23 Jul 2011

Ico & The Last Guardian

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Finally?  Is The Last Guardian, the long-awaited game from Fumito Ueda and Team ICO who created the classic PS2 games Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, finally coming soon?  Both Amazon US and Amazon UK are now taking pre-orders for the game and Amazon US set the release date at Dec 31st 2011.  Alongside the release of The Last Guardian there are new HD-Remastered PS3 versions of the first two classic games in a special duo pack.

These revised titles are apparently also PSN trophy and 3D-compatible, assuming you have the hardware, and US players will finally get the slightly longer version of Ico that was previously only available as a European release.  Unusually the UK (and all other PAL TV areas) seem to be getting the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection slightly earlier – Sony previously announced the PAL release date as September 28th, so hopefully that might be The Last Guardian’s release date too, but there have also been persistent rumours that both would be delayed until 2012.

Either way I can’t wait to see The Last Guardian, I always loved Ico and Colossus, both games had an emotional engagement more like a movie than game.  Technically, Shadow of the Colossus in particular, pushed the PS2 further than most games had before and so it’s going to be especially exciting to see what Team ICO can achieve with the extra pixel power of the PS3.  The Last Guardian’s working title was ‘Trico’ (or Project Trico) and the teaser website first appeared on Sony Japan years ago - it’s been updated since with more screenshots and the HD version teaser video from the 2010 Tokyo Game Show.  The character animations looks amazing, particularly the Grffin-like creature (do we know its name or species yet?) whose behaviour and mannerisms will be instantly familiar to any dog-owner. There aren’t many games I’d rush to buy on release day, but this is certainly one of them…

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