Ben's Week In Review: June 22
Summer is here! What are you going to play during the barren hot months?
The Vita is toast
As much as I like the little machine, as much as I believe in its unparalleled raw potential, the PlayStation Vita is - tragically - dead in the water.
I'm surprised Sony doesn't think we see it. There are virtually no games coming out for it and when I say that, I'm referring to exclusive software. Games you can play on other platforms, like the PS3 or PS4, just doesn't cut it. We saw no new titles during E3 and now, Sony is flat-out admitting that the machine is down to relying on indie offerings and Remote Play. You mean, the indie games we can get anywhere else and the Remote Play that doesn't really work half as well as advertised? Sony had this messed up from the start.
If someone is leaving the house, they're not bringing the Vita and a smartphone with them. That's the first problem. The second problem is that if the unit can't distinguish itself in some way, what's the point of having it? You think anyone is going to spend $200 on that thing for Remote Play and some indie titles, most all of which can be enjoyed on multiple other platforms? I'm sorry to say it, but I'm willing to bet that the Vita doesn't last through 2015. You can try the PS4/Vita bundle if you like, Sony. You and I both know it won't work.
Alien: Isolation is starting to sound like my kind of game
So, two important pieces of information arrived this past week, both of which were very encouraging to me:
First, they say Alien: Isolation comes in at around 15 hours. That's a perfect length for me because I don't have a huge amount of spare time these days. Secondly, the developer described it as a "Metroidvania" type experience, in which you can return to previously explored areas and open up new portions of the map. You know, the "old-fashioned" structure where you'd find a certain item or piece of equipment, which would then allow you to backtrack and open up sealed-off sections? It began way back when with The Legend of Zelda and I've always loved it.
This is one of the reasons why some of my favorite games of all time were the 2D Castlevania and Metroid installments. I just always enjoyed seeing something I couldn't bypass, with the knowledge that I would eventually get past it...I just had to keep moving, and I had to be vigilant in my search for new stuff. If Isolation is done correctly, that could be the sleeper hit of 2014.
Personal gaming update
I had plenty of fun with that Destiny alpha, as it proved to me that Bungie was on the right track. I think too many people were quick to pass final judgment, not quite understanding that it was an alpha. I mean, that's not even a beta. I've been part of alphas before and let me tell you, I've never participated in an alpha test that was half as accomplished as Destiny's. That's exciting, I think. As for UFC, eh...too irritating. I don't like the sport, anyway.
I'm right at the end of Wolfenstein: The New Order, so I should finish that very soon. Then it's back to finish Grand Theft Auto V. I've decided that should take precedence over Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, although I can't exactly explain why...
6/21/2014 Ben Dutka