Eiji Aonuma, producer of Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda franchise, has named the PlayStation 4-exclusive adventure game The Last Guardian as his favorite non-Nintendo title of 2016.
Speaking with Game Informer, Aonuma-san admitted he didn’t indulge in many games in the past, though nowadays has upped his game, and has even sampled many western-developed titles. And, while last year was particularly busy as he was tied up with the forthcoming The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, one game still managed to catch his attention—The Last Guardian.
“In the past I didn’t play many video games. But then I realized, this isn’t right, I have to. So nowadays, I actually play a lot of overseas titles,” said Aonuma, who played the likes of Far Cry and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim when researching Breath of the Wild. “While playing those games, I do find some ideas, but it’s not that it connects directly to Zelda to where I would take something and use it in Zelda, but it’s more of something I keep in the back of my head while developing the game.
“I was too busy in 2016, so I couldn’t play a lot of games [laughs], but I did play The Last Guardian,” he continued. “[Fumito ] Ueda and I go back, so when he completed that game he sent a copy to me. It was actually a really busy time so I shouldn’t have been playing the game, but I just couldn’t resist, and it was really good.”
The Last Guardian debuted for PS4 in early December following an arduous development cycle that lasted nearly ten years. Initially announced as a PS3-exclusive during Sony’s E3 2009 press event, the game would endure numerous hiccups throughout production, with creator Fumito Ueda ultimately moving the game to the PS4. The game cracked the Top Ten upon its release, though was quickly discounted for both digital and retail copies.
Nintendo meanwhile is gearing up for the launch of its new home console, the Switch, in early March. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be available from day-one, and is also coming to the Wii U.