The Last Guardian Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiives!!!!
So I touched on this in my previous post last night but it is worth just taking a moment to say again. The Last Guardian is still alive, it is playable, and it is going to be released while I’m still young enough to hold a controller. Wow. I have to be honest, I thought at this point this game was going to basically be the software equivalent of bigfoot. People were going to insist it was still a real thing, every once in awhile there may even be an article or interview acknowledging it, there would be some old videos of it that people could reference, and it would live on forever as a legend. It even had a big hairy mascot, and a damned cute one no less. Just look at that guy:
I’m just saying, that beats the hell out of a sasquatch any day. The fact that it was an actual demo and not just a CGI preview was also quite promising. This is a game that is well into it’s development and is going to be released next year. Well, they say it’s going to be released next year. This time I actually believe them though. It looks very emotional and innovative, which are things we have come to expect from team ICO after their previous releases. I also keep getting pulled in by just how real the creature looks. Not on the outside but in it’s movements and it’s sounds. It reminds me exactly of how my dogs behaved when they were puppies. Even the eyes seem to be emoting towards the player whenever it’s face is visible. It really does look like it is something special that they are doing when it comes to the character development, I have a feeling this game is going to pull on the heartstrings something fierce the farther into the game you get. I really do think that had this game come out when it was first announced back in 2009 it would have been one of the premier games of it’s time hands down. That being said, and even though I have my fingers crossed that I am wrong and this is not the case, there is absolutely NO way that this game is going to be able to live up to the expectations that have been building after these 6 years. It’s a real shame, but the fact of the matter is that with every “oh wait no we are still working on it”, with every “is TLG still around”, and with all of the drama and secrecy regarding it’s development the anticipation grew. It has become it’s own monster really, and that’s a shame. It’s like when you are a child and you spend so much time hyping up something in your mind into completely unreal expectations and then actually get the thing, it just isn’t as sweet anymore. I still remember the first time I got a Charizard pokemon card for Christmas when people were fighting for it in stores and it was selling on Ebay for ridiculous amounts of money. I finally had that thing I coveted in my hands and it was like “wooow. I have it. It’s mine. This is it. This is the card. THE card I have been waiting for for so long.” I am pretty sure that I stopped collecting them shortly thereafter because at that point there just wasn’t much else to look forward to. I had reached the summit of my Pokemon card Everest and the view was amazing, but I had nowhere to go from there. That is how I feel about this game. It has everything I look for in a new game. I am completely positive that when I play it I will have an experience that is going to stick with me in some way after the credits roll. But it will no longer be the game that will never be made. It won’t be worth 6 years of waiting on baited breath. It can’t be. That’s just not how these things work. Now don’t get me wrong, I would still much rather be able to finally play the dang thing after all this time than just keep building it up in my head. I just feel like even though we are finally gaining insight into this things that has been surrounded by so much mystery, but sometimes the mystery is good enough on it’s own.
I have to preface this post by saying that I am going into this year’s Electronics Entertainment Expo with a bias. Actually, I go into every E3 with a bias, and have every year since learning what E3 was. For me Playstation is king. My favorite franchises, favorite games, and favorite gaming memories have all taken place on the Playstation. That being said, up until the release of the PS4, Playstation fans had a bit of a rough run. Even I had to begrudgingly admit that Xbox had played all of the right cards during the third generation and for the most part dominated the console wars up until that point. I had to be one of the gamers who was defending my Playstation obsession based purely on loyalty and nostalgia, while crossing my fingers that in this most recent console generation they would do me right. Luckily my faith was not misplaced as so far Playstation has made a point to make up for their shortcomings with the PS3, namely their reliance on the before mentioned nostalgia as well as their deathgrip on the market in Japan to carry their sales). They made sure to lead in this console race and work to make sure they kept it. Hooray for them. This brings us to this year’s E3. In the weeks leading up to the event there have been rumblings that Xbox was starting to regain the lost ground on Playstation and could soon regain it’s spot as the boss man of gaming. Needless to say I spent yesterday watching the press conferences very carefully, assuming that whoever “won” E3 would be considered as the top dog of consoles at least for the foreseeable future. With Xbox being the first conference of the day on Monday I figured they would come out of the gate with guns blazing and try to set a dominant tone for the conference. They certainly did not disappoint. Rise of the Tomb Raider looks downright stunning (still kind of hurting that they were able to take a game as Playstation-centric as Tomb Raider and make it Xbox exclusive, at least for now). Sea of Thieves looks great, and Gears of War 4 is going to be killer. Xbox also had some great hardware announcements with their new controller and their backwards compatibility, as well as their new play wherever you are virtual reality headset. It was pretty freakin cool, although I am somewhat skeptical that it is actually going to work as well as it did on that pretty stage of theirs. Needless to say when their conference was done I was getting nervous. Playstation has shown that they know what it takes to be on top this time around however would they actually deliver? In the minutes leading up to their conference I told my wife that they were going to really have to make some over the top announcements if they were going to outdo what Xbox showed off that morning. Fast forward 90 minutes and the only thing I could say was “hoooooly shit”. The Last Guardian, a game whose mythos grew with each passing year and whose rise is surely a thing of legend at this point. Their new IP Horizon is still probably the game I’m going to be looking forward to the most coming out of this E3. I mean come on, The Last of Us, meets Jurassic Park, meets Lara Croft. Hell yes. No Man’s Sky is going to be a completionist’s nightmare or wet dream considering how committed they are to trying to finish an unfinishable game. The Final Fantasy VII remake took the nostalgic little boy in me and slapped him in the face with awesomeness. The new deal with Activision for Call of Duty (not really my cup of tea but a big deal nonetheless). All wrapped up with a jaw dropping gameplay demo of Uncharted 4, which was even able to lessen the sting of the whole Tomb Raider situation. Maybe. I still like looking at Lara Croft climbing those mountains a liiiiiiiiiiiiiiittle bit more that Nathan Drake.
I am sure there are those out there who will still say that Xbox stole the day, and at this point they will have alot more ammunition for their arguments after that strong showing. However for this gamer, Playstation was still the brightest star in the eye-candy fest and I think that I am with the majority this time instead of the vocal minority. For now Playstation will maintain it’s position as the best selling and best performing console of this generation. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the two console giants flip flop at least once if not multiple times over the next few years, and really I am ok with that. The competition leads to innovation and excellence in my opinion, although at times it does lead to someone getting shafted if they don’t have both consoles (once again for the cheap seats TOMB RAIDER). Regardless of opinion on who is on top one thing that I am sure everyone can agree on is that over the next few years there are a ton of things to be excited for and no matter where your loyalties lie, this is truly the best time to be a gamer.
Game on Friends!
Does a blog need an introduction? My mind is telling me yes, however I know that if I was a reader and somehow stumbled onto a blog and the only post was an introduction that would probably annoy me on some level. Then again who exactly am I going to annoy? This is a new blog with no content and no readers so I can write whatever I want. This is what real freedom feels like. I’m not exactly sure why I’m doing this. The idea took root in my mind and would not go away, so this will basically be a way to scratch that itch and pretend that I am a real writer until someone tells me differently. And then probably still because I am nothing if not stubborn. I will write about things that interest me, mostly gaming, sports, fiction of all kinds, and whatever else draws my eye on a given day. I hope that this will improve my writing as well as give me an outlet for various musings. My wife and dogs will approve. So I guess that’s it. I hope at some point someone will read this and get something out of it. Welcome to Geek Gone Rogue.