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