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

 

Hunter Hancock
Member

>well its finally here
PERFORMING FOR YOU
IF YOU KNOW THE WORDS
YOU CAN JOIN IN TOO

Felipe Csermakdeborba Zane
Guest
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… Read more »
Eski Eskerkins
Guest
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… Read more »
Pocket
Guest
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”.

Steve Jakab
Guest
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.

Matroska
Guest
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
Guest
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.

Tom Erlend Eskedal
Guest
Tom Erlend Eskedal

You should’ve played with the 1.03 patch. The camera is so much better now.

Nick Taylor
Guest
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… Read more »
ChloeWolfieGirl
Guest
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… Read more »
Chris Topher
Member

Real.shame.and kind of no.excuse to have camera and controlled issues after 10 year…:(

7thGuest
Guest
7thGuest

934 comments, is it a record? xD

Xarzith
Guest
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… Read more »
Kevin Fredericks
Guest
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… Read more »
Gildo C. Conte
Guest
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 😃

Uncle
Guest
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… Read more »
Kevin Fredericks
Guest
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

ChloeWolfieGirl
Guest
ChloeWolfieGirl

There was a 1gb patch when I got it so there may have been something in that which Jim didn’t have?

Uncle
Guest
Uncle

Im not sure that the “Hold R1 + “scheme is shown in prompts, I had to find it on IGN guide.

Chrinik
Guest
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.

Daggard
Guest
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

David Ruckman
Member

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.

Chrinik
Guest
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… Read more »
Chrinik
Guest
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… Read more »
ChloeWolfieGirl
Guest
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.

Uldihaa
Member

‘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.

ChloeWolfieGirl
Guest
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.

monkee-goro
Guest

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.

Xarzith
Guest
Xarzith

Tomb Raider (PS1)

Dany Rivest Gaudreault
Guest
Dany Rivest Gaudreault

Bethesda games do

Van Howling
Guest
Van Howling

You can’t even spell…

Dany Rivest Gaudreault
Guest
Dany Rivest Gaudreault

????

Phoenix Bruce
Guest
Phoenix Bruce

You can remap every button on the PS4.

Cinebeast
Guest

Wait, really? Holy crap.

Phoenix Bruce
Guest
Phoenix Bruce

Yeah, you can find it under accessibility options, it’s been there over a year now.

CaitSeith
Guest
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
Guest
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.

CaitSeith
Guest
CaitSeith

Finally finished the game, and after seeing from where the barrels come, I just said: OMG, that was unexpectedly messed up!

Kevin Fredericks
Guest
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
Guest
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.

Guest
Guest
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… Read more »
Uncle
Guest
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.

ImaLemming
Guest
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… Read more »
monkee-goro
Guest
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… Read more »
Xarzith
Guest
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 >.<

Uncle
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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,… Read more »
ImaLemming
Guest
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
Guest
Uncle

Look at it again, it looks like smiling moon.
What about everything else?

ImaLemming
Guest
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
Guest
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

44KPanda
Guest
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
Guest
Uncle

It has nothing to do with this game, Invisible walls are in every game, you know why its done.

44KPanda
Guest
44KPanda

I don’t know what you’re talking about, but it sounds unrelated to what I said.

Yiffy Savanah
Guest
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… Read more »
Jeff Albertson
Guest
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… Read more »
monkee-goro
Guest

TIL people had trouble with agro. Ffs people.

Kevin Anthony List
Guest
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… Read more »
Ibi Salmon
Guest
Ibi Salmon

It’s almost like those people that were critical of the game…wanted to actually play the game.

(((Crisis Actor)))
Guest
(((Crisis Actor)))

“You’re doing it wrong” is the idiot’s defense.

SiLenTPiece
Guest
SiLenTPiece

That’s actually the smartest person’s defense.

Phoenix Bruce
Guest
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
Guest
Nutarama

If a game can’t get people to make it work, is it really a good game?

Phoenix Bruce
Guest
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.

Phoenix Bruce
Guest
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.

ImaLemming
Guest
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.

SiLenTPiece
Guest
SiLenTPiece

There’s literally a Trophy for catching Trico shitting.

CaitSeith
Guest
CaitSeith

Fun fact: Trico actually poops during the game.

Phoenix Bruce
Guest
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… Read more »
Cal Tidey
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »
Dave
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
SiLenTPiece

Fucking owned that bitch with reality. Nice.

Cerebralbore101
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
SiLenTPiece

Dynamic reactionary animation is an almost insurmountable accomplishment.

CaitSeith
Guest
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.… Read more »
Arun
Guest
Arun

So you gave this game the same score as your Gravity Rush review. Well, ok then.
Thats a buy.

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