Apparently The Last Guardian is only five years late. So why the hell does it seem longer? Nevertheless, the fact it's here and finished is somewhat of a minor miracle, considering the varying states of limbo in which it has been, and the departure of its visionary creator Fumito Ueda midway through development.

For those of us who coveted Ueda's previous work Ico and Shadow of the Colossus for the PS2, The Last Guardian's emergence is a significant event. Ico and Shadow inhabit a world of incredible mystery, magic and spectacular architecture. The chance to expand on its mythology is to be savoured. The biggest issue is that Guardian was developed for and on the PS3. That being the case, elements are noticeably poorly rendered, particularly the tattooed child-hero of the adventure, who looks like he has been physically abused with a crayon.

However, once you've stepped into Ueda's glorious universe, scribbly-faced children are banished to the background. 

The Last Guardian is a tale of a boy and his whacking great dog... thing. It's mostly dog, but he's got some bent old wings, crazy electric horns, feathers and birdy feet. He's called Trico and he's a lovely boy. You, the child with the weird crayon face, wake up imprisoned next to Trico, who's in a bad way. But besides having an odd mush, you're a kindly child who's rather fond of giant pets. The pair of you set out to escape the stunning labyrinthine prison and its myriad puzzles.

The Last Guardian is unlikely to win over gamers who've yet to dip their toes into the Ueda world. Its gameplay sits somewhere between Ico and Shadow, lifting the former's room-progression-through-puzzle-solving routine, but snaffling the riding-a-whopping-creature deal from the latter, albeit without the driving-a-sword-through-its-sensitive-green-parts requirement. The controls can be unforgiving if you're not used to the patience-testing arrangement Ueda stubbornly adopts, and issuing commands to Trico can border on infuriating as the stupid great mutt sits there wondering why the bloody hell you keep screaming the same phrase over and over.

For better or worse, however, I'm easy to forgive these idiosyncrasies for the chance to plough through more of the world that I fell in love with through Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. The relationship you forge with Trico over the course of the story is also a major factor and keeping your hands on the controller. He might be a little previous-generation in appearance but Trico's movements and animations are so lifelike, you want to take him home, give him a flea bath and buy him the most expensive bag of Iams available.