright, fine. No worries.
        Wow, just like I’m criticizing his point of view you’re doing the exact same to me for not agreeing with it lol.
        I’m actually quite familiar with Jim and have nothing against him. He feels like his system is the best in the biz and he reviews “honestly.” Ok, fine. I just had to point out that the people that DO actually care about these games and no what they’re already getting into based on the previous titles, they won’t care about his minor criticisms or lack of emotion towards the story of the game.

        These games are on another, completely different level then what most are used to. It actually takes a lot of talent and skill to create something like Team Ico’s games. As simplistic as they may seem, there’s actually a lot of complexity in the game design. It should be commended and respected for that.

        • Michael Campbell

          He went on and on about the touching story, how genuine all their games are, how much empathy the game made him develop for the companion animal and how well written the interactions between the two protags was.

          He then explained all the mechanical issues and said that the game was great as a story, and bad mechanically.

          He almost literally has the same opinion as you. He just wishes the game was more controllable and less frustrating, and you don’t care.

          That’s great, but thats hardly “this justifies me never reading reviews again!”. I guess you are off to a good start, it feels like you didn’t read this one.

          • Chris JT

            Like I said, I pretty much stopped when he mentioned his dislike for ICO. That game just means far too much for me and unless the game’s controls are so bad that it is unplayable to the point you cannot make it to the end, that’s when the game deserves to be disliked.

            Well, I don’t care, true. Why? Because it just doesn’t matter. More than likely, I will not have any of those frustrating moments he speaks of. I’ve never had them with ICO and I’ve never had them with SotC.
            And yes, I am done with reviews now. They are pointless. There are great videos on youtube for me to make my opinion on. If I like what I see, I get. If I don’t, I’ll stay away.

            🙂

          • Michael Campbell

            I honestly thought you were making a joke about that being “all you needed to read”. Because that is ridiculous.

          • Wolfie

            They said that just because this site doesn’t have ads, doesn’t mean this review isn’t clickbait.

            What.

          • Chris JT

            Dude, I have nothing to even say to you if you cannot comprehend that.

          • Wolfie

            Got it.

            You’re full of shit. Period. Full stop. Thank you for proving it. Good night, now go fuck yourself.

    • Wolfie

      Something you don’t get with your precious little hands…

      Sex. Unless you grab them by the pussy. Oh yes! I know the truth, “Christ JT,” or should I say…

      DONALD J. TRUMP!?

      • Chris JT

        The fact that you just brought this up pretty much confirms to me that YOU don’t get any sex haha. Oh yes, I know how this works, The one’s that get plenty of it usually don’t have to bring it up because it sounds ridiculous over the net.

        Dude, just go and save yourself already. I’ve had my “cringe” for today. Ughhh, that was painful.

        • Wolfie

          Mmhm, you’re the one obsessive about someone who didn’t give the game you like a good review.

          And I’m the one who’s cringy?

          • Chris JT

            Actually, alright, I’ll agree after reading my original comment it was a bit much. The thing is, no one wants to get a score like that on their midterm lol. That is basically not a score to be proud of. But hey, that’s just my perception. Who am I? I’m definitely not the one getting myself out there scoring the game like Jim, so. More power to him.

            There’s no way the controls can be any worse than they wee in ICO or SotC, that is what I’m saying. And there is no way those games sucked because of their controls.

          • Wolfie

            That’s the thing, this isn’t a midterm. There’s no “passing” grade. He’s saying it’s an okay game. Not great, not terrible. It’s just okay, because the mechanics are frustrating and makes it less enjoyable to experience.

          • Chris JT

            Ok ok, fair enough. I shall accept that.
            In my mind, I HATE getting C’s on tests. It’s a travesty so those 6’s just look so bad to me. But yeah, I hear what you are sayin. I’m cool with that. And I do understand some people will see these games as just “alright.” Definitely don’t expect everyone to be all enamoured by it like myself.

            I’ll see for myself tomorrow how justified or not justified his review is.

          • Wolfie

            Right, so, right here is part of the problem. Not just you personally, but like this cultural mindset gamers have.

            Whether or not his review is “justified” isn’t predicated on the opinions of the game itself from you or I. We can personally disagree against a score on, again, a personal level, that for us it’s more enjoyable than the experience he had. Yet when you say “how justified or not justified his review is,” it sets in tone an idea of objectivity.

            That he is either right or wrong based on some outside metric by which it can be judged as true or false. It’s justified on how honest he is with us about his feelings. We can try to interpret whether or not he is being honest with us, but that’s about it.

            We decide whether we trust their opinion as their honest opinion or not, and that is how a review is determined, individually, whether it is “justified.” We can disagree with it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s then “wrong.”

          • Chris JT

            Yeah, you know after reading your comment I have come to the realization that I’m just anti-reviews I guess. The whole idea of someone trying to tell someone else why something is good or bad when no one will ever agree on one thing. No everyone will ever see eye-to-eye.

            Music especially is the WORST for this. Music is so personal and how anyone can review music is beyond me as it appeals to people on so many different levels of emotions.
            I can’t even dig deeper than that because there’s just too much to say on that matter.

            You like what you like and you hate what you hate.

            Again, I just dislike the whole idea of reviewing things to the public, I guess

            But you’re right, one can only take what someone says with a grain of salt. Understand why they may like or dislike something and then see for yourself if it’s your thing. They might be right or wrong but at least they made you think about your choice.

          • Wolfie

            Generally, you gravitate towards reviewers who have a similar sense of taste at yourself, you learn some of their nuances, and you judge from there.

            Like… I rather like open-world survival, I know Jim doesn’t care for it that much, so I don’t take his review of such games to as much heart as some others he might do. If it’s that genre of game, I’ll read what he says, go look for stuff online from elsewhere, such as Youtube let’s plays, and decide if I’d be interested from there.

          • diamond

            I personally am with Jim on being tired of open-world survival games like ARK or Day Z, hearing that We Happy Few is an open-world survival game killed any interest I had in it.

          • diamond

            I’m fine with Cs myself as that’s still a passing grade.

        • diamond

          virgin loser detected

          • Chris JT

            What a dork!
            If you say so…if you say so…..-_-
            Dork….

    • Lewis w

      I can’t tell whether this is a joke or not.

      • Eon264

        You’re not the only one…

      • Viking Mana

        I’m still trying to figure that out. It seems so over-the-top and weird that it might be, but at the same time.. It’s weirdly sincere?

    • diamond

      So fucking what? Metacritic is not a law, not EVERYONE has to like popular games or dislike unpopular games.

      Jim has no “agenda” he just didn’t care much for the game.

      Ico is an overrated piece of shit IMO.

      • Chris JT

        Oh geez, with a comment like that you can just go straight to hell for all I care. Good riddance!
        The industry suffers from people like YOU, who buy the same shit over and over again because you don
        ‘t know any better. You’re a fool and a puppet.

        • diamond

          wrong you dumb cocksucker, you can go straight to hell(if such a thing exists, which I highly doubt)

          the industry suffers from brain-dead shitheads like you who blindly suck off publishers and take their bullshit up the ass willingly.

          • Chris JT

            Man, you’re one pathetic loser!!!!
            Ok fine, if you say so asshole! But you know what? I’m actually playing the game right now and it’s quite fucking brilliant. I would write Ueda a letter of gratitude expressing by sincerest thanks for releasing this. What bullshit do you speak of here? LMAO! Are you MAD, brah?

        • diamond

          You’re the one who does not know better and is a “fool” and “puppet” dumbfuck.

    • I AM A TENT

      dictionary[dot]com/browse/subjective. Third definition.

    • Viking Mana

      So because ICO got 90 on Metacritic, that means that any person who didn’t like it have an invalid opinion by default?

      I mean, sure, go ahead and stop reading reviews altogether. You’re not going to do yourself any favors, and you’ll be doing exactly what the industry wants you to do, but that’s your choice.

      Sure, reviewers have an agenda. But, sometimes that agenda is just to share their opinion about a project.

      • Chris JT

        Nahh, it may be a little narcissistic but the bottomline is, I only trust myself when it comes to these things. In this day and age it’s even better because of all the gameplay videos people post up online. So it’s even easier to decide if the game is for you or not.

        But you know, I’m already over this. I have the game and I’m just, well…simply enjoying it. No analyzing, no reviewing, no nothing…when all is said and done, I’m just experiencing an awesome game right now. Plain and simple and I can only thank Ueda for bringing it over to us, finally.

  • Jake Bohl

    Jim, you followed up “capricious controls conspire to” with “erode” instead of “corrode”. Your otherwise well-reasoned review is now invalid.

  • Protogamer

    I hate people using ‘realism’ to excuse subjects of criticism. Realism is not some hallowed ultimate goal or holy grail of video games!

    • Sterling Sundby

      Pretty much correct. People confuse “realism” with believability. And believability is the fuel for making connections between viewers and characters/settings. If this so called “realism” is hurting this connection by causing distracting annoyances, then the author/designer is still, no matter how “realistic” it is, doing a poor job of portraying an engaging scenario. And THAT matters most.

      • diamond

        Yes, Deadly Premonition suffered from that because it made it so that your car could run out of gas, it added nothing to the game whatsoever except annoyance.

        • InfamousDS

          No, gas added agency to the driving. Not even a lot of agency, I can only remember needing to fill the tank every few game days unless I did nothing but drive around.

          That game has many flaws, but attempted realism is not one of them.

          • diamond

            I found it really annoying when my car out of gas while I was trying to get all trading cards in that game and I was out of flares.

          • InfamousDS

            You can do a sidequest very early on that gets you a fast travel radio, that helps if you do wind up stranded.

          • diamond

            I found that out the hard way.

    • Viking Mana

      Actually, I’d disagree with your assessment. Realism is definitely the ultimate goal if you’re producing simulations.

      This, however, is clearly not a simulation of anything.

      I just thought I’d point out how context-sensitive your argument is. x)

  • CrossZX

    Sounds like a game I might pick up after a few patches.

  • Garret02

    Good thing you’re not scared to share your views at the game. I’m still yet to play this and decide for myself whether it is a technical mess, something they intended to do, or (most likely) something in between. But I’d like to say few things.

    First let’s start with the HUD. It’s definitely intended this way. Look at ICO and SotC. ICO has no HUD, SotC has minimal and if you won’t do any action that requires change in HUD it will disappear. This is all to make you more immerse in the game. Probably likewise with TLC. You can argue it’s bad design, I’ll agree to disagree.

    And of course Trico. It’s funny how you said he embodies “artificial” from “artificial intelligence” when what he is doing is exactly the opposite. If he’s always doing what you want him to do, that’s artificial. Sure, maybe half of those moments you described are bugs. But you know, you have a dog and you compare Trico with your dog and they’re nothing alike. Cool, but your dog is only one pet in the ocean of millions around the world. I have a cat. When I feed my cat, sometimes he eats the food, sometimes he don’t. Sometimes he plays with it, sometimes he don’t. When I lose track of time and I’m not on point with food, he WILL make me serve him food and then sometimes he’ll completely ignore it, walking away like he was saying “you know, on the second hand, I’m not really that hungry”. Sometimes when I throw his ball at him he will not react and it will bounce of his head and a minute later, when I do the same thing, he will jump and catch the ball while doing triple axel. If I’ll find half of my cat in Trico, I’ll be happy. And I think this is intended. Whether they succeeded at making this natural, I’ll see for myself but even if they failed, again I’ll argue that’s not a bad design. It’s just different. Not for everyone, granted. But then again. What really is? Sure, speedrunners won’t be happy. People who just want to check off another game on their “completed” list won’t be happy. Others might.

    Moving animations? I’m grateful they’re here. It’s really refreshing to see something without motion capture these days. Those animations are beautiful, there is a lot of work and love put in them. I’ll happily overlook few glitches just for having them in the game. Game that should be released at the PS3 launch? That’s one of better incentives to try it out. Apart from handful of games, I can hardly remember any post that era that hooked me up.

    It definitely has technical issues, which is a shame. If they’re still present after such long development cycle, there’s little chance they’ll be fixed. But do they seriously impact game as a whole on that big of a level? That’s for each and every individual to decide for themselves, unfortunately.

    • Michael Campbell

      “But do they seriously impact game as a whole on that big of a level?
      That’s for each and every individual to decide for themselves,
      unfortunately.”

      Which is exactly why he lists them. So people can read it, weigh the good against the bad, and then make an informed decision.

      • Garret02

        The problem is, half of the problems may not be problems but intended decisions and as such cannot be used when making the decision. Some reviews will agree with Jim’s, some won’t but those problems are on a level where without personally experiencing them you won’t really know.

        • Michael Campbell

          What? All information should be used when making that decision.

          Other people don’t care if *you* think a dog that doesn’t listen is “a feature not a bug”. They only care if *they* think its a bug or a feature. You don’t get to decide that we don’t deserve to know about this. That’s why Jim went to such lengths to point out both the positives and negatives in the review.

          There are lots of people who don’t consider poor mechanics to be worth even a brilliant story. They need to know this.

          People who consider a great story to be worth some bad mechanics also need to know this.

          • Garret02

            That’s not what I meant. I don’t know if I’ll be able to explain exactly what I meant.

            You actually more or less used my argument in two sentences. People only care what *they* think is a bad or good thing. I didn’t say “hey Jim, don’t write about this animal thing because you don’t get it”, I said “hey Jim, maybe try talking about this animal thing in less definite way, because what you state clearly as a ‘bad design, bugs’ may very well not be those things and I sure as hell don’t trust you to make this distinction”.

            I don’t know if I made it clearer or more confusing so I’ll stop here 😛 I’ll tell you I definitely didn’t mean to say Jim shouldn’t write about any part of the game.

          • diamond

            There was nothing wrong with how Jim talked about it, he said he honestly wasn’t sure whether it was intentional game design or bugs, which isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.

          • Uldi

            Not being able to tell the difference is a rather sharp criticism in itself. If you can’t tell the difference between a bug and a deliberate design decision, then the dev failed to make a distinction between the two.

            Just adding “I’m not listening” or “I’m really distracted by something” animations would have made a huge difference.

            And I used ‘difference’ too many times in this post.

          • diamond

            Indeed it is, that was the point I was going for.

        • Wolfie

          …huh. Just become something is “Intended” doesn’t mean it can’t suck. Doesn’t mean it was a good decision.

          • Garret02

            Depends to whom, that’s the whole point. If it’s intended then there is at least one person to whom it made sense. And there is quite high probability that there will be plenty of people that will think the same. Design isn’t something absolute like say profit.

          • Wolfie

            If the entire game is built up so that it makes it clear it’s supposed to be impossible, then yes. But if it’s just… there, then no, “plenty of people” will not think the same. They’ll be like “wtf, why is this here!?”

        • diamond

          The problem was Jim said he could not tell whether it was intentional design or the game flat out glitching, which is not a good thing.

        • CaitSeith

          “half of the problems may not be problems but intended designs and as such cannot be used when making the decision.”

          Sure? I would say if a problem is intended, then it’s a feature. Features that people like/dislike are more relevant in their decision than the game itself having problems. Unintended problems have a higher probability of getting patched than intended ones.

    • Garret02

      And if controls are anything like ICO or SotC then tha’t great. They had weight to it. I felt every stumble on main character. Killzone 2 tried going along those ways, but was unfortunately castrated due to vocal community complaining about it not being CoD like or something. Shame.

    • diamond

      I think having no HUD is bad design, I remember in the late 2000s when games were trying to get rid of HUDs to be more “immersive”, the 2008 Turok game had your weapon change color as it lost ammo(similar thing in Lost Planet 3) and the 2008 Alone in the Dark game showed how many bullets you had in your jacket.

      Devs quickly realized it was better and more convenient to just have a HUD, Team Ico really needed to get with the times.

    • Viking Mana

      Let me just stop you 5 seconds into reading your post to say.. Isn’t it fucking sad that we live in a world where it actually MAKES SENSE for someone to be scared of sharing their opinion about a video game? :/

  • Christoph Brinkmann

    Random comment about realism because fanboyism cannot accept that games have flaws and since it’s a Sony game, all flaws should be automatically forgiven because REASONS

    • Jim didn’t really trot out any flaws that couldn’t just as easily be flaws in Jim. A flaw can be endearing. A flaw can be not being everything to everyone at all times.

      Maybe by having listened to Jim’s experience, we gain some insight into something.

  • Lloyd

    Unfortunate thought not at all surprising, no game comes out of development hell unscathed.

  • AliasAlterego

    I want to respond directly to this affirmation:

    “More to the point, Trico is a dog with feathers and wings. Let’s not start throwing “realism” around as an excuse.”

    Regardless of Trico’s status as a mythological creature or something along those lines, we can agree that it’s an animal by all accounts.

    The lines between “realistic” and “real” are getting quite blurred when talking about these types of things. Just because Trico is an animal that doesn’t exist in the real world, it doesn’t mean it has to behave in an unrealistic fashion for an animal of that taxonomy, if it were to exist.

    For all we know, the character obeys more as the game goes on and the initial struggle for the animal to comprehend the player was fully intended — if these are true then that’s the farthest away from bad game design as it gets. Depriving the player of a tool so the designer can give that tool back to the player later can really emphasize its usefulness and allow the player to not take said tool for granted. This is a very common design choice that works more often than it doesn’t.

    Of course, all of this is assuming the animal does begin to listen more closely as the game progresses.

    • Wolfie

      It also doesn’t mean it has to be realistic if that means it hampers the gameplay. The fact its fictitious works both ways.

      • Jpkurihara

        It’s a simple thing: if you’re not going for a completely realistic game like Arma, don’t fucking sacrifice mechanics for it.
        At least have the creature aknowledge that it hears and understands you but is playfully misbehaving, like tilting its head or wagging its fail at you.

    • Eon264

      That’s all well and good, but that only works so long as the player is willing to put up with being deprived. I dunno about you, but I get irked when tutorials disable normal gameplay functions for a couple of minutes, imagine having to deal with that repeatedly for more than an hour.

    • diamond

      The problem is that it sounds like Trico never gets better and is disobedient randomly all the time for no apparent reason, that just sounds like shitty game design, and having animals not listen to you is NOT fun or good game design, it’s just fucking lazy IMO.

  • Hu Deegan

    I have a feeling this will be a game where I will respectfully disagree with Jim’s review.
    But hey, that’s what reviews are about, right? People have differing opinions, simple as that 🙂

    As enamoured with the game as I am from what I’ve seen, I admit that I expect it to not be as modern in terms of controls and things as it perhaps should be, and that’s solely down to how goddamn long it’s been in development. You take too long, you start to be left behind, and I’m not surprised there are parts of the game that have had this happen.

    • There’s no rat race. Developers don’t actually play video games. They don’t know what other games are doing for the most part. They know what they want, and they make that.

      What you are noticing is inertial trends within large institutions, and nothing else.

      • RifleAvenger Sashiro

        While you’re probably right in regards to Team Ico, I think that’s a rather naive view at a larger scale. I find it very hard to believe that big publishers don’t have an influence on game development. See that tossaway multiplayer mode in the most recent Deus Ex game that seemed to have been added last minute as a vehicle for microtransactions. Or the mindless follow the leader/money mentality post Call of Duty 4 that gave us a crop of awful shooters in the late 2000’s. Or the absurd amount of soul crushing crunch throughout the industry that mostly exists to meet publisher deadlines, but devs have self-destructively internalized as a positive thing.

        • Developers have lives. The reality is that playing video games takes lots of time, and if you are a developer you don’t have any time or energy left over to play video games. They may pay lip service to it, but they don’t; they can’t. It’s like a saying a president has time to do more than be a figurehead. If you have a family you practically have no time already. That’s just the unflattering reality of it. It’s different kinds of people, as strange as it seems.

          • RifleAvenger Sashiro

            I was less saying they have time to play games, and more countering that devs can just build what they want. The truth is, only a few non-indie developers have that sort of freedom from their publishers. Team Ico is probably one, and I’d be willing to bet that ATLUS is another.

            The reason that matters is that while publishers may not play games either, they do know what has sold well, and will lean on the devs to emulate whatever has made the most money lately.

          • That’s the market research departments’ job, but you cannot just go by that, because it’s a closed loop if so. Ultimately a developer decides within parameters, and if they are just copying–or iterating to be generous–then that can lead to deadlocks in innovation. The reality though is that there’s no time for developers to study games in any meaningful way. If anything that’s something you do early on in life, and then you’re just kind of set in your ways.

            Theoretically there are people who make fundamental design their business. But if so, they are failing gloriously, because video games just aren’t fun for the most part. In my experience developers are very ego-mad, and refuse to lower themselves to think in terms of fundamentals. It’s very difficult to upset things when you believe all of the action is happening on the edge, instead of in the core of the practice. They believe they know the basics, that it was all figured out decades ago; but they could not be more wrong. I know because I am disciplined about working only in the basics, and I produce much better results than what anyone thinks is even possible all the time. There’s a big uncharted region of study in the middle of 3-D art that no one takes seriously. There are no schools that study or teach it because there’s no one that cares about it.

          • Fyou

            Sounds like you should open up shop and start teaching those fools the whole real truth.

          • DIY indie developers are discovering all kinds of interesting things all of the time. I don’t think any of them are approaching the process systematically as I do; because I am rather privileged to be able to, but diversity is what the 3-D art world is really missing. It’s all mono-culture and hubris, so there are lots of avenues of knowledge are completely passed by without realizing it.

            We are really missing people willing to develop tools and resources, and a press that is willing to follow what those people are doing, so to help key everyone in on what’s happening and where they can get in and help. Right now everyone thinks, just grab an Unreal Engine license or do something equally regressive on the other end, which is encouraged by personalities like Jonathon Blow, and just crank something out.

            Right now is so primitive for everything. Software and 3-D art is about as primitive as our political landscape. I try not to think about it.

      • CaitSeith

        That’s not true. The developers of Uncharted played ICO (at least that’s what they said in an interview). I played ICO after playing Uncharted 1 and 2; and it’s uncanny how the climbing and the camera when it focuses in the background vista are so similar (like if ICO was the prototype of what Uncharted became).

        • Filching something from one game is very different from surveying all of games and making decisions on the basis of that. Everyone has influences.

          • CaitSeith

            And if you have changes of staff during the long cycles, you’ll have the new developers with more recent influences than the original ones. That can make the final game a mess.

          • I think too much focus is placed on systems, where story and style are much more important. If there were standard systems in place these things wouldn’t be problems in the first place. Unfortunately the systems aren’t any good either. I really wish Jim would explain how he believes modern games have evolved so to make TLG outmoded. That’s not the kind of thing we should let him gloss over 🙂

            (My take is he thinks large companies have refined their presentation so to not disincentive noncommittal players.)

  • beatnikbedlam

    i came here expecting a 4 tbh, maybe 4.5… a 6.5 gives me faith i’ll find something to love in here. Rainbow Six Siege and Shadows of Mordor both got similar scores iirc and those are two games that i still play fairly regularly. i’m definitely going to wait and see if some of these issues get ironed out after a few months before i buy tho.

  • gotry

    personally, I blame the furries

    • Viking Mana

      For this, or in general? x)

  • ben

    game runs at sub 25 fps on standard ps4.. I dont even know what to say about that.

    • CaitSeith

      You said everything that was needed.

    • FTLTom

      It’s cinematic as all hell.

  • Arella Jardin

    Even if “unresponsiveness” of Trico early on is intentional design, there’s still an issue of the lack of feedback. There should be audio or visual cues to let you know that Trico is intentionally stalling or ignoring you. As it is, there’s rarely a difference between Trico being difficult, and the game failing to recognize your commands and move things forward. If the game gave clear indication that Trico was being stubborn, you would at least know to be frustrated with the character, and not the game itself. And that distinction matters a great deal.

    • CaitSeith

      At the end of the day, the only thing that matters about that “feature” is how the player perceives it. Is it satisfying when Trico does what you order him to do, and makes the previous frustration worth it? Or it just leaves a sour aftertaste of “it was freaking time, dumb beast!”?

  • ben

    In Japan, where they dont care what critics think they are amazonbombing this and FF15 and calling both a pile of shit… now.. who should I trust Japanese people or white folk?

    • Marco Funke

      Yourself…

      • Wolfie

        What if you’re both Japanese AND white?

        • Gamedick

          IMPOSSIBRU

    • Jpkurihara

      Jim Sterling.

    • Uldi

      Correction: In Japan, 2chan is amazonbombing. Mainly because there isn’t enough cute girls, boobs, and panty-shots for them to wank to.

  • jet jet

    jimquisition proudly presents
    james stanton in…

    clickbait 6: the clickbaitening!

    • mbrandse

      Wait, wait, wait. I thought we agreed that clickbaiting is literally useless to Jim since he makes all his money from Patreon rather than ads?

      • JDK002

        Not to mention the improper use of the term. The only thing you can see before clicking on the article link is “The Last Guardian – Beast of Burden” and “Well it’s finally here.” Hardly a click bait headline.

        • Jpkurihara

          Metacritic.

          • Wolfie

            Can go fuck itself.

          • Jpkurihara

            B-B-B-B-B-But Wolfie, without metacritic, how will those developers get their bonuses?
            Those poor, poor developers!
            WILL SOMEONE THINK OF THE DEVELOPERS?

          • Wolfie

            Hmm, good point.

            Executives can also go fuck themselves, too!

        • Drake Warnock

          Well The Last Guardian is a game that is a bit famous for having been in development for so long, so you could maybe argue that ANY review for it was clickbait?

      • Arella Jardin

        I genuinely believe some people don’t understand that, because the site has no ad revenue, there’s effectively no difference if people click on his reviews or not. 10 people, or 1 million, it’s literally the same.

      • Jeddostotle7

        Not to mention that Jim said on Twitter earlier today that he already deliberately removed any kind of analytics system from his site, so there’s literally no way of knowing how many clicks he’s getting.

      • galactix100

        You say that like these people care enough to think through the rabid fanboy rage.

    • ben

      it is hardly clickbaiting when the game barely runs at an acceptable frame rate and has bad design.

    • RifleAvenger Sashiro

      I like how people who dislike Jim’s opinion use “James Stanton” like it’s speaking a demon’s mystical true name and will make Jim recoil in anguish and fear at the utterance of it.

      • Artemiy

        A tradition forged by our two most favourite precious little snowflake brothers in the Universe.

      • https://en.wikipedia (.) org/wiki/James_Stanton

        • RifleAvenger Sashiro

          I mean, I get that it was his birth name, but people who use it like “I know your REAL name, better back off man!” or a parent speaking a child’s full name to scold them are just plain silly. I’m sure it has 0 power over Jim except to make him chuckle.

          • I had to look who it was. I posted that to give readers a head start; surprised that this is even in Wikipedia; but just to let readers know that it is/what’s up.

    • I thought my review of The Last Guardian was okay, but then someone called me James Stanton in the comments so I better scrap it now!

      • Tank Dsouls Ordialot

        Just this once, let him feel like hes broken the da vinci code.

      • Artemiy

        It’s just a gentle reminder that you really should change your name to Jim Fucking Sterling, Son. :3

    • Drake Warnock

      Oh man. The edge on this guy. If I didn’t know any better I’d think a Ronco knife had come to life and was trying to sell itself on the internet.

    • I’m just wondering how you clickbait on a site with no ads or view metrics and no incentive for per-click engagement. What would you even get from tricking someone into clicking something here? Schadenfreude?

    • Viking Mana

      “Oh, someone disagreed with me, or a bunch of sites that I follow. Their opinion is entirely invalid because of this!”

      The name-thing is kind of weird.. Like, I think a fair few people might not even realize why you’re talking about when you do that.

      And.. Well, it’s been pointed out several times, but.. Why would he give reviews like this for clickbait, on a site with no ads to generate profit? If you stop and think about it.. Are you sure all the sites giving games 10/10’s all the time aren’t the ones clickbaiting? You know, the ones that think virtually every game coming out is the best game ever? >.<

  • Wolfie

    Sorry guys, well, those who care. Tried putting up a parody rant of The Last Guardian, tried numerous times in numerous ways. Gets auto-flagged every fucking time. Happened with Mafia 3, happened with NMS.

    I don’t know. Game has emotions. 6.5 is no better than a 0. Jim is SJW. A slap to the face.

    • RifleAvenger Sashiro

      A slap INTO the face!

  • Siddartha 85

    “I hope those who bought PS3s back in the day enjoyed playing Resistance: Fall of Man.”
    Jim, you asshole, I lol’d hard.

    • Jpkurihara

      /r/OutOfTheLoop
      Can someone explain the joke?

      • Siddartha 85

        It was a really, really long time ago. I barely remember that game.
        Also, it a really funny comparison to The Last Guardian. That’s sort of the joke. Like saying you played an FPS (from years and years ago) while waiting for this.

    • Jokerman89

      I liked Resistance: Fall of Man…..

    • diamond

      I only recently bought a PS3 and i’m not a Team Ico fan, so i’m not at all upset.

  • Polishfury5000

    I’m happy for the people who like this, but I really can’t get into something with an annoying a mechanic as it’s command system. I get that animals being difficult is realistic and all, but if I wanted to experience that I’d go play with my dog. I’d rather play a game to escape the limits of reality than simulate reality.

    Maybe if the game had clear visual cues of Trico disobeying coupled with training that made him more responsive over time, then I’d be into that. From the gameplay I’ve seen, Trico just looks unresponsive at times. Having him show signs of disobeying would at least take some of the guess work away when trying to command.

    It looks like a gorgeous game, but frustrating AI is deal breaker for me. Shame there’s no co-op option.

    • Viking Mana

      Whaaat? You mean you don’t like arbitrarily waiting for the animal to listen and do the right thing? You don’t like pointless padding to make the game seem longer and than it is? You don’t like artificial, perceived “Difficulty” to make the game seem more challenging than it is?

      Why, I never! x)

      • Polishfury5000

        X^D
        Guess I’m just a filthy casual.

      • Gaealiege

        One wonders how modern gamers manage to play any classic. None of them support 120 FPS, don’t have 4k resolution, and they don’t hold your hand through the entire experience.

        I’ve never understood the argument of “artificial” difficulty. What constitutes “natural” difficulty?

        • BAH!

          I don’t know about this game specifically, but an example of “artificial difficulty” would be in something like Mega Man or Contra, where a one-hit deathtrap is sprung on the player in such a way that he could not have possibly avoided it except by sheer luck. So the “difficulty” is in trial-and-error memorization rather than, say, reflexes or learned skills.

          I mean, it *is* all artificial in that’s it’s all a contrivance. So I guess a better set of terms would be “fair” and “unfair”?

          • Gaealiege

            I would agree with that assessment. Fair and unfair would certainly constitute better terminology. It still rubs my the wrong way, because the lexicon of most gamers don’t follow any language-based ruleset with any integrity.

            As I responded to the original guy, most people seem to use “artificial difficulty” to mean “required effort” or “frustrated me because I couldn’t beat it within two attempts.”

        • Viking Mana

          Oh, it’s really simple: If you’re given a clear challenge that’s fair, relatively speaking, that’s natural difficulty. It might be hard, it might even be perceived as unfair, but it’s not unreasonable.

          When you then have a challenge that’s altered in some way. A fight where the opponent suddenly turns invisible with no clear “tells” as to their position, or the light goes out and you have no feasible way of reacting, or something else that’s clearly just unfair, then that’s artificial difficult. It’s not hard, because it’s a mechanic that’s basically just not designed to be beat.

          Take Tekken’s infamous Jinpachi bossfight. Jinpachi can fire a nigh undodgeable attack with hardly a second’s warning, and it’ll take off more than half of your health. He can spam it as well, or just long-range grabs. Worse still, when you’re down, he can then attack you before you have a chance to initiate another animation. That is artificial difficulty. There’s nothing you, the play, can do to counter it. The fight at that point relies on *nothing* but luck.

          Then there are fights like the Bane-Fight in Batman: Arkham Origins. In that fight, you just get spammed with regular enemies. The boss itself is bring and poorly designed, but instead of being creative and giving him some clever mechanics, they just artificially enhanced the difficulty by flooding the arena with regular enemies.

          The Soulsborne have loads of fights that are “Naturally” difficult. Fight in which you’re given a clear set of rules for the encounter early on, and you have to learn how to manage your resources, when to attack, when to dodge, etc.
          The franchise is also full of “Artificially” difficult areas, where enemies will ambush you from out of nowhere, and you have no real chance of realizing what’s about to happen the first time around. “Trial and Error”-gameplay, where the only way to glean the difficulty of an area is to run through it blindly and hope for the best, is a prime example of artificial difficulty that just pads out an area by forcing you to go through it more than once.

          • Gaealiege

            I would agree to 100% of that, but I’ve seen the terminology “artificial difficulty” adding to basically any game that requires high level reflexes, timing, or strategy.

            The Souls games are often described as being artificially difficult. Before the Souls games, the same argument was often given for the Devil May Cry games.

            You clearly use terminology appropriately, but I get the distinct feeling (from decades of gaming discussions) that most people use “artificial difficulty” to mean “not easy enough that a toddler could beat it”.

  • Jamesworkshop

    huh so it actually did come out then

  • La Chica Incognita

    Watching gameplay videos of this I got the distinct impression this was a bit like Black and White; a game where you’re expected to love and come to bond with this creature that has a broken mess of an AI that never does what you want it to and forces you to do all kinds of fiddly nonsense to just get it to work. Most of the gameplay just looked frustrating as hell to be honest. I’m also a PC gamer exclusively so chances are I would of never of played this so it’s success or failure is especially meaningless to me. Hell for such a massively hyped game I have literally never heard of it before today.

    It’s a shame I happen to like the IDEA of this big mana-beast wannabe thing being the real power and I’m just some helpless character that has to work with it to progress. Much like where Black and White failed that requires that the game to have a masterfully programed the AI to not only do what you want it to do, but also anticipate what players WOULD want it to do in order to simulate a sort of learning or bonding between the beast and main character. As well as little unexpected and unscripted things hide the fact that this is an AI and not a thinking creature by your side.

  • Sean Nolan

    This game for me was destined to be a “close but no cigar” game It is sad but I predicted this with a few friends. They should be happy it has come out and it is in such a state as to be playable but at no point did I think this game was going to be a masterpiece when you look at the development. The amount of development this game has had to go through is astonishing and very few titles can survive that kind of development cycle

    Good review Jim thanks for all you do

    • Viking Mana

      If anything has been in the works for far, far too long, it’s most likely going to end up being a “Close, but no cigar”-game. The longer you have to wait for something, the more your expectations will grow and the further the hype-train travels. In the end, it’s always going to be virtually impossible to deliver.

      I mean, just look at “No Man’s Sky” or “Watch_Dogs”.. Should’ve been the games to end all games – Instead they either bellyflopped or didn’t gain traction.

  • prh99

    I wanted it when it was for the PS3, now I just don’t care. Also having to drop $300 or so on a console I have zero interest in to play it doesn’t help.

  • FutureFox

    This is the third review I’ve read with very similar sentiments. It actually sounds like the controls/puzzle ques are worse because you are playing the “Yorda” character to an uncontrollable “Ico” ( who happens to be called Trico ); and I remember it was A challenge to get Yorda to do things in Ico and she was a person.

    The thing people need to understand is this: if a game isn’t actually planned to take 8+ years to complete then expect it to fall short of contemporary expectations. The score sounds about right given those impressions and the reviews I’ve read give it about the same 7-ish. But to all those scoring this as 8s and 9s clearly are sipping and bottling from hope springs.

    • Chris JT

      Translation: Now people are actually using the development time as an excuse to bring the game down. Geeeez. Are you kidding me????

      • diamond

        Well it’s reasonable, people said similar things about Duke Nukem Forever, so it’s only fair this game gets criticized as well.

      • RifleAvenger Sashiro

        Not an excuse, an explanation. The game was almost certainly canceled/nearly so at some point, and when they salvaged it they probably kept a lot of the old code and/or assets. Make a game with decade old parts, and it’s going to feel like it’s ten years old.

        Now, a lot of the game I play are very old, but I’m no Stormbringer. Games have improved in various ways over time, especially in control schemes. Add on that Team Ico games had somewhat ponderous controls even compared to their contemporaries, and you’ve got a game whose issues in just getting it to do what you want stand out very badly in 2016.

        That isn’t to say the game can’t be fun. To use ATLUS games as an example, I like SMT 2, Soul Hackers, and the original Persona games. But their menus and how much time it takes to get through a single battle because of them are objectively worse than the Nocturne/P3-4 era, let alone SMT 4 and now P5. I can totally understand why people won’t want to play Eternal Punishment, despite it being an amazing story, because the mechanics of the gameplay are dated to the point of being an odious slog even compared to other turn based games today. It’s the same with The Last Guardian.

        • I won’t touch Persona 2 (Eternal Punishment) because it looks like pixel vomit and doesn’t have proper Personae or anything like Megami Ibunroku Persona. (I got a copy of Innocent Sin on launch day for $20. Still wouldn’t play the fucker. The most anti-climatic day in my life as a video game junkie. EDITED: Imported–I think they made too many or something.)

          PS: Art is timeless. If time is a factor, it’s nothing special. Wait 20yrs to try something. Then you will see it for what it is.

          • RifleAvenger Sashiro

            I will admit that the P2 pair are ugly ass games visually, but Eternal Punishment is also the only game that focuses on primarily adult fears and problems with an adult cast. And it pulls it off well. For that reason alone it’s a pretty great and special game, even if the graphics are stupendously ugly and it has the worst demon/persona designs this side of Demi-Kids.

            As for SMT 2, when I replayed it I’d forgotten that you could set auto-battle to just repeat actions, rather than force auto-attacks like post-Nocturne games. So I manually went through every menu which is quite time consuming.

            Also, I missed you in the comments section. Does this mean I can summon you by calling your name like Hastur?

          • I just read/comment on what I am interested in. If the comments blow up I will only read the best ones and maybe reply, or take comfort in the Patreon comments which are a hundred times fewer.

            Jim replied to a Patreon comment I made on this review just now. I may take a few days to get around, by which point everyone’s moved on. I really wish I was more interested in TLG. I do hold this de facto trilogy to some esteem, like a lot of folks who’d like to enjoy video games as much as we enjoy more adult fare.

            EDITED: Laura Kate has the same things to say about TLG as Jim. They probably have a more realistic take on it, if they both feel the same. I may never have a PS4. Maybe if my PS3 dies, and I need something else to watch Netflix on I will get one. This is a shit hobby.

      • thatdamnrat

        No, it’s perfectly logical if this game was slated for the PS3 and didn’t get out to the PS4, something must have gone seriously wrong in the development. That this came out at all is amazing, at this point (hell well before this) most publishers would have cut their losses and binned it. And every other time a languishing game like this comes out it’s disappointing, for reference see Duke Nukem Forever.

        • Psionicinversion

          what happened to the development is that the PS3 literally couldnt run it. they werent prepared to scale it back so they had to wait for the ps4. Yoshida admitted that the ps3 it ran on when they showed it was overclocked to run it and they couldnt get the requirements any lower to run it on a normal ps3

  • Jesse Helmfall

    I feel like I’ll probably still like this game, but I won’t rush out to buy it.

  • Gregory M

    So two games that should have released 10 years back but are out now.
    FFxv and this.
    Both seem to have flaws but both games have a real earnesty towards their vision thats often not seen in the games of today.
    Especially The last gaurdian.
    Im gona go with my gut on this one and buy it.

    • RifleAvenger Sashiro

      Now that you put it that way, perhaps both the technical flaws and the vision are both because they’re effectively from another decade?

      • InfamousDS

        I can’t speak for TLG, but the earnest nature of XV doesn’t come from the age. It comes from the director, who has only been with the game since the rebranding.

        Tabata really believes in this game, and it shows. It shows in how he basically rebuilt the dev team from the ground up by restructuring and eliminating positions as well as bringing in new blood. It shows in how he wouldn’t take “no” for an answer when he wanted to push boundaries Square didn’t feel like crossing in the design. It shows with his eager attitude while he is on camera, and the nothing but positive reception fans who have met him at shows express. It shows in how they released a demo EXCLUSIVELY because fans had been waiting for the game and he wanted feedback, and it shows in how they patched an update to the demo in to address some of that feedback.

        Lastly, it shows in the game itself. I won’t tell you to go buy it, that isn’t my place, but do make an effort to see it firsthand if you can and if possible, even play it.

        • RifleAvenger Sashiro

          I did already get FF15, and I’m VERY mixed on it. It’s fun when I’m playing it, but every time I think about it afterwards the flaws and bizarre design decisions just won’t leave my mind.

          Magic in particular bugs me to no end.

          • InfamousDS

            I never think to use it, so it never crosses my mind. That isn’t a FFXV problem though, I always tend to do that. Something about abilities in action games has me forget they exist, and I never remember to use Techs either. Basically, just don’t use all three elements at once unless you can craft a multicast spell. It’s just a waste of the practically infinite mana. Otherwise, think in terms of “If I could make my own grenade, how would I do it?” That’s how the system clicked for me, and when I do make magic it is satisfying to use.

            Everything else has meshed well with me. I’ve only broken the game once, and I’m not sure how. Monsters stopped spawning for some reason.

            You get real magic later, and it (optionally) takes the place of Elemancy for Noctis with access to unique/exclusive spells. I don’t know “when” it happens since I’m still in Chapter 3 despite getting it on launch day (my God at the amount of content, 57 hours and counting).

          • Justin Graham

            I had the same bug happen to me last night. Monsters stopped spawning, but the bug cleared up when I fast-traveled.

            As far as magic goes, I’m only in Chapter 8 and still using the basic elemancy. .It’s not a bad system, really. I don’t use it most of the time; just for specific encounters. FFXV just has a very different emphasis on magic compared to previous games given the obvious focus on Noctis’s warp abilities and other skills.

          • InfamousDS

            It really feels situational, and I think that was by design since it use a resource a lot more finite than MP ever was. Although I’d be lying if I said I didn’t keep a few Quintcast Thunders on me for the MTek troopers. They can just fuck off with their instant respawns.

          • RifleAvenger Sashiro

            So, I guess I’ll go into more detail on magic:

            1) If you spend your AP on it, Magic is gamebreakingly good early on and then slides off substantially until presumably when you get other forms of it later on. I was able to cast -aga level spells routinely 10 hours in, and it hasn’t felt like I’ve gotten any stronger since whatsoever.

            1a) This is largely because of the damage cap and no way of reducing recast cooldown, which eventually forces you to gamble on multi-casts to compete with melee DPS. The cooldown also makes playing magic heavy boring even when it’s good. Cast, deal 9999 damage, run away until cooldown falls off, repeat ad naseum.

            2) Friendly fire is terribly handled. It’s not powerful enough to actually truly kill your party members. This is probably good though, because you can’t tell your friends to back off when you throw a fullscreen covering spell. Then, if you cast a thunder or fire spell, watch the enemies flail about while taking a pitifully low DoT in an long lasting area you can’t enter without doing the same. And your party members WILL walk into it. And you WILL be forced to really consider not ever using debuff or status ailment extra effects because they’ll probably be hit. And you pretty much can’t avoid not hitting them with the huge -aga level spells. And the healing and buffing additive effects only influence the caster, and you can’t get your party to actually use spells you equip them with predictably (had Ignis hold a Healing Blizzara through an entire dungeon and he never cast it).

            3) Unless I’ve missed them, no particularly cool buffing additive effects like haste.

            4) The later magic ability nodes cost preposterous amounts of AP compared to how useful magic is at the time when you’ll have enough AP to unlock them. Plus, 3/4 of the node trees deal with making elemancy more efficient, but with the +30 potency node and first node on the “more energy absorbed” tree I’ve had 0 issues keeping my supplies up even playing extremely spell heavy. Potency and raising your magic stat deal with damage, which seems irrelevant when magic hits damage cap easily without those and Noctis doesn’t seem to be able to limit break.

            5) Lack of straight up healing/support spells for the party as a whole forces the game to provide them via easily obtainable, spammable items. This results in being able to trip through fights while spamming Hi-Elixirs, or watching each individual party member pop a buffing item one after the other. I know Final Fantasy was never really about the challenge of combat (it’s not an ATLUS game by a long shot), but the degree to which you can drink your way to victory is just awkward.

            6) No ability to manually aim spells in wait mode.

            Magic isn’t my only issue either. Story pacing and the general feeling of uselessness I get from my party in combat (except whenever the meter for a direct command is present) even after spending big AP in Teamwork are my next two big bugbears.

  • Someone132

    So, this is basically an upgraded, far more expensive version of Papa & Yo, then?

  • Tank Dsouls Ordialot

    Jim, please lose the numerical scoring system and we can lose half these idiots in the comments. Rock Paper Shotgun avoid doing the same and their comments are full of actual debate with people who have valid points to make.

    • Watchmedance

      I agree with this. I write my own reviews and decided not to bother with scores. Sure, that means there’s a 0% chance of ending up on Metacritic (instead of an extremely slim chance in my case), but I’ve yet to have any of my 50 or so readers attack me for a score.

      • Tank Dsouls Ordialot

        Right, they have to actually read your entire review and come up with sensible arguments. The same old “you scored it lower than another completely different game, therefore you must have enjoyed it less” argument is getting so old now.

      • BAH!

        Which is not to say you’ve never been attacked…?

        • Watchmedance

          Not yet. Small fish, ya know? I figure I’ll frame my first psychotic rage commenter like the first dollar that restaurants frame.

          • BAH!

            For posterity!

      • Uldi

        Except Metacritic now lists reviews that don’t have a score. And every review, if properly written, will still have a summarizing paragraph at the end and that’s all a numerical score is, a summary expressed as a number.

        Anyone just seeing the score and not reading the entire review is not worth listening to and should just be ignored or mocked.

        • Watchmedance

          See I didn’t know about unscored reviews on Metacritic. The More You Know?

          I’ll admit to scrolling to the bottom before reading some reviews, but that’s mostly reserved for sites like Polygon. Jim’s reviews are far too entertaining and comprehensive to jump straight to the score.

    • Viking Mana

      But the number system makes sense. Besides, there’s really nothing to debate about 1 guys subjective opinion on a video game. x)

      People are still having debates, and scrolling to the bottom to get the number is a good way of avoiding spoilers, while getting a decent impression of whether or not the game is objectively (Gameplay) or subjectively (Story) bad.

      • Tank Dsouls Ordialot

        I disagree, i think there is still plenty to debate. Not having a number score doesn’t automatically make the entire review “subjective”. For example, Jim mentions that the fact the game has been in development for 10 years made certain mechanics feel outdated. Some would diagree with this arguing that arguing that 10 years should be enough to polish these issues, and some would say theres plenty of 10 yo games that have tighter mechanics. Another example is the non-responsive AI, for some this ruins the game for others is a small complaint.

        Any half-decent reviewer is able to sum up a games pro and cons by describing the important elements and then reflect upon their own experiences. Anyone able to fully diggest the review, should be able to discern whether or not their going to have a good time or not without an arbitrary score slapped on at the end.

        And as for those you say might skip the entire review to gauge their own enjoyment from the score alone, seriously?? That would mean they have absolutely no interest in any of the details, including whether or not they can forgive certain element’s the reviewer does not.

        Please forgive me atrocious grammar, punctuation. Ive just worked 14 hours and my brsin is fried.

        • Viking Mana

          Terribly sorry to hear about your fried brsin. x)

          Either way – What I meant was: You can still have a thoughtful debate. Obviously Jim won’t be able to participate in every debate that we’d all like to have with him, but there are plenty of people around here who are willing to talk about all sorts of things. Hell, we’re having a debate right now!

          The whole point of Jim’s review is that it’s HIS review though. This is his review, and you’ll now have to form an opinion based off of that. A review would be pointless if it was posted, and then entered a state of flux where it might change depending on outside influences. I mean, what are people to do with a review that’s entirely different after two weeks?

          The number-system fulfills it’s purpose just fine if it’s used right. Jim uses it right by assigning a number, the meaning of which he sums up with a single word, and you can then look through the details to sum up what led to that conclusion. Ideally, everyone would use a similar system, and you’d be able to look at a review that gave a higher or lower score, and reflect on that person’s impressions. Did they take issue with mechanics Jim didn’t mind? Did they praise parts of the story that he disliked? Etc.

          You could also state why you disagree with the number, which details that Jim has brought up that you disagree with specifically, and assign a number you find more fitting based on his scale. You’d then be inviting other people interested in this game to do the same, or engage in a healthy debate.

          As for that last point – Well, I don’t want story-spoilers. I always ignore story-scores purely because it’s SO subjective, and it takes away from my enjoyment of the game. The overall technical quality of the product is what interests me in a review. Am I buying a piece of janky junk, or am I getting something that’s at least going to function? The story is for me to discover and judge once I’ve decided whether or not I’m interested in the base product.

          • Tank Dsouls Ordialot

            I agree with some of your points. Luckily Jim usually steers clear of spoiler’s, other’s can and have ruined the best parts of the game (Pc gamer by far the worst offenders). So i understand your concerns there.
            As for the numerical score, im still not convinced, you admit that it’s STILL necessary to read the review to find out how the score was decided, reguardless of there being a clear, transparent system for applying scores. Remeber it takes only one flaw for a reviewer to decide it ruins the game, and your need to find out what that is and decide whether or not you personally can forgive or forget about the game entirely.

  • Logan Graham

    Sounds like a $30 game to me, while struggling to dodge spoilers until that point hits.

  • CogInTheWheel

    Once again, Jimbo delivers a great honest review. Thank you.

    Mainstream reviewers seem more like professional gushers now, enthralled by BirdDog’s feathers and not realizing what they’re *playing* is not fun and has actual technical issues.

    • BAH!

      I’m going to point something out, and you might not like it. Here goes:

      Assuming those other reviews you speak of a honest (And there’s really no reason not to. Really, there’s not.), they’re also just as viable as consumer aides. Jim’s opinion (which is what his review is) is not some kind of objective truth. Nor are other reviews lies because they don’t agree. When speaking about enjoyment – a big part of any review – it’s all relative.

      If you’ve ever defended Jim’s opinions (even if only in your mind) *as opinions* against others who disagree with his reviews, then remember that next time you feel the urge to attack others.

      • Misha

        I normally agree, but in the case of ‘technical’ issues, im not sure how those can be debated as opinions. They exist, and their are many of them. That alone should drop a score, but it doesn’t seem to be happening. Because of that, its easy to assume the scores don’t mean anything because it’s ejecting actual quantifiable issues.

        • CaitSeith

          I think BAH is referring to when technical issues are compensated by the working parts of the game. But Cog is talking more about people who simply tell others that the game doesn’t have any problems.

        • BAH!

          Maybe? It depends on how serious the reviewer considers those issues. For example, I wouldn’t be too concerned with a game dropping framerate every once in a while, but that could be infuriating to others. Nor would I worry about an AI glitching *occasionally*, but others would.

          Now, to completely omit those things would be irresponsible, but to paint them as how I see them – “not that bad” – is just part of the review.

        • Uldi

          Well, there is also the possibility that not everyone is experiencing certain technical issues. While more common on PC, there are still times when one PS4 is having issues, while another isn’t.

        • BAH!

          If you were writing a review, I’m sure that’s exactly what you would do- and you should, if that’s how you felt about the game. But even “objective” issues and topics can be interpreted and experienced subjectively. If they couldn’t no game could ever be rated a “10”, or probably even a “9”.

          The review is literally all about the reviewer’s experience. Jim acknowledged that Deadly Premonition was *technically* awful, but he gave it a “10” anyway because he had so much fun with it.

          What’s more, you can have reviews (or critiques) that don’t even bother with technical issues- or with the narrative. All the writer cares to talk about is a specific facet of the game while ignoring or downplaying everything else. And that’s allowed. If you or I don’t find such pieces as useful as others, that’s also allowed.

      • CogInTheWheel

        I haven’t attacked anyone so I’m not even sure wtf you’re talking about. Reviews are opinions and in my opinion, Jim has much more honest reviews. Very simple.

        All you’re saying is “you might not like this, but I have an opinion about your opinion and I’m acting like you’re attacking people because reasons”

        10 people upvoted this nonsense lol.

        • BAH!

          The entire second sentence is an attack on the integrity/intelligence of “other mainstream reviewers”. It’s not even passive aggression, it’s a straight-up statement.

          So I say again, keep your own expressed opinions in mind next time you feel like insulting “other reviewers”, because the hypocrisy makes you look stupid.

          • CogInTheWheel

            Lmao, it’s an attack! I pulled out my opinion gun and attacked no one specific…but it was an attack nonetheless!

            Cry me a river, my delicate snowflake.

    • Those aren’t the reasons people like the Ico and SOTC games; and it’s not the game the director is trying to make. Sony has the gravitas to let them do that.

    • Dick Deepinsideher

      So a review site gives a game you dont like a bad review, its all of a sudden the truth, and an unbiased review? Reviews are subjective from person to person. Believe it or not, but some people actually like the game. Enough so to look past its technical issues. Some like Jim though, just cant. That’s the truth.

  • Kie Sears

    I really did enjoy Resistance: Fall of Man thanks Jim
    Anyway the game sounds like what i felt it’d be since they re revealed it a few years back will definately get it once the price drops a bit

    • Chris

      So did I actually! One of my fave games I played on ps3… although I got mine 2-3 years after launch cos god damn was there nothing I wanted in the first year or two.

  • MrSquifler

    Now watch every other review praise this game even though it doesn’t deserve it because….hype?

    • RedWolf

      I don’t know about it not deserving any praise. Although he pointed out the glaring flaws in this title, Jim did praise the game’s merits. Credit where credit is due, my friend.
      Although you’re not wrong about hype colouring review scores. Far from it…

      • MrSquifler

        I should have phrased that a little differently. I’m sure it deserves some praise (it does looks decent), what I meant was “watch every other review give it a high score because of the developer’s history and barely take into account the serious flaws this game has.”

        • RedWolf

          Fair enough. I figured, in the back of my mind, that the way you worded it wasn’t reallt the way you meant it.

    • Hvd

      they alrady have gamespot gave it a 9/10 and others have gave it a 4/5.the bias is real.

      and the fact is it as a 10 year delayed game drops to sub 10fps and they gave it a 9/10..lol

      • MrSquifler

        I can understand looking past minor technical issues, after all, what game is without them. But this game sounds like it has some serious framerate issues (which some games score have seriously reflected) and it still gets a near perfect score from most outlets.

        • doomrider7

          It’s apparently “playable” on the PS4 Pro with it being barely playable on the original. I don’t care what the devs say, that’s fucking appalling especially after delaying the game til now because they were apparently waiting for technology to catch up to their vision or something.

          • MrSquifler

            And considering the scale of the game and the time they have spent making it is definitely appaling.

    • Viking Mana

      Not hype I think. More like access? You’re far more likely to get a phone call from some of the big guys if you’re consistently slapping a 9 or a 10 on their products.

      • MrSquifler

        Are the developers of this game that big though? I thought they were a rather small team?

        • Nejo Goldsmith

          They are a small team.

        • Viking Mana

          Sure, but I do believe they have Sony backing them? If that’s the case, then obviously it’s within their interest for the game to succeed, both financially and critically.

          • MrSquifler

            Yeah, I guess it would make sense for reviewers to get in Sony’s good books by giving a good review. Nothing would surprise me anymore.

        • MJC

          Go back to the top of the review and look at what it says.

          “Publisher: Sony”

          Pretty obvious who’s dick those big AAA sites are trying to suck.

      • Nejo Goldsmith

        Or maybe other people liked it? You know. Just a thought.

        • Viking Mana

          Well, I was arguing about why reviewers would give games in general higher scores than they might deserve on a consistent basis. I wasn’t talking about this game specifically. 😛

          You can’t deny that it’s a little odd that some outlets just *do not* give less that 7 or 8.

  • Drake Warnock

    I’m a sucker for a good story, and I take so long to play games whether they feel dated or not has no meaning for me. I still need to finish Ico, let along Shadow of the Colossus, so I’ll probably get around to playing this game ten or fifteen years from now anyway.

    Sounds like a game I’d enjoy, though!

  • Barnaby Jones

    A fair and respectful review, although I still think that in today’s generic all-games-look-and-play-the-same world, TLG should be a welcome diversion.

    Most games released currently seem to want to offer the same generic game experience: an uber powerful player who can shoot, hack and race through huge open worlds where every NPC is eagerly waiting for YOU and only YOU to be rescued or hand out fetch quests.

    • MJC

      I like how your description of what most games are only applies to a game franchise that released one game in 2014 and another game in 2016. 2 whole games. Well done, bravo, stupendous.

      • Barnaby Jones

        Doom, Dishonored 2, Titanfall 2, Skyrim remastered, Watch Dogs 2, Deus Ex Mankind divided, Mafia 3, and that’s just this year…

  • recordatron .

    So essentially, a good premise and solid emotional depth marred by game design issues.

    Why does a review like this require such furious outrage? You’ve clearly put a lot of effort into producing a balanced review despite dealing with what sounds like some infuriating mechanics.

    This is why reviews are important, I can now use this information to hang fire and hopefully pick up what promises to be a satisfying experience once hopefully some of the kinks have been patched up a bit.

    Thanks Jim.

  • Well, i knew this was going to be a dissapointment, because it is the spiritual successor to 2 of the most overrated pretentious games on the PS2.

    • Viking Mana

      I could smell your bait from a different site! I wonder if anyone’s going to bite at this point, or if you’re just late to the party.

      • It is not “bait”. Just my honest opinion. I hated both games with a passion and couldn’t see what others were smoking.

        • Nejo Goldsmith

          When something is loved by many, it is NOT overrated. You just didn’t like them. Fair enough. Doesn’t mean they are actually bad, and everyone is wrong. Doesn’t mean you’re wrong either. But “Overrated” is when a game is actual garbage, and sites give it high scores, even though people almost unanimously hated it. At any rate, if you hated the first 2, I don’t see why you’d think this one is a disappointment. It shouldn’t disappoint someone who didn’t care about it to begin with.

          • MJC

            No, overrated is not what you said at all. Overrated means it’s rated higher than it should be. That’s it.

            Your problem seems to be that you think overrated is a factual statement. It’s not. It’s an opinion, just like any other thought any person has for a game.

        • Viking Mana

          Well, you could certainly argue that they were pretentious – That’s all your opinion after all. But claiming that they’re overrated in such an aggressive manner does make it look like you’re just trying to be deliberately antagonistic towards something you know a very large group of people enjoyed.

      • RT

        Well I consider them overrated too.
        Though I don’t hate them, I’m just indifferent.

    • Martina Veselá

      Overrated – yes. I never cared for either of them and they’re certainly not the masterpieces everyone claims them to be. Okami was way, way, WAY better and hardly anyone gave a shit about that poor game.
      Pretentious – not really. Heavy Rain was pretentious. I got it a few months ago and I can’t get into it because the pathetic attempts at emotional scenes are making me cringe too hard to take it seriously. Ico and Colossus never had this problem.

      • MJC

        Okami is also overrated shit. I did give a shit about that game because of all the hype and I found one of the worst, most unresponsive games I’d ever played. There isn’t a single positive thing I can say about Okami.

        • Martina Veselá

          Okami had many mistakes but being unresponsive sure as hell wasn’t one of them. Too bad you didn’t enjoy it, it was good.

    • Ratslayer

      Well, you must be really proud of yourself.

  • Hvd

    finally a non bias review.i swear you can really see bias in the media when this game drops to sub 10fps and certin sites give it a 9/10 or 4/5.

    i hope you guys can see the bias.

  • Terriosaurus Hex

    The way I look at this whole “does the animal die in the end” thing, is; the animal is both alive and dead simultaneously until observed.

    Moving on, I must criticise or else my entire existence is worthless. So, firstly, after hearing people mention the animal as a sort of dog…how is that creature anywhere near a dog? It’s more like an ugly eagle-mouse-rat-cat hybrid which becomes endearingly cute for some reason that I could maybe pin down if I cared to ramble more.

    Secondly…and completely off-topic because I lack no self-restraint…Skyward Sword was no issue to me through to the end, yet a particular friend of mine couldn’t get past one simple flower. He was only a couple of years older, but I started to think he had some motor-function deficiency eventually, because he seemed incapable of grasping how it worked. It was only later in life when I started to look into online reviews that it appeared others has similar issues, so maybe it is a different type of mindset?

    Thirdly…and even even more off-topic because of said previous problem…Deadly Premonition had THE worst vehicle controls with no option to swap the accelerator button with the brake button on controllers. As a regular racing game player since kiddyhood, this was beyond maddening. Words cannot describe how much that tiny detail stopped any enjoyment of the game. And fuck getting a PC for it. Stroking folks and all.

    Fourthly… hopefully lastly cos I’m getting bored now…WHERE THE FUCKING HELL ARE ALL MY SOCKS???? I got loads and they keep disappearing! This must be you, Jim! Ive seen what you use for gagging those unsuspecting tourists…

    • CaitSeith

      “The way I look at this whole ‘does the animal die in the end’ thing, is; the animal is both alive and dead simultaneously until observed.”

      I would too if it were a 50/50 situation (like Schrödinger’s cat). But AAA statistical analysis states that the odds favor death (or apparent death) by 90%.

      • Terriosaurus Hex

        Ah, but I was using the probability from Team Ico’s history, which, to my very limited knowledge of their 2 previous games, only 1 contained a killing off of the partner/animal. Thus a clean 50/50 chance remains; Schrödinger continues incessant refusal of any premature decision making. 😉

        • CaitSeith

          That’s because one of them didn’t have an animal partner to kill. That technically leaves the count with “every animal companion in Team ICO’s games has a death scene”.

          • Terriosaurus Hex

            I thought ICO had a partner to drag around? And Colossus started already with dead partn…ARRGH…The system is tainted!! This will not do!

    • MJC

      Skyward Sword would be such a better game if Nintendo remastered it and just turned off all the hand holding from Fi.

      That’s it. That’s all they need to do to change the game from “unplayable” to “hey this game is pretty good, not perfect but still pretty good”. I got through one playthrough, but later when I went back for a second playthrough on Hero mode no less, I rage quit pretty early on because I just didn’t have the patience to put up with the hand holding again.

      • BAH!

        Yeah, thanks for reminding. That’s exactly the thing I needed to remember right now.

        SARCASM!

        But seriously, Fi was easily the worst thing about SS. That, and Nintendo’s infuriating tendency to just show the player what he needs to do and where he needs to go. I mean, the original Legend of Zelda was pretty shit at communicating things to the player, but do we really need to go to the opposite extreme?

  • Demon Hog

    This sort of “game won’t do what I tell it to do” review is always kind of heartbreaking for me, although I do occasionally buy games that were introduced to me through one (Bound, which I learned about on this site). Everyone is likely to be effected differently by mechanical/technical shortcomings (I myself can barely differentiate frame rates, which is a weird thing for even a novice animator to say), and as others have said it’s absolutely a good thing for a review like this to exist. One problem I personally have (hopefully not just with Jim’s reviews specifically) is that if a game is perceived to not run or act in an acceptable fashion , I leave most reviews with no greater understanding of what a game is and what it is trying to do. This is a terrible example, but I’ve long been on the search for detailed thoughts on Silent Hill 2 from this writer, but the only significant textual document we have is a review of the lousy remaster. Looking at the end of this review, I wonder if Jim has any more Deadly Premonitions in his future? (Not as proof of any sort of contradiction, it’s more that that was a very different kind of review of a technically poor game, and was the review that made me love Jim’s writing).

  • Once again nice to see a good, actually critical review of a game and not just a gushing mess of all the good things. I want to hear about the flaws, the problems and the things that the publisher doesn’t want people to talk about. That’s why I read reviews. Shame that this seems to have those flaws but I am hoping that the sheer fact that this actually arose from the depths of development Hell that Team Ico can actually start to work on something new and maybe take some of the modern gaming conventions into account and make something fantastic. I am a huge fan of both Ico and Shadows and will probably get this game due to that but now I know that it could be a frustrating experience. Good Review as always Jim.

    • TheMagicLemur

      That’s a big reason why I like Jim. I only share his tastes like 40% of the time, but he really CARES about the games and always TRIES to find stuff he likes. I get a pretty clear picture of what a game is like and about from his reviews, rather than the digital handjobs the big sites give out.

    • Brendon Kearce

      Jim always understands that his personal tastes aren’t gospel and that every game has its audience even if it isn’t him. His reviews are more about explaining what you’re getting into if you’re going to buy a certain game rather than simply boiling it down to “good” or “bad”. It’s really helpful when I’m trying to determine whether a game is something suited for my tastes.

      Hell, this review told me more about what the Last Guardian was as a game than any of the official promotional material did.

  • Michael Alexander Seiler

    At least it´s better than Mighty No. 9

    • RT

      As are the dust bunnies under my chair.

      • TheMagicLemur

        And herpes.

        • Chris

          Anal herpes

    • BertBerryCrunch

      Which is better than nothing

  • Hons “Haunsy” Hon Central

    I love this review for multiple reasons:

    1. It is honest.
    2. It lets me know it controls like a PS2 game.

    Even though it seems a bit broken at times, the game really does seem intriguing to me because all the problems discussed seem interesting to me. I actually really want to play it.

  • Day_is_Over

    You can be artsy fartsy and still have good gameplay/controls.

    I’ll wait until this one is on sale before diving in.

    • The Super Action Squad of One

      Yes! Absolutely, 10/10, right on the money, 100% correct. Hell, if you want an excellent example of that, just look at this dev team’s previous game Shadow of the Colossus.

      that being said … I’m stiiillll gunna buy this one ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  • TJ Barke

    I did buy a PS3 in part for The Last Guardian, but I did enjoy MSG4.

  • D-Man

    MAN that was long-winded. For a minute I thought I was back in the 90’s, what with all the click-baity contrarianism for the sake of drawing site traffic. Don’t quit your day-job, kiddo.

    • Ratslayer

      Right, cause a man who has no adds on his website and who does not rely on the traffic in any way (all money coming from Patreon) would totally post click-bait articles for… Profit???

      Srsly mang, if you think he’s being contrarian, you have either NOT read the review, or you are just retarded. Pick your poison.

      • D-Man

        Nah, don’t have to pick any poison to see this guy is just a smarmy blowhard. Got through about half of it and remembered I have actual shit to do than read the great American novel. All of his points could have been rapped up in a single paragraph, but he thinks he’s Ernest Hemingway so here comes the clickbait. Pass

        • Uldi

          Thanks for showing us your near-illiteracy and impatience. By the way, ‘click-bait’ refers to a headline meant to entice someone to click a link, not the article itself. It also only applies to sites that get ad revenue.

          But thanks for playing, and come back when you actually know what the buzzwords you use really mean.

          • D-Man

            Uh oh! Did I strike a nerve with the fanboy army? Don’t worry Jim, the weeaboos are here to defend your terrible reputation. Just his name under the title is clickbait enough. I heard so much trash about this guy for so long that I had to check him out, sure enough, niche city for basement dweller elitists who aren’t good enough at anything to be considered elitist. Unless you consider being professionally inarticulate a talent. It’s okay, I also have family members who enjoy the smell of their own farts.

          • Uldi

            I thought I told you not to come back until you understand what click-bait really is, rather than what a bunch of idiots suffering from arrested development thinks it means?

            Now shoo.

          • Chris JT

            Lol, you sure told him alright. /sarcasm -_-

          • Uldi

            Oh, do you want to play too? I notice you struggle with certain concepts yourself, like the implied believe that there is some kind of objective score for this game.

          • Chris JT

            Nah, I’m already over this. It just doesn’t matter to me anymore. I own the game already. You guys don’t enjoy it, I happen to think it’s MY game of the year thus far. That’s all there is to it. (You know something is well done when you’re looking forward to just playing it some more and just relishing all the details and care that went into this product.)

            I actually don’t mind being in the minority this time around. Don’t get me wrong, I love my share of popular media but this time it’s a breath of fresh air to realize how wrong the reviews have been in my most sincerest, humbled opinion.

          • Daniel

            You’re not in the minority. Most people enjoyed the game (if you search it up on the internet, not one of the most revered or well known specialist critic sites scores it below a 7/10 or 4/5), only one person didn’t.

          • Chris JT

            Yeah, you’re right actually! I’ve come to realize that. Maybe that’s why the 6.5 just sort of annoyed me because it falls quite a ways down below the average.
            And this to me just feels like critics like Jim, even though they could have given it a slightly higher score perhaps wanted to lower it just to even it out from all the 10/10’s it received. But then again, I thought about it again and if he REALLY wanted to do that he could have just given it like a 0-4.

            In the end, I’m content now with his review because I realize this game even with die hard Ueda fans is quite polarizing – it’s a love it and hate it matter. Lucky for me, I haven’t experienced the frustrations that people have been getting…yet.

          • ceramicsaturn

            “just his name under the title is click bait enough”…. that …. literally makes no sense at all. Under your logic, anyone with a reputation other than what you deem to be “perfect” has no right to do anything in life in which their name is attached to without it being click bait. Again, like others have posted, go buy a dictionary and learn what words mean before coming up with hilariously ridiculous definitions to support your personal blind hatred toward a man you’ve never even met.

        • WinterGriffin

          Umm… interesting you chose a comparison to a writer celebrated for his economical and direct use of language to illustrate that you think Jim Sterling went on too long.

          • zarathustra2k1

            Beautiful, baby…

        • CyanManta

          Okay, seriously, why are you still here? You’re clearly not getting the response you want and at least three people have pointed out the flaws in your “arguments” pretty succinctly. And yet you’re still baiting the hook and throwing it in the water.

          If you merely disagree with a critic, you should have no motivation to undermine his opinion; just move on with your life, confident in your own opinion. Instead, you’re dragging it out. Like a petulant 10-year-old who needs to make everybody in the room conform to his opinion and projecting your insecurities onto the rest of the audience. You’re not just the pot calling the kettle black; you’re the pot calling the COPPER kettle black.

        • Ratslayer

          K. You’re retarded. Got it.

        • Chris JT

          Hahahaha, exactly. Kinda like he thinks he’s a super “cool” reviewer or something and that he writes so eloquently.

    • Bosch

      So… how exactly do you draw site traffic with commentary you have to already be on the page to see? That makes as much sense as putting bait on a hook that the fish can only perceive after they’ve already bitten. On your planet, do people somehow read the article BEFORE clicking on it?

      • Cal Tidey

        It’s funny that they call it clickbait, because the site doesn’t have ads, and his revenue from this comes from Patreon.

        Butthurt fanboys give him exactly no money.

    • Jeremy

      He does not get revenue from the website, so he has no reason to make “clickbait.” He has an opinion you don’t like. Get the fuck over it, crybaby.

      • Chris JT

        You know what’s hilarious??? How defensive and ANGRY you folks who support Jim are getting for criticizing HIM. It’s not a 6/10 game just because he says so. I mean, who the heck is JIm to criticize such a game when he would never even come close to doing better. Again, this is why he is a critic. That’s all he can do is criticize other people’s art.

        • Uldi

          And it’s not a 10/10 just because YOU say so. There is no objective score. To Jim, it’s a 6.5/10 and to you it’s a 10/10. Neither one is wrong, just different. However, since I agree more with Jim about ICO (a game seriously marred by control issues) than you (who praises ICO as incredible), I’m inclined to take Jim’s review as more relevant to me than yours.

          That’s how reviewing works, by the way. You find a reviewer with opinions about games similar to your own and use them as a barometer to measure whether you will like a game or not. You can even use them as a negative system, where what they like/dislike are completely opposite to your own opinion. When they like a game, you know it isn’t for you and vise versa.

          • Chris JT

            Haha, I actually thumbed you up on this one. That’s cool and all as long as he acknowledges that more people are in the “green” (positive) than “red” (negative) on this game. So long as he understands why there are so many people embracing this game and rightfully so. Basically for him, the game isn’t worth a buy yet I just shelled out $90 on it. I chose this game over FFXV (which I’ll wait for to drop down in price.) Those are usually rentals or one-time experiences. That’s just my view on it. Anything below 5’s are just not even worth your time. As long as people can acknowledge than I in return can also respect the negative views. 🙂

            So yeah, for me right now it’s at least an 8/10 and I’ll only decide what to give it once I finish it to the end and discover how it makes me “feel” when everything is said and done. I’m expecting at least a 9 because of the expectations I have. I rate based on the “emotions” I get from this game. That is weighted much much more than gameplay for me when it comes to Team ICO games. Heck, that is why I play them because I want to be rewarded with an incredibly moving story.

            Lastly, if the story truly does not move me and it just overall disappoints me then I would be the FIRST to admit that this game is not on the first two games level and it would be a 6-7.5. This has happened to me before where I expected a game to be something only to discover it just failed to impress in the end.

          • Uldi

            In what way is Jim’s review “in the red”? It’s a 6.5 (with “Alright” literally right under the score). That means it’s just shy of a 7 (Good), and Jim even says that those that enjoyed ICO will enjoy this. Please tell me you didn’t get all upset over a score you misunderstood. Jim reviews games, he doesn’t grade them like homework. He uses the full 1-10 scale, rather than the 6-10 scale all too many use while claiming to use a 1-10 scale. His score guide is right at the top of every single page on this website.

          • Chris JT

            Actually, you’re right. The game doesn’t even have any EXTREMELY negative reviews. The lowest scores are indeed actually in the alright category. But still, there are 17 “alright” scores compared to 10 perfect scores and even more 9/10 and 8/10 scores.
            Anyway, I’m cool that it bounced back up to an 84 at least. I’m actually more than ok with that score. I’m sure Ueda would be happy as well. I know the hard work that went into this game and all the head scratches I’m sure took a toll haha. The beast literally has a shit-ton of animations – the most life-like AI to ever be featured in a videogame in my opinion.

            In the end, obviously I don’t agree with the below 8 scores but I have come to realize people like Jim I guess just can’t get into these kinds of games. Fine. The thing is, it seems many critics were more forgiving with the first two games which just makes me feel like there is some agenda here and they just WANT to look for faults just because it took so long to get here. That’s kinda not fair.

          • Uldi

            An agenda? ICO and SotC were Playstation 2 games, for crying out loud. Of course control issues wouldn’t have been as obvious then, since quite a few PS2 games had them. Nor were there as many games with a distinctive artistic sensibility. That simply isn’t the case today. Since SotC, Flower and Journey have been released as well as games emphasizing care and concern for an NPC companion such as The Last of Us. Add in stunningly beautiful settings with complicated and interconnected levels like Dark Souls and Bloodborne, and you have some seriously steep competition. Even indie games like Undertale and Owlboy could be considered as competition.

            Then there are the performance issues. Quite a few reviews have mentioned that the regular PS4 struggles to run TLG, with frequent dips in frame rate well below 30fps. Even the PS4 Pro experiences dips, though not as often or as low as the PS4 does. Did you consider that those issues might also be lowering the score?

            As for ‘getting into these kinds of games’, I’m going to point out that Jim goes on for quite a while about how much he loves the setting and story. He practically gushes. His issues were primarily control issues. They simply got in the way of his enjoyment enough to lower the score.

        • Jeremy

          The level of stupid in what you just said is hard to believe. You don’t have to be able to make a game to be qualified to critique it, you stupid, stupid kid.

          • Chris JT

            Haha, NOW who’s the stupid one here??? Obviously you don’t have the intellect to read between the lines you little fool you.
            I’m simply suggesting it’s always SO easy to just sit back and criticize and not realize the difficult time the developers had in realizing this piece of art.
            For fuck’s sake, NO SHIT! ANYONE can criticize the fucking game….hell, I’m doing it right here and now stating how technically impressive it is in terms of AI and level/art design. Some of the best in the industry!
            Now, if the end result is that the creature isn’t as responsive as it should be or whatever the fuck else you people want to criticize it for, then that’s just YOUR loss. The game is not meant for the likes of you. This game requires too much patience for the ADD types lol.

        • Cal Tidey

          Damn you’re full of shit.

          Man wrote up his opinion, and apparently it’s both long winded and contrarian. Because apparently going out of your way to explain in detail why you didn’t have as much fun as you’d like, and still going out of your way to enumerate the positives, because you know the fucking fanboys are coming, is contrarian. Lord save us from “People who don’t like things we like”.

          Give it a rest. You’re creepy as fuck.

          And you ain’t making shit, so you don’t get to judge anything you recieve, including criticism, you hypocrite. You just don’t believe other people get to have opinions. That makes you a sad man.

          • Chris JT

            You know what? Whatever you say. This just isn’t worth my time any longer. I have given it a rest until I just received this in my email.
            Creepy as fuck? I wish you could see in real life just how “creepy” I am LMAO. If that were the case, I wouldn’t have girls flirting with me all the time at work.

            Also, I’m a graphic artist. I even designed my own logo. I’ve been doing art all my life. Bye now.

          • CaitSeith

            Good luck in your career. I just hope don’t be as defensive against critics of your own work than those of The Last Guardian. The last thing the community of graphic artists needs is their own version of Digital Homicide.

          • Chris JT

            Lol, that was actually funny!
            I don’t know if wishing me luck was “sincere” or not, but thank you anyway haha. It’s very competitive out here.
            I’ve had my share of criticism, mostly good so the negative critiques are easily avoided. You just gotta be positive and move forward.

        • (((Crisis Actor)))

          Video games are not art.

          • Chris JT

            Funny, because I play my games strictly for the art and appreciation and boy there is sure a LOT of beauty to be found in these games. Journey, Flower, ICO, Silent Hill 2, The Last of Us, Shadow of the Colossus, Prince of Persia, etc I assure you ARE indeed artistic games, both narratively and technically.

            These are, of course, artists working on these games. ALL games are art, even something like Call of Duty…but the games I have listed truly inspire and are thought-provoking as well as approaching game design on another level. They think outside the box and try unique approaches to game design.

          • (((Crisis Actor)))

            Congrats on your shitty taste in games.

          • Chris JT

            Thanks, man! Congrats on your shitty-ass opinion.

          • (((Crisis Actor)))

            You can buttmad all you want but I’m still right.

    • (((Crisis Actor)))

      This at this bad ass.

  • The Super Action Squad of One

    I’ve personally always interpreted the 6-7 rating as “Buy it only if it already interests you,” as apposed to the glowing recommendation of the 8-10 range – which is why I’m going to eventually buy this game, as it still does interest me. Team Ico’s games are all uniquely strange, on that we can all agree.

    As much of an absolute classic Shadow of the Colossus is, it’s not exactly easy to put into words what makes it such a brilliant experience, and that game ALSO has its numerous detractors with admittedly very fair criticisms – they just so happen to be issues that don’t bother me personally. Now, I am NOT saying that the Last Guardian is as good as Colossus (wouldn’t know, haven’t played Guardian yet, it probably won’t be), but I feel like the same basic principle could apply here as well.

    Then again, personally I tend to forgive a game’s lowest lows if it’s highest highs are effective enough, but that’s not necessarily a good approach to game reviews.

    • LawlessBoar

      Before you buy, know that it is infinitely more like ICO than Shadow of the Colossus

    • MJC

      Wait, what’s this? Someone who understands that the 6-7 rating doesn’t mean “I think this game is shit”? You sir, are a god among men. Men who have mistaken 6-7 for 1-2 and are getting super butthurt.

  • TPhil

    Can someone explain to me how a developer like Team Ico can even exist? In the span of 2 console cycles they’ve released an HD remaster and…this? I’m genuinely curious how any company can spend this many years devoting time and resources to a single product and still be considered productive. Do members of the team assist on other Sony projects? Is Team Ico so important to Sony’s brand that they’ve been funded for the last decade on the promise of Editor’s Choice awards and critical acclaim? I have little interest in playing the game in question but I’m certain the eventual post-mortem will be a great read.

    • LawlessBoar

      I’m certain the team members work on other projects not related to Team ICO. I’d also like to point out that The Last Guardian was in development hell for a long long time. They weren’t working on it for a full decade that’s absurd. They had a lot of trouble with funding, time commitments, and I believe creative differences. All of these shut down development at one time or another.

    • XionEternum

      Small development teams like Team Ico often take up contract work for supplemental coding and/or art for other developers’ projects. This often goes uncredited in many cases too. If any credit is given then they get a studio logo in the credits next to the Dolby and other similar tags. Contract work pays less than regular development. It’s often done to give team specialists something to do other than twiddle their thumbs when their part of the project is done or on hold due to more content needing developed.

  • Andrew R

    I enjoyed this game so much up until I ran into this HUGE bug that prevents me from picking up an object I need to move. Like, I understand it was just released and there are bugs here and there but how could this one have even been missed? If anyone recalls, it is when you find the first tall-glowing pot that you lower down with the switch, I am unable to pick it up, the boys arms get all stretched and glitchy. Also in the same room with the glowing pot, up the stairs there are two doors that are locked in with boards that I am suppose to pull up and unlock. The same bug occurs there as well, unable to pick the items up. Other than these game breaking issues, its a pretty fun game with beautiful animation and design.

    • MJC

      “I understand it was just released and there are bugs here and there”

      You do? I don’t. I’m still sick of unfinished, broken, unpolished games. I don’t care if day 1 patches are the new norm, I’m never going to not be okay with the practice. One day these networks will go down, and nobody will be able to download the patches anymore, and everyone will be stuck playing the shitty, buggy, unfinished vanilla versions if they can even play at all. Fuck that.

      • Andrew R

        Yeah good point. You would think there wouldn’t be a single issue with the game because of how much time they had to work on it. :/

      • Tomaterrrx

        Word.

      • supercrotchinator

        I heartily endorse your statement, although you need to watch your double negatives.

  • Chris JT

    Ok guys, just pretty much came in here to say that I picked this game up and boy oh boy am I taking my time with this masterpiece.
    This game is more than I could have asked for and everything that I expected. Control issues? NEVER! Not in a million years.
    The beast and the boy both truly do feel alive and you can feel the connection between the two within the first few minutes.

    Just a couple hours in (although I’m truly taking this game in fully, even stopping for a few minutes here and there just to admire the picturesque scenery and to catch the animations of Trico.
    Well, I can already pretty much confirm this is going to be in my top 10 of all-time list.

    • Jeremy

      Hey look, it’s one of the game devs.

      • Chris JT

        Haha, you WISH! Nice try, though.
        It’s amazing how all you guys are backing one another by “upping” each other’s comments. Very heartwarming. But, face it…you’re not going to convince me and all the other people into these games that this game sucks.

        • Uldi

          And you’ll never convince us that this game is wonderful. Now what? Oh yeah, you realize that it’s all opinion and people are different.

          • Chris JT

            No, not at all but thank you. It’s just a wonderful representation of the support you guys have for Jimmy. It’s cute, really. Like, there’s no question it’s a way to express how right you guys are and how wrong I am.
            And no worries, that’s to be expected as I’m the one committing the act of war by disagreeing here. So, attack me in full force! I’m ready and I assure you I can handle it. 🙂

    • RifleAvenger Sashiro

      You’re so desperate it’s cute. Why would we give any new credence to your opinion when your every previous comment made it clear you felt this game was perfect before ever playing it?

      As for me, all the gameplay I’ve watched from multiple sources (many who did enjoy the game more than Jim), suggests that all the great things and flaws Jim pointed out are truly there. It just comes down to the individual’s tolerance for the flaws and how highly they value the positive aspects. Jim’s tolerance was low enough to not rate it “good” and high enough to not rate it lower than “alright,” and he did highly praise the emotional impact of the game in his review.

      • Chris JT

        Hey, whatever floats your boat lol. Just because it is perfect to ME doesn’t mean it has to be perfect for everybody. This game is beautiful beyond words and I absolutely love controlling it. So far, the controls feel right at home to me because it’s EXACTLY like ICO – one of my favourite games of all-time. So come on, desperate? Why would I be? Why do you want people to hate on it just because YOU and a few others feel it has some flaws?

        I think you guys are brainwashed. Just like everyone here says I automatically want to praise this game, you guys feel it AUTOMATICALLY must be a “broken” (god I hate that term) game just because it has gone through development hell. Too bad, because for me it’s like the “development hell” never even existed. I’m just playing an awesome game and don’t have to over analyze to appreciate simplicity at its finest.

        • RifleAvenger Sashiro

          I don’t hate the game. I neither think it’s bad, nor do I have any emotional connection to it. I’ve even enjoyed watching bits of it, though I’ll probably never play it.

          What I do dislike is your overbearing efforts to both undercut sincere criticism of the game and overhype it, all in an effort to validate your own preconceived opinion that it was perfect. You say you don’t “over analyze,” but your arguments against the flaws Jim has brought up aren’t even close to any sort of analysis, you’ve pretty much just said “nuh uh!” Which is readily disproven by me watching gameplay from several sources and seeing the exact issues Jim discusses (Trico being unresponsive, platforming bugs, the general delay between action and results all around). Not to mention mixed reviews from professional sources all around.

          I’ve seen people defend this game’s quality and respected them, because they focused on what the game does very well far exceeding the flaws, not by trying to deny the flaws altogether. You, on the other hand, are spamming your inflated 10/10 metacritic review all over the comments section.

          • Cal Tidey

            It’s bizarre how people think they can lie to your face in a day when there’s always footage. Putting an overeager veil of positivity over the thing may make it a little more palatable, but it’s almost unreadable. And we can still see his comment below.

            They’re still problems. I’m sure it’s a lovely emotional journey. But, like Jim, there’s only so much buggery and nonsense I can put up with to get the story. Unresponsive systems, compounded with slow movement are going to bug me. And I’ve watched the footage. That just isn’t good enough for me. Good for you that your bar is lower, and your threshold for frustration is higher. Good for you if you enjoy it. I’m not trying to convince you, just stop lying to people. It’s fucking creepy as hell.

          • Guest

            It bugs me that the developers bowed to commercial pressure to release and, because they couldn’t get it running smoothly on PS4, decided to target PS4 Pro instead… and Sony have allowed this. It’s the clearest indicator to me that PS4 owners will be left behind, and eventually compelled to upgrade to a PS4 Pro.

    • BAH!

      Your previous comments aside, I’m glad you’re enjoying it. Our respective opinions are essentially worthless to each other, so I’m not even worried about it.

      Play. Enjoy. Really.

      • Chris JT

        Hey, I appreciate this comment a great deal! Thanks!
        I was playing it with my brother and we both agreed it brought back memories to when we first witnessed ICO on a PSX magazine demo disc way back in 2001. It brought back those same emotions, like experiencing ICO for the first time.
        I love how ambient and atmospheric these games are. No music just pure atmosphere while playing. The surround sound effects are some of the best I have ever experienced and the actual sound quality just enhances the overall experience. This is pure technical heaven for me. The trees, the lighting and everything is a visual feast for the eyes.

  • RaikuNH

    “It’s antagonising to not have this creature respond, especially at a rate inferior to my own real-life dog, who happens to be an asshole.”

    It’s less your dogs an asshole and more stubborness.

    But anyways, glad to see you weren’t DDOSed for this review. Maybe because Sony didn’t promise the moon with this one.

    BTW, did you review World of Final Fantasy?

  • Thomas Davidge

    Good review. Absolutely disagree but a wonderful review nonetheless.

    • Belsameth

      Upvoting just because its awesome you can read the review independent of your own thoughts of the game. That seems so rare nowadays…

  • Doc Mesa

    That was a fair and legitimate review. I’m going to get The Last Guardian and sounds like there’s a lot to enjoy….but I appreciate the heads up about the AI flaws and wonky controls.

  • Rob

    I wonder if I’m still banned. I didn’t like this review Jimfat but I suppose you are entitled to your opinion.

    • ceramicsaturn

      You suppose? It’s his site and he’s a human being. He could say it’s a fappable pile of sugary custard and it would be his right to say it. Just as it’s your choice to not read the review and to make your own decision upon purchase.

      • Rob

        It is well known that Jimmie boy is obsessed with giving low review scores to drum up controversy to make himself more famous. This fame leads to more patreon money he can spend on pogs and boglins. This 6.5 isnt because of Jim’s actual opinion it is because he is reviewing with his bank account.

        • Red Pandza

          I’m hard pressed to believe you because that seriously sounds like “He didn’t give this a positive review, therefore, there’s some grand conspiracy/alliterative motive to not liking this game 100%!”

          That just seems like some bizarre justification for someone not giving an outstanding shining review for a hyped game. I won’t say Jim’s opinion is perfect, but he reviewed the game and based from his perspective, it wasn’t 10/10 material in his eyes, end of story.

          • Rob

            I don’t really care about this game it is a lot of wank just like ico. But jim loves to give low scores for hyped games so he can get attention. That seems to be his main goal in life whether it is positive or negative attention he craves it.

          • mbrandse

            Pokemon Sun and Moon – 8.5
            Watchdogs 2 – 9.0
            Titanfall 2 – 9.5
            Battlefield 1 – 9.0
            Deus Ex Mankind Divided – 9.0
            Overwatch – 9.0
            Uncharted 4 – 8.5

            Aaaaand there goes your entire argument.

          • RifleAvenger Sashiro

            Bloodborne 10/10, don’t forget.

    • Cal Tidey

      Somebody is obviously salty that someone else had a different opinion to them.

  • Curtis Hansen

    Thanks, Jim. I just finished the game last night, and reading reviews now is turning out to be a bit of a mindfuck. I find myself agreeing nearly 100% with the content of reviews, both those that scored lower like yours, and higher like The Guardian’s. It’s one of the most compelling cases I’ve encountered yet for seriously downplaying, if not ignoring altogether, the final score rendered on a product. You simply have to experience the game for yourself and decide if the clear and obvious flaws will be outweighed by the universally acknoweldged sublime highs. This review does perhaps the best job of those I’ve read, of highlighting the massive internal conflict that will be experienced by so many TLG players. So thanks.

    • Uldi

      The problem is, in order to experience the game yourself, you’ll have to purchase it first; which ultimately defeats the point of a review in the first place.

      • Curtis Hansen

        Oooops! My bad, I wrote my thoughts rather quickly at 7am after having spent all night finishing the silly thing. I have edited the original post to reflect what I meant to say. Thanks for pointing it out!

      • Guest

        Yes… remember when we used to get demos? Ones where we could play a bit, abd the. pay to unlock the full game? What happened to that?

      • Guest

        Yes… remember when we used to get demos? Ones where you could play a bit of the game, to see if you liked it, and then maybe pay to unlock the full thing? What happened to that?

        • Uldi

          A few still do it. Disgaea 5 and World of Final Fantasy both have playable demos. There’s even an entire section on the Playstation Store specifically for demos. But they are still woefully low-numbered these days.

        • Incogneato

          What happened is that publishers found that releasing demos only had the effect of reducing sales.

  • needless15

    You love being special, don’t you?

  • Volmerson

    Jim does know that both the left stick AND the face buttons are used to control Trico right? Just checking because he only mentions the stick in his review and the jimpressions video. Mind u that everyone has slightly different views on what each command do, because it also depends on which room your in.

    • ceramicsaturn

      It says right in this review he uses both to control him…. read.

      • Phoenix Bruce

        Jim says, “A command system is in place, but it’s bizarre, relying on holding down a button and using the left stick to point at things.”

        I’m assuming the button being referred to is R1 + the analog stick and not the face buttons. You even see in his Jimpressions video, he never uses the commands either.

  • Arun

    So you gave this game the same score as your Gravity Rush review. Well, ok then.
    Thats a buy.

  • CaitSeith

    Well, I got the game. I still don’t have a verdict as I have not finished it yet; but there is a part that I want mention because I found it hilarious. I recently played through the same section that was always teased during the E3’s. I found that part pretty scripted, while most of the rest of the game has so far felt more organic and unpredictable (before and afterwards). I found really funny on how different that part feels (not better or worse, just different) so it could be played as it was presented in the gameplay teasers. Well, no one can say Team ICO doesn’t put an effort to deliver what they promise.

  • Phoenix Bruce

    I find that there’s a lot of misinformation in the review:

    1) Barrels don’t have to be in no “perfect” spot to be eaten. And, if you had problems feeding barrels, you could’ve just stood in front of Trico holding the barrel and Trico will snatch it from your hands.

    2) I’m almost certain Jim didn’t know there’s more specific Trico commands maps to the face buttons. For example, R1 + triangle tells Trico to jump.

    3) I’ve never had trouble with jumping in the game, I never missed a single jump. Maybe some people are just used to modern platformers doing the jumping for you and playing canned animations of you getting across. I don’t even think there’s any jumps that require you to be perfectly aligned to begin with. And if you do jump slightly off, you can move the boy in mid air to correct yourself.

    • Cerebralbore101

      4) Jim says the game looks like a PS3 game, but every single feather on Trico’s body moves individually in the wind. Water moves realistically and produces waves when Trico jumps in. You even need to solve a puzzle using the waves to propel yourself upward.

      • Sean Metivier

        The feather quote is from 2009 when it was a PS3 game (running at 15fps). I doubt they managed to match Hairworks on far slower hardware (though the game does run at poor framerate). Water physics are also ancient on many PS3 games from Uncharted to Dust or BF4.

        • SiLenTPiece

          Dynamic reactionary animation is an almost insurmountable accomplishment.

    • Cal Tidey

      That’s disinformation.

      Watch the video he uploaded, it’s right there. That you’re denying it is a lie. Like seriously, how much does the man need to say that he wanted to like it but had little fun with it before the fanboys will accept that other people have different opinions?

      • Phoenix Bruce

        I’ve seen his video. You can tell in the video, Jim doesn’t use Trico’s more specific commands at all if you’ve played the game yourself, the game puts up button prompts ad nauseam too. And that one time, Jim put the barrel next to Trico when Trico was crawling through a cave with a low ceiling. Trico needs to be standing up to do the “eat barrel” animation, which I don’t see how as an experienced gamer, he didn’t pick up on that. And like I said, you can just stand next to Trico with the barrel in your hands and Trico will snatch it from you.

        I’ve said nothing but facts. If Jim didn’t enjoy the game that much, perfectly fine. But he didn’t enjoy the game as much because he didn’t know how to play it properly, that’s his fault.

        • Dave

          That’s because in that video, he’s showing a point of the game where the specific commands haven’t been unlocked yet since he still has the mirror.

          They don’t unlock until much later.

          • Phoenix Bruce

            At 13:45, he skips ahead and past the section where you learn the commands. Then, at 14:35, Jim complains about Trico taking too long to lift him up when he didn’t give the proper command.

            Jim goes, “You could’ve just done that immediately” complaining about Trico taking too long. Well, Jim could’ve just given the proper command.

          • SiLenTPiece

            Fucking owned that bitch with reality. Nice.

  • ImaLemming

    Since everyone’s excusing Trico’s unresponsiveness as being “realistic because their dog doesn’t always listen to them”, maybe Last Guardian should have had Trico take a shit every half hour, which you then have to shovel into a bottomless pit before an invincible blue-suited enemy fines you for not cleaning up after your bird-dog. Or you fall into it.

    • CaitSeith

      Fun fact: Trico actually poops during the game.

    • SiLenTPiece

      There’s literally a Trophy for catching Trico shitting.

  • Yiffy Savanah

    Okay, I’ve now watched a lot of different streams and playthroughs, and I’ve noticed a common theme among those who aren’t enjoying the game:

    They’re approaching it from a very… aggressive… gaming mindset. The thing is, like all of Ueda’s games, The Last Guardian is ultimately about harmony, cooperation, and a connection to one’s surroundings. Remember all of the complaints from SotC about how Agro had “shitty controls”, when it turned out that it was because they were trying to control her, instead of trusting her to navigate? It’s a lot like that.

    Every single time that I’ve seen someone complain about “Trico’s AI”, it’s because they’re often convinced that they have the right solution to a problem, that direct action is necessary, and that Trico is a beast who has to listen to what they say. They evaluate the puzzles from the point-of-view of themselves, instead of trying to immerse themselves in the world and play from the view of the young boy.

    Conversely, the people I’ve seen who’ve fallen in love with the game are those who understand that Trico usually has a pretty good idea of where to go, who stop and pay attention to what she’s trying to tell them, and who try to put themselves in the mind of the young boy – this is a kid who is lost and scared, and who has exactly one friend in the world. A friend who will protect them and help them, and who will always come in times of need.

    In the end, it’s not a matter of Trico not listening to you. It’s a matter of you not listening to Trico.

    • Phoenix Bruce

      Great post and analysis. I do think there’s a few trouble spots to get Trico to trigger certain animations to get going but those are definitely few and far between. And, Trico is definitely pointing you in the right direction pretty much all of the time. It would be a much harder game if Trico just stood still and waited for every instruction due to how big the environments are and it’s hard to see, especially vertically, where you need to go just from the boy’s perspective on the ground.

    • (((Crisis Actor)))

      “You’re doing it wrong” is the idiot’s defense.

      • Phoenix Bruce

        I can count on 1 hand the minor issues I’ve had with Trico. You’ll see from speedrun playthroughs (for trophies) that Trico is responsive when commanded properly. You can see in the Jimpressions video, he didn’t know how to use the more specific Trico commands. I’d say the idiot is the one playing it wrong. Ever read Jim’s Vanquish review where he didn’t understand the game’s mechanics? “Sam’s glide ability is only useful for escaping (or trying to), since there’s no
        point getting up close and killed because you have no power left.”

        • Nutarama

          If a game can’t get people to make it work, is it really a good game?

          • Phoenix Bruce

            Like I said, watch other streams and you’ll see people playing the game just fine. The game puts up button prompts ad nauseam so I don’t get how Jim could’ve missed how to give Trico more specific commands.

      • SiLenTPiece

        That’s actually the smartest person’s defense.

    • Ibi Salmon

      It’s almost like those people that were critical of the game…wanted to actually play the game.

    • Kevin Anthony List

      what you are saying is that a creature knows you are wrong on a puzzles so decides to ignore you, you saying the AI is so good not bad it forgets its a video game and points out to the player you are doing it wrong? what do you say to the fact Jim said he knew how to solve the puzzle but Trico just wouldn’t go there? but then did after several minutes of faffing around? Jim said it was a good game but a game made for 10 years ago i haven’t played he Last Guardian just reviews and gameplay but i did love and enjoy SotC but time moves on if i played SotC now yes im sure id enjoy it to some degree but not as i did back then. It’s nice to relive them nice games we once loved but to pay £49.99 for a 10 year game it’s just a bit to much.

    • TIL people had trouble with agro. Ffs people.

    • Jeff Albertson

      Great analysis! It’s interesting, as someone who LOVES to just immerse myself in the world and let the game direct me (especially when it comes Ueda’s games) I was partially guilty of the same thing. I guess all the years of playing extremely hand-holdy and prescriptive games, I would flip-flop between being immersed and FORCING the game forward.
      As I got used to the control scheme and as I started watching and listening to Trico more and more, the game actually became “easier” to play and enjoy.
      He grunts and sometimes roars when he’s “heard you”. He sniffs when he wants you to do check something out. And sometimes, you just hop on and he’ll literally jump up an entire tower without you commanding anything whatsoever.

      The latter half of the game for me totally made me forget the frustrations of the first half. In some ways, it’s like playing Souls/Bloodborne; at first it’s “this game is unfair and it sucks and everything is killing me”. But if you persist a few hours, you start to “git gud”, as they say, and it becomes a far better experience.

      The Last Guardian definitely had its technical issues, for sure, but that didn’t take away from the amazing experience I had with the game overall.

  • 44KPanda

    Some of these mechanical flaws remind me of playing ICO. There would be shirt ledges that the girl could not jump to, but there would be other, higher ledges where she would seemingly gain the power of flight.

    • Uncle

      It has nothing to do with this game, Invisible walls are in every game, you know why its done.

      • 44KPanda

        I don’t know what you’re talking about, but it sounds unrelated to what I said.

  • Guest

    While video gaming increasingly resembles a fundamentalist religion, it’s refreshing to hear a voice of dissent. The extent to which Team Ico are revered, based on two games released a very long time ago is as nauseating as the extent to which some people appear to have deluded themselves that TLG is everything they were hoping. Let’s not forget that this game requires a PS4 Pro to achieve a solid 1080p30 (see Digital Foundry for their assessment). Playing this on a regular PS4 means you’re getting a sub 30fps experience, which perhaps accounts for the sluggishness and apparent lack of responsiveness Jim alludes to in his review.

    The Last Guardian should have been retitled “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.

    • ImaLemming

      Warning: I’m going to get needlessly bitter in this post.

      The “best” part of Team ICO’s fanbase defending and dismissing criticism of the games is they will happily call out other games for the same problems.

      The most common discussion I’m seeing with Last Guardian is complaints of Trico’s unresponsiveness followed up with “It’s realistic! Trico is supposed to ignore you, animals don’t always listen to you!” People also defended the awkward horse controls in Shadow of the Colossus with “But it’s like you’re really riding a horse!” Um, I wasn’t aware you normally controlled horses with a stick and buttons. And hey, if you’re ever playing a space shooter with a sluggish, unresponsive ship, just remember that’s how a ship would actually control in the vacuum of space! And if Call of Duty made you spend a month in an infirmary every time you got shot, people would pan the hell out of that. And I’m sure these same people call Baby Mario’s crying in Yoshi’s Island annoying even though annoying, crying babies are realistic.

      (By the way, there’s an RPG I won’t name here that had two enemy formations a dungeon with most of the same enemies used between the two formations, and I once saw somebody defend it with “It’s more realistic that way”)

      People said Ocarina of Time had too much horseback riding around Hyrule Field and Wind Waker had too much monotonous sailing, but when Shadow of the Colossus combined the two by scaling the horseback riding to the level of the Great Sea and made everything brown and full of glare, it was HIGH ART.

      And I’m going to say this right now, I think Shadow of the Colossus looks like shit. But if you criticize the washed out colors and excessive bloom, the response is always “it’s a style that masterfully depicts a world devoid of life, and if you don’t see it that way, you just DON’T GET IT, Halo ‘tard!” Five years later, NIER came along and used washed out colors and excessive bloom to depict a dying world, and it got slammed (and at least NIER had *some* color and didn’t have grids on everything from the dungeon walls to the bosses to the rocks).

      • Uncle

        WOW, typical nintendo fanboy, repeat after me: Nintendo can do no wrong, I will buy turds if they warped in white and have Nintendo label and small Mario or Zelda logo….

        • ImaLemming

          PAH HAH HAH, pointing out the hypocrisy in praising Shadow of the Colossus for having washed out colors and excessive bloom while slamming NIER, a game that wasn’t even available on a Nintendo console much less made by them, for doing the same thing is being a Nintendo fanboy? And vehemently defending Team ICO games against all criticism isn’t being a Sony fanboy? From somebody with a Playstation VR for their avatar, no less?

          Boy, double standards and projection can be so hard to tell apart sometimes.

          • Uncle

            Your criticism is akin to people whining about why that X shooter got higher score than my platformer/RPG/adventure game.
            There is no template to review the games, every reviewer and every game is different.
            Its like asking why Gears of war 1 is to brown.

            Why Orange is orange and strawberry is red?

            Also you pulling these “facts” out of your va.. behind 🙂

            I remember nier (lame, boring game the only reason I even picked it up was because someone said that you play as sexy hermaphrodite so I was wondering if they really modeled both breasts and penis, never found it, so i think its just a girl), anyway I dont remember any cristsim that the game was washed out, im sure you read ONE review or comment on a forum and it was etched in your mind like if EVERYONE spoke of it. (thats fanboyism 1on1, when you read some minor criticism or one review from big site and than its etched in your mind like if everybody is talking about just about that).

            Why did you brought up nintendo games to compare? Its classical nintendo fangirl syndrome. Your user pic is that moon from zelda, yack, I hate ninetdno and everything they represent (stagnation and scamming gamers)

            Im mainly PC gamer, PRO+VR is for exclusive games, had X1 but sold it since their games come to win10, can play in 4K.

            Jim never paid attention, he never spoke that you can control Trico and he never tried. Also we got what we were promised: they told us that Trico going to act like animal, we never promised a yes-man robot, the whole shtick of this game is boy and his big animal journey, not boy and his robot.

            I made it for another comment, take a look, I dont remember Jim talking about ANY of these features.

            For starters you need to look at his behavior it will make your game much easier, Trico does a lot of grunting and howling if it’s ready to take you somewhere. He will often look at the direction you’re supposed to go and whine if you’re sitting in an open area for too long.
            When you see Trico looking up high and grunting, make sure you jump on Trico so you can get to the next area.

            Pet his Bloody spots to remove blood, also pet his neck when he agitated to calm him down.

            A. You Can Hold L1 to Focus camera on Tricos face.
            B. Tap R1 to call Trico.

            Hold
            R1 + Direction – Trico will walk to where you’re pointing. (Also it
            will make him jump on the walls, will help you to rich high ledges)
            Hold R1 + X = Sit or Scold him
            Hold R1 + O = Stand or Praise him
            Hold R1 + Triangle = Stomp
            Hold R1 + Square = Swipe
            You can move and climb Tricos Tail, Hold O to move it.

            C.
            If you initiate a command and he whines it means he CANT do that, also
            he needs space, if there is not enough space he wont do the command and
            most important, like any dog he wont start doing his commands right away
            and will start answering your calls with time, the longer you friends
            the more tricks he will do.

            Also look at his eyes, if his eyes are
            Green it means hes normal and will behave (as I said above with time),
            if his eyes are white hes mesmerized and wont react and when t hey turn
            Pink it means hes hostile.

          • ImaLemming

            “Your user pic is that moon from zelda, yack, I hate ninetdno and everything they represent (stagnation and scamming gamers)”

            *snorrrt* AH HAH HAH HAH. Are you so caught up in your own fanboyism that you’re seeing stuff that isn’t there, or just that awful at trolling? It’s a Shadow Lemming from Lemmings 2: The Tribes.

            How the fuck do you even see the Majora’s Mask moon in that?

          • Uncle

            Look at it again, it looks like smiling moon.
            What about everything else?

          • ImaLemming

            Heads up, everyone! Majora’s Mask is the only game, book, movie, or anything ever to ever feature a smiling moon! So don’t use avatars of the McDonald’s Moonman, that moon with the rocket in its eye, clipart of a moon, or even a photo of the actual moon, because it means you’re a Nintendo fanboy/fake geek girl!

          • Sebastián Quiroga

            Wow The extent some people will go to defend a game. I hope that guy reads this a year from now and realizes how cringe his defense is

      • Xarzith

        Im just sorry you had such a horrable experience. I really had fun with it, and never had any hang up. As for the art style, the old rule of “To each his own” applies. I wont “defend” this game.. its has some flaws I know, but they just dont get to me at all. Im just sorry that people are having such a hard time with it >.<

      • Damn. I loved sotc and nier, greatly. The color scheme should match the game, and neutrals are as pretty as bright colors. I’m not a fan of things being annoying for realism reasons; that argument is stupid. But I didn’t have any issues with trico listening (especially one you get to use commands– easy street), nor was I lost in the puzzle design or progression. This is really a game that makes you slow down and pay attention to the subtlest things. It’s a shame that many had these issues and it’s a shame you’ve come across so many insufferable fans.

    • Uncle

      Somehow I have a felling that your favorite company is Nintendo and praise every rehash of Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Kirby and DK.
      Tell us the truth.

  • CaitSeith

    Finally finished the game, and after seeing from where the barrels come, I just said: OMG, that was unexpectedly messed up!

    • Kevin Fredericks

      i am not convinced that the the barrels are as nefarious as you are describing. Is there a mechanism that converts the payload into barrels? or are the barrels pavlovian rewards to keep the children coming regardless of the children’s fate?

      • CaitSeith

        It certainly is never explicitly explained. But when kids covered in bright green goo go in and barrels with green bright content come out, the most logical explanation is to connect the dots.

  • Chrinik

    I agree with the camera and controls, the camera is an outright asshole and the controls take getting used too and still feel weighty, as they where going for a more realistic weight and interaction with ground objects. Some people will definately hate that.

    I, for one, had to get used to the fact that Triangle is jump…having not owned a Playstation before, X felt much more like the typical jump button.

    Trico was never an issue for me and I do believe there is a system behind it´s responsiveness based on player interaction, but my experimentation is not done yet.

    I mean, it cannot technically be broken if people speedrun this game with zero deaths…knowing what to do and where to go only shaves off so much time if the game supposedly doesn´t recognize ledges or Trico spends several minutes not doing something. Again, my personal observation is that the interaction with Trico is quite workable, if I ever had issues, it was because I was standing on it´s head, trying to point at things while outside it´s FOV…if it had line of sight on me, I would point, shout the “JUMP” command, Trico would look at the ledge, yell a confirmation and off we went.

    Still loved the game regardless. Good Review Jim, reading the thing front to back you do see and point out the many great things the game has. That you personally had alot of issues is a shame, but alas. We cannot influence your opinion. And while some people legitimately point out that you are not showcasing the full controlscheme, and the stuff with the barrels needing “precise positioning” just makes no sense to me, the deed has been done. I won´t force you to go back to something.

    I do, however, find great joy in watching both the “this sucks and you suck for liking it!” and the “How DARE you insult my precious.” crowds fight it out in the various comment sections and forum threads. Independent from my own opinions of the title, people who don´t see the obvious flaws with the camera work, the wonky albeit workable controls, and that a modern gamer is conditioned to push button=recieve bacon and will thus accept nothing less are fools, while the crowd viciously defending Jims opinion against anyone disagreeing with it while themselfs not being able to cast accurate judgement as they regurgitate the opinion of individuals themselfs, not their own.

    To me, this game was a joyride beginning to end, and Tricos companion AI, animation and behaviour was an astounding accomplishment, again, in my experience. Once I gathered enough data and can verify if the reluctance is indeed a mechanic and not just the code breaking, I´ll probably post my findings, if I remember.

    And while I do find the “It´s realistic” arguement to be oversimplifying, it was the designers intent, one cannot argue that. The creator explicitly stated, many times, that emulating a wild animal is the focus and that “everyone will have a different Trico to work with.”…so calling it out for being not gameyfied and streamlined enough feels pointless to me.

    • Uldi

      ‘X’ or ‘O’ are typically jump buttons even on the Playstation. Off-hand, I can’t think of another PS game that used Triangle as the jump.

      • Phoenix Bruce

        You can remap every button on the PS4.

        • CaitSeith

          Just to note, not in the in-game options. Unlike the previous titles, it must configured in the PS4 settings. Had I knew before… Now sometimes I press the triangle to jump by mistake in other PS4 games. Thanks, TLG.

          • Phoenix Bruce

            It’s been a feature on PS4 for over a year now. I change the controls on just about every game. No more L3 for sprinting in shooters ever again. And, usually it’s the only way to make L1+R1 aim & shoot in shooters.

        • Wait, really? Holy crap.

          • Phoenix Bruce

            Yeah, you can find it under accessibility options, it’s been there over a year now.

      • Dany Rivest Gaudreault

        Bethesda games do

        • Van Howling

          You can’t even spell…

          • Dany Rivest Gaudreault

            ????

      • Xarzith

        Tomb Raider (PS1)

      • Both the ico games before do. As someone who’s played all three, the control scheme felt natural instantly. I believe that was the intention.

      • ChloeWolfieGirl

        I beleive Kingdom hearts uses o or triangle, but there are quite a few which use o or triangle for jump when not x and considering its style of game I would have been surprised if x was to jump.

    • Chrinik

      Okay, experimentation progressed. I could not get Trico to misbehave on multiple playthroughs. I do believe that the issue stems from the fact that the game is unwilling to explain itself, instead relying on you to figure out shit by yourself through observation and patience…for example, the game never tells you that blue butterflies around you means there is a barrel somewhere…yet, it is a mechanic.

      So I believe it is simply some people figured out more how the game works quicker then others. One cannot assume that a reviewer should spend multiple play throughs to “git gud” with a product before asessing it´s quality or enjoyment however.

      It´s unfortunate some people are not having a good time with it. I had a blast.
      But it´s definately not for everyone.

      • ChloeWolfieGirl

        It tries to teach you via showing rather then telling, when you get a barrel at the start of the game (there’s 4/5 I beleive) there’s always butterflys flying off the barrel when you pick them up, the game trying to teach you that butterflys mean barrels, It just doesn’t do it well for everything it wants to teach you.

  • David Ruckman

    Good and fair review that doesn’t endlessly praise the game nor bash it. You gave this game the same score as Gravity Rush, a game I really like, but I don’t think I’ll get this when I get a PS4.

  • Daggard

    All I have to say is any frustrations I had were infrequent and minor next to the overall experience. The amount of control you have over Trico becomes more immediate as you progress, and his intelligence increases also. I never got frustrated with him, merely took our growing pains of communication as part of the experience. 5/5

  • Uncle

    I hope Jim reads it.
    DO you know that you can actually control Trico and tell him where to go?

    For starters you need to look at his behavior it will make your game much easier, Trico does a lot of grunting and howling if it’s ready to take you somewhere. He will often look at the direction you’re supposed to go and whine if you’re sitting in an open area for too long.
    When you see Trico looking up high and grunting, make sure you jump on Trico so you can get to the next area.

    Pet his Bloody spots to remove blood, also pet his neck when he agitated to calm him down.

    A. You Can Hold L1 to Focus camera on Tricos face.
    B. Tap R1 to call Trico.

    Hold R1 + Direction – Trico will walk to where you’re pointing. (Also it will make him jump on the walls, will help you to rich high ledges)
    Hold R1 + X = Sit or Scold him
    Hold R1 + O = Stand or Praise him
    Hold R1 + Triangle = Stomp
    Hold R1 + Square = Swipe
    You can move and climb Tricos Tail, Hold O to move it.

    C. If you initiate a command and he whines it means he CANT do that, also he needs space, if there is not enough space he wont do the command and most important, like any dog he wont start doing his commands right away and will start answering your calls with time, the longer you friends the more tricks he will do.

    Also look at his eyes, if his eyes are Green it means hes normal and will behave (as I said above with time), if his eyes are white hes mesmerized and wont react and when t hey turn Pink it means hes hostile.

    Enjoy.

    • Kevin Fredericks

      Jim acknowledged the directional scheme in his review. However, I wonder if review copies had the same incessant button prompts that were in the retail version

      • Uncle

        Im not sure that the “Hold R1 + “scheme is shown in prompts, I had to find it on IGN guide.

        • Chrinik

          It shows up very, very briefly, and does not explain what the buttons themselfs do. Alot of people figured out the jump command, as that´s pretty obvious, but barely anyone experimented with the rest.

      • ChloeWolfieGirl

        There was a 1gb patch when I got it so there may have been something in that which Jim didn’t have?

  • Gildo C. Conte

    I think it says a lot about the importance we give to narrative that we’re willing to only remove 3.5 points for this game’s god awful mechanics. If it had a shitty story, the score would drop to a splendid 1/10 😃

  • Xarzith

    I understand all the complaints that i have been hearing about the last guardian. Personally I haven’t really run into any, i haven’t hit any big bugs, and i have never been stuck because Trico was supposed to do something. One thing i wondered was, are people trying to play the game too fast? Every eye color, moan and groan has a purpose.. so ive found anyway.. also ive never not been able to get him to eat a barrel out of the air… X.X i honestly dont understand why Jim had such a hard time with it.. Im not angry btw, mostly im sad for Jim.. i really dont think you got to get a “true” experience.. Not that im impartial, ive been with this game all the way through its troubled development. So i definitely have a bias, or maybe Im just romanticizing it and that is why i dont really see the problems.. anyway hope all of you have a great day.

    • Kevin Fredericks

      this is certainly a rough game for video game reviewers. I intentionally space out my games so I don’t feel an impatience when playing but they don’t have that luxury.

      as far as a”true” experience is concerned, that can’t exist in games. games are really subjective, and a person’s game is shaped by their personality and everything in their life. I found this to be a really perfect game to play with my mom, the game’s pace was perfect for chatting about family and other things, the visuals delighted both of us, the guided gameplay made me look awesome while playing and led her to believe I was doing amazing things, and Trico reminded us both of a cat we have shared between eachother, whom now lives with her. In summation, this is a good mom-game.

  • 7thGuest

    934 comments, is it a record? xD

  • makiHyunda

    Real.shame.and kind of no.excuse to have camera and controlled issues after 10 year…:(

  • ChloeWolfieGirl

    Personally I think it’s much better then Jim aludes to, but to be fair he uses PS2 as an insult to the game, where as I see ps2 as a positive, Ive stated previously I’d have been incredibly happy if the PS4 just ended up being a HD remaster machine for PS2 games.

    It has the feeling of a ps2 game but with technical advantages which don’t take away from that feel but rather pull it forward.

    I agree that the controls are bad though, sometimes it being confusing what a command is meant to be, and sometimes triko does go somewhere silly, it was very difficult to dive and the water area before that was confusing itself, climbing triko can be a pain due to sometimes youre stuck on his leg, or up ends up going down, sometimes going left makes your character want to jump, sometimes left makes your character go left.

    Sometimes you want to pat triko sometime you want to use the mirror, but that’s a confusing mess…

    And jumping sometimes leads to your death because the jump isn’t as good as you’d expect, this was particularly bad at one point as it set me back to a part where I had to control triko to shoot 3 eyes, climb, get of Triko just to try and make the jumps again, I died there a few times..

    Some points you have to tap a button to so something and other times hold, to let go of something you have to hold x not just tap it to fall and move closer to it or press o to hold, but if you want to climb you press o.

    Controls are an issue but they only started to get to me at the dive part and very close to the end.

    One more thing that irritated me was the camera, often it would go somewhere it wouldn’t want to, go black then reset, not just glide through it like a normal game would, this was the only issue I had with the game which irritated me throughout a lot of the game.

    Personally I’d say all these issues are well worth it, and since the camera was the only issue that felt like I couldn’t avoid and would come back at any point. The rest are just at certain points during the game.

    I’d give this a 8/10 and not enough games are like this anymore, story based with a great relationship.

    The last guardian and the last of us are similar in how they make you feel even if the last of us is less irritating, theyre very relatable, and we need more modern day master peices of this style! (Ico, the last guardian and shadow of the colossus)

  • Nick Taylor

    I seem to have kinda figured out how to command Trico in a far more consistent way. If you jump on him and ask him to move in a direction or jump (the two commands you will use the vast majority of the time), he may not respond. He might even throw a fit and roar. But if he turns his head to look at you (its an expression as though he’s saying “come again?” or “what did you say”?) and you repeat the command at that moment, he tends to always follow it. So it’s a timing thing that is connected with the idea of bonding with Trico. You have to read him in a way that is similar to reading a pet. He has a personality and stubbornness is clearly a part of him (which makes his moments of putting that aside and risking his neck to save you all the more emotional), so once you get that esoteric aspect of the gameplay down it makes playing it far less frustrating. I’ve played about half of the game after discovering this, and he is much, much more responsive and interacting with him makes a lot more sense. So in that regard, I think your review is a bit unfair. I am planning on uploading a youtube walkthrough to show “how to train your trico” if I can figure out how to get it all online, and I will try to post a link here.

  • Tom Erlend Eskedal

    You should’ve played with the 1.03 patch. The camera is so much better now.

  • Matroska

    My biggest problem is that the game actually makes me feel sick and dizzy. I think it’s the awful framerate, inconsistent frame duration and awful camera. I play games frequently and have done for the past 25 years or so and I’ve never felt sick from a game before. This game is actually physically unpleasant to play for me.

    • Folk

      I was worried it was just me getting older, but this game does the same thing to me.
      I don’t despise this game, but it making me physically ill is a real downer.
      I would call myself an admirer of Team Ico, but I wouldn’t jump to defend this game no matter how much I love the understated world that they have created. Maybe I will just put it on the shelf until there is a patch that makes it not be a vomit machine.

  • Steve Jakab

    I finally got around to playing this the last couple of weeks, and it was a delight from start to finish. The only issue I had was figuring out the controls when you first are able to give Trico commands, but once I got it I rarely had issues getting him to do what I wanted. There were some patches that got applied when I installed the game, so maybe they fixed the issues that Jim complains about.

  • Pocket

    It’s a crying shame that in the nine years it took to push this game out the door, seemingly none of that time was spent in basic playtesting. If they had wanted Trico to come across as endearingly uncooperative at first, they could have done so through scripted events where it fails to do what you were trying to get it to do, and forces the both of you to take the long way around. But this is a 2005-era game, which means the creators were probably allergic to such modern ideas as “scripted events”.

  • Eski Eskerkins

    I do appreciate the critical review! The camera is pretty bad, although ngl I regularly play PS2 games so it’s not the worst I’ve ever seen. But I am interested in how people seem to approach trico. Game reviewers seem to have the hardest time with him, while casual players seem to be able to control him easier. And I think it boils down to that there is a trust mechanic in play with the AI, which is what was always a stated goal of the team for this game.

    I didn’t have much difficulty with Trico because I treated it like I would treat training my own dog (who picks stuff up quick but forgets it). I always tried to stay in it’s line of sight when giving a command, paid attention to the eyes and body language, made sure to give positive reinforcement when trico did something I wanted it to do, ect. and the game progressed smoothly, eventually with Trico noticing something and doing it before I even made a command.

    I feel like the issue with Trico is that reviewers have to play games at a fast clip and get things done quickly – which wasn’t the intent of the team, as they wanted you to have a slower experience and bond with Trico. I think another issue is that people assume trico is going to be like the typical ‘video game animal’ – hit a button, animal does it, when…well, again, the team made clear what they wanted to do with Trico and how they wanted the AI to work. It’s less ‘purposefully bad game design’ and more ‘It’s not going to act like how animals normally do in games.’

    In the end, I can totally get why people might not like it. You *do* have to put time in to get Trico to respond to you in ways that you want, and I can totally understand why that’d be a dealbreaker for a lot of people. But if you’re okay with a slower experience and bonding with /training a digital animal, you’ll probably like the Last Guardian a lot, like I did.

  • Felipe Csermakdeborba Zane

    Just finished the game and I loved it. I rarely had any issues. Didn’t have to look anything up, meaning the game did a good job communicating where I should go and what I should do. This is more than I can say for ICO. Dragging AI around, combined with awfully communicated environmental puzzles made for quite the sloppy experience. At least the puzzles in this game felt fair and just hard enough. Also, this AI can fend for itself, and ends up protecting you more then you really can it. The story is well told and the game looks incredible. The camera was a bit buggy against walls and I died only two or three times hanging on to Trico. I’d give the game a solid 8.5.