Zero Punctuation: The Last Guardian

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The Last Guardian

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews The Last Guardian.

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Didn't Ueda leave The Last Guardian mid-production? Did he come back? I forget now.

I'm still probably going to get it.

I've been wanting to play this thing for years.

Alright! So happy to see Yahtzee shit on this game! Jim Sterling also found it very dissapointing.

I miss Yorda, yeah she didn't help, but if I lost I would become less frustated than I would if she was actually helping because it would be my fault, unlike other escorts that simply don't know their place. I like I am wrestling with taming Trico and he isn't a giant walking platform I must constantly instruct, and there were theories that maybe he/she/it would obey you more the more you petted its head, it hasn't been totally debunked.

I love that the Last Guardian doesn't bow down to the clich?s of "boy finds friendly creature" that plague cinema, you know which ones: the beast gets exhiled, the boy gets hurt, the beast rampages, but snaps back to the power of friendship and everything is fine until an out-of-nowhere disaster forces them to separate in order to teach a lesson about growing up and letting it go. I swear, I see this setup way too often it's almost like the indie SCSW (Small Child, Scary World) genre in gaming.

I can't stop laughing at his Trico. Red-breasted hen body, German Shepard head with cat ears, and baked chicken legs.

Johnny Novgorod:
Didn't Ueda leave The Last Guardian mid-production? Did he come back? I forget now.

He was talking about it being complete with only touch ups and polish left back in E3 this year, so he must have had some connection going.

I can understand people getting frustrated when Trico accidentally gets you killed by missing a catch, but the very rare times it happened to me I actually found it pretty amusing. I remember there's one point where he picks you up and tosses you onto his back, but during my third playthrough -- either by me having nudged the analog stick or chance -- I missed his back and fell to my death. That was the best laugh a game had given me this year.

And yeah, the title is rather meaningless, seeing as there's no real last of anything. Unless they mean that thing at the end, but that's a stretch. But I guess that's what you get when western marketing redubs a Japanese title. Shadow of the Colossus was Wander and the Colossus, and The Last Guardian was something along the lines of Trico the Man-Eating Monster.

Seems like this game missed its chance by not coming out years earlier, when all those little kid vs. scary world indie games were all the rage.

Johnny Novgorod:
Didn't Ueda leave The Last Guardian mid-production? Did he come back? I forget now.

He quit Sony during developement, but was kept on as a freelance developer. I think this happened along with a bunch of other members from Team Ico quitting, because during the games' intro credits it says genDESIGN next to certain developers' names, and genDESIGN is apparently Ueda's new studio.

Judas Rocking Priest, it's been 9 years since The Last Guardian was first announced? I thought this project was shitcanned for good after 3. Is the giant dog-bird-thing really that fussy while playing? Yahtzee makes this game sound like Team ICO's own Duke Nukem Forever. Which is hilarious.

Darth_Payn:
Judas Rocking Priest, it's been 9 years since The Last Guardian was first announced? I thought this project was shitcanned for good after 3. Is the giant dog-bird-thing really that fussy while playing? Yahtzee makes this game sound like Team ICO's own Duke Nukem Forever. Which is hilarious.

When games like Duke Nukem Forever and Too Human suffer lots of delays on top of a change in platform, people now tend to approach carefully games that have the slightest hint of delay.

See, I thought Ico was an absolutely appalling game, so all these comparisons to it in both setting, controls and narrative do not bode well for me. You can coat your game in as much vague "atmosphere", as many camera sweeps and as much eye-searing bloom as you like*, but if your controls are a bag of angry cats, your camera is atrocious and your AI is brain-dead, your game ends up being a pretentious over-hyped pile of garbage.

SotC was pretty alright, I guess.

*Remember that Ico also took them so long to make that a whole new console came out, so they tried to hide the hideous PS1 graphics with BLOOM BLOOM SO MUCH BLOOM. I first played it on a plasma TV. My optician is still furious.

And there goes my last hope for modern Sony. They clearly only wanna make style over substance mediocrities now.

Having a Cocker Spaniel who's a complete twat who never listens to me, I feel like I can relate to this MC.

Nobody ever pronounces ICO right...

*Obligatory "you played it wrong" comment*

Now I'll break the sarcasm and actually talk about how it was played wrong: you don't need to order Trico to jump from platform to platform every freaking time. Once he starts, he'll keep going until an obstacle stops him from jumping.

The outro comic almost had me passing out from laughter.

Definitely the best this year for me. Have a great holiday Yatzee.

CaitSeith:
*Obligatory "you played it wrong" comment*

Now I'll break the sarcasm and actually talk about how it was played wrong: you don't need to order Trico to jump from platform to platform every freaking time. Once he starts, he'll keep going until an obstacle stops him from jumping.

There's also the issue that if you spam commands at him in quick succession you disrupt his "thought process". Even if it's the same command, if you re-issue it before giving him time to process it it'll reset his assesment of the situation.

Casual Shinji:

CaitSeith:
*Obligatory "you played it wrong" comment*

Now I'll break the sarcasm and actually talk about how it was played wrong: you don't need to order Trico to jump from platform to platform every freaking time. Once he starts, he'll keep going until an obstacle stops him from jumping.

There's also the issue that if you spam commands at him in quick succession you disrupt his "thought process". Even if it's the same command, if you re-issue it before giving him time to process it it'll reset his assesment of the situation.

Yeah, I couldn't had worded it better. Whatever that simulated behavior was intentional or not, it's certainly counterintuitive against the recent years of gaming experience with responsive (althrough frequently incompetent) AIs.

Airon:
The outro comic almost had me passing out from laughter.

Definitely the best this year for me. Have a great holiday Yatzee.

If only there was a puzzle involving Trico's poop. It would had been GOTY for me...

Might be why it took so long ... getting Trico's AI perfect ... until Sony told them that they way behind schedule and that they would like the game out sometime this century (preferably within the PS4's life time), thus "good enough" AI (YMMV) was what everyone got.

Maybe I'm just tired but I laughed out loud many times while watching this review. To the jokes in the review. Not some other ridiculous thing. This sweater is so tickly.

The dogbirdbeast's more irritating behaviors often get defended as "realistic". If this game were called "Guardian Training Simulator 2016" I would accept that as an excuse. But it's not nearly as okay in a puzzle platformer.

P.S. Thanks

And so we have the first pre-Christmas week since 2011 without a ZP Review of a Nintendo game.

I have a nagging feeling that it won't be the last one for long.

In terms of laughs: this was the best episode in a while. In terms of the actual review: sounds pretty like the general consensus of the controls being "wonky", to put it nicely, and whether or not you'll enjoy it depends on whether or not you'll appreciate the aesthetic enough to look beyond the crappy mechanics.

With the title "The Last Guardian" the way I see it is that the cat-eagle-chinchilla-ferret beast is either the last guardian for the boy in a coming of age story as he will hopefully learn to fend for himself, or the boy labels him his last guardian after the credits roll from sheer exasperation at the incompetence endured, with the final words something along the lines of "if you want something done properly..."

To be fair, I think the uncontrollability of the creature was sort of the point. It was an independent being with its own thoughts. Didn't make it less frustrating when he undid a lot of progress, but it felt like a real animal.

I was pretty much giggling the entire review at the insane design of that chimera thing.

erttheking:
I was pretty much giggling the entire review at the insane design of that chimera thing.

Yahtzee got me with it too. Its the legs!

Just thought you fellas might enjoy this guy's playthrough

Got to give the developers credit though, they really nailed the animal's behavior - as stubborn as a real cat and as dumb as a real dog. LOL

I almost called it quits on the part with the diving, too. I'm glad I'm not the only one that had trouble with that.

That aside, I really did enjoy the game, if for no other reason than I knew what I was signing up for when you have a young kid and a giant pet - lots of patience, frustration, miscommunication, but rewarding when you feel like the AI lined up with what you had in mind.

I do think a lot of patience is needed to play through it proficiently, observing and waiting to see what Trico thinks and does in a situation. The 'diving' part can screw right off, though.

Edit: ALSO I dunno if anyone else had this issue but I had a big problem with mashing every button on my controller every time a guard caught me - I always had that lingering feeling that it was contributing to that day when my controller would break. That's a terrible system that's the opposite of innovative. "Just mash ALL THE BUTTONS AT ONCE to break free! It's that simple!"

I would get mad at the Shenmue jab if it wasn't true. Valve stole the idea for the Weighted Companion Cube from my beloved Forklift No. 5.

mrdude2010:
To be fair, I think the uncontrollability of the creature was sort of the point. It was an independent being with its own thoughts. Didn't make it less frustrating when he undid a lot of progress, but it felt like a real animal.

A number of people with pets took issue with those "Trico is like a real animal" claims, Jim Sterling especially, he said his own dog was way more obedient then Trico ever was.

deadish:
Just thought you fellas might enjoy this guy's playthrough

Got to give the developers credit though, they really nailed the animal's behavior - as stubborn as a real cat and as dumb as a real dog. LOL

I enjoyed this video much more:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZh_51AdYBo

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