The wait is finally over for Team Ico fans. Eleven years after the beloved PS2 title, Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian is finally gracing us with its much-awaited presence. It’s quite the coincidence considering another game that fans have waited a decade for, Final Fantasy XV, is also fresh out of the door.
But just how long is a decade?
In terms of gaming, it’s quite a long stretch of time. Back when I finished Shadow of the Colossus for the first time and wondered about the next Team Ico release, I was playing Super Smash Bros. Melee, Ratchet & Clank, Jak & Daxter, Kingdom Hearts and Metal Arms: Glitch in the System. Since then, I’ve dabbled in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (felt impure ever since), played most of the Monster Hunter titles, finally played and fell in love with Chrono Trigger, found a new favorite to add to my personal top 10 in Hyper Light Drifter, became disinterested and then re-interested in Pokémon and even got into PC gaming to top it all off. Consoles have come and gone, industry standards have seen rapid evolution and games as a whole have changed. After all, 10 years is about a quarter of the current age of home video game consoles.
In the time it has taken to actually release The Last Guardian, we have seen two major titles from the Zelda series, with a third not far off; the Mass Effect series rocketed to ultra popular with three releases; two Super Smash Bros. games (and those take a long while in their own right) have been released, not including the fan-made Project M.
Four – count them, four – Uncharted titles have launched; two Street Fighter games, Final Fantasy XII through XV and the entirety of the Gears of War series have all been released. Doom, meanwhile, got a reboot; the original Mega Man series picked up two more entries, Call of Duty grew to uber-popular extremes with too many titles to count; the Dark Souls trilogy started and came to an end.
Angry Birds has taken over the world by way of cellphones; Pokémon has had four new entries and two remakes; Star Wars Battlefront has seen a reboot; Fallout has made the transition from PC to console with three titles; and and even two Half-Life games have come out while we’ve waited.
The list goes on, but the fact of the matter is a lot has happened, and a lot has changed. People have said console gaming will soon be taken over by mobile gaming, while Goat Simulator and The Stanley Parable have proved that games can be just about anything. 16-bit graphics are making a comeback with indie developers, which, by the way, are everywhere. Virtual reality has moved back into the spotlight as the next cool thing and Microsoft has even played with the idea of releasing a handheld.
Outside of the gaming world there have also been plenty of changes. President George W. Bush’s term came to an end and the United States voted in its first black president for two consecutive terms – and arguably more shocking than that, America has voted in its first businessman in Donald Trump. In other areas things are changing, too. Just recently Fidel Castro has passed away and the UK left the EU – and that’s just within the last six months! All of this and it’s apparently too much to ask for one tiny, little Team Ico game.
Over the past decade I have noticed my life take big turns while I patiently waited.
I have graduated high school, stayed with my high school sweetheart all throughout college, graduated college, ended the eight-year relationship with said sweetheart, met new friends, fell out of touch with old friends, started my job here at Power Up Gaming, and decided to travel the world – now ending up in Australia for the time being.
At this point, I’m a completely different person in a vastly different place in my life than when I started to wait for The Last Guardian – and to think the same can most likely be said about everyone working on that game, as well as the industry itself, is just insane. Whether I like or dislike it; whether it meets my expectations or lets me down: The Last Guardian represents a large portion of my life and I’m ready – so, so ready to finally turn the page on this chapter of my life.
As a postscript, I thought I would illustrate just how much has happened in the gaming world over the past decade by putting together a timeline of all of the major releases.
2006: Sony releases the PS3; Nintendo releases the Nintendo DS Lite and the Wii, a console that sold out consecutive Christmases due in part to the company not creating enough stock and the console being hugely successful with both an older and younger generation of gamers.
2009: Nintendo releases the handheld consoles DSi and DSi XL, a slightly larger system with a marketplace where owners can purchase games online. Sony responds with the PSP Go, a smaller version of their PSP handheld that offered a slide screen and Bluetooth connectivity.
2011: Nintendo rolls out the 3DS, which, as the name implies, offers a 3D display for its titles. This comes about in the time of the 3D craze, where televisions, cinema releases and video games all vied to have the next big hit jumping out of the screen at their audiences. The handheld received a massive price cut less than six months later, which resulted in Nintendo unveiling the “Ambassador program” to pacify angry customers after the sudden price drop. This program gave early adopters the chance to download 10 free games NES games and 10 free Game Boy Advance games from the Nintendo’s online shop. The program has since carried on to later 3DS releases.
2012: Sony releases the PS Vita, a system that struggles to keep up sales-wise with its competitor despite superior hardware. Nintendo then releases the Wii U, a system that offers gaming with a tablet-like interface. The system thus far is considered one of Nintendo’s least successful systems and will shortly be succeeded by the Nintendo Switch in early 2017. Oculus VR proposes a Kickstarter idea for the Oculus Rift. The campaign raised $2.5 million USD and the product would release four years later, making virtual reality the next big gaming craze.
2013: The PS4 is released, and although the PS Plus online service is no longer free, critics praise the feature for its selection of free games that it offers on a monthly basis. Microsoft follows up its Xbox 360 with the Xbox One, which caused an uproar when it was said to be releasing with no backwards compatibility; the same as the PS4. Microsoft has since fixed this issue in 2015; however, the PS4 still cannot play PS3 games.
2015: Nintendo releases the New Nintendo 3DS and the New Nintendo 3DS XL. The handheld has a few exclusive titles including Xenoblade Chronicles, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth and a slew of SNES downloadable games to name a few.
2016: The PS4 Pro and Xbox One S are released, both of which offered improved hardware over their respective base consoles. PSVR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive release to the public and virtual reality gaming begins anew.
2006: Metroid Prime Hunters, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Me & My Katamari, Kingdom Hearts II, Final Fantasy XI (Xbox 360), Mother 3, Guild Wars: Factions, Monster Hunter Freedom, Hitman: Blood Money, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, Prey, Dead Rising, Ninety-Nine Nights, Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, Star Fox Command, Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories, LocoRoco, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red & Blue Rescue Team, Okami, Just Cause, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, God Hand, Bully, Destroy All Humans! 2, Final Fantasy XII, Elite Beat Agents, Call of Duty 3, Guitar Hero 2, Tony Hawk’s Project 8, Yoshi’s Island DS, Resistance: Fall of Man, Excite Truck, Red Steel, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Wii Sports, Final Fantasy VI Advance, Kirby Squeak Squad, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, Gears of War.
2007: Wario Ware: Smooth Moves, Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Justice for All, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, Diddy Kong Racing DS, Crackdown, Peggle, God of War II, Earth Defense Force 2017, Portal, Super Paper Mario, Call of Juarez, Dirt, The Darkness, PaRappa the Rapper (PSP), Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3(NA release), BioShock, Sam and Max Season One, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Blue Dragon, Heavenly Sword, Skate, Halo 3, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, The Orange Box, Beautiful Katamari, Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, The Witcher, Tabula Rasa, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, Super Mario Galaxy, Crysis, Assassin’s Creed, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Mass Effect, Rock Band, Psychonauts (XBLA), Forza Motorsport 2.
2008: Advance Wars: Days of Ruin, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Devil May Cry 4, The Club, Lost Odyssey, Army of Two, God of War: Chains of Olympus, Silent Hill: Origins, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Mario Kart Wii, The World Ends with You, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES, Grand Theft Auto IV, World of Goo, Haze, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Civilization Revolution, Alone in the Dark, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, Soulcalibur IV, Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Blade, Fatal Frame IV, Rhythm Heaven, Braid, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, The Last Guy, Infinite Undiscovery, Spore, Pokemon Platinum, Rock Band 2, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Eternal Sonata, Silent Hill: Homecoming, Mega Man 9, Guilty Gear 2: Overture, Linger in Shadows, Dead Space, Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, Far Cry 2, Fable II, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, Fallout 3, LittleBigPlanet, Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World, Resistance 2, Gears of War 2, Call of Duty: World at War, Mirror’s Edge, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, Left 4 Dead, The Last Remnant, Chrono Trigger(NDS), I Love Katamari, Dissidia: Final Fantasy.
2009: Saints Row 2, Star Ocean: The Last Hope, Flower, Street Fighter IV, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II, Killzone 2, inFamous, Halo Wars, Empire: Total War, Resident Evil 5, Stalin vs Martians, Killing Floor, Punch-Out!!, Bionic Commando, Damnation, The Legendary Starfy, Prototype, Blaz Blue: Calamity Trigger, Trine, ArmA 2, The King of Fighters XIII, Bionic Commando, Wolfenstein, Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, Angry Birds, Wet, Katamari Forever, Halo 3: ODST, Demon’s Souls, Brutal Legend, Afrika, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Machinarium, Borderlands, League of Legends: Clash of Fates, Tekken 6, Bayonetta, Dragon Age: Origins, Driver(iOS), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Minecraft, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Assassin’s Creed II.
2010: Darksiders, VVVVVV, Dark Void, Mass Effect 2, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, MAG, Dante’s Inferno, Heavy Rain, Mega Man 10, Final Fantasy XIII, Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver, God of War III, Resonance of Fate, Cave Story(WiiWare), Just Cause 2, Monster Hunter Tri, Nier, Alan Wake, Red Dead Redemption, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Blur, ModNation Racers, Alpha Protocol, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Singularity, Limbo, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, SimCity Deluxe, Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, Mafia II, Castle Crashers, Metroid: Other M, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Plants vs. Zombies, Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, Halo: Reach, Civilization V, Lost Horizon, Fruit Ninja, Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, Fallout: New Vegas, Vanquish, Super Meat Boy, Fable III, The Sims 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Golden Sun; Dark Dawn, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Secret of Mana (iOS).
2011: DC Universe Online, LittleBigPlanet 2, Dead Space 2, Dragon Quest VI: Realms and Revelations, Killzone 3, Rift, Pokémon Black and White, Dragon Age II, Okamiden, Crysis 2, Dynasty Warriors 7, Portal 2, Mortal Kombat, Brink, Virtua Tennis 4, Dirt 3, inFamous 2, Child of Eden, Duke Nukem Forever, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, F.E.A.R. 3, Bastion, Catherine, Temple Run, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Dead Island, Resistance 3, Kirby Mass Attack, Gears of War 3, The Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection, The Binding of Isaac, Dark Souls, Rage, Rayman Origins, From Dust, Batman: Arkham City, Forza Motorsport 4, Payday: The Heist, Kirby’s Return to Dream Land, Battlefield 3, Stronghold 3, Sonic Generations, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Super Mario 3D Land, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Skylanders, Mario Kart 7.
2012: Dustforce, Final Fantasy XIII-2, Soulcalibur V, The Darkness II, Jak and Daxter Collection, Resident Evil: Revelations, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Asura’s Wrath, Syndicate, Mass Effect 3, Street Fighter X Tekken, Mario Party 9, Journey, Shoot Many Robots, Armored Cored V, Kid Icarus: Uprising, BioShock 2, Devil May Cry: HD Collection, Xenoblade Chronicles, Skullgirls, Fez, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention, The Walking Dead, Prototype 2, Diablo III, The Binding of Isaac: The Wrath of the Lamb, Ys Origin, Pikmin 2, Gravity Rush, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Darksiders II, The Last Story, Papo & Yo, Dust: An Elysian Tale, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Guild Wars 2, Rathchet & Clank Collection, I Am Alive, FTL: Faster Than Light, Borderlands 2, Resident Evil 6, Pokemon Black 2 and White 2, Dishonored, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Hotline Miami, Assassin’s Creed III, Halo 4, Thomas Was Alone, Candy Crush Saga, ZombiU, Persona 4: Golden, Far Cry 3, Street Fighter X Mega Man.
2013: Kentucky Route Zero: Act 1, DmC: Devil May Cry, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Fire Emblem Awakening, Dead Space 3, Crysis 3, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, Gears of War: Judgment, BioShock Infinite, Super Mario 3D World, Slender: The Arrival, Terraria, BattleBlock Theater, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Guacamelee!, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Soul Sacrifice, Metro: Last Light, The Last of Us, TowerFall, Final Fantasy VII(Win), Dota 2, Pikmin 3, Bothers: A Tale of Two Sons, Spelunky, Rayman Legends, Tomb Raider, SteamWorld Dig, DuckTales: Remastered, Payday 2, Gone Home, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Lost Planet 3, Grand Theft Auto V, The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures, Beyond: Two Souls, The Wolf Among Us 1 – Faith, Pokemon X and Y, The Stanley Parable, Batman: Arkham Origins, Battlefield 4, Spec Ops: The Line, Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus, Knack, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Rust.
2014: The Banner Saga, OlliOlli, Octodad: Dadliest Catch, Outlast, Bravely Default, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, Kentucky Route Zero – Act III, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, Thief, Dark Souls II, Titanfall, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Smite, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Child of Light; Sir, You Are Being Hunted, Super Time Force, Drakengard 3, Transistor, Ibb and Obb, Watch Dogs, Five Nights at Freddy’s, Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King(Droid, iOS), Among the Sleep, Mario Kart 8, 1001 Spikes, Valiant Hearts: The Great War, Shovel Knight, Goat Simulator, P.T., Destiny, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Driveclub, Project Spark, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, The Evil Within, Race the Sun, Bayonetta 2, The Unfinished Swan, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, XCOM: Enemy Within, This War of Mine, Far Cry 4.
2015: Dying Light, Life is Strange: Episode 1 – Chrysalis, The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, Apotheon, Evolve, The Order: 1886, Helldivers, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, Ori and the Blind Forest, Battlefield Hardline, Mario Party 10, Bloodborne, Axiom Verge, Mortal Kombat X, Tower of Guns, Crypt of the Necrodancer, Rogue Legacy, Splatoon, Heroes of the Storm, Batman, Arkham Knight, Rocket League, Rare Replay, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, The Swindle, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Tearaway Unfolded, Super Mario Maker, Forza Motorsport 6, Undertale, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5, Broforce, Galak-Z, Fallout 4, Star Wars: Battlefront, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Just Cause 3.
2016: Oxenfree, Blade & Soul, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, The Witness, Rise of the Tomb Raider, XCOM 2, Firewatch, Unravel, Layers of Fear, Street Fighter V, I Am Setsuna, Far Cry Primal, Stardew Valley, Tom Clancy’s The Division, Pokken Tournament, Hyper Light Drifter, Enter the Gungeon, Dark Souls III, Ratchet & Clank, Bravely Second: End Layer, The Banner Saga 2, Star Fox Zero, Inside, Forza Horizon 3, Kentucky Route Zero Act 4, Severed, Battleborn, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Doom, Overwatch, Total War: Warhammer, Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator, Mighty No. 9, Furi, Monster Hunter Generations, Abzu, No Man’s Sky, ReCore, Battlefield 1, Civilization VI, World of Final Fantasy, Titanfall 2, Owlboy, Dishonored 2, Watch Dogs 2, Planet Coaster, Killing Floor 2, Pokemon Sun and Moon, Final Fantasy XV, Dead Rising 4.