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LTTP: The Last Guardian, just a boy and his bird/dog/rat/cat/dragon/duck/monster friend

Bragr

Member
I assume this is one of those games that a lot of people have in their backlog. It doesn't have a massive Metacritic score and might feel tailored to a certain kind of adventure/puzzle fan. But if this game clicks with you, you are gonna be very happy you played it.

I was not ready for how amazing Trico is. His movements, his emotions, his connection to you, it's all there and it's vivid and powerful and I can't imagine how much they had to work to pull this off.

It plays like a puzzle game with light combat, you can't fight, but Trico can. You help him with navigation and finding the path, and he will break his way through. Pull levers, find food for Trico, climb ropes, shimmy on the edges, look around, and sit on top of Trico as he jumps around. That's the name of the game. You need each other to survive.

Themes of freedom and imprisonment are all over The Last Guardian. Every time you walk outside and see Trico's fur flowing in the wind and the trees and the grass moving, it's freeing, beautiful, and calming in a way, highlighted by Ueda's trademark lighting.

Trico reacts to certain light patterns, but why? why is he transfixed and put under slavery? as you desperately try to get out of the nest (the game takes place in a giant nest of sorts), you are also searching for the truth of Trico's enslavement. Why are you both trapped together here in this ancient place? this restriction of freedom is tightly tied together with philosophical notions of what it means to be connected to another.

And the size of Trico, man, there is something special about seeing a massive creature following you like that, it's always striking. There is one amazing part where you climb through a tight mine shaft, I'm not gonna spoil it, but that was fantastic.

It has problems. There is plenty of issues with controlling the boy, he feels very much like the kid in Shadow of the Colossus, with all the janky movements, there are also too many problems with the technical aspects, and the nature of some puzzles, but Trico is so special that I can overlook most of it.

Loved it, and would probably score it around a 90. My main gripe with the game is that I felt 70% of it took place in environments that felt too samey with similar puzzles over and over, and I got stuck in some places for too long.



Positives
+ Trico is stunning, easily among the top 3 companions ever in video game history. Maybe the best.
+ That intuitive gameplay from Fumito Ueda, no UI, leaving the player to experience and discover the way themselves (well, apart from those constant fucking button prompts and zooming camera angles).
+ Beautiful and calming soundtrack from Takeshi Furukawa.
+ Story is full of mystery, who are you and why are you with this creature? what exactly is Trico?
+ Completely unique game, hard to compare the experience to anything other than Ico I guess, I will always be happy I dug into my backlog and played this on a whim.
+ Some great moments, for example, at times I would just walk around looking at Trico, it almost felt like walking a dog in the park on a beautiful day.
+ Proper ending, makes you feel nostalgic for the game even if you just finished it.
+ At times, it's drop-dead gorgeous with its style and art.



Issues
- Camera.
- Trico can at times rotate and react very slowly (this is also a plus I suppose, makes him feel lifelike).
- At times you can get completely stuck, I did 2 times, where I spent over 40 minutes figuring out something that takes 30 seconds.
- You spend too much time in environments that feel too similar. Too many cramped castle environments over and over.
- The combat is weird, it's fascinating to feel so dependent on Trico to survive, but some of those later combat sequences were too long and boring. You just wait until Trico tramples them down.
- The boy isn't the best at platforming and is too inaccurate in his movements. Feels a bit clunky.
- Repeats the same puzzles too many times.
- Heavy lag on the PS4.
 
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Fbh

Gold Member
Loved this game aside from the absolutely terrible performance on base PS4. I wish they'd release a 60fps patch for Ps5 (it sucks you need the disc version and to play it unpatched to get 60fps).

To this date I still don't know if Trico not always reacting was intentional or not but to me it's one of the key aspects of the game. It actually makes it feel like you are interacting with an animal.

I played this the year I lost my dog (of 16 years) and the game just hit me in a way I didn't expect.
 

The_hunter

Member
This game was so good, the animation of Trico is best animal animation I ever seen in a video game.
So Trico has an actual AI and isn't scripted. I guess it's not surprising after playing Shadow of the Colossus. I liked the game, there were a couple of moments where Trico would get stuck, probably because of the AI.
 

G-Bus

Gold Member
I.... Need to play this.

Remember the lead up to the reveal and everything after. Just never got around to it.
 
Some of the flowery language in the OP is like spraying air freshener over a fresh shit.

The game is indeed lovely in its presentation, but the actual gameplay is absolute garbage and was in a clearly unfinished state when it launched.
 

Heimdall_Xtreme

Jim Ryan Fanclub's #1 Member
I played it for a few hours, I suspended it because I was in a period that I was not at home, but in another state of the country.

But I'm back, I must resume.

I strongly suspect that it uses the same engine as Gravity Rush 2.

Wherever you are... Thank you very much for everything Japan Studio.
 

Skifi28

Member
It's been sitting on my backlog for years. I was about to play it during the PS5 launch, but then I somehow got stuck waiting for a 60fps patch that is probably never coming.
 

tommib

Gold Member
One of the few games that made me cry at the end. Unreal animations for Trico. It seems like an obscure and exotic product now, the type we won’t see being made anymore. The ambition was unparalleled.

Come back and save us from Ubisoft bloat, Ueda.
 

RoadHazard

Gold Member
I played it for a few hours, I suspended it because I was in a period that I was not at home, but in another state of the country.

But I'm back, I must resume.

I strongly suspect that it uses the same engine as Gravity Rush 2.

Wherever you are... Thank you very much for everything Japan Studio.

Why would you think that? Those two games feel like they have zero things in common, I can't see any technical similarities etc.

I would say it's more likely that TLG uses a tweaked version of the SOTC engine.
 

Banjo64

cumsessed
Next on my list after platting Elden Ring. Loved Ico in particular (SofC is also fantastic though). Glad you loved it OP.
 

Kupfer

Member
I despaired of the game, gave up and didn't want to continue. It kept me thinking for days and I just had to keep playing and experiencing this adventure. The game has a wonderful atmosphere, one of the best friends in video game history, and an ending that had me in tears. I understand if people don't warm up to the game, but if you get into it, it is very rewarding and still a game I think back on with joy years later.
 

El Sueño

Member
I cried at the end. I loved the experience. There is only one Fumito in the world , i'm really hyped about his next game. It has issues? Yes, it does, but overally the experience is awesome, emotional and mystical.
 
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I played through maybe 8 hours or so on the PS5, but the input lag is so horrible that it was hard to keep going.

It feels like you’re playing a cloud streaming game with a ping of 500ms, even though it’s local. Despite the beauty of the game this gets so painful, the most sluggish input-to-action I’ve ever experienced.
 

Heimdall_Xtreme

Jim Ryan Fanclub's #1 Member
Why would you think that? Those two games feel like they have zero things in common, I can't see any technical similarities etc.

I would say it's more likely that TLG uses a tweaked version of the SOTC engine.
If you look closely, both Gravity Rush 1 and 2 and TLG.

It uses a real environment and real looking objects but the characters are cel shading , like the movie Roger Rabbit. And by the physical motor of the structures.
 

RoadHazard

Gold Member
If you look closely, both Gravity Rush 1 and 2 and TLG.

It uses a real environment and real looking objects but the characters are cel shading , like the movie Roger Rabbit. And by the physical motor of the structures.

I think they have completely different art styles. GR doesn't have anything that looks like it's aiming to look "real" to me, everything is cartoony although only the characters are actually cel shaded (like in most anime-like games). TLG very much builds upon the style used in ICO and SOTC. I also think "Team ICO" works (or worked) quite separately from the rest of Japan Studio. But maybe there's engine sharing and stuff, who knows.
 
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engstra

Member
Ueda's trilogy of games are my absolute favorites. Need to replay Last Guardian, only played it once at launch and never touched it even though it was incredible. Has anyone played it unpatched at 60 fps? Are there any issues makes it a worse experience than playing at 30 fps?
 

delfrickintree

Neo Member
I played through maybe 8 hours or so on the PS5, but the input lag is so horrible that it was hard to keep going.

It feels like you’re playing a cloud streaming game with a ping of 500ms, even though it’s local. Despite the beauty of the game this gets so painful, the most sluggish input-to-action I’ve ever experienced.
Yea it feels very sluggish. I think on top of the normally clunky movement, the input lag from streaming makes it worse. It's still playable, just a nuisance. The damn camera needs to make up its mind as well
 
An amazing game that deserves a remaster. The end was very saddening for me and others who have played it will know what I'm talking about.
 
Great concept but imo the game as a whole just isn't that good. The Idea with such an involved pet in a more open world game with more to do could be really great.
 

RoadHazard

Gold Member
Is Ueda still making games, or what's up with him these days? TLG is six years old.

Edit: I guess he's making a game for Epic.
 
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