Ben's Week In Review: August 3
It's my birthday tonight (August 2). How old I am is irrelevant. ;)
Square Enix finally gets it? I doubt it
As if I couldn't start with this story.
Firstly, thanks to the tipster who sent this to me; I was in a rush at the time (I was out of town working in a hotel lobby), so I neglected to mention it when I posted the article. Secondly, I'm sorry, but I don't believe it for one second.
I mean, I don't doubt the accuracy of the quotes - VentureBeat knows what they're doing - but I doubt that Square Enix will act on them. What can they really do at this point? Even if they acknowledge that Bravely Default did better than anticipated, and even if they admit they made mistakes, will that actually impact Final Fantasy going forward? Would they change FFXV? It was previously described as a "stylish action game" (which is almost too disgusting to type), so if they really wanted to appeal to the fans they've lost, the game would have to be significantly overhauled. Hell, it'd probably have to be scrapped at this point.
I just don't see that happening. I don't believe the company will second-guess their FF approach, despite what the president says. I think they might attempt to appease the true franchise followers with more remasters (like Final Fantasy XII) and more traditional RPGs on handhelds or something, but that's about it. They fervently believe their flagship role-playing franchise is better with more action for the sake of the mainstream masses. And that's that.
A female conveniently shows up in Assassin's Creed: Unity
I really don't think it's coincidence: Weeks after the gaming world exploded, slamming Ubisoft for how they responded to a lack of a female characters in the new Assassin's Creed, they suddenly reveal a woman. Many will claim that she had to be part of the story all along, as the developers didn't have enough time to prepare. I have two problems with that: First, that's just a trailer. We haven't seen any gameplay. It doesn't take long at all to prep a great video like that with enough resources (resources Ubisoft most definitely has). Second, if she existed at the time of the backlash, why not just confirm it? Why make the claim that it'd be "too hard" to put in a female at this stage?
This is also the first time we get any hint that Arno is anything but a lone wolf. One might also notice the vagueness of the Elise's description: She's a noblewoman who will establish an "unlikely bond" with the protagonist. Well, that leaves a ton of room for creativity and interpretation, doesn't it? And why? Because I believe the writers are still scrambling to give her a script.
Personal gaming update
I'm playing The Last Of Us: Remastered but I don't think I'll finish it again. Admittedly, it's difficult to stop playing, but I've still got to play catch-up. I'd also like to clarify again: The only reason this updated version got a 10 is because TLoU clearly remains head-and-shoulders ahead of anything else available, in terms of the entire package (production, polish, cinematography, gameplay, acting, audio, pacing, balance, etc.) If the next generation of consoles had produced something better, the score would've been lower. I'd also like to remind everyone that Remastered won't be up for any end-of-year awards at PSXE, as it's technically a 2013 title.
I'm not looking forward to anything until Assassin's Creed: Unity in October, although I'm mildly interested in Destiny. We'll see.
8/2/2014 Ben Dutka