November/December of last year was a tumultuous release period for yours truly, as I eagerly anticipated the releases of two games that many had believed would not see the light of day. The game that was chronologically released first absorbed the majority of my praise and attention, but nevertheless, I managed to hoard the Collector’s Edition of The Last Guardian in a very secure location until such time as I was ready to play it, and by secure location, I naturally mean on top of the chest of drawers in my bedroom. Although the chances of scoring one now at cost price ($199 AUD), are astronomically low, they’re still available from online sellers. However, for those who didn’t want to spend more than $300AUD to import one, or were curious as to whether or not it was ever worth it in the first place, here’s a glimpse!
I’m not sure why white is so prevalent in the edition as a whole, but it contrasts against the darker tones of Trico, the boy, and the pursuing armoured guards well. The outer box, steelbook and steelbook sleeve all feature the same art, although the back of the sleeve is taken up by a blurb and screenshots.
The inner box is much sturdier, and has been designed to resemble the creates in the game itself. Upon lifting the lid, from top to bottom, the box contains a book, a sticker sheet, a steelbook copy of the game, and a Trico statue at the bottom.
At 72 pages long, and scarcely bigger than an A5 sheet of paper, The Art of The Last Guardian is hardly the most extensive compilation of gaming concepts (for comparison’s sake, the full version is 256 pages), but it offers a charming insight nonetheless. There are some concept sketches, storyboards, paintings, and early renders, but thankfully nothing with heavy spoilers (LOOKING AT YOU, XENOBLADE CHRONICLES X ARTBOOK).
I would have loved for an additional sheet of these stickers, as they’re too adorable to use! Also approximately the size of an A5 sheet of paper, the sheet contains 16 individual stickers. Whilst I’m not sure I’d use the four ones based in renders from the game, the ones based on concept art are my favourite, due to my gravitation towards sketches in general. Given that I own two tshirts with the image and the 人喰いの大鷲トリコ text (Hitokui no Owashi Toriko- Trico the Great Man-Eating Eagle), I have to confess that the largest one of Trico being hugged by the boy is easily my personal favourite. The TRICO text one is also notable for the way it evokes the font of ICO, which make sense, given that The Last Guardian was Team Ico’s third game- Tri-Ico! Trico’s name is also a pun in the original Japanese, as Toriko can be read as a portmandeau of tori (bird) and neko (cat), but tori can also be read as “prisoner”, and ko can also be read as “child”. Eek! I’m getting distracted!
Statues that accompany special editions can be hit-or-miss (Bravely Default anyone?), and for the most part, the Trico statue hits the right notes. Being approximately 10 inches in diameter and 4 1/2 inches tall at his wing tips, Trico isn’t the tiniest statue. Overall, he’s sturdy, weighty and nicely detailed, with especially nice detail on his feathers and whiskers. If I had any gripes about him in particular, I’d say that maybe his feet could have been a bit scalier and his tail could have had its fur rendered a bit better, but the pose and everything else is great. If only the base was as good as Trico himself, as, weirdly enough, the base is made from the thinnest, lightest plastic, and the grass remains just lumps, painted in an off-shade of green.
The boy slots into a spot on Trico’s head, and whilst he’s made from a much softer plastic, he’s mostly quite well-painted. He’s tiny (not even 2 inches tall!) so intricate details like his markings aren’t conveyed all that accurately, but his face and expression are, paradoxically, pretty perfect. He can pop in and out of the slots on Trico’s head quite easily compared to other figurines, so he shouldn’t be knocked around too much.
BONUS: Whilst this wasn’t officially included in the Collector’s Edition, my local games shop had a surplus of these sleeves that were supposed to go with the regular editions, and were kind enough to gift me one. With its sepia colour scheme that matches the nostalgia of the game’s retrospective narration, and beautiful art of Trico, this is infinitely better than the sleeve that comes with the steelbook!
Overall, as a massive fan of Team Ico’s previous games, and as someone saddened by the scant merchandise available for them, I knew I had to buy this to compensate for that cavernous void. However, with the impending release of the Shadow of the Colossus remake, here’s hoping that we can all look forward to more gaming goodness being released in the near future!