Sce Japan Studio Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Sce Japan Studio RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network The Last Guardian Is out Next Month! Thu, 24 Nov 2016 03:09:43 -0500 Angie Harvey

After seven very long years, fans will finally be able to get their hands on The Last Guardian next month when it releases on December 6 in North America, December 7 in Europe, and a few days later on December 9 across the UK and Ireland.

The notoriously delayed game was initially revealed at E3 in 2009, with a planned release for 2011 exclusive to PS3. However, after countless delays and disappearances, the game finally resurfaced at E3 in 2015 where it was then slated for a 2016 launch.

After finally giving the game a launch date of October 2016, the President of Sony's Worldwide Studios announced in September that further delays will occur due to development issues and unforeseen bugs. The game was then given its December 6 launch date. Our fingers are crossed that no more delays will occur.

The Last Guardian is a third-person game that combines action-adventure and puzzle elements. The player will take control of an armed boy who can run, jump, climb and interact with the environment around him. When the boy finds himself in a strange and mystical land, he discovers a mysterious feathered creature with which he forms a deep and unbreakable bond. If the unlikely pair wish to survive, they must rely on each other and escape the dangers they will face during their journey. It's an emotional story of friendship and trust. If you still haven't watched the trailer, check it out below.

You can also check out the 18 minute gameplay video that was revealed at The Tokyo Game Show in September.

The game  is currently being sold in two editions that can be purchased from GameStop. The Standard Edition will retail for $59.99 and the Collector's Edition for $119.99. Both of these editions will release on December 6. It should also be noted that if you pre-order either of these copies, you will receive a digital mini soundtrack and also a PS4 theme.

The Last Guardian is one of the most anticipated games to launch in 2016 but do you think it will live up to its hype? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

IGN Uploads Three New Videos on The Last Guardian Mon, 30 May 2016 07:56:26 -0400 cactusjudy

IGN has uploaded three new videos on upcoming game The Last Guardian as part of its "IGN First" series. 

Two of the videos feature Fumito Ueda, the creative director of The Last Guardian. In the videos, Ueda discusses the game's long development process--it's been in the works since 2007--and the creation of the creature Trico, one of the protagonists of the game. The third video features IGN's Tristan Ogilvie and Cam Shea as they discuss their impressions after playing the first 45 minutes of the game. 

The Last Guardian will follow the adventures of an unnamed male protagonist and Trico, who meet after the protagonist is kidnapped under mysterious circumstances and relocated to a setting resembling the ruins of a large castle. The game will combine action-adventure and puzzle elements as it focuses on the growing relationship between the protagonist and Trico.

The Last Guardian was first announced at E3 2009. The game underwent numerous developmental delays due to the departure of Ueda from Sony, the game's publisher, and the limitations of the PlayStation 3 hardware. After years of speculation on the state of development, the game was reintroduced at the beginning of Sony's E3 2015 conference. It is due to be released exclusively for the PlayStation 4 later this year. 

Ico HD Review Fri, 27 Sep 2013 15:06:07 -0400 S2riker

If distinction was the defining factor of a great video game, Ico could be considered an unquestionable success in the gaming landscape.  Foregoing many of the common tropes of video games from its era, Ico strutted onto the scene in late 2001 showcasing a different perspective on game mechanics and design that seemed more like interactive art than a traditional game.

It was a risky proposition and one that turned out unquestionably well in the eyes of most gamers, as evidenced by how the game is widely regarded as a “classic” even a decade after its release.  I just recently had the opportunity to play Ico for myself and have come away with quite a different perspective on the game, however, one that may not exactly sit comfortably with longtime fans of Team Ico’s first creation.



Ico follows the journey of a young boy named Ico who is believed to be cursed due to the presence of strange horns growing from his head.  In the tradition of his native village, these cursed children are placed in tombs and brought across a bridge to a burial chamber within a large island fortress to die.  A fortunate accident within the chamber causes Ico’s tomb to dislodge and break apart and the player then assumes control of the young boy trying to find out where he is and how to escape his current situation.

Along the way, Ico soon discovers a mysterious spirit girl named Yorda who is being held captive in a cage dangling high above a castle-like enclosure.  Upon freeing her, the two embark on a game-long quest to help each other escape the fortress together.  Since they speak different languages, their on-screen communication is conveyed through physical motion and audible cues, an interesting dynamic that seems to have been intended to show the relationship between Ico and Yorda growing stronger over the course of the roughly six hour experience.

However, the primary failing of the game’s narrative is that this dynamic is never explored with these characters until the game’s last half hour.  Aside from these final sequences, the characters show no other growth or change, and the experience feels quite muted because of it.  Ico’s setup offered much potential to make its characters endearing to the player through its story but instead relies on the player to draw his or her own conclusions.


Ico is a very minimalistic experience.  With no true heads-up-display, a very sparse selection of music heard almost exclusively in the game’s cut-scenes, and a washed-out color palette filled with oversaturated light sources, the player’s focus falls squarely on the character models whose detail and animations make up the strongest part of Ico’s presentation.

Ico and Yorda appear almost lifelike despite the game’s older technology due to their meticulously-crafted animations.  Whether it is the way Yorda stumbles when Ico clumsily pulls her along by the arm or how Ico awkwardly swings a stick or sword at enemies, the animations draw the player into the story more than the narrative itself as they depict these characters as unfortunate victims of their circumstance rather than typical video game heroes.

In other areas, however, Ico’s presentation lacks some appeal.  While the game’s fortress is a huge sprawling structure with tons of rooms and areas to explore, some are so artistically bland that I had the sensation I was playing through the same rooms over and over again with a slightly different layout. The lack of ambient music throughout the game is quite disappointing too and contributes to the feeling of staleness in the environments. Some light background compositions in the vein of The Legend of Zelda’s dungeon areas would have livened up the atmosphere and made each area feel more unique.

Otherwise, Ico is a technically solid experience.  The graphical style is clean and consistent, the game runs at an acceptable frame-rate, sound effects are suited well to the environment, and I encountered no glitches or bugs during my playthrough.  The HD re-release of Ico keeps the source game intact but brings out extra detail in the presentation due to a newly-added widescreen mode and support for up to 1080p resolutions.


The meat of Ico’s gameplay experience revolves around its puzzles, which take up the majority of the time spent playing the game and help establish a very relaxing pace.  Rather than acting as a series of brain-twisters, the developers have decided to utilize puzzles that test your traversal skills, item utilization, and spatial awareness.

Unfortunately, due to the lack of diversity amongst the game’s areas, traversing these puzzles evokes little in the way of thought or exploration.  Most only involve common tropes such as pushing blocks and pulling levers to make different places in the environment accessible to Yorda.  The puzzle design does shine in a few spots though, particularly when single puzzles span the course of multiple areas and require large manipulations in the environment to progress.

A primary issue I had with solving some of Ico’s puzzles stemmed from the fact that the game does very little to illustrate to the player what is and is not possible with regard to the game engine.  For instance, there are puzzles where the game will require the player to utilize physics to manipulate certain objects in the environment, but since the game never provides a prior demonstration of which objects can be interacted with, these puzzles become more about trial and error than actual problem solving.  Secondly, some environments lack any sort of visual identification to clue the player in on where to focus their efforts, so the player has to aimlessly wander around the level until they figure out the sequence of rooms the game wants you to move through next.


The other main component of Ico’s gameplay package is the combat system.  In certain areas of the game, a few mysterious shadow creatures will rise from portals in the ground and attempt to capture Yorda to bring her back through the portals to her demise, and it is up to the player to use Ico to defeat these creatures before they succeed in making that happen.

With only a few variants of enemies and a clumsy fighting system, Ico’s combat can certainly feel frustrating at times, but this is offset somewhat by how infrequently it occurs in the total experience.  Perhaps the developers strove to make battles a nuisance to convey the struggle Ico goes through to keep Yorda safe, and if that’s the case then they definitely succeeded, although better fighting mechanics would have made the game more fun to play.


It is worth noting that the last hour of Ico stands apart from the rest of the experience, offering a more unique set of locales, more engaging combat, and better storytelling that provides us with a glimpse of how great Ico could have been had the developers been able to fill the entire six hour adventure with the same abundance of ideas and narrative.  As it stands though, Ico is still a relatively enjoyable game, and while it certainly doesn’t set any standards for puzzle design or combat finesse, its relaxing pace and synchronous world make it a worthwhile adventure nonetheless.