I live in a house with a couple roommates, and one of those roommates has a pit bull. The pit bull, like all animals, has a mind of it’s own. It can be hard to get the pit bull to do what I want it to do. It can be hard to get a lot of animals (or people) to do what you want them to do.
NPCs in video games aren’t animals. Behind the graphics, they are weird math problems, and the controller is a weird calculator. If you can give them a certain value they will provide a certain result. Provide an undead Nazi dragon with the value of a chainsaw bazooka blast and it will provide you the result of dying.
The Last Guardian makes bold decisions that create a mind blowing illusion: Trico doesn’t feel like a math problem. When you play the game it feels like Trico has a mind of its own. Your actions, the values you provide, don’t seem to yield consistent results from Trico. Trico doesn’t feel like a party member to command or an item to be used; it feels like Trico is an animal. It’s infuriating when Trico won’t listen. Animals in real life can be infuriating.
But, when Trico shows it cares about you it feels real. It doesn’t feel like you provided the right values; it feels like you provided time and effort. When you and Trico are successful it doesn’t feel like winning at a video game; feels like a friendship. I know all I’m doing is providing values to the math problem that is Trico. I know that it’s an incredibly complex math problem, and it changes based on where Trico is in the game world, but it feels like bonding with an animal.
People have certain expectations from video games. The Last Guardian doesn’t fulfill many of those expectation. Primarily, it doesn’t provide short term satisfaction. People didn’t know what to expect when this game came out, and they didn’t know how to talk about it. It’s not a puzzle game, an action game, or a platformer. It’s a pet simulator, and it’s the first of its kind.
When Dark Souls came out it didn’t necessarily seem like the greatest game of a generation (I think it’s definitely up there). Dark Souls used its difficulty and cryptic nature to hide that it was math problem, and it created the illusion of a great terrifying journey. Immersion in this illusion had a cost; you needed to spend a lot of time playing the game.
The Last Guardian is the same way. Once you’ve spent enough time playing the game, and you know how to approach it, the illusion is breath taking. In the years to come people will talk about The Last Guardian in a different way, and the people who play it latter will know how to approach it. Time will be very kind to The Last Guardian.
Side note: I’m writing a lot on Tumblr, and I’m working on a novel. If you’d like to keep up with me follow this blog. I appreciate all the support I’m getting from this community.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Japanese Collection
This is my collection of the greatest game that everyone agrees is the greatest and in no way upset anyone at all. Just kidding. But this is my personal favorite MGS title as well as my favorite game (across any series) to go back to. This is definitely the one I excel at the most in the series, as I just find MGS 3 to be too easy unfortunately.
I collected these while living in Japan (so about two years) along with MGS 1 variants. I believe this is a complete collection of all the different MGS2 covers (and slip covers) that this title had to offer. And while I do not own the complete Premium Package for MGS2, the game from the box set is present above. One or two of them even include reversible jackets which you can see on the original posts for them here(along with some MGS2 strategy guides). I also included The Document of MGS2 and MGS2 Substance above to show my overall collection of Japanese covers for the entire spectrum of Sons of Liberty related titles at the moment.
When I go back to Japan I hope to collect the variants for MGS2 Substance, MGS3, and MGS3 Subsistance stand alone copies as well as acquire the 20th Anniversary Collection & Legacy Collection
If anyone happens to know of a Japanese version or slip cover edition I am missing, please pm me the product ID