: Ben's Week In Review: March 9

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Ben's Week In Review: March 9

Only a few more weeks and inFamous: Second Son will be here! Woo-hoo!

Should Sucker Punch try to branch out?

Speaking of Second Son, I think it's very interesting that developer Sucker Punch hasn't decided on their next project.

They make it plain that they still love the inFamous franchise (and rightfully so) but this team obviously has a lot of talent, so maybe they should try something new. And here's the thing: I know people will say Sony will "demand" another inFamous installment because the safe and familiar sells. It's true that publishers often give developers direction - and in some cases, outright demands - concerning new projects. I'm fairly certain Activision tells Infinity Ward, Treyarch and now Sledgehammer that yeah, you're working on a new Call of Duty.

However, we always hear from designers just how committed Sony is to new IPs and fresh ideas. It's the reason why PlayStation exclusives are often cutting-edge; not merely in terms of technical accomplishment, but also in terms of innovation. Quantic Dream raved about Sony's support during the development of Heavy Rain, for example, and Thatgamecompany had similar praise for the creation of flOw, Flower and Journey. Therefore, I think Sony would give Sucker Punch the opportunity to spread their wings.

The question is- do you want them to? Or would you rather see another inFamous?

I'm concerned for the future of "high-end games"

While I questioned Hideo Kojima's sometimes confusing comments concerning Metal Gear Solid V, I wholeheartedly agree with what he said about youngsters losing interest in "high-end games." I see it everywhere. Kids with smartphones and tablets, playing some new bite-size piece of simplified stupidity. Okay, maybe that's a little harsh but let's face up to facts: None of those games challenge you, from a dexterity or mental standpoint, in the way some of those aforementioned "high-end" experiences do. The problem is that in general, mainstream entertainment is getting lighter and faster; i.e., dumber and dumber. I'm not saying games like Angry Birds aren't viable; I'm saying they simply don't offer the same level of immersion or absorption.

Sure, many AAA blockbuster games are pretty darn stupid. But they typically require a huge amount of effort to produce, and if everyone opts to bypass that for the much lighter albeit much cheaper experience, Kojima's right. The industry could be in trouble. Why do I have such little respect for the mobile gaming explosion? Because I don't care what anyone says, there's an "immersion and depth-related ceiling" you will hit when dealing with a tiny screen and touch controls. And you know what? You'll hit that ceiling fast.

Personal gaming update

I really thought I'd be playing Thief right about now, but it just didn't turn out to be all that good. It's not bad but it's well shy of my expectations, that's for sure. And unfortunately, Basement Crawl was a joke. That being said, I do appreciate Bloober Team popping into the comments to say they acknowledge all the serious issues, and they're working to fix them. That's what I like to see from a developer: Roll with the punches, accept that you made mistakes, continue to believe in your original vision...just fix it. Here's hoping they can, because we really could use a decent Bomberman spin-off.

Other than that, I'm just lying in wait for inFamous: Second Son and the epic grandness that will be Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster. Oh man, can't wait!

3/8/2014 Ben Dutka

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Comments (22 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, March 08, 2014 @ 10:43:07 PM
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Tidbit: This week I learned the Dualshock 4 works pretty darn well when you plug it into the PS3. I like the feel of that thing in my hands.

I'd like Sucker Punch to do something new before their next inFamous, and I'm sure Sony will let them. That's why it's silly that people go "Sony is the same as any company they are just trying to make a profit." Well, no they are letting creative people do what they want a lot of the time as well as trying to make money.

But I can't think of what kind of game Sucker Punch could make that I'd be interested in. I love inFamous but other than that one I'm pretty well sick of sandbox games so it'd have to be a whole new direction.

I'm also scared that the easily entertained masses of youngsters with their little block moving games are going to hurt us. All I do is try to support the industry wherever I can. Hopefully they will realize that once you finish college, take a job, and get strapped with a family then the on-the-go days end and you might as well pick up a controller and get into virtual worlds that matter.

I've still got medical BS keeping me at home a lot so I'm playing Tales of Symphonia, Enchanted Arms, the occasional retro game (Sword of the Berserk ftw, Sonic still sweet) and whatever else tickles my fancy whilst my mood swings.

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Danny007
Saturday, March 08, 2014 @ 11:14:22 PM
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So, who's going to see Need For Speed next weekend?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, March 09, 2014 @ 11:57:15 AM

Nobody

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Lawless SXE
Saturday, March 08, 2014 @ 11:44:37 PM
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I'd love to see Sucker Punch do a new Sly Cooper. But I'd prefer a new IP. They're a team that know how to do gameplay, so I'm sure that whatever they come up with I'll be happy. Besides, it'll be at least two years until their next project releases, so the PS4 will be pretty well established by then and they shouldn't need to rely on brand name to sell whatever comes next.

I'm concerned about high-end games because too many of them are either overly reliant on flash and substance or they try to pad out their gameplay time with endless amounts of pointless collectible nonsense. I enjoyed hunting down the hidden packages and red balloons in GTA:LCS and VCS respectively, but the pigeons, letter scraps, UFO parts and whatever else was in GTA IV and V were just so uninspiring that I wasn't interested in tracking them down. Then there's other pointless stuff like the flags in AC1.

Either make it meaningful, or cut it out. It's not necessary and it only serves to break the immersion when you realise that you're scrabbling around in the dirt for yet another flashy coin that does nothing but get you another 0.1% closer to the 100% complete trophy. It's pointless.

Personal Update:
Gave up on Lightning Returns. It was a lot better than people give it credit for, but that last boss battle is pure and utter crap. I'm not going to waste ten hours of my time performing attacks that do 100 points of damage against an enemy with over 1,000,000 HP just because it's impossible to stagger him, or hit him with debuffs. To hell with that. S-E need to learn how to do bosses properly. All three games in the FF13 trilogy, as well as Dissidia have terrible end-game bosses.
So I started playing Journey, and it feels so lonely. Seriously, the world is so vast and barren and there's no-one around... It's fascinating and I should get back to it at some point.
I've been playing Dust 514. It's okay as something to just switch my brain off and play for a round every now and again, but it's definitely not my style.
Other than that, just kinda trying to keep myself busy because uni work certainly isn't succeeding in doing that so far :D
Peace.

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Banky A
Sunday, March 09, 2014 @ 6:35:05 AM

JOURNEY IS AMAZING. I finally finished it last month on my break and it left me breathless.

I was lucky enough to finish the last acts with fellow strangers and boy - was it the most transcendental gaming experience I've had in a while. We struggled and struggled but didn't say a word to each other, nor could we give aid... only following others' movements and repeating errors.

Wish I could go through it with you but I locked up the PS3 at my gfs :D

Peace

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homura
Sunday, March 09, 2014 @ 12:35:10 AM
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New IP is always exciting. But sometimes, you just can't get enough of those awesome franchises.

About mobile games, I did try and finished Zenonia 3 (recommended by my friend) it's a good game but I'm going to stick with consoles where my game interest is.

PGU:
I finally finished my first playthrough of Xillia. I did fought all the bosses (got the enemy sage trophy) so most of the hard part is done in order to Platinum the game, I'll get it someday cause right now, I'm into Record Of Agarest War 2.

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Banky A
Sunday, March 09, 2014 @ 6:29:12 AM

DESPISE ZENONIA (the practices). I finished 3 or 4 but it is the grand example of what's wrong with 'top' mobile gaming.

Nice one with Xillia. It is actually a fun Platinum, truth be told :D

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homura
Sunday, March 09, 2014 @ 7:58:17 PM

Yes, the hard part is the most fun, that MC in the coliseum is hilarious (Teepo Mittens). But the easy parts are the boring ones (the level grinding and more looting). And I'm gonna go with Unknown difficulty in my second playthrough.

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PSTan
Sunday, March 09, 2014 @ 1:10:25 AM
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I think Sony should expand their huge blockbuster studios (ND, Sucker Punch, Guerrilla, etc.) and have one team work on franchise stability/sequels, and an experimental team that fiddles with new IPs and ideas. ND's already done it, and Guerrilla too. Sure, it may not be the most efficient way to run things, but Sony's got this commitment to "Gaming and Games", so they should stay true and keep investing in it.

I like mobile games, but they really can't match portable gaming/large triple A titles. Sure, mobile gaming has a different appeal, and yes, there are indeed AAA mobile games. But as long as there is a desire for larger scaled games, there will always be room in the market for them. Eventually, as mobile gamers begin to find the limits of mobile gaming, they'll want to see how the other half lives.

PGU: Haven't had much time recently to play games due to school. But I did 100% AC4's single player a couple of weeks ago, and I'm actually finding more use for the Vita with all the free Plus games. Killzone Mercenary and replaying P3P are primarily taking up my free gaming time.

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Knightzane
Sunday, March 09, 2014 @ 3:57:36 AM
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Just finished playing my 9th playthrough of Dishonored and I heard Tyvia mentioned 3 times in the entire game. Once was when a guard poison. Second was mentioned as wine by a target. And third, Emily was supposed to learn about the continent of Tyvia. If someone was starting an untrue rumor they sure picked the most obscure place to do so with.

Besides playing Dishonored, Splinter cell, and TLOU all week, I've been off and on Mortal Kombat. The people are so damn good now. I've lost every fight due to my low knowledge on the high level combo's people keep throwing at me. Super awesome to watch though, even though i;m the one being destroyed.

Looking forward to Dark Souls 2 monday night. It should be good, but i'm on guard to not have such high expectations and see them be completely taken aback.

Still think the comments from Kojima is just Kojima being Kojima. The guy posts pictures of food and movie posters on his twitter. If cellphone games are becoming bigger, how is 2 new consoles selling so well and why isn't Nintendo just throwing in the towel right now and getting in on the cellphone nintendo company idea? So long as people suggest it, there's a possibility and if it does come to that the 100 million gamers will stay on their ps3/360/ps4/xbox-notoriginal. Real gaming won't go anywhere because there will always be a strong center of gamers who want more than angry birds and touch pretty colors on your screen 5.

Hope to see great things from Dark Souls 2, but as i said above, who knows what could happen. Oh, we've all moved forward in time by an hour. also also, Bioshock Infinite did time traveling stuff right. Something Toriyama should have taken notes on before the complete atrocity that was FF13-2.

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___________
Sunday, March 09, 2014 @ 4:28:56 AM
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as much as i love infamous, this gens really crying out for some new exciting creative ideas.
whole reason the industry is in the sh*t hole its in, the whole reason why pretty much every publisher, even $ony, is bleeding money and have had to close down several studios and lay off some key high up staff, is because last gen lasted WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too long and people are sick of the same old same old and are crying for the industry to get a good kick up the a$$!
reminds me of the old days videogame crash where the whole industry almost went bankrupt!
this is exactly what it needed, a good swift kick up the a$$ to wake these morons up and remind them how quickly and badly things can change!
as much as ive enjoyed allot of new IPs on the ps3, i really dont want to see any sequels, not until weve seen allot of new IPs and had a chance to enjoy some new creative ideas.
hell, god help me i dont even want a next gen port of GTAV id much rather finally get to see agent!

oh BULLSH*T!
bullsh*t, bullsh*t, bullsh*t,bullsh*t, bullsh*t, bullsh*t,bullsh*t, bullsh*t, bullsh*t,bullsbullsh*t, bullsh*t, bullsh*t,h*t, bullsh*t, bullsh*t,bullsh*t, bullsh*t, bullsh*t!
sorry, but im just sick of this bullsh*t!
might as well say games are only for kids, violent games are the cause of all the evil men in the world, and only kids enjoy kids styled games like mario, zelda, pokemon, crash, spyro and such.
sorry, but ive never heard such sh*t in my life!

sadly finished south park the stick of truth last night.
i say sadly because i just did not find what i expected from the game, i mean its almost like the developers, and hell even south park studios themselves, sat down and said ok what is the BARE MINIMUM we can do to get this game out?
theres just so little humor, so little banter between the characters, hell you dont even get to see kyle or stan, 2 of the shows biggest characters, for almost half the game!
what made the show so great, the constant ripping between the characters, the constant silly jokes, the constant silly interaction and side stories of the parents.
a perfect example the magaritaville episode.
you had a story of stan trying to return the stupid thing, you had randys story, there were so many elements working together to make one story, and to compliment each other.
or the episode where randy becomes a chef, you have the kids whole story doing their own thing, than you have randys obsession with the food channel, than you have sharons difficulty and frustration of dealing with it and taking that out on her shake weight.
the games like 100 episodes put together, but just one single element.
you.
forget what made the cartoon show so great, forget the banter between the other kids, forget the outside funny jokes and satire poking fun at society, forget the outer story of the adults and their interaction with the kids, its just all about you.
and thats why the humor and enjoyment of the game takes such a dive, what made the show so great was not only how well it did things, but how much it did all at once, and how well it managed everything.
the game instead does one thing, and does it half a$$ed.

thats carried over to the gameplay as well, i mean obsidians created some pretty amazing in depth RPGs so i was expecting allot more than this simplistic boring crap so basic i swear it came out of the mind of a toddler!
thats what really spoiled the game, its taken all the things that made the show so great, and watered it down to the point of it being unrecognizable.
they have taken a billion freaking dollar bottle of cognac, poured 90% of it down the drain, and filled the rest with water.

theres not much controversy either, or at least not enough of it.
south park is synonymous with the OMFG i cant believe there doing this, and OMFG i cant believe there getting away with it!
but this really didnt do that, i mean theres maybe 2 scenes lasting 15 minutes, within the WHOLE 10+ hour game!
there needed to be more night scenes they were by far the highlight of the game.
really disappointed overall, this was the one game i was really expecting to stick to its guns and deliver on exactly what made the show so good.
but as usual, like pretty much every other game out there, has been watered down to the point of mediocrity.
:(
shame i have to end my ps3s lifespan on this, theres really nothing else exclusive to ps3 that i want to get, so ill be getting rid of her now.
shame i have to get rid of her on such a deflated sense.


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Underdog15
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 @ 12:26:46 PM

This is much more fun to read if I imagine it being said with Golum's voice from the Lord of the Rings movies. Especially that bullsh!t part.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 3/11/2014 12:28:01 PM

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PlatformGamerNZ
Sunday, March 09, 2014 @ 6:25:36 AM
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yeah i'm with you on the high end gaming unless ur've 16-18+ yrs old now or have a sibling who is that age then you'll never find the higher stuff that we grew up on cos i got really bored really quick on the mobile stuff actally only found 2 games i enjoyed which was bubble explode(kinda like tetris or one of those blox puzzle games) and the origonal PvE(plants vs. zombies) but yeah i just get bored not enough to keen my attention for long enough which is where my laptop PC or ps3/ps4/psvita/psp/3DS comes in bearing in mind that the psvita/psp/3DS stuff is more if not mostly in the holidays but the ps3/ps4 most of the time and statergy games on the PC keep me happy all year round.but the new generation is steering away from that which is sad cos i'd love to see them enjoying the games i enjoyed as a kid really sad too see.

happy gaming =)

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JackC8
Sunday, March 09, 2014 @ 8:29:41 AM
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I don't understand that stuff about people losing interest in high-end games. It's the only thing anybody plays on consoles. People play mobile games of course, but that's not an industry anyone would want to get into if they had a choice. Success in that field has little to do with quality or creativity, it's all about luck. What was the latest mobile gaming craze? Flappy Bird. A "staggering lack of ambition or creativity" as IGN said in their review.

Anyhow, I've mostly been playing GT6 online this week I guess. I'm pretty much bored to death with it at this point. Last night, in about an hour and a half, I got in two - count 'em TWO races. First we did some practice laps on the High Speed Ring, race started, some idiot was drifting all over the place and took out the whole field in the firs corner - I actually made it through that mess by driving underneath a car that was airborne and upside down. The host gets all P.O.'d and tells everybody to leave the track. Somebody can't exit so they have to hit the PS button and then we wait 5 minutes for them to eventually come back. Then we do practice laps forever and ever. So I try a different lobby and we're racing around the Nurburgring. Goes like this: I start in third and we're slowing down for the first corner, some idiot rams into me at full speed from behind and causes a huge pileup. By the time I extricate myself from that the people who didn't get caught up in the collision are a half mile ahead already. What fun.

This week I think I'll play some Skyrim and work on that Falskaar mod (it's like a 20 hour DLC) and maybe get back to Sly Cooper 2 as well.

Last edited by JackC8 on 3/9/2014 8:44:31 AM

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___________
Sunday, March 09, 2014 @ 8:50:02 AM

thats exactly there point, that kids dont have consoles.
which is a load of sh*t of course.
hell last christmas my uncle wanted to get his kids a ps4 but since they were sold out he couldnt, but the sony kiosk near me has always had them in stock so he asked me to buy him one.
on christmas day, well, ill leave it at this, you would think he gave his kids a billion freaking dollars ive never seen such excitement!
and mind you there favorite game ATM, not that they should be playing it but eh, is shadow fall.
NFS rivals being a close second.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, March 09, 2014 @ 12:00:36 PM

Major productions don't proliferate as well or make as much money as those small mobile games. Young folks these days tend to absorb little 5 minute pieces of entertainment and can't be bothered to sit down for 2-3 hours to follow a story. Most people can't even finish a AAA game these days.

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Underdog15
Monday, March 10, 2014 @ 9:15:59 AM

You can't play a major production from the corner of the classroom in your lap out of your teacher's sight.

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matt99
Sunday, March 09, 2014 @ 1:07:02 PM
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You "old" people and your insulting view of "young people". We love high end games as much as everyone else, and contrary to the idiocy spouted by many on here we CAN follow a good story, and enjoy them too. We may buy less of those games but that's only because it's hard to afford many sixty dollar games on a student's budget.

Also you guys realize that just because someone plays a mobile game doesn't mean they don't play high end console games too. Mobile games are popular because they're a great way of killing a few minutes while you're out.

I see just as many older people playing mobile games as young people so if there is indeed a problem it's not because of young people so please stop talking about us like we're idiots and stop blaming whatever problems you see in the industry on us.

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CrusaderForever
Sunday, March 09, 2014 @ 1:47:33 PM
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SP should try something new if they have run out of ideas with inFAMOUS.

PGU

Just finished MGS3 and was really impressed. Such an awesome story. I am very far into MGS4 and completely blown away by the story and extremely high production values!!! I am fighting Raging Raven. My plan to finish all MGS games before Ground Zeroes release is going fail. I still have Peace Walker to finish first. Also with inFAMOUS Second Son coming out I feel it calling to me to play. So I have some decisions to make.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, March 09, 2014 @ 2:08:34 PM
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Here's the issue with Kojimas statement in regards to the younger generation. He's strapped with a publisher who hasn't recently let him explore. What I mean is these big publishers are not giving the freedom that say Sony does. I can guarantee that developers like ND, GG, and SSM, will not go the way Kojima thinks.

I understand his statement, because it's true but only when developers stop supporting the core demographic. He himself can help but when he's thinking like this already it tells me the publishers have gotten into his head.

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xenris
Sunday, March 09, 2014 @ 3:26:20 PM
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Its true games are getting faster and dumber over time. Even triple A games can be guilty of this.

I think that if they make games for the fans, then these AAA experiences wont die out. Its almost always when they try and cater to the ADHD lowest common denominator that things get messy and usually the sales suck of these bastardized games.

Mobile gaming is supposed to be for small small small bursts while you are waiting in line. Sadly kids are getting their parents to buy them ipods in order to play angry birds and because the game makes them feel good about doing menial things they keep playing them. Kids just think everything should be given to them. Half the time I coach gymnastics even parents wonder why I didn't move a child up a level. Well they can't do over half the skills required to get the badge. The parent says who cares its not like they are going to the olympics their friend got a badge they should get one too. Ugh the mentality is frightening and I have come close to saying things that probably would have gotten me fired lol.

That aside I'm not too worried because we have a lot of indie devs doing some pretty cool stuff so games arent going to die out. Steam has greenlight, and valve makes it really easy to get games for cheap even though its digitial.

But I feel like console gaming might be in for a big change if things keep going this way. Especially retail boxed games its just so expensive and if its not a top seller it can spell disaster for that dev studio.

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Underdog15
Monday, March 10, 2014 @ 9:17:45 AM
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I think AAA games are just as popular as ever. The difference now is that the casual/mobile industry has taken off. It's not that AAA is less popular, it's that mobile has roped in a whole new client base. People who aren't really gamers will pick up a mobile or facebook game no problem. They're on devices they already own, they help kill time, and they're readily available.

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