The Last Straw for “The Last Guardian?”

In what may one day register as the final nail in the coffin either creatively or totally for “The Last Guardian,” producer of both “ICO” and “Shadow of the Colossus” Kenji Kaido, has left Sony Computer Entertainment.

He announced the news earlier on Twitter where he said:

“I have some news. This August, I left Sony Computer Entertainment. My plans for the future are undecided as of now, but for the time being I’m going to continue my summer vacation.”

There is no official word on what, if any, involvement Kaido had on “The Last Guardian,” but since he was one of the driving forces for Team ICO, it’s hard to imagine he didn’t have a hand in designing the troubled title at some point.

Trouble is definitely the only word you can use for “The Last Guardian” when you also take into consideration executive producer Yoshifusa Hayama’s departure from the title to join Bossa Studios, a Facebook game company, and Sony’s admittance to the game’s developmental problems forcing them to send over developers from Sony Santa Monica to help finish the game. These kinds of actions, combined with extreme development time, don’t usually mark a future game of the year candidate in the making.

Regardless of his capacity on the development of “The Last Guardian,” Kaido’s separation from Sony is a sad end to a career with the gaming giant that included two of the greatest cult hits of all time, “Ape Escape” and “Tomba!” (which is soon to be available for download on Vita), as well as “ICO” and “Shadow of the Colossus” which are not only two of the greatest video games of all time, but two of the most artistically important as well.

Honestly at this point, I don’t want to see what “The Last Guardian” is looking like. This isn’t a title like the “Guitar Hero” games or the “James Bond” films that can be tossed around between different people and still produce enjoyable results, but rather a title in a series that almost solely represents the full artistic potential in video games, without losing a touch of entertainment value in the process. And unlike the similar situation involving “Bioshock Infinite” the troubles with “The Last Guardian” have been well documented long before a playable model was ever shown, and key developers started jumping ship.

Oh well, if worse comes to worse I guess we will always be able to reminisce over that incredible trailer released for the game, and wonder what may have been.

  

LoL: Did Riot patch too soon?

Server Unavailable.On the whole, I’ve been pretty impressed with Riot for its support. The servers are rarely down, and when they are, it’s typically for short periods of time. Until recently, anyway. It’s no secret that there’s been a lot of server trouble since the last patch. I won’t blame today’s issues on the patch, not in full anyway, but there have been red posts confirming that the latest patch included at least one crash bug. Couple the server-crippling problems with glitches like double spell casting and I have to ask, did they patch too soon?

My answer is yes. Absolutely. Frankly, I don’t know why it wasn’t broken into to two patches. There was so much content that something was bound to go wrong, particularly on a rushed schedule. Granted, the community was getting restless for Pantheon and Gragas, but both in one patch? Why? Pantheon was obviously ready – the only complaint I see about him is his ultimate, which needs very little change in my mind – but Gragas is a confused mess of AP, physical damage, and tanking skills. He doesn’t scale well and fits poorly into most team comps. Why not save him for a later patch.

I wouldn’t bother writing this if it didn’t have me worried about later patches. My hope is that the Twisted Treeline patch will get plenty of testing before it flies through. On the whole, I’d be much happier with six hours of scheduled maintenance each week to roll out small patches than the 10+ hours we’ve had this week to fix the blunders of the latest patch.

  

TF2: There can only be one…

TF2 soldier and demoman.Yes, the end of that title is “highlander.” That’s the new mode that made its way into the latest Team Fortress 2 update. The update also includes a bunch of bug fixes and some map edits.

For highlander mode each team can consist of up to 9 players. For each team there can only be one of each different class. I really like the idea. Part of the intrigue of the class system is feeling like you have a special role that others can’t quite perform as well. What better way to showcase it than making each player truly the only one.

Among the other changes is cloud support for key bindings and custom spray tags.

  

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