: Ben's Week In Review: May 18

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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

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Legacy Comment System (25 posts)

Killa Tequilla
Saturday, May 17, 2014 @ 10:42:58 PM

I really liked your piece on Microsoft, but how do you really know they haven't changed?
Maybe this time they are trying to listen to the gamers. Who knows, maybe not. But I do know that there have been nothing but positive changes to the Xbox One ever since their initial reveal. Maybe Phil Spencer is handling his job very well as the new head of the Xbox division and as a 'for-the-gamers guy'. It is just tiresome having a long day at work, nothing to do, wanna check online gaming news, nothing but MS vs Sony, frame rate vs FPS.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, May 17, 2014 @ 10:47:17 PM

MS hasn't changed in decades. Why bother to start now?

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Saturday, May 17, 2014 @ 10:55:53 PM

They are changing to stem the bleeding, not to do what's right by the customer. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. It scares them that this generation wasn't gifted to them on a silver platter.

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Killa Tequilla
Saturday, May 17, 2014 @ 11:35:53 PM

Just trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. But regardless, I have an Xbox One and I like the damn thing.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014 @ 12:50:11 AM

Just look to the bulk of the computer science community to see what they think of Microsoft. Especially those who have been around for at least 20 years.

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Saturday, May 17, 2014 @ 10:50:39 PM

I couldn't agree more about MS. They're as spineless as they come. Years ago I couldn't really understand why there were so many who didn't like MS. But after having tracked and seen closely how they take care of their base firsthand and how horribly inconsistent they are with their words, heh, well, they do suck. And they are as bad as they say.
Why did MS have to enter the videogame market? I really preferred it as Nintendo, Sega, and Sony.
At least that way if a provider had some games I wanted I didn't have to feel like I was supporting a company I just didn't like.

With Infamous I found I favored the Neon power, like by a lot. The infinite run allowed me to get places fast and largely unobstructed and I felt a sense of control over Delson. I also liked the ME biotic style abilities Neon had as well.

PGU: I just love ACIV. I'm contemplating owning it because I just don't think there'll be a game out there that lets me hunt sharks and whales with harpoons and do cool naval warfare to replace it anytime soon.

I also checked out Tomb Raider DE. I wanted to see for myself what kind of upgrade it was over the PC version. There seemed to be some level of argument over which version was best. Well, I'm here to say that unless you just have a real skewed set of values the PS4 version is better than the beefed up PC version.


This comparison gallery shows it pretty well too in some shots. Compare photo 102 to 104. The lighting has been improved for PS4. Then also compare 127 to 129. Pay particular attention to the truck side detail and tire. It's clear the re-worked textures can't be beat no matter how high someone cranks pixel resolution on a PC.

And yah, of course, there's the obvious like Lara's better face on PS4 etc.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 5/17/2014 10:51:45 PM

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Saturday, May 17, 2014 @ 10:54:15 PM

Good to see another thoughtful person admit that MS is a crapola gaming company. It bugs me when people say that Sony must be the same because they are just another company and only care about the bottom line too. All I have to do is point to my own, or any long time customer's, general experience with Sony to show that they actually do have something resembling a heart when bringing their products and services to market. Ultimately that's why we trust them, why we don't complain when something like free online gaming is now pay to play, because we know they wouldn't have done it unless there was no other way. MS is bad for gaming.

Not interested in Cod whatsoever.

I just beat Second Son today, I was really disappointed with that game. We had so many more powers before, and there was all that destruction we could stack. Now I gotta fight all these samey enemies with just 3 weak powers at a time. There was actual tense platforming instead of just zooming around the city (making it just scenery now). There was a cool twisted, dark comic world with Cole's origin, Kessler and the Beast. Delsin just has a little accident and gets mad that Grandma got some concrete on her leg and the government oppresses people with powers (X-men anyone?). I'm done with the franchise now as a day 1 game. So sad.

Finished the Walking Dead, incredibly well told story there. All games need to have writers like those. Also finished Lightning Returns. Fun fighting but a terrible cheap 7 hour game padded out to 50 hours. The ending was a little goofy but fine, I feel like I got my closure now at least. Time to look on to bigger and better things with Versus.

Still working on Bound By Flame, awesome game that I hope is profitable for Spiders. I'll buy whatever they do next. Best Bioware impression yet.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014 @ 12:53:55 AM

Of course Sony cares primarily about their bottom line. But good companies recognize that good business ethics and practices result in higher revenues.

Heck... look at Walgreen's. Their most efficient, money-making distribution centres are the 2 that employ nearly half their positions with people with a disability. (one in Connecticut and the other I don't remember) Fewer sick days... much lower turnover... reliability... higher efficiency, presumably from gratefulness for having a job... fewer disability claims, oddly enough...

Sometimes, by doing what some THINK would make you less money is exactly what can make you more.

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Killa Tequilla
Sunday, May 18, 2014 @ 7:23:14 AM

How'd it feel to get that Platinum, World?

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Sunday, May 18, 2014 @ 9:06:10 AM

I love Walgreens.

Getting that platinum felt kind of dirty since I didn't really earn it, but hell it's better to have 1 than 0. God knows I've earned it with my effort in other games, it's not my fault they hide sh*t from me that's impossible to find!

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Killa Tequilla
Sunday, May 18, 2014 @ 9:26:09 AM

You definitely earned it then.

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Saturday, May 17, 2014 @ 11:37:09 PM

Second Son is such an amazing PS4 game, it was the first game I beat for my new console. The neon powers just made that game incredibly fun, and as an evil character being able to buzz around the city endlessly is so exhilarating.

I've been playing a lot of Tomb Raider DE, its my first time playing it so its just super great. Unfortunately (?) Resogun keeps me from making daily progress, since Resogun is super easy to get into and addicting. I also really enjoy Dead Nation, turns out Housemarque is where its at! Also I like messing around in Fez,its kind of nice when games require a bit more brain power, isn't it? Its why I'm super stoked for The Witness.

What's the hype level for Transitor like? As a somewhat exclusive PS4 RPG I'miinstantly interested, its just been under my radar. Any thoughts on it?

Last edited by Wrote on 5/17/2014 11:38:26 PM

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Saturday, May 17, 2014 @ 11:57:12 PM

At the very least IMO, M$ should always be voted the #1 very worst & most hated company in American!

And as I already stated my opinion on another article the past couple of days, M$ has never had any business ethics, and I seriously doubt that they ever, ever, will.
And 10001+ times more than EA too(although EA richly deserves a 2nd place finish).

Sadly I won't be able to get SS or a PS4 in any foreseeable future, so I can't vouch for it or not(I loved the 1st two though).

As for the upcoming COD, here's hoping that Sledgehammer can change COD's stripes enough to stamp it's own good vibe back into the franchise.

My own PGU,
Was really into playing Prey last week but I've gotten stuck somewhere 1/2 to 2/3's into the game. It's right in a certain section where there's a labyrinth of pipes & portals that keep twisting your perception sideways & upside down & all topsy-turvy like.
For 5 days, I couldn't find the exact route to make my last portal appear & open up for me. And as much as I consider it cheating" to use a YouTube video as a HamburgerHelper for games, "I finally had to break down & I wound up copying every move this video poster did. But still, no freaking portal appears for me, even though it does for him.

Anyway, it frustrated me enough for the moment that I've put it away for a bit so hopefully I'll have a clearer head & finally be able to find my own way out of this freaking never-ending maze so far). In the meantime I went back into my backlog to play GTA4's Episodes from Liberty City & I've just finished up on The Ballad of Gay Tony last night.

So I've been on GTA4's The Lost & Damned as of this afternoon & once I've completed it, I'll jump back to Prey to see if I can advance any further through it's own "lost & damned" piping maze. LOL

Last edited by BikerSaint on 5/18/2014 12:24:19 AM

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Sunday, May 18, 2014 @ 1:45:01 AM

They're changing in response to market feedback and spinning that as a pro-consumer move. Nothing surprising there.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014 @ 2:04:51 AM

COD is one of those games, despite its bad reputations, repetition, & copy & paste formula, I want to enjoy for it's mindless single player and online multiplayer. Last COD I thoroughly enjoyed, and still do to this day, is Modern Warfare 3. I really want that feeling back in a new iteration, not only for me, but for the few friends I still play the damned game with to this day since Black Ops. I'm hoping Sledgehammer can bring in a breath of fresh air the franchise really needs.

As for Second Son, Infamous 2 was the first game I'd ever gave a damn to plat, it's only felt right that Second Son be the first PS4 game I'd plat as well. I'm hoping for some single player DLC in the future, but I'm not expecting anything.


Finally decided to sign up to gamefly. Save a buck here and there and still enjoy some games, why the hell not? First two games getting shipped? South Park: Stick of Truth and Daganronpa. Was planning on buying it during the Japanese sale for PS Plus, but opted to wait. I haven't been playing much, feel pretty tired after getting out of work so I just get on Netflix and surf the web. I've been really digging Devin Townsends "Casualties of Cool" experiment. I'm a big music guy, cowon j3 with a pair of shure SRH750's in home and monster gratitude in ears for work, and dig different tunes. Anyway, back to the gaming, I'm really waiting for EA Sports UFC(CASUALL!!!!) which was the driving force for me getting next gen consoles, second being Second Son. I may also get Watch Dogs day one despite all the hooplah surrounding it. The drought is incoming so with gamefly, the few games I'm actually buying, and my always growing backlog(still have to get through Bound by Flame), I should be fine.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014 @ 2:07:04 AM

I completely agree with everything you've said about MS, but I had a slightly different take on their new kinectless bundle. Which is that Kinect IS necessary to the Xbox One, it is the main feature that made it unique! I mean the PS4 is clearly more powerful and easier to develop for, and it has the better exclusives, what else is left? The cool 3D motion tech, which the XB1 was DESIGNED to use, but now it's optional? I mean they spend years in R&D developing this system and then 6 months later abandon its main feature? MS has shown that they don't have any sort of vision for the XB1(or if they did they've completely abandoned it) and don't give a damn about gamers and as Ben said only care about the bottom line.

It's really too bad because the industry thrives when there's solid competition, and as a loyal Playstation gamer I truly hope MS gets their crap together and seriously competes with the PS4.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014 @ 3:19:27 AM

Well, MS likes saying dumb crap like "PS4 is only selling more than xbox one cause everyone hates ps3" And honestly, I know people who like xbox one and I say good job. Couldn't care less if someone likes the console, its the company behind the console I despise.

I'm holding off on Watch Dogs for awhile. I know its going to be good and all but seriously... I have SO MANY games on my ps3 I still have to go back and play. I can't add another big game to my list otherwise I'll never get anything done. I canceled my preorder and I'm not buying games for a few months. Hopefully.

Infamous second sons neon power is so freaking awesomely awesome. I love running around seattle with that power.

I plan on replaying Thief this week and going for a non-lethal playthrough. I play a style which is clear out an area, by knocking out or killing everyone, and then looting everything. Garret is not an assassin. He's 100% a thief so I gotta play with that mindset. Being sneaky is the most important thing along with not touching anyone. I did do some challenge runs against a friend and beat him each time. Still a lot of fun, shame it feels rushed in certain areas though. Along with that I'm replaying Ghost Recon. The game is so epic. Mixed in with those Its dark souls 2 and DOA5U.

hope everyones doing alright and hyped for E3. Glad ninty's FINALLY got some cool stuff to show this year. EA's and MS's will be one in the same again so I could careless for it.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014 @ 5:18:57 AM

PGU: Believe it or not but I'm trying to wade through my Vita backlog. Some of the Plus games and some I purchased. Completed a solid playthrough of Metal Gear Solid 2, now going through the God of War Collection. :)

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Sunday, May 18, 2014 @ 5:24:00 AM

Buy a PS4 and leave MS, i dont like them either they have stolen almost everything from windows to console ideas and deceived customers with alot of bullshit.

Let them feel it and dont buy Xbone.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014 @ 9:19:35 AM

The thing that really bugs me about MS releasing the XBOne minus Kinect is the way they marketed Kinect to begin with. It was supposed to be the definitive part of the XBOne experience. It was what differentiated MS's console from Sony's. Now, all MS has is a less powerful PS4 with an inferior controller.

What message does this move send to developers and consumers? It looks like MS has lost faith in Kinect. What about the dev's who were expecting every XBOne to have a Kinect and implementing that into their games? What about the early adopters who were forced to buy it?

Now all we have is an optional add-on that will be about as useful as the power brick in about two years.

I would have been more impressed if they stuck to their business model, kept Kinect mandatory, and accepted being in second place. Price drops will come as parts become cheaper. 360 owners will eventually upgrade. And you won't piss off early adopters, who are possibly your most loyal fanbase, by forcing optional tech down their throats.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014 @ 11:24:12 AM


Last week was all about Wildstar, the new MMORPG that's due for release early June. It was ten days of open beta testing, and I gotta say; This game really hit the spot, and took care of some long lasting itch for a real mmorpg experience I've been missing for a long time now.

It had a very good blend of the familiar and the fresh, a very interesting battle system, some really well crafted classes and a wonderfully deep crafting and tweaking system (it's wrong to call it "skill system" cause tweaking in this game is more done on the equipment than your characters skill tree), cool secondary skills and career paths, all wrapped up in a very cheerful, colourful, light hearted and just pure FUN graphics.

I will purchase this game for SURE, and pay the monthly fee with a smile on my face.
This game is a winner.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014 @ 12:04:57 PM

The only Microsoft anything I have left in my home is the XB360 I bought for $99, got it set up (eventually), played a couple of games on it (never finishing either), and is now a dust collector in a forgotten recess of a forgotten closet.

I'm so done with that company I have completely switched to OSX/iOS and couldn't be happier with my decision. Everything just works. Apple and Tim Cook don't have to lie to me about why their product is better than the other guy, the product speaks for itself. I still use MS at work, but that's only because I haven't convinced the boss to make the switch completely yet (he got his first iPhone a few months ago).

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Sunday, May 18, 2014 @ 12:26:24 PM

PGU: I've been bouncing around among a few titles... Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD, Final Fantasy XIV (which is, imo, the best mmo out there right now), Valkyria Chronicles 2 on PSP, Child of Light, and a little old-school throwback to Civilization 2.

A few weeks ago, I beat Final Fantasy IX. Might give Chrono Cross a go soon, too.

Gee... I wonder what genre of game I typically like. :p

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Sunday, May 18, 2014 @ 1:08:44 PM

Too bad FF14 don't have a trial period or something like that. I'd love to try it but can't get myself to buy it untried. :/

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SirLoin of Beef
Monday, May 19, 2014 @ 9:04:13 AM


Finished up Bound By Flame a few days ago. The end fight frustrated me quite a bit but perseverance paid off. All in all, it was a pretty enjoyable game.

Started playing MLB 14. First baseball video game I've played for years and I really like it. Just started my guy's career. Also am about to play some Titanfall. I played the beta but haven't had time to start it up since.

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