The Last Guardian and the Language of Games | Game Maker’s Toolkit

The Last Guardian and the Language of Games | Game Maker’s Toolkit


The Last Guardian is the third game to be
directed by this clever chap. He’s called Fumito Ueda and he’s the Japanese designer
responsible for three pretty important games. There’s Ico, which is about forging a friendship
with a girl. Next came Shadow of the Colossus, which is about toppling giant mythological
beasts. And now there’s The Last Guardian, which cleverly rounds off this triptych by
being a game about forging a friendship with a giant mythological beast. Called Trico. Now, the reaction to this game has been, shall
we say… mixed, with plenty of disagreement about the clumsy controls, annoying input
lag, clunky physics, patronising hints, omnipresent button prompts, tedious puzzles, and so on. But one thing most gamers can agree on is
that this game does a pretty stellar job of depicting a bond between the boy, and Trico. And in this video, I want to show how Ueda,
and his team at genDesign, achieved this relationship not through lengthy cutscenes or dialogue
– but, instead, through the unique language of video games. I’m going to start by looking at combat because while it’s not a significant part of the game it offers a convenient way of comparing The Last Guardian to other games that feature a companion character Now, back in the day, a companion often meant
a dreaded “escort mission”, which is where the player has to protect another character.
Like how Monkey needs to keep Trip alive in Enslaved, because… TRIP: If I die, you die MONKEY: Argh! This means the player has to do everything.
Monkey has to look after himself, and kill all the robots, and look after Trip, who can’t
attack enemies and can be killed if you don’t look after her. It makes for an interesting dynamic, but a
lot of players found this style of gameplay stressful and frustrating. Trip is, I should
say, one of the better ones because she hides well and can survive one robot attack. But anyway, in an attempt to fix this frustration,
a more recent trend has seen the rise of invincible companions, like Elizabeth in Bioshock Infinite
who cannot be killed in combat, so you only need to look out for yourself and the enemies. It’s a very simple fix, really. And it certainly
avoids any frustration. But it does create a nagging disconnect between what’s happening
in the story, and what’s happening in the gameplay. BOOKER: You think people like that are just gonna
let you walk away? You are an investment, and you will not be safe till you are far
away from here. I think she’ll be fine, dude. I mean,
going by the combat, Elizabeth is not only invincible but is actually protecting Booker,
as she finds him ammo, offers up her ability to pull in machine guns from an alternate dimension,
and even brings him back from the dead. Of course, we can just write this all off
as goofy video game logic but what Fumito Ueda has always understood is that video games
speak most loudly through their design. And he uses this to explore themes and tell stories,
almost entirely through gameplay. The game Ico doesn’t need to tell us that
it’s a game about a boy protecting a girl. We get to experience it ourselves, as Yorda
is frail and vulnerable during combat, and the invincible Ico has to save her at every
turn. The Last Guardian is the mirror image of Ico,
effectively putting you in the role of Yorda. The boy can’t defeat the magic soldiers, and
will die if he’s taken into a spooky door. Trico, on the other hand, is invincible and
massively effective in combat. And so, we feel vulnerable when we’re alone,
and thankful for Trico’s company when he saves us from danger. In all of Ueda’s games, combat is not just
something to do to pass time between the story bits. The roles that the characters take in
combat tell us so much of what we need to know about their relationship to one another. Outside of combat, The Last Guardian shows
us that this is, actually, an interdependent relationship, where Trico needs the boy, just
as much as the boy needs Trico. And I think a stronger bond is forged when
both parties help each other. That’s why Enslaved narrowly escapes the escort mission trap,
as Monkey ultimately relies heavily on Trip, to create distractions and hack stuff. There are lots of examples of this in The
Last Guardian, such as the boy petting Trico’s back after a fight to calm it down, or him
finding it barrels of food. But let’s focus on these stained glass eyes. Whenever Trico spots one, the creature becomes
paralysed with fear, and it won’t move forward until the boy has found a way to smash or
remove the eye. This gives the boy a chance to protect Trico. And it shows how the two characters are strong in different ways. Trico is powerful
in combat, while the boy excels in platforming and puzzle solving. But this also establishes some pretty clear-cut
rules: the boy can’t defeat enemies without Trico, and Trico can’t advance until the boy
destroys these stained glass eyes. Rules like this help you understand how the
game works. So when you reach a room like this, you know exactly what it all means. There’s
a stained glass eye, which the boy needs to remove, but he’s going to need to go through
these enemies, without Trico, to approach it. It’s tense and nerve-wrecking, but it feels
good when the glass has been smashed and Trico can join the fight. And then I got to this bit. Two soldiers are
blocking this window by holding up shields, made from stained glass. I knew what it meant,
and I knew what to do. I needed leave Trico, sneak around, shove the baddies off the ledge,
and let the beast through. Except, I rushed in, dropped down, and got
ambushed by soldiers. I struggled free, and ran up the slope, and shoved one soldier
down before being grabbed again. I knew, at that moment, that I was screwed.
The boy can’t fight these soldiers and Trico can’t help because of the shields. Rules are
rules. It’s over. And then this happened. Oh. Yeah. The game wanted to show me that the relationship
had advanced to the point that the boy’s safety was more important to Trico, than its own
fear of the stained glass eyes. And to do that, it broke a clearly established,
mechanical rule. Which are supposed to be these unbreakable, static… well, rules. And to me, this made it more impactful than,
say, the bit in The Last of Us where, after establishing that Ellie, another invincible
companion, shouldn’t use a gun JOEL: Uh uh.
ELLIE: What? I need a gun JOEL: No you don’t.
ELLIE: Joel. I can handle myself. JOEL: No She then shoots a guy to save Joel. That’s a really good cutscene and strong storytelling. ELLIE: I shot the hell out of that guy, huh? But I think the moment in The Last Guardian is actually stronger. Because, and this is gonna get a bit arty
farty but stick with me. It’s clear that each artistic medium has its own unique language.
Painting uses the language of shape and colour. Music is an exploration of sound. Literature
uses the language of, well, language. And film is about moving images. And video games can, of course, use all of
this stuff. But what makes the medium unique is interaction. Things like mechanics, rules, and systems you can poke at are the language of video games – and so where Naughty Dog is largely borrowing
from film to tell the story of Joel and Ellie, by using mechanics and rules to tell their story, The Last Guardian is an artistic work,
in the medium of video games. The Last of Us does gets some bonus points
for making Ellie become a more formidable character in the combat sequences, following
that important cinematic. ELLIE: You’re welcome. Anyway. This moment is all part of Ueda’s
plan to sell Trico as a real creature, rather than a predictable and flawlessly programmed
video game tool. We can see this in the incredibly lifelike animations and in familiar moments
where, say, Trico hesitates to jump into the water. But this is also where the game’s most controversial
decision crops up, as Trico does not immediately and reliably listen to the player’s commands. Ueda says “When the boy calls Trico, we could have
made Trico come immediately, like clockwork. But if we did that, Trico would not seem like
an independent creature. It wouldn’t seem like it was alive and making its own decisions.” Instead, you have to be patient, and learn
to understand Trico’s sounds and body language. Plus, according to players on Reddit, the
way you interact with Trico can impact its loyalty and responsiveness. All of those wonderful interactions with Trico, like removing spears, tending to its wounds, finding food,
and petting it can all make the creature a better companion. In a way, this all sounds like another great
decision to use gameplay mechanics to show the relationship between the boy and Trico.
We see that this is an animal, and that the boy can’t rely on Trico like he could a human.
And by building a system where certain interactions change Trico’s behaviour, we can explore,
as players, what it’s like to love or mistreat an animal. And that is cool. But isn’t always fun. And this is a unique challenge of being a
games designer who is interested in making a game that says something interesting. Similar
to our discussion on Dark Souls, where Miyazaki has to sacrifice certain players because those
games wouldn’t be as meaningful without their intense level of difficulty. In this instance, making systems and mechanics
that are both enjoyable and charged with meaning is a brutally difficult balancing act, and
one that Fumito Ueda boldly attempts with every game he makes. Whether he succeeds or fails is ultimately,
up to each individual player. Sorry, that’s a cop out. But for my money, I’m glad there are developers like Ueda out there, at least willing to take these risks to do
something a bit… different. The Last Guardian is about a relationship
– and not just in the cutscenes, or in tiny scraps of dialogue between fights. Everything,
from the roles in combat, to the way you solve puzzles, to vignettes that are set up by the
game’s rules – it’s all there to say something interesting, and we get to explore that as
players – because it’s said through the unique language of video games. Hi everyone. Thanks for checking out this
video. I’d love to hear your thoughts on The Last Guardian in general in the comments below.
This has been a very divisive game and I’m curious to know how it’s landed with all you
guys out there. Game Maker’s Toolkit is now entirely powered by Patreon, which is fantastic.
The people on screen are those who have pledged five bucks or more. While these names are scrolling past, I wanted
to take a moment to talk about a few more games that do an excellent job of speaking
through their mechanics. Indie games are especially brilliant at this. Undertale is a game that tells us a lot about the game’s wacky cast of characters through the way they
fight. Papers, Please lets us poke and prod at a system to reveal a message about bureaucracy
and corruption. And Brothers tells an amazing story of two siblings pretty much entirely
through gameplay that I wish I could say more about but all the good stuff is in spoiler
territory so just go buy it. Also, while you’re here, check out my earlier
video on Fumito Ueda’s philosophy of Design by Subtraction, where he removes everything
that doesn’t contribute to the game’s core idea. You can definitely apply that to The Last
Guardian. so maybe give that a rewatch now you’ve played his third game.

99 thoughts on “The Last Guardian and the Language of Games | Game Maker’s Toolkit

  • February 10, 2018 at 9:43 pm
    Permalink

    I am happy that I don't know Shadow of the Colossus and The Last Guardian and enjoy them completely unaware.

    Reply
  • February 12, 2018 at 1:46 pm
    Permalink

    suscribed

    Reply
  • February 14, 2018 at 5:28 am
    Permalink

    I really love the Last Guardian.

    Reply
  • February 17, 2018 at 7:11 am
    Permalink

    It baffles me that people didn’t like The Last Guardian. I loved it and I thought it was perfect in depicting a living creature that I genuinely grew to love throughout the story.

    Reply
  • February 17, 2018 at 8:39 pm
    Permalink

    The part about the tension between making a game fun and making it have a deeper meaning is one that I think can be applied to Dishonored and its chaos system. The developers wanted to give a message to the game that wanton violence will lead to dark outcomes and about temptation to abuse power. Have you seen that while playing Dishonored? Also I'm wondering if I could use your video in an article about the chaos system?

    Reply
  • February 22, 2018 at 6:05 pm
    Permalink

    I've only just recently began seeing or getting into Team Ico games but I have to say that they have some of the most intriguing and beautiful art styles I've ever seen in video games and they never skimp on the story because of that either. All three games have great stories in their own rights and the only huge issue everyone seems to have is that some of them just don't control too well. I only wish I could buy one but I don't have a PlayStation

    Reply
  • February 22, 2018 at 7:06 pm
    Permalink

    Excellent video. I've watched a video of videogamedunkey which makes me both laught and feel his rage during playing The Last guardian.
    I am really grateful for this chance to reconsider my opinion on this game and finally understand it. I am sure I will play it someday.

    This definitely may sound odd, but considering how great your videos are, I am also sure that you have a real old soul, which knows thing or two. And I am not into this kind of stuff.

    Reply
  • February 23, 2018 at 9:56 pm
    Permalink

    artsy fartsy? no need to excuse yourself!

    Reply
  • February 24, 2018 at 9:23 pm
    Permalink

    Amazing video…other reviewers or the so called critics totally didn't get the point of this game and to some extent mechanics of the game…and unfairly bashed this game to the ground…it's truly sad considering the development hell this game went through…

    Reply
  • February 25, 2018 at 11:21 pm
    Permalink

    Dont talk about Last or Us that way. You make great vids.

    Reply
  • February 27, 2018 at 9:10 am
    Permalink

    Beatiful video. Tlg destroyed me emotionaly

    Reply
  • March 3, 2018 at 2:23 pm
    Permalink

    I wanna bring up another game that did this too: Haunting Ground. Other games probably have done that form of gameplay mechanic but I haven't played those other ones so…

    Anyways, Haunting Ground is a survival horror game on the PS2. Your character Fiona cannot fight that well against the enemies. Specifically, the "Pursuers" who constantly follow her around throughout the game who routinely change once you reach certain points. You can't kill them until you reach said certain points, and while Fiona can knock them out with traps or physical means, you're mostly gonna have to evade them and hide. Fortunately, Fiona has Hewie, a dog companion kinda like Treeco, who joins the game and also fills kinda the same role as Treeco. Hewie can attack her Pursuers and is overall much better at doing that than Fiona. He can also help with certain puzzles (passing through a hole in a wall to open another door, sniffing around for important items, leading the way around dangerous traps, etc.). However, Hewie can be harmed by her Pursuers. A lot of the time, Fiona will need to run away while Hewie is busy biting the enemy's neck off, but sometimes this can lead to him getting knocked back and seriously hurt. You can't help but feel bad for the poor pup, to the point that you might think of bursting out of your hiding place to take care of him.

    Similar to Treeco, Hewie doesn't always follow Fiona's commands immediately. You'll need to build up his loyalty and trust first. You can do this buy encouraging and petting him when he does well, scolding him whenever he does bad, taking care of his wounds, and other things. Like an actual dog, you'll also need to find the right balance. Encourage him too much and he'll become spoiled and overconfident, scold him too much and he'll stop following Fiona, sometimes even attacking her himself. What's also pretty cool is he'll also sometimes act on his own accord. Just like Treeco, if Fiona has built a very good relationship with him, Hewie will attack the enemies without Fiona's input. He'll follow her around without her telling him so. He basically starts acting like a real pet, risking his own life if it meant protecting Fiona's. And that's pretty beautiful.

    Reply
  • March 7, 2018 at 6:09 pm
    Permalink

    I think that something that makes the moment in the Last Guardian more powerful than in the Last of Us is that Ellie wants a gun and she proves that she can handle one but Trico breaks his own rules and what we thought was set in stone before.

    Reply
  • April 1, 2018 at 1:16 am
    Permalink

    Wait that didn't happen to me. Does that mean that Trico wasn't happy with me? Oh well. Now I'm sad…

    Reply
  • April 16, 2018 at 3:25 pm
    Permalink

    I'm currently playing TLG for the first time and had high expectations having played Ico and Shadow of the Collossus. Unfortunatelly for me, the clumsy controls and physics really ruined this game for me. Everytime I look at it I get this overwhelming sense of connection to the characters and their world, but everytime I think I need to go back and finish the game I decide I can't be hassled to do it because I will just be frustrated. It's very hard and disapointing for me to admit this.

    Reply
  • April 19, 2018 at 11:05 am
    Permalink

    6:03

    Damn glitch

    Reply
  • April 19, 2018 at 11:31 pm
    Permalink

    The fourth game will be about slaying a girl

    Reply
  • April 20, 2018 at 4:16 am
    Permalink

    You articulated what I've been thinking all along so well. From the E3 2016 trailer I knew this was going to be special. The music alone sold me and it's certainly in my top games list. And the VR demo is pure magic!

    Reply
  • April 25, 2018 at 5:52 am
    Permalink

    That's just fuckin bad design. Just don't make the player fully dependent on the monster to solve early puzzles! That could've been another point of their relationship progressing!

    Reply
  • May 5, 2018 at 3:01 pm
    Permalink

    Glad to hear someone else standing up for The Last Guardian! I loved the game. Working with Trico always felt natural to me, even when it was difficult. Trico's loyalty mechanic makes sense of a lot of things now. So many other players complained that they couldn't get Trico to do what they wanted, but apart from the beginning of the game I didn't have much of a problem. Looking back, all the time I spent petting Trico, finding all the barrels I could, and learning how to communicate with him, I was building a relationship with him not just in the narrative, but in the game mechanics as well. It's genius, really.

    Reply
  • May 6, 2018 at 8:35 pm
    Permalink

    I freaking need ICO and The Last Guardian!

    Reply
  • May 8, 2018 at 8:24 am
    Permalink

    I'm generally OK with Trico's unresponsiveness, except for that branch part. That got on my nerves.

    Also, yeah, the camera's input lag is horrific. These are pretty much the only two beefs I have with the game. Loved it.

    Reply
  • May 8, 2018 at 2:07 pm
    Permalink

    i was going to mention Brothers : A tale of two sons (in fact I did and I deleted it) but you quickly mention it in the last seconds and indeed it's in a big spoiler but I think it's one of the example of rule breaking that stuck with me.

    Reply
  • June 6, 2018 at 2:38 am
    Permalink

    Mark you an just say literature all day. in every video…i'm very okay with that

    Reply
  • June 7, 2018 at 9:18 am
    Permalink

    From what I saw (didn't play it), working with Trico feels a lot like riding a horse when you're a bad rider and/or you and the horse don't know each other very well. Animals are not cars! You gotta have patience and timing when getting them to do stuff. (A few bug fixes wouldn't hurt tho, that's true)

    Reply
  • June 13, 2018 at 12:56 am
    Permalink

    This whole video really puts into question how game critics should review games or at least how they process the experience of narrative-driven games that primarily use design as its way to show story/character progression. How does this not have more views? this is big stuff.

    Reply
  • July 23, 2018 at 6:35 am
    Permalink

    To anyone watching this, that is not the only time that something like that happens. The game us full of little moments like that and cool inventive puzzles. Sure the controls and camera suck but they also sucked in SotC and ICO and they where still revered. Go and play it, and go blind. Enjoy.

    Reply
  • July 31, 2018 at 3:00 am
    Permalink

    Film is actually about the camera, or, presenting moving images (which is not unique due to watching a drama on the stage, a dance, etc) through the fixed viewpoint of the camera. This is crucially shared in video games. I would say last of us uses narrative/drama/storytelling.

    Reply
  • August 2, 2018 at 4:13 am
    Permalink

    OMG i just discovered your channel, let me tell you that your content is amazing!!!

    Reply
  • August 4, 2018 at 5:38 pm
    Permalink

    i bought the last guardian and loved the hell out of it.
    But if my friends ask if they should play this i say: "no you dont, you would not love it"…("you filthy casul")

    Reply
  • August 25, 2018 at 7:14 pm
    Permalink

    One of the other things I really like about Trico is that his fear isn't something like an enemy with a fire weapon because he doesn't like being burnt. Trico has a very irrational fear of the glass eye, it's just a glass eye.

    Rules are so important in games it what gives consistency, but the way Trico breaks those rules is just done so masterfully well, that it tells such an amazing story just in that moment itself.

    It's hard to say if more developers like Fumito Ueda would be a good thing, if so, would it possibly over saturate the market in that style of deep story? It's impossible to say for me. As much as I would love more like that I'd rather it be scarce than become some kind of fad that is thrown around a beat to death by every developer just because it is popular. Things like this require genuine care, you just don't see that much these days.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2018 at 10:22 pm
    Permalink

    I love that your example from film is from the intro of Civilization V, a video game.

    Reply
  • September 6, 2018 at 4:54 am
    Permalink

    I feel those spoilers were significant. Next time, please, warn of spoilers.

    Reply
  • September 14, 2018 at 7:21 pm
    Permalink

    The title let me think, this is about c++

    Reply
  • September 26, 2018 at 6:07 pm
    Permalink

    2:23 It doesn't… Elizabeth is holy to the enemy, they are not going to shoot her because they want to SAVE her from you.
    The only point in the game where that is an issue is when you are fighting the Vox, but is still makes sense that they target you first because you are clearly posing a bigger threat than her… Also they might want to use her as a weapon against Comstock.

    Reply
  • September 30, 2018 at 12:48 pm
    Permalink

    So when's the game about toppling girls?

    Reply
  • September 30, 2018 at 7:32 pm
    Permalink

    The Last Guardian is one of the best games I've ever played. It's just different and beautiful. Extra ordinary. 🙂

    Reply
  • October 10, 2018 at 10:06 pm
    Permalink

    i'm not sure if it's a bug or kind of similar game mechanics, but dogmeat from fallout 4 also doesn't always follow orders. usually when you tell a companion to wait somewhere, he does so until you call him to follow you again. but every now and then dogmeat just ignores that and follows you anyway although you told him to wait. and although that can be quite annoying as it isn't scripted and can happen randomly (incl. sections where you want to sneak), it somehow makes me like this companion, because it feels more real. after all it's a dog and most real dogs just don't follow orders 100%.

    Reply
  • October 13, 2018 at 11:09 am
    Permalink

    Dunkeys video on this game perfectly sums up this game in general

    Reply
  • October 14, 2018 at 2:07 am
    Permalink

    Ueda's Games
    1st: Relationship with a Girl
    2nd: Kill a bunch of mythological beasts
    3rd: Relationship with a mythological beast
    Is this supposed to mean the 4th game is going to be about killing people or is that just a strange coincidence.

    Reply
  • November 2, 2018 at 12:10 pm
    Permalink

    Wow, I always thought of designing rules for gameplay and only that. I never thought about curating an instant where a well-established gameplay rule is broken to further the narrative. That’s quite a clever design!

    Reply
  • November 23, 2018 at 9:24 am
    Permalink

    I think that having to earn treeko's loyalty is a great thing mechanically and narratively, since it is how you earn a being's love in real life and also challenges and rewards you for doing things and exploring the game.

    Reply
  • November 26, 2018 at 4:56 pm
    Permalink

    The Last of Us is one of my favorite games of all time, but your critique here is spot on. I loved the story of the Last of Us, but not the gameplay. It felt uninspired when compared with the wonderful lore and plot of the game. The Last of Us feels more like an interactive movie rather than a video game, which has been a complaint of Naughty Dog for several years now.

    I hope to see an improvement in the Last of Us Part 2. The story and the lore of the world are incredible and engaging. I hope the gameplay can live up to it.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 3:54 pm
    Permalink

    槍はすぐ抜くよね
    血は撫でて消すよね
    興奮してたら宥めるよね
    タルはあったらあげるよね

    ってやってたら従順な子になってた
    ここまでやっても動かない時は動かないと思ってたから割と拍子抜け

    Reply
  • December 11, 2018 at 8:52 pm
    Permalink

    That shit made me tear up. Guess i need to play this game now.

    Reply
  • December 13, 2018 at 8:10 pm
    Permalink

    I love this game. A little bit of desempowerment of the player isn't bad from time to time, and I think it was used smartly in The Last Guardian to communicate the relationship of the boy with Trico and with the environment.

    Reply
  • December 16, 2018 at 1:25 pm
    Permalink

    The Last Guardian reminds me of Titanfall 2 where you need your robot to kill bigger enemies but your robot can't get through some areas without you going ahead opening the doors for him, such and such.

    Reply
  • December 16, 2018 at 9:46 pm
    Permalink

    Interesting that many people made a big deal about trico following your commands, but nobody disparaged BotW for having horses who don’t follow your commands if you don’t have a good bond

    Reply
  • December 17, 2018 at 10:21 am
    Permalink

    I can clearly understand why people say no to this game. I do. But as a person who growing up with a cat I also have patient to communicate with trico. It is weird but also amazing that trico is so convincing as an animal. And the ending… just making me cry the hell out. I would never forget this game as well as shadow of colossus.

    Reply
  • December 21, 2018 at 8:15 pm
    Permalink

    One of my favorite things about The Last Guardian that establishes the characters' relationship and how Trico is an independent beast, is how sometimes he'll purr and nuzzle the boy for pets. You could be trying to figure out where to go in a complicated sequence of jumps, and then suddenly there's a giant nose in your face XD he really is a giant cat.

    Reply
  • January 14, 2019 at 1:03 pm
    Permalink

    Who subtitled this video in korean this is shit

    Reply
  • January 18, 2019 at 11:58 am
    Permalink

    The new God of War has some of this at one moment that Atreus stop obeying you and starts acting and fighting on his own, you know the reason behind it, very well crafted.

    Reply
  • January 18, 2019 at 1:47 pm
    Permalink

    The writing in this is so weak. Glad that you steped up your game. Good content regardless!

    Reply
  • January 23, 2019 at 8:27 pm
    Permalink

    Playing a Fumito Ueda game is kind of like learning a piece of music. The mechanics of TLG can be tricky, but ultimately, it comes down to empathy for the characters. Watch a few videos of people being frustrated by the game play, and you'll see them sprinting the character around and bumping him into walls, and treating Trico like a tank. The thing is, the boy is bare foot in a jagged rocky world, and even Trico, behemoth that it is, is positively dwarfed by the environment. These avatars are not soldiers of fortune and glory acting as tools to help gamers blow off steam and satiate blood lust; rather, they're fragile and lost heroes in a world meant to be observed. If a player recognizes this, and plays accordingly, the gameplay will open up to them.

    Reply
  • January 23, 2019 at 9:02 pm
    Permalink

    What just came to my mind.
    In ico you played a boy bonding with a girl.
    In SoC you play a boy/man killing giant creatures just to save your girlfriend.
    And in TLG you play a child with an giant creature as a companion.
    For me all three games somehow connect.

    First you are a boy protecting a girl, maybe even the girlfriend. The you are trying to resuract her by doing a ritual by killing the giants.
    You don't know what these creatures were… But you feel guilty and teach your child to respect them … And even bond with them

    Reply
  • January 28, 2019 at 9:49 am
    Permalink

    Bad ass video !

    Reply
  • February 1, 2019 at 10:49 pm
    Permalink

    the last guardian is so good that just watching this video about it brought tears to my eyes

    Reply
  • February 5, 2019 at 10:43 pm
    Permalink

    Trico saving the boy and overcoming his fear just gets straight into the feels!
    Wonder if that was scripted tho, would Trico save the boy if the boy did not treat Trico well enough?

    Reply
  • February 6, 2019 at 6:15 am
    Permalink

    Tbh I never got the complaints about Trico not listening. When I played, he listened to me quite well and any moments where he wouldn't was just me going about things the wrong way (doing the puzzle wrong). I finished the game fairly quickly too. Are people just super impatient and constantly pressing the command button?

    Reply
  • February 7, 2019 at 8:47 am
    Permalink

    "miasaki has to sacrifice certain players" hmm

    Reply
  • February 14, 2019 at 12:10 pm
    Permalink

    I just will say two words:
    Chrono
    Trigger

    Reply
  • February 20, 2019 at 6:12 pm
    Permalink

    6:01 im not crying, youre crying

    Reply
  • February 21, 2019 at 6:22 am
    Permalink

    I want to have a pet companion like Trico 🙁

    Reply
  • February 26, 2019 at 11:10 pm
    Permalink

    Actually a game about befriending a girl, a game about defeating giant beasts, and a game about befriending a giant beast isn't a complete series.
    We also need a game about defeating girls.

    Reply
  • March 19, 2019 at 3:23 pm
    Permalink

    Mark, I really enjoy your videos.
    It feels like we’re finally moving past the ‘I looked up this trope on TV Tropes, therefore the storytelling or design is bad!” level of critical analysis that has dogged gaming since, well, the Internet en masse happened.

    I feel you are one of the people leading the charge on a greater appreciation of gaming. It’s a fully-realised artistic and technological form after all.

    And thank you for introducing me to Super Butter Buns.
    She’s hilarious and offers insights into gaming that it can sometimes feel are lost among a sea of ‘OMG! All games apart from the ones I play are bad!’ reviews.

    More please.
    And when I’m less poor, you’ll have a new monetary subscriber.

    Reply
  • April 5, 2019 at 11:16 am
    Permalink

    Ico is my favorite videogame of all time, am I the one?
    Btw I loved this and Sotc too.

    Reply
  • June 2, 2019 at 1:41 pm
    Permalink

    The two parts where trico saves you from a fall and when the game break its own rule is great. But for me, the immersion broke when it didn't work the first time. When I fell, trico tried to catch me, but was a bit too late and I died. The glass eye shield bit, I had to reset to the last checkpoint because trico just stood there and watched.

    Reply
  • June 26, 2019 at 4:17 am
    Permalink

    How to summarize A Theory of Fun's main idea. Nice video

    Reply
  • July 3, 2019 at 11:37 am
    Permalink

    well i have very narrow, specific taste for the games, so easily skips so-called masterpieces after 30 minutes play. but when i met ico on ps3, it shocked me with his fantastic experiences. the mis-en-scene, the castle, the characters, the sound of birds in ico were recognized as a whole during the entire playthrough, and i never felt that kind of vivid experience until i got tried the dark souls 1. those two games gave me the world as it is, and i could feel it with all the means they provided to me. characters i play with are comparably tiny than the environment(like castles, mountains or else) and can do limited actions. you have to run with your own feet to get there from here. so many exterior obstacles to overcome. all those taught me how the nature of that game works and i can acknowledge it consciously and unconsciously. that's why i pick ico & dark souls 1 as no.1 games of my life.
    watching this clip, i ordered the last guardian dl. i think even my porte etroite of my game taste could give some space for it. thanx for making this clip.

    Reply
  • July 25, 2019 at 6:26 am
    Permalink

    Haunting Ground did it better, and in 2005.

    Reply
  • July 25, 2019 at 11:55 am
    Permalink

    7:54 that violent shaking should have broke his spine 🤔

    Reply
  • July 27, 2019 at 10:12 pm
    Permalink

    That scene with trico overcoming his fears is really intriguing, I’m not sure if I had realized the meaning of this myself. I played the last guardian a few hours, but unfortunately it isn’t my type of game. I feel a bit weird about Trico: He is an odd mix of somewhat cute and super-creepy to me, both at the same time.

    Reply
  • July 30, 2019 at 12:57 pm
    Permalink

    I’m a huge fan of Ico and SotC. Played them back on ps2. I remember I bought ico on a whim because the cover looked interesting, and became so invested in the game.
    I even got tattoos for each game. So yea, big fan. Both games affected me greatly.

    I just started playing The Last Guardian this week. I waited because I was afraid. The wait was too long and all the talk of the bad framerate and controls kept me from picking it up.

    I’m really enjoying the game so far, but I can’t help but wonder how much more I would be enjoying it if the controls weren’t so BAD.

    How the hell does a studio of game designers think that the amount of deadzone and acceleration on the camera is okay? Who thought using an analog stick and only having ‘sneak’ and ‘full on sprint’ was okay ??

    How is this framerate acceptable? I just don’t get it. I am enjoying the experience in spite of these things, but why couldn’t the game just control smoothly? I’m baffled that I have to deal with such a broken camera at every turn of the game.

    I’m loving the experience, as always with Ueda’s games. It’s just that this time, I’m doing it all with a horrible taste in my mouth.

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 6:17 pm
    Permalink

    Matthewmatosis said it best on a stream awhile ago:
    "SotC was enjoyable on multiple levels as it was not just a 'Team Ico Game' but also the 'Big Epic Boss Fight Game'. The Last Guardian though is just a 'Team Ico Game' where you have to have a certain mentality to really enjoy it. And that mentality is patience."

    Reply
  • August 7, 2019 at 7:56 pm
    Permalink

    Im soo sad it's a PlayStation exclusive..🙁

    Reply
  • August 19, 2019 at 11:14 pm
    Permalink

    The last guardian is a great game.

    Reply
  • August 21, 2019 at 9:05 am
    Permalink

    Just finished the game, and being an unconditional fan of ICO, and would gladly replay Shadow of the Colossus anytime, The Last Guardian was obviously going to be a hit … at least that's what I thought.
    Was a dreadful journey that was.
    The unbehaving camera, the controls of the boy unsuited to the environment, and the rebellious (and sometimes "trolling") Trico made this game a pain in the ass. Sure, the relation with the beast is almost magical and the ending is oh so beautiful, but damn this game was a huge ball of frustration.
    Maybe becasue I finished the game in only 2 afternoon, and could let the frustration cool down between sessions, but ultimately, the game only left me with a bitter taste in the mouth, despite some specks of genius here and there.

    Reply
  • August 23, 2019 at 9:47 pm
    Permalink

    This game is the next mirrors Edge – this graphics will forever look amazing. I mean just look at this game

    Reply
  • August 29, 2019 at 12:17 am
    Permalink

    videogamedunkey's video of the last guardian perfectly sums it all up

    Reply
  • September 4, 2019 at 1:42 am
    Permalink

    i can't believe people would do such thing,but yesterday i watched an "ORIGINAL" video discussing the exact same topic.
    it was a frame to frame remake of this video just translated to a different language. I've lost my hope to humanity.

    Reply
  • September 6, 2019 at 4:49 am
    Permalink

    language of video games is C#

    Reply
  • September 8, 2019 at 10:37 am
    Permalink

    DISONANCIA LUDONARRATIVA

    Reply
  • September 10, 2019 at 1:45 am
    Permalink

    I feel like I have to defend the Last of Us here. I don't think it matters that she was given a gun in the cutscene, because where she proves helpful is IN the gameplay, and that's what matters! Incredibly connected to her as a player when she saves you and stuff. So I think you can totally become attracted to BOTH Trico and Ellie through gameplay. And I think Joel giving her the gun in a cutscene what's more powerful because you could change camera angles and it was just more intimate and Powerful.

    Reply
  • September 14, 2019 at 12:44 pm
    Permalink

    I think that if we want games to mature as a medium then we have to stop expecting them to always be fun. Some of the greatest movies ever made are not fun to watch but they compel you to see it through and have a greater impact for it.

    Reply
  • September 30, 2019 at 11:29 pm
    Permalink

    Yes! Great video!

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 1:40 am
    Permalink

    Lua is the language of videogames.

    Reply
  • December 2, 2019 at 12:23 am
    Permalink

    god i really love this game

    Reply
  • December 7, 2019 at 2:08 pm
    Permalink

    The game is really frustrating sometimes it's early PS2 to PS3 transitions game production shows heavily in the gameplay. And I would like that as the bond of boy and Trico grew during the game, it became more responsive in a consistent manner and almost complete responsive in the last 1/3 of the game. But anyway the ending made all the frustration worthwhile, very powerful stuff, I did come to care a lot for this virtual dog, cat and bird hybrid. Kudos for Ueda did it 3 times, first with Yorda, them Agro and finally Trico, 3 virtual characters I came to care a lot almost without any cutscenes, just gameplay. Hopefully he will keep doing games like that as a indie developer outside Sony.

    Reply
  • December 18, 2019 at 12:25 pm
    Permalink

    awesome

    Reply
  • December 28, 2019 at 11:09 pm
    Permalink

    Just finished this game, and came back here to re-watch this analysis. I agree, the game has issues – mainly janky controls (for the boy) and camera issues. But other aspects that would be real obstacles to enjoyment in other games, actually enhance the core relationship: It's a very slow-paced game, mainly because it takes time to climb onto and off of Trico's back, and to wait for him to understand and follow your instructions. But being able (or forced) to take a little more time progressing through the environment reinforces the bond between you and your companion. The environment itself – a daunting and decrepit prison of immense scale – feels so hostile that it's comforting to have a cute feathery monster alongside.

    And that ending!

    Reply
  • January 3, 2020 at 3:22 am
    Permalink

    It seems like narrative and gameplay clashing should be viewed the same as audio and visuals not meshing

    Reply
  • January 7, 2020 at 4:58 pm
    Permalink

    I couldn’t get through the first hour of this game due to the clumsy gameplay.

    Reply
  • January 7, 2020 at 5:28 pm
    Permalink

    One of my favorite mechanic in games! I remember "Brothers: a tale of two sons" also breaking their own gameplay rule, and it was one of the most impactful storytelling moment I ever played!

    Reply
  • January 21, 2020 at 5:16 am
    Permalink

    Pretty cool video. I haven't played this game but have been wanting too. I've heard mixed opinions but I appreciate this thorough explanation of the game.

    Reply
  • January 24, 2020 at 6:57 am
    Permalink

    Fantastic video. Games need to learn to express their themes with gameplay mechanics rather then with cutscenes in between.

    Reply
  • January 27, 2020 at 10:39 am
    Permalink

    The moment Trico jumped to save the boy ignorinng his fears, was the moment I cried and reminded me why Fumito Ueda's are my favorite games. Such a strong scene, the feeings this game made me go though was mesmerising. Art. Thank you with all my heart for making this video.

    Reply
  • February 8, 2020 at 4:12 pm
    Permalink

    I loved this game, I thought it was pure genius and a work of art.
    I played it on PS4 Pro so I don't know if people had more problems with it on the base PS4?
    The game itself was unique & a breath of fresh air just like Team Ico's(GenDesign) other 2 games.

    Reply
  • February 16, 2020 at 10:28 am
    Permalink

    tri for this game being third, ico for referencing first game "trico" for man character, splendid

    Reply
  • February 16, 2020 at 10:36 am
    Permalink

    i am not sure about how I should feel after watching this I learnt a dramatic spoiler from game that trico will eventually jump to his fear to save beloved which made game so much better in my eye but now I will miss a very important scene if I play game

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *