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PaRappa and The Last Guardian live on in A Profound Waste of Time 3



Ico-n't believe it!

[Disclaimer: I wrote for A Profound Waste of Time 1 and helped assemble many of it's other contributors, like Dtoid alumni Ashly Burch. I also introduced A Profound Waste of Time creator Caspian Whistler to Rodney Greenblat, the designer of PaRappa, which later led to their collaboration for A Profound Waste of Time 3.]

When I first started writing for Destructoid 15(!) years ago, PaRappa the Rapper was still one of the biggest names in the PlayStation stable of mascots, and The Last Guardian just a work in progress called Project Trico. A lot's changed since then. PaRappa was eventually pushed off of Sony's A-list by the likes of Kratos and Nathan Drake, and The Last Guardian was announced, delayed, then quietly launched on the PS4 nearly a decade later. Everything we thought we knew about Sony 1st Party games has completely changed since then, but the inspirational power of PaRappa and The Last Guardian live on, as proven by the rousing success of A Profound Waste of Time 3, now in it's last week of funding on Kickstarter.

The place for print media like A Profound Waste of Time in our lives has also changed a lot in the past 15 years. Like vinyl records, videogame magazines were once everywhere. Then the internet killed them, and now they are back as high end, enthusiast works that aren't just ways to get latest news and reviews, and are really pieces of art onto themselves. That's part of why I think this latest issue of A Profound Waste of Time is looking to be the most successful one yet. Pairing with the likes of PaRappa and the games of Team Ico is a perfect fit. Everyone who still cares about these classic Playstation titles and game magazines must really love them.

I had the chance to ask Caspian Whistler, the creator of A Profound Waste of Time, about that and a few other things as the campaign for the latest issue of the magazine was wrapping up.

A long, strange trip

Dtoid: Caspian, I wasn't sure that A Profound Waste of Time 3 would ever happen. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and who knows how many other destabilizing factors keeping the global economy from settling down, I personally would not have had the guts to launch a massive book-sized videogame magazine in 2022. What were some of the unique challenges that you faced in putting this issue together that you didn't have to contend with in years prior?

Caspian: We've sent people on journeys to do interviews in the past, like yourself in Issue 1 where you flew to meet Yacht Club Games in California. This time we had to get Simon Parkin over to Tokyo from the UK to meet Fumito Ueda [Ico, The Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian], which was a much bigger challenge because of Japan's COVID measures. It was very important to us that we be able to conduct an interview in person, but due to all the obstacles in the way it was one of the trickier things we've had to organize. Since the interview Japan's entry requirements have been easing up, but the whole process of making the mag is still very different in a post pandemic world, especially so in terms of costs. I'm hoping the year ahead is a bit steadier for everyone!

PlayStation Ico-ns return

Dtoid: To tell the truth, I was shocked to hear that you managed to arrange that interview with Fumito Ueda at all, let alone in-person. And on top of that, you also got Rodney Greenblat, the original designer of PaRappa, to take a break from gallery art shows to makes a new pin with your exclusively for this issue. These are names and games that you rarely see in the headlines these days, but the fan reaction to featuring them in print again has just been astounding. Why do you think these pieces of Playstation history still mean so much to people?
Caspian: I think these games are iconic in part because of the era they were released. Nowadays the games industry has a very distilled idea of what a "Blockbuster" game is and you can see that in how say, the God of War series has evolved over time or how Naughty Dog went from making mascot platformers like Crash Bandicoot to these acclaimed prestigious epics like Uncharted. In contrast the PS1 and PS2 era was much more undefined. Games had much lower development costs and the hardware was comparatively very limited, which made it much easier to take risks on ideas that were perhaps more mechanically unusual or off-kilter than today. They're reflections of a time when phrases like 'AAA' weren't as vital a part of the videogame vocabulary and there was so much about the medium in general that both developers and audiences were figuring out for the first time.

Profound secrets remain

Dtoid: That makes a lot of sense. I think that the feeling of entering into the unknown, to a place where you kind of caught between the real and the unreal, is definitely something I used to get more from PlayStation 1 and 2-era 1st party games than I do now. As games like Pokémon Scarlet and Violet sell 10 million units in 3 days, while games with much longer development cycles like God of War: Ragnarok do half that in twice as much time, it'll be interesting to see if Sony returns to less photorealistic, more dreamlike AAA titles again in the future.
Before we close up, is there anything else you can tell us about A Profound Waste of Time 3 that no one knows yet? Did you somehow get the creators of Jumping Flash and Ape Escape in there too? Does this issue contain exclusive announcements about the return of the Bust-A-Groove or Battle Arena Toshinden franchises? Are you going to make all my PS1 nostalgia dreams come true?!?
Caspian: All I can say right now is that there's more to show with the exterior of the mag that we haven't revealed yet.
Dtoid: Well, I'll be staring at the cover art from now until the issue is released, hoping to scope out a sneaky peak at Robbit the Robot Rabbit or one of those unfairly sexy Toshinden fighters lurking in the background somewhere. If I go cross-eyed between now and then, I'll blame you [laughs]. Thanks for taking the time to chat, Caspain.
Caspian: Thanks Holmes!
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About Jonathan Holmesone of us since 4:12 PM on 12.04.2007

"Where do dreams end and reality begin? Videogames, I suppose."- Gainax, FLCL Vol. 1

"The beach, the trees, even the clouds in the sky... everything is build from little tiny pieces of stuff. Just like in a Gameboy game... a nice tight little world... and all its inhabitants... made out of little building blocks... Why can't these little pixels be the building blocks for love..? For loss... for understanding"- James Kochalka, Reinventing Everything part 1

"I wonder if James Kolchalka has played Mother 3 yet?" Jonathan Holmes

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