Ben's Week In Review: December 15
It's snowing. So pretty...except it's going to suck when I have to go out there and shovel. LOL
My love of JRPGs isn't dead; it's merely dormant
As most of you probably know by now, there was a time during the original PlayStation days when I exclusively played JRPGs. This wasn't necessarily because I disliked all other genres; it was just because RPGs (and on consoles at that time, basically all RPGs were Japanese) were my favorite, and they took a long time. Hence, I didn't really have much time for other genres; there were plenty of RPGs to keep me occupied, if you remember. Now, I just realized that throughout the entire PS3 generation, the only JRPGs I completed were Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2, and I didn't even consider them to be elite FF titles. That's kinda sad, isn't it? I didn't like Ni no Kuni as much as everyone else, either.
It's a little disconcerting because news like Tales of Zestiria would've, at one time, made me salivate. I'd also be all over any Final Fantasy Collector's Edition except, well...that isn't Final Fantasy. However, I've realized that my love of the old-school style isn't dead; it's just lying dormant. I think the bottom line is that in order for it to feel right, I need turn-based. I need world maps and towns and a decent story and memorable characters. Ys: Memories of Celceta is great but it's just not the same. Granted, it's close, but it still feels like hack 'n slash to me.
Bottom line is I can sit down and play any of my old PS1 JRPGs and love every second of them. So, the love can't be dead.
Will the PS4 really be the "leading system" for this generation?
That's what a DFC Intelligence report says, and I'm inclined to believe it. I always figured Sony's new console would win in basically every territory besides the US. And although I've always been convinced that Microsoft will continue to own this country, it's not quite enough to top the PS4 in the worldwide count. So yeah, in terms of sheer overall numbers, I do agree that the PS4 should win this generation. For the record, I also believe we'll see the best exclusive software on the PS4 because after all, exclusive software is Sony's forte. Has there been a generation of PlayStation hardware that didn't excel in this area? I expect nothing but more cutting-edge greatness from PS4 exclusives.
The NPD numbers say the PS4 topped the Xbox One in November. It did come out a week earlier but availability appears to have been better for the Xbox One, despite the fact that, mathematically at least, the Xbox One sold faster during the month. If Sony and Microsoft continue to battle it out in the US and it remains competitive, then there's absolutely no doubt that the PS4 will end up in the lead. If it can't dominate the US the way the Xbox 360 did, there's no chance the Xbox One wins the global tally. The PS3 and Xbox 360 are essentially tied in terms of worldwide numbers (about 80 million apiece) and that was when the 360 did dominate in this region.
Doesn't look like that will happen again. I still think the Xbox One will lead in this country but the margin will be slim.
Personal gaming update
It's all about Gran Turismo 6 right now. At first, the game seemed a little lighter; a little easier for newcomers. But the more you play, the more you realize that that really isn't the case. The new PP (Performance Point) restrictions for all events help to keep them competitive and in some cases, you have to exhibit a sound knowledge of racing and mechanics. For instance, my Fairlady 350Z had a PP of 486 and I just wasn't catching the pack in a certain series of events with a 500PP limit. I couldn't get much closer to the threshold without going over, so adding more power wasn't an option. I also had the max allowed tires. But then it hit me: I invested in the fully customizable racing transmission, which allowed me to fiddle with the gears and take a test drive on any track I wanted.
Thing is, I noticed the car was barely getting into 4th gear even on the straightaways, which meant I wasn't getting anywhere near enough out of my very capable engine. I adjusted the gears, significantly lowering the top speed but enhancing my acceleration and lo and behold, I won easily (by nearly 8 seconds). This is the kind of thing that puts GT head-and-shoulders above the competition, in my eyes. I will get back to GTAV and Black Flag as soon as I've had my GT6 fill. :)
12/14/2013 Ben Dutka