Over at Christ and Pop Culture, Steven Miller writes:
One interesting complaint, however, was that the game withholds some power from the player. The Last Guardian revolves around a relationship between young boy and a giant bird-dog creature. The player controls the boy—the bird-dog is controlled by AI…an AI which acts remarkably like a finicky pet would. Both parts are necessary to solve many of the puzzles. If the player, as the boy, has solved how to get from point A to point B, but the bird-dog is busy munching on a snack or laying in the sunlight, the boy is stuck. This is, from the point of the typical reviewer, “bad game design”: the game withholds rewards from the player arbitrarily.
Please make sure to keep going with this piece. I love his thoughts on patience.
I do not consider myself a patient man. I do not like the journey. I would much rather instantly arrive at the destination fully equipped to do what needs to be done. Perhaps this is part of my nature being a first born child? I can tell you though, that life is all about patience; life is all about the journey and waiting.
Recently, I’ve been playing through Shadow of the Colossus on the PS3. The game is about taking down monolithic giants in order to save the girl you love. Each of the giant’s deaths brings you closer to the day when she will awaken…or does it?
In defeating these in-game giants, I am slowly being taught patience. The game demands that you study your enemy. That you know how the colossi move, where their weaknesses are, etc. In learning about each colossi, the player eventually learns how to climb and annihilate each of them. Climbing is no easy task when you are climbing up a moving skyscraper. This is where the aforementioned patience comes into play. As the colossi moves, the player has the potential to lose grip and fall. If you get greedy, your greed will be rewarded with having to re-climb the colossi again. Sometimes climbing these creatures is easy; othertimes the experience is the worst thing in the world.
I never thought I’d have a video game teach me about patience. So far though, Shadow of the Colossus has done just that.