Ben's Week In Review: May 18
Here's hoping Sony has a great E3 because Microsoft is dominating headlines right now.
Whether or not I ever get an Xbox One, I still hate M$
It's just so transparent. I'm well aware that all companies are out to make money, but there is such a thing as business ethics, and a way of conducting business.
There's a reason Microsoft has the reputation it has (and not just in the gaming industry). Once again, they give themselves a pat on the back and act like the white knight: A Kinect-less $399 Xbox One comes out on June 9, and Microsoft has the unmitigated gall to put up a big article about how they're committed to giving gamers a choice. You've got to be kidding me. Really?
It took you four years of catastrophic, pathetically laughable failure rates for the Xbox 360 (typically considered to be one of the worst electronic products ever released) before you finally instituted a program to deal with the problem. You said you didn't know what caused the RRoD for years before magically popping up and saying - white knight enabled - that "yay, it's fixed!" How can you fix it if you never knew what was causing it? Then, you announce the new system with a bunch of Nazi-esque policies that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt what you thought about gamers. Which is to say, nothing. Not until it started to become obvious that it would affect the console's bottom line did they reverse those policies.
Now, they're crowing about "choice" again after forcing consumers to purchase a completely unnecessary peripheral with a new console? For six months? When people complained initially, M$ didn't listen because they don't care. They only care when they start to lose the race. I'm just sick of people falling for their crap over and over. I think there's a reason why, when I asked if PS4 owners might pick up the Xbox One at $399, most said "no." Even at a reasonable price, Microsoft is still Microsoft.
Is it wrong to hold out hope for a great campaign in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare?
I know I probably shouldn't. I've been suckered in before. But I can't help but be encouraged by the longer development period, which could result in a heftier, more robust, more complex script. Two and a half years is a long time to spend writing a script, after all. Of course, that certainly doesn't guarantee a quality narrative; a lot of talented people have been involved with CoD storylines in the past, and I've never been impressed. I mean, some of the campaigns have been worth playing through, but there's never been a plot that actually made me stand up and applaud.
Maybe I'm asking too much from a FPS. But why should the genre matter? Just because the action is brainless doesn't mean the story behind it has to be brainless. ...wait, maybe it does.
Personal gaming update
I keep going through inFamous: Second Son; I'm taking my time and trying to do everything, as I've always done with this franchise. The climbing mechanic still bugs me but I've found that with a lighter touch, it works a little better. The rest of the game is just plain fun, especially when you get the later powers. I don't mind pausing to switch between them (gives the game a somewhat more strategic vibe, IMO), even though I know that's a sticking point for some people.
I'd play more of Bound by Flame but honestly, I'd rather play Second Son. I don't agree with some of the very low scores I've seen for BbF but at the same time, it's not quite entertaining enough to hold my attention for a long period of time. Still gotta finish Child of Light, and I'm looking forward to trying Watch Dogs soon. :)
5/17/2014 Ben Dutka