Category Archives: opinion

Dark Tower book series lives up to the hype

By Aden Kropp/Staff writer

Image courtesy of http://www.superherohype.com/news/360601-idris-elba-dark-tower-gunslinger

Dystopian novels prove to be a difficult task for authors, but when done correctly, can leave the reader wanting for more. Stephen King’s The Dark Tower keeps readers captivated and wishing for more of King’s series. I had gotten the book as at the end of December 2017. Being a picky reader, I had my doubts. However, once I picked the book up, I couldn’t put it down until I had read it all.

The Gunslinger is the series’ first book. The novel is named after the protagonist, Roland of Gilead A.K.A. The Gunslinger. Roland pursues The Man in Black, a man who is tied to Roland’s shady past, through a desert wasteland.Throughout the book, Roland is seen as a vigilante of sorts, as his deeds are reflective of not only his personality, but what he will do to finally capture his target. During his adventure, he meets many people, including a woman named Alice, and a boy named Jake from New York.

The boy named Jake is an innovative character of King’s. In an entirely different world, Jake dies, but is mysteriously teleported to the planet on which the story takes place. Jake is a frightened, 11 year old boy, and when the Gunslinger meets him, our hero is met with another task, to figure out what Jake’s doing here. The other supporting role in the story is Alice. She fits in with her surroundings, even though her surroundings are full of crazy people. I won’t spoil the book for you, but when Roland meets Alice, he has one more reason to find The Man in Black.

The series takes place in two separate locations as Roland chases his quarry, an apocalyptic desert, and the high fantasy realm of Gilead. Both locations are superbly put together. The desert is described in detail as being bland and dreary. The town in the desert feels like an old, cowboy-infested town that you see in western movies, without the cowboys. Inhabitants of the town are hopeless, and are excellently portrayed as if they have no meaning in their life. The fantasy aspect is only detailed in Roland’s flashbacks, but is still an integral part of the story and setting. Gilead allows for a break from the bleak wasteland. It’s pictured as a grassy utopia, a contrast from the desert. With extravagant castles, a monarchy, and no immediate problems, Gilead feels like a picture right out of a Disney storybook.

The Gunslinger has a rich story and beautiful settings. The easiest way to figure out if a book is right for you is to compare it to other books that you’ve read, for example, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The Hunger Games is set in a dystopian future, where people must fight to the death in an arena every year. This book is a lot like The Gunslinger, due to its unusual, but spectacularly put lore, its diverse settings, and its characters’ colorful personalities.

The Dark Tower series is a long series, with a total of 7 books. If you don’t want to put that much commitment into a series, you might enjoy the major motion picture the series was adapted to. The Dark Tower movie adaption condenses the 7 books into one extraordinary movie. It stars Idris Elba as The Gunslinger and Matthew Mcconaughey as The Man in Black. However, if you’re looking for a good book, read The Gunslinger by Stephen King.

The dangers of cutting fine arts programs

by Kendra McKinney/Staff Writer

If you go to Greenfield-Central High School, then being in a fine arts class is fairly common. We have concert band, marching band, many art classes, and several different choir groups. We also have cooking classes and three different languages you choose to learn. As a school we are very lucky to have all these opportunities.

This can’t be said about other schools in Indiana. Schools like IPS have been cutting these classes in the last few years. Why?  There isn’t enough money to go around and schools must find ways to cut their budgets.  In 2015, it was announced that IPS would see a decrease of $16.9 million in state education funding.  In addition to the cuts over the last couple of years, Present Trump’s new budget cuts could also cause after-school programs currently offered to be cut.  Unfortunately, when “school budgets get squeezed, music and the other arts take the first hits,” according to James Caterall, a UCLA professor in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies in a March 2014 article on pbs.com.  Why is this?

Fine arts can be the first to be cut because they are not a clear money maker.  Unlike sports programs, typically fine arts events like band and choir concerts do not charge entrance fees.  This makes it easier for budget decision makers to keep sports programs as a way to increase money for the school.

Another reason for fine arts programs to be cut is the large cost for the programs.  They require specialized teachers.  There is even a larger specialization for music teachers making it necessary for schools to determine what type of music classes to offer.  

These cuts are not supported by everyone.  In response the IPS budget cuts, Scott McCormick, founder and president of the National Association of Music Parents, based in Fishers, says “it frustrates him any time a district moves in this direction because of the proven benefits of arts education.”  IPS school board member Gayle Cosby was also unhappy with the cutbacks, stating “school autonomy should result in more program choices for schools and kids, not fewer,” according to the 2015 article “Music Program Cuts Worry Some IPS Community Members.

So, why should schools keep fine arts programs?  “The students deeply engaged with any of these or other school-based activities are likely to be students happiest about being in school and the most successful all around,” according to Caterall’s article.  There are also studies to support that children who participate in fine arts programs do better in school overall.  In the late 1990’s a study by Frances Rauscher and Gordon Shaw showed that listening to Mozart gave college-age kids more spatial reasoning skills, as Caterall’s article pointed out.  This study caused additional studies over the years that showed students of all ages benefited from music programs.  

The cutting of these programs has a large effect on low-income children. At school may be the only way for these kids to be introduced to these subjects.  Other kids may have parents who can afford to put them in private lessons.  If we cut these programs there may be children out there that are really good at music or even art that will never know it.

Schools need to look at their budgets and find ways to keep these programs.  One thing some schools are doing is charging for fine arts events, making them on a more even level with sports programs.  Our children need to have the opportunity to find out if they have a talent for the fine arts.  A way to express their creativity.   And if the studies are right, help them with other school subjects.  

Sources:

https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/in/2015/05/13/music-art-and-gym-cutbacks-at-some-ips-schools-anger-parents/

https://sites.psu.edu/richmondcivicissue/2014/03/26/why-schools-are-cutting-fine-arts-education/

http://indianapublicmedia.org/stateimpact/2015/05/15/ips/

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/tavissmiley/tsr/dudamel-conducting-a-life/the-consequences-of-curtailing-music-education/

 

 

‘Curious Incident’ portrays unique perspective of autism

by Analicia Cass/Staff Writer

Often movies and plays are viewed by an audience that is unaware the stories are based on the plot of a book. The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Nighttime is one of those times.

It all starts when this boy Christopher – who  is high on the autism spectrum – finds his neighbor’s dog dead in the yard with a pitchfork sticking in it. The The Curious Incident is about him investigating who killed the dog because it is his belief that the person should be punished the same as a person who murders another. When Christopher finds out the culprit is someone he’s close with, he feels like that person may harm him too; he goes to be with his mother in a city far away. In the end, he is back home and all is well, or as well as it could be. Through his adventure he is caught by police, faces terrifying obstacles, and has to learn how to live with autism in the outside world.

I went to see The Curious Incident in October. The play was amazing! It portrayed the characters very well. I was able to see the characters acting and speaking the same way while I read the book. The man who played the main character, Christopher, is on the autism spectrum, but not at the level of the character he portrayed. He had an inside view of what it is like to be on the spectrum and did his best to show it to the audience so there would be no misconceptions. During an after-show questionnaire, he said it was important for him to portray this character properly because having autism in the real world is hard, harder than most things in life. A few other members of the cast also had family members on the spectrum and the play was important to them because they tried their hardest to represent regular everyday people and how they judged or treated an autistic person. With the cast having this insight, it made the play even more intriguing.

Both the play and the book had a unique perspective on how this storyline would actually go for a teenager with autism. He has more obstacles and hardships than the average person who would just bury the dog and be sad. He has a harder time with emotions and speaking to people. With Christopher’s autism being high on the spectrum, he shows the fidgeting in his hands and when something upsets him he screams and curls up on the ground and sometimes hits himself. This is the side of autism few people speak about, and this book and play really represent it realistically.

As you watch there are parts that make laugh until your sides hurt. There are parts that make you rethink how you’ve talked to others; they make you rethink your actions. There are even parts where you want to cry with them and you can feel their pain.

The book is depicted wonderfully through the play; it even seems as though there aren’t any details missing from the play that are found in the book. From the emotions and appearance of the characters all the way to the small details. The book is very descriptive because it is told from the point of view of a teenager with autism and he pays very close attention to the small details.

The book is an amazing read and I do recommend it to everyone. It is eye opening and the details really don’t let you put the book down. And the play, no matter the cast, is incredible; even though it changes from play to play, you’re guaranteed a show that pays attention to detail and will exceed your expectations.

Season 8 TWD premiere, “What’s all the hype about?”

by Megan Schoonover/Staff Writer

 

Review, Cast Thoughts, and Character Development

AMC’s The Walking Dead premiered with its first episode of season 8 on Oct. 22. This episode marked their 100th episode and there has been tons of hype. There have been many interviews with members of TWD’s cast, including NYC 2017’s Comic Con.

   Austin Amelio (who plays Dwight) in an interview at Comic Con disclosed, “I think this is the most action packed season we have had. It’s going to be an insanely good season. The show is relentless, man.”

   Last season we saw Rick being crushed under Negan’s power. Rick went from being a powerful leader to being under Negan’s thumb. Now this new season is all about Rick rising up and fighting Negan.

   In question to this new season The Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick asked, “Is Rick back now?”

   Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) replied, “I’m going to unpackage pain. In fresh and unimaginable ways on the doorstep of Negan.”

   We saw in last season that Carol withdrew from everyone, until she was told what was going on.

   Hardwick inquired, “Is Carol ready to fight now. She seems pretty ready?”

   Melissa McBride (who plays Carol) responds happily with, “She’s ready to fight…”

   So in this upcoming season we will get to see her character develop to be an even stronger fighter and perhaps the relationship between her and Daryl ( played by Norman Reedus) will flourish.

   “He’s the closest to her than I think any of them are,” McBride suspected in a recent episode of The Talking Dead.

With the death of Maggie’s (played by Lauren Cohan) husband Glenn (played by Steven Yeun) she was devastated. Leading up to this season she started to become vengeful and work her way into being a leader for Hilltop. In this season she has become the leader for Hilltop and we had one of the best scenes in this show. The scene was between her and Rick preparing for all out war. It had such a huge impact of emotion.

   However with that said, of how much she has grown as a character, has anyone noticed how something else isn’t growing? Judith (Rick’s daughter played by over 16 actresses) is getting older and growing but pregnant Maggie’s stomach isn’t? Yet they reference in the first episode that she is in her second trimester? We aren’t sure if this will somehow connect to the story or not, but nevertheless Maggie is ready for this war.

  In a review on rollingstone.com, “The Walking Dead Season 8: Everything You Need to Know,” writer Noel Murray commented, “Get ready for what could be a grueling ‘all out war’.” To review, the “all out war” is between Negan and Rick.

   The first episode of this new season has us excited for what Rick will do next and if he will overpower Negan. I will tease a bit; Rick has completely changed. He has turned all this pain and shame into wrath against Negan. If you watch just the first episode you will understand.

   It is very worth watching. Last season’s first episode was crazy and this season’s was not as off-the-wall but was so much better substance-wise. We get to see all these characters developing (ie. Rick, Carol, Maggie). I promised not to have any spoilers so you just have to see for yourself!

Photo Credit: Photo: https://www.google.com/search?q=the+walking+dead+returns+to+amc+oct+22+images&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS695US695&tbm=isch&source=iu&pf=m&ictx=1&fir=RDfrWUpSJp_CoM%253A%252CS57x4BtyGyK7LM%252C_&usg=__aOtfZQHLg5k4-ywbxDbVYQLfgbQ%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjz-qiHucHXAhUL3IMKHTeVAYQQ9QEIJzAA&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=RDfrWUpSJp_CoM:

 

College Freshman Advice

By Annalee Rowlett/ Staff Writer

Be organized – get a calendar or whatever it takes for you to know when assignments are due.

Wake up for class! Totally worth going to, usually

Make time for you – Be sure you set aside some time and activities that help you relax and take the stress out of your day or week.

Keep track of your money

Don’t cut corners –. College is all about learning. If you procrastinate and cram, you may still do well on tests, but you’ll learn very little. Even worse, don’t cheat on term papers or tests.

Put yourself out there.

Drink coffee, and lots of it.

Do laundry at least once a month.

Don’t be scared to try new things. In fact, try everything – Maybe join a club, sports team or something.

DC Rebirth Review

By Eric Morales/ Staff Writer

For the casual fan, terms such as “The New 52” and “Flashpoint” are far too foreign. To the serious fans of DC, those words mean far more than one realizes.

DC has a record of resetting their continuity, timeline, and status quo. The story arc “The Button” introduces the idea that one of the resets is not the fault of the Flash, but of the watchman character’s “Doctor Manhattan.”

So what is The Button? In the Watchmen comics, the Comedian’s button is one of-if not the-most iconic symbol/object in the watchmen universe. This is strange because DC and Watchmen are completely different entities and universes. Think DC and Marvel.

In the lore of DC, the Flash ran back in time to save his dead mom from the Reverse Flash. That made the flash enter a universe where everything was worse than before, so he ran back and stopped himself from saving his mom. This in return caused a butterfly effect and created the New 52.

The New 52 is the big reboot of the status quo. Origins changed, new heroes exist, and more was the result of Flashpoint. Once again DC said “Nah, fam. Let’s change and screw around with the timeline even more and get new readers.” Thus, we’re now in the latest change and reset of the status quo, “DC Rebirth.”

In Batman #21-22 and the Flash #21-22, the two heroes investigate the strange button that appeared in the batcave after the events of DC Universe Rebirth #1 way last year. Ever since readers have been given hints of what DC Rebirth is leading up to.

The Button begins with Batman analysing- well- the button. He sat it down next to Psycho Pirate’s (A DC villain with emotion manipulation) mask. This creates a feedback that shocks Batman and makes him see his dad from Flashpoint.

Afterwards, Batman calls the Flash to come check out the button, the deceased Reverse Flash appears and starts beating Batman up for his actions in Flashpoint. The explanation was “A power resurrected [him].” This power and why he was resurrected remains a mystery.

The Reverse Flash wins and takes the button. He even tore up Batman’s dad’s letter he wrote to Bruce from Flashpoint. The monster! He then somehow gets teleported and comes back as a dying corpse in blue fire.

This issue is dark and mysterious. Exactly how a Batman story should be. Overall, this gives more questions than answers about what the Button is and how Doctor Manhattan and the Watchmen are involved.

In the Flash #21 and Batman #22, the duo use, I kid you not, the Cosmic Treadmill to go back in time and solve this problem. The Cosmic Treadmill. The treadmill that can travel through time. Brilliant, huh?

After that they travel to Flashpoint (the button lead them there) where they find Batman (Thomas Wayne) and our Batman (Bruce Wayne) have a touching moment. In the Flashpoint universe, Batman dies and his dad becomes Batman and his mom becomes the Joker. They see Thomas about to blow up the Batcave as Atlantis and the Amazons are about to attack (Long story, basically Flashpoint was super messed up.)

After an exchange, they end the comic with them traveling through time and away from Flashpoint.

DC is confusing, especially if you just got introduced to the world of comics. This was more for the fans who read the New 52 books and Rebirth. As The Flash is a scientist and Batman is a detective, it was a great team up from the start.

The exchange with Bruce and Thomas Wayne was very emotional. Especially after Bruce told Thomas that in his timeline, he had a son- Damian Wayne (the new Robin) ; Thomas is a grandfather.

Then as they were about go through time and leave Flashpoint, Thomas said to Bruce to take care of his son and stop being Batman.

This 4-part crossover is nearing its conclusion, but the mystery will continue. I can’t wait to see where the story takes us and how the Watchmen are involved. There’s so many questions and not enough answers.

As the writers have said before, this is the jumping off point for Rebirth and the story arc is just getting started. I would recommend this to readers and I feel like this has a lot of potential for the future.

Marvel Netflix’s Iron Fist review

by Erick Morales / Staff Writer

Iron Fist’s Danny Rand (Finn Jones) demonstrates his power on the Netflix series.

Marvel Netflix have done an extraordinary job in the eyes of critics and fans everywhere with their 3 series Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage. Besides complaints such as pacing, the trio of shows have been well received.

Netflix released Iron Fist back in March and it was instantly met with criticism and displeasure with the series. Whenever I got the chance to see the series for myself, I wondered how Marvel and Netflix could’ve made Iron Fist an atrocity in the eyes of critics.

After watching all 13 episodes of Iron Fist I could understand why the media has been hating on the series.

I agree with people all over social media complaining about Iron Fist’s slow pacing. The action scenes were there, but they weren’t as remarkable or plentiful as Daredevil’s iconic hallway fight scenes.

This will contain spoilers for the first season of Iron Fist. Honestly, there’s not many spoilers worthy of being plot twists or remarkable. Iron Fist barely delivers much- if anything -to the Marvel Cinematic Universe- or MCU.

The show starts off with Danny Rand, billionaire son of the wealthy entrepreneur Wendell Rand, coming back home to New York to take back Rand Enterprises from his former friend who took over the company.

This show is just asking for it. Most of the scenes are just people in suits and ties talking about business. The arc with the Meachum’s taking over the family business was not very action oriented and quite frankly very boring. Not to say that the TV show should always have action, but considering it’s a Superhero Crime show I’d expect the show to have battles often.

The first 6 episodes consist of some very slow build-up to the big bad of the season- The Hand; an organization seen in Daredevil season 2. Not much happens other than Danny meeting Colleen Wing and later befriending her.

Colleen was one of the actors I respected on the show and her scenes were good, but they definitely had a lot of wasted potential.

Colleen and Danny later train and Danny hones his skills in using Chi, a magical energy force strong in those who use Kunlun, to heal others and using the Iron Fist to burst open a couple faces and a few doors. For an overpowered “Street-Level Marvel Hero,” he certainly seems vulnerable.

After binge watching the show, I felt it harder and harder to watch it. I would’ve liked it if the show had been 8 episodes rather than 13.

The Meachum plot was too stretched out and I could see the twist of Ward’s father being the antagonist and betraying Danny from a mile away. The show takes an interesting concept, but the execution is bland and boring to watch in one sitting.

The parts I really enjoyed were the parts where the Hand was a threat. The battle with the 3 warriors was fun to watch, but not much to go off of.

I really expected more fleshed out characters, a more interesting Danny Rand, and a more mystic atmosphere from the MCU.

Also, it should be noted that the past 3 good Marvel shows and Iron Fist will team up in the upcoming series Defenders in August 18, 2017.

Instead of Defenders being 8 episodes and Iron Fist being 13, it should’ve been the other way around. Iron Fist just didn’t have much material to go by. They can’t show too much of the Hand and Iron Fist in the comics isn’t that appealing either.

In the end, I don’t recommend watching Iron Fist, but the last 3 Marvel shows did a fantastic job at capturing those characters.

Black Cloud’s Bizarre First Issue

By Steven Coffin / Staff Writer

Image Comics new comic, Black Cloud, centered around a poor woman who has the power to transport people to their dreams, has finally released. Ivan Brandon, mostly known for writing Drifter and Viking, with the help of Matt Wilson, known for coloring the vibrant and fantastic comics The Wicked +The Divine and Phonogram, and Greg Hinkle, known for his art in Airboy, created a wonderful first issue for a series that has the potential to reach great heights in the long list of amazing Image comic series.

Black Cloud tells the story of Zelda, a teenage girl who makes money by transporting people to a world of their dreams after they contact and pay her. These dream worlds take a turn for the worse after a period of time, or when a character in the dream summon monsters. In this issue, Zelda takes Todd, a young man from her neighborhood that becomes her client, to his dream. The story itself seems very simple, but the lack of explanation on Zelda or the rules of these dream worlds both hurts and helps this issue. The story isn’t grounded; it purposefully leaves questions unanswered. The lack of explanation to the reader made the first encounter of the dream world a bizarre, imaginative, and amazing part of the issue. A world can’t be surprising and wild if you know everything about it, but knowing so little about it made me feel lost.

Then there is the fantastic art. The art is so surreal and the coloring is both dull and dark and vibrant and colorful throughout the issue. The issue starts on pages that are full of brown, gray, and black, but later on in the issue you see the amazing coloring Wilson is known for. The dream worlds are drawn in black and white while certain objects and people in the world are colored in which makes them stand out, and it has an incredible effect and it is one of my favorite aspects about the art.

The ending of the issue was one of the best parts, as it ends on a cliffhanger that made me extremely excited to read more. The only problem with it is that it felt somewhat rushed in the second half to lead up to this point. The second visit to Todd’s dream comes out of nowhere just to force the great last page, when this time could’ve been used as an explanation about some parts of the plot and a sneak peek of what’s to come through Zelda’s dialogue. I believe subtle hints about the last part of the issue and some exposition would’ve been much better than sprinting towards the cliffhanger, even if that cliffhanger is amazing.

Black Cloud starts the series off in a great, bizarre spot, but leaves many questions unanswered and has some pacing problems. I greatly recommend buying it now if you don’t mind a confusing, yet imaginative story. The one thing Black Cloud nails is having the same aesthetically pleasing coloring as comics such as The Wicked + The Divine, but with added effects such as the colors standing out from the black and white backgrounds. If you want to step into a world of creativity and want to see what it would be like to enter your dreams, then Black Cloud is perfect for you.

A Dog’s Purpose Overcomes Controversy

By Haleigh Baker/ Staff Writer

Do you love quirky movies about dogs? Then A Dog’s Purpose is definitely for you. A loving dog, Bailey, portrayed by Josh Gad goes through different lives with humans to discover the meaning of life and his existence. He is reincarnated as different canines throughout the course of 5 decades, and forms the closest bond with a boy named Ethan (Bryce Gheisar.) When Bailey  and Ethan are separated by death, Bailey struggles to form a real bond with his other families. When Bailey and Ethan reunite in the end, all is right again.

Despite how innocent this movie sounds,  there has been some controversy about the making of this movie. During the making of this film, there was a video released of a dog performing in artificial rapids that outraged PETA. The dog was whining and was really hesitant going into the water. She was not happy. They believed that making a dog perform in this kind of environment would put a huge stress on the dog, which is very unhealthy so they asked people to boycott A Dog’s Purpose. Aside from the conflict, this adorable, family-oriented movie teaches young children about the “meaning of life,” and how everyone has a different purpose. It also shows how dogs are treated in different family situations. From playful to more serious, this movie covers a lot. A Dog’s Purpose brought laughter, contemplation, and even tears to the viewers.

A Dog’s Purpose was a very enjoyable film. It appeals to the animal lover in everyone. Seeing the love between dogs and their owner brings a smile to the faces of the viewer. The summaries online can be very confusing, and make people get the wrong idea about the film. Although this movie is more aimed for a younger audience, it is easily entertaining to your average adult. The overall plot of the movie was very entertaining. The actors in this movie did a great job of portraying the love of their dog. The movie was very true to real life. If you love movies light- hearted and meaningful than you will definitely enjoy A Dog’s Purpose.

Photo accompanying article courtesy of adogspurposemovie.com.

The Last Chance for The Last Guardian

By Steven Coffin/Staff Writer

Team Ico, developers of Shadow of the Colossus and Ico, released their new game, The Last Guardian, which was in development since the Electronics Entertainment Expo in 2009 on December 6, 2016. This month, The Last Guardian’s price permanently dropped from $60 to $40 after mediocre sales. That is very sad to hear because The Last Guardian is a game with great plot, graphics, and amazing character development but the price drop was desperately needed due to the large amount of technical issues that made the game a terribly flawed masterpiece.

The Last Guardian is an artsy game that tells the tale of a young boy waking up next to Trico, a half bird half dog-like creature. Throughout the 10-15 hour game, they take an unforgettable adventure through a large, mysterious land. The boy and Trico’s bond strengthens through every step of the game, whether it is feeding Trico or Trico saving you, the player from a high fall, every interaction between the boy and his protector seems meaningful. Then there are times when you hate Trico because he won’t do what he is supposed to!

The Last Guardian is by no means a polished game. Sure, the graphics are beautiful but the technical difficulties with Trico makes this game a chore to play at times. One example of this is when Trico was supposed to put his tail through a hole so the protagonist could climb it up to get to the correct floor, but Trico just blatantly refused to do so for fifteen minutes. I shouldn’t have to wait 15 minutes for a game to realize what I’m supposed to do.

This isn’t the only example; I could list at least five more times where Trico’s Artificial Intelligence malfunctioned and stopped me from progressing through the story in a timely manner. When Trico does work correctly, it creates a cool, emotional scene that will make you love the game once again before coming to another instance of programming going horribly wrong. The Last Guardian is a difficult game, not because of its simple puzzles or the enemies, but because it tests your patience constantly. Team Ico is working on these problems, so after they fix every technical bug found within the game, almost every complaint I would have would vanish and this game would be one of my favorite games ever made. These technical difficulties is what stopped The Last Guardian from reaching the heights of Shadow of the Colossus, Team ICO’s previous game.

Now that I’m done critiquing the parts of the game that I dislike, I am ready to talk about what The Last Guardian does correctly, which is virtually everything but Trico’s AI. The story, most notably, is one of the most emotional bonding game I have played since The Last Of Us released in 2013. Every level strengthens the bond between you and Trico; you go through a story of happiness, pain, and protection together. You face waves of enemies and help each other heal after life-threatening events. The game also has flashbacks during major events of the story that allow you to know the backstory of the child and his Guardian, which makes both protagonists very complex and lovable.

There are many descriptors that can be used to describe the journey that takes place during The Last Guardian, parts of the story can be tear-jerking, while others are spine-chilling and jaw-dropping. At times you lose all hope, and at other times you feel happy and confident. Sometimes you may be filled with anxiety or distress, while other times you feel calm. The Last Guardian is unique due to the way it messes with your emotions constantly during the course of the game rather than sticking to one specific tone which occurs frequently with AAA releases. For example, Dark Souls, From Software’s difficult action RPG, never drops the hopeless feeling and The Last of Us, Naughty Dog’s narrative driven emotional action-adventure game,  keeps the sad tone throughout most of the story, with only a couple instances of comic relief. The Last Guardian takes a different approach and makes you constantly change your thoughts and emotions which makes the story even more memorable.

The gameplay is also quite good when it works. The gameplay mainly focuses on the boy’s interaction with Trico; you ask him to do certain tasks like jumping large gaps or standing up so you can reach high places. The gameplay is very reminiscent of Shadow of the Colossus, because you can climb on Trico to traverse long distances when you demand him to jump. Climbing on Trico feels very similar to the way Wander, Shadow of the Colossus’s protagonist, would climb Colossi during the game. Its platforming and wall jumping also feel Uncharted-esque due to objects falling apart while you are climbing them, but it is a much calmer game than Uncharted.

The Last Guardian is a mess; a beautiful, poetic artsy masterpiece mess. There is no excuse for the flawed AI and mechanics, but the superb story and calm platforming, along with a few great and unique gameplay mechanics help. If you want to play a game where the bond between characters is more important than the gameplay, this game is for you. If you want a game with fast paced action on every level and gameplay that doesn’t feel somewhat aged and broken, then you should probably not get The Last Guardian. If you are interested in the game, the new price drop should be more than enough for you to make the purchase!