: Ben's Week In Review: September 28

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Ben's Week In Review: September 28

It'll be October this week...who's ready for the deluge of games this holiday season?

Final Fantasy XV is 55% complete...is that good or bad?

It was first unveiled eight years ago and now it's a completely different title, with a new director and - obviously - a new direction. And according to Square Enix, it's about 55 percent complete.

Should we see that in an optimistic or pessimistic light? On the one hand, the idea that you're only half done with a game that has technically been in the works since 2006 is just...awful. On the other hand, considering all the changing this title has undergone, and the fact that it has only been in development as "Final Fantasy XV" for a few years, maybe this isn't bad news. I guess it depends on how development fared before Final Fantasy Versus XIII had to be completely altered.

My other question is, how far along will they be when the demo comes out next year? What, 65, 70 percent? Should we even be playing a demo of a game that's so far from done? Wouldn't that leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth if it turned out unpolished and unimpressive? That could be a critical mistake, and running around trying to remind everyone that the game still has a long ways to go won't be effective. Gamers will only remember a mediocre demo.

You know, the Advanced Warfare campaign doesn't have to be THAT long

I'm one of many who have harped on Call of Duty for delivering short, unfulfilling campaigns during the previous generation. But while I'd say 4-5 hours is indeed too short, I don't have a problem with 8 or 9 hours. That's plenty long enough for me.

This is a straight-up shooter. It doesn't have RPG elements like RAGE and I'm certainly not expecting Destiny or even Borderlands. If Sledgehammer is accurate in saying the campaign in Advanced Warfare is "longer than the last few," I'll be happy. Of course, I still need a good single-player quest; length isn't everything. I've often said that a game's length and its quality is mutually exclusive, as one has absolutely no bearing on the other. Length affects the game's value because you paid for a product, but it does not affect the game's quality. If you're satisfied and fulfilled, that's what matters.

Personal gaming update

I promise, I really wanted to like Natural Doctrine. I didn't even notice until after I posted the review that some sources were even more disappointed; GameSpot gave it a 4, for instance. The problem is that these Japanese productions simply don't cut the mustard. They just don't. It pains me to say it but they're not keeping up with their Western counterparts in terms of polish, refinement, presentation, execution, and overall production value. Natural Doctrine is a perfect example that, when compared to the creme de la creme, feels like amateurs put it together. The ideas and concept are great - I love me some turn-based strategy! - but the execution is terrible.

I'm still loving Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition. I'm just about done with my first play-through; I was surprised to see Diablo isn't actually the final boss. Looks like I'll have time to max out my Crusader and start working on those Paragon levels before I dive into Assassin's Creed Unity, the next game I really want to play. That game is going to be epic; did you check out the recent developer video...?

Oh, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor review coming very soon...great game.

9/27/2014 Ben Dutka

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (10 posts)

Sunday, September 28, 2014 @ 2:14:13 AM

I really wonder what those 55% is a percentage of? Lines of code? Number of features? Precentage of the campaign? Estimated development time? Or all of the above? Just... What, exactly?

Cause one thing is for sure: It's the last 10-20% of a project that consumes a majority of the development time, so from a developers perspective, 55% means "barely started".

Has turnbased gameplay just experienced the biggest revival in recent gaming history, or is it just coincidence at work? All my current games are turn-based:

Wasteland 2: So it's finally released - the sequel to the game that inspired the Fallout series. Turn-based rpg with a huge campaign and decisions that really matters. Awesome game.

Xcom Enemy Within: Second playthrough on this turnbased strategy game, this time I wanna do some stuff different. The replay value of this game is just fantastic. The mobs behave differently the next time you play a map, the AI in this game really is great.

Shadowrun Returns: Again, a turn-based rpg of the classic linear kind, but it's a real cool story and great world, loads of skills and stuff keeps it interesting.
A charming game indeed, great cyberpunk'y atmosphere.

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/28/2014 1:25:42 PM

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Solid Fantasy
Sunday, September 28, 2014 @ 9:27:14 AM

You seem to have found a rare cave of turnbased games. Western RTS style games are almost all we have left now.

Waistland 2 looks alright. I couldn't find any review for "Shadowfall Returns"?

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Sunday, September 28, 2014 @ 11:36:19 AM

Bah I did a typo, it's "ShadowRUN returns". I've done that error before! Don't know why but somehow my head wants it to be "Shadowfall".

It's got a metascore of around 76-77 I believe, and is indeed well worth that meta. Behind the old-fashioned wrapping we find a quite cool story!

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/28/2014 11:51:24 AM

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Sunday, September 28, 2014 @ 2:03:17 PM

Beam if you had any love for Japanese stereotype fantasy I'd love to see how you felt about Natural Doctrine. The strategy can be so cool.

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Monday, September 29, 2014 @ 1:17:10 AM

David, please don't take this too personal but when it comes to jrpgs I trust Bens perception more than yours. Yours seem to be a good fit for those who already got a pair of glasses on with that famed rose tint. :)

But turn-based can be helluva cool!

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Solid Fantasy
Sunday, September 28, 2014 @ 9:14:08 AM

If it's only 50-60% done does this mean there's still time to build a next gen turn based system? Out look not so good, but you can always dream!

That Witcher 3 trailer looked stupidly awesome! Having never played a Witcher I really hope there is a solid demo to try out. Speaking of Solid. Really can't wait to see how the next MGS chapter unfolds for ol Big Boss. If only it were exclusive to the PS4. Then we would see some amazing art!

PGU: Done with the campaign on Destiny and wow what an awful anti-climatic ending. I didn't even know it was over! WTF!? The multiplayer modes are still fun and as soon as my friend picks up a PS4/Desinty bundle we'll be able to complete the Strike missions.

Borderlands 2 on the Vita is grand! Really I'm enjoying this! I wouldn't otherwise if I only played the PS3 PS+ version from last winter. For what ever reason having a mobile version with on the can really makes the difference.

I'm heading out to Utah today. Borderlands 2 will help with the flight over. I will probably start a play through of Portal 2 soon. I want my roommates to see that not every game is a violent blood bath. And maybe I'll finish reading Neromancer. Has anyone read that? If not you can always play Deus Ex: HR and get the same atmosphere. For certain Neromancer was an inspiration for that game.

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Sunday, September 28, 2014 @ 1:36:15 PM

I really couldn't care less about FFVX. After watching what it has to offer (other than pretty graphics), I walked away without the slightest urge to see more. Take your car and drive off a cliff.

PSU - bought a Rockstar package for $15 w/many of the DLCs for.. GTAIV, Max Payne 1-3,and LA Noire. Finished up AC black flag and wondered how I missed out on Max Payne 3! My God, that game is fun! Such a high quality production!black flag was a bunch of fun, too. Loved theme and execution. Just wish that I didn't play it on PC... I started up LA Noire for my 2nd stab at it since my first play through and do miss the game. Now, if I only had RDR in the bundle!

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Sunday, September 28, 2014 @ 2:00:29 PM

There's no telling what SE means by their estimates, they have become a kind of horrible chimera of teams that are lost in unsurety.

I'm going to start writing my Natural Doctrine review (for another publication) today. Ultimately though, after a good playthrough, I can see why the scores are so low. I agree on most points but give significance to different areas, I'll make that clear. I still think there are a subset of gamers who will really enjoy it but you can't just let quality assurance slide too far ya know?

I took advantage of the Nordic Games sale and got ArcaniA. It's interesting, it's an open world epic that is very cheaply and cheesily done. And yet, it has charm somewhat like Two Worlds II.

My wonder is "How on Earth are they guys going to produce another Darksiders?" It will have to take a huge hit in quality but if they could just learn some updated techniques and get good writers and producers even a low budget Darksiders III could be good.

I'm posting something tonight I hope everyone reads, it's from the heart.

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Sunday, September 28, 2014 @ 10:52:29 PM


This is gameplay footage from FF15. I think that this shows that it is not quite as button mashy action combat like DMC, or God of War.

It looks like it has a slower more rhythmic pacing to the combat, which is fine by me.

I'm curious if he was actively dodging the enemies attacks or just auto dodging...I hope the former.


Just playing Destiny when I get the chance, otherwise I'm not doing too much console gaming at the moment. Playing CS:GO when I'm not working at the gym. Its getting busy with competition season closing in.

Last edited by xenris on 9/28/2014 10:53:48 PM

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Monday, September 29, 2014 @ 2:26:59 AM

well i don;t think my wallets gunna be up to the challenge this year unless i get a job in the summer break and fast which isn't likely so i think i have said but i will be playing catch up for awhile. from this year and next.

happy gaming

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