: Ben's Week In Review: October 19

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Ben's Week In Review: October 19

October isn't quite so loaded as it could've been but thanks to multiple delays, November is a bear.

Dear Evolution: This is why you needed more solo content for Driveclub

Everyone is well aware of the ongoing server woes facing Driveclub. Yeah, well, newsflash- it often happens in the online world.

It's just another aggravation that I really don't need when I sit down to unwind after a long day. I get that the developers are "working around the clock" and keeping gamers updated. They're struggling to get this right and I've no doubt that many Evolution employees are putting in some very long hours right now (something too many gamers just don't appreciate). However, if they provided us with more solo content, these server issues wouldn't be anywhere near as big of a deal, now would they? If racing fans had more reason to log on and play by themselves - God forbid - then such problems are minor.

But when your game revolves around online social issues, as far as I can tell, this is almost bound to happen. It's just a matter of time and severity. Call of Duty tends to fare well each year, but I think we all remember last year's Battlefield 4 travesty, too. Seriously, just give us more single-player content in such games. It lessens the importance of the multiplayer element.

I'll just play the game the way it was meant to be played, thanks

I remember reading that firmware update 2.20 preview for the PlayStation 4, and thinking: "Who the hell wants to listen to their own music when playing a game? Isn't that what they pay composers and sound design guys for?"

It's part of an ongoing trend, which lets players affect just about every aspect of a game. From amped-up customization to various forms of level editors and now, overriding the in-game audio for your own music. There was a time when developers had to produce a finished, complete product and everyone experienced that product as it was meant to be experienced. If it was bad, it was bad. These days, though, it's almost like inherently "bad" games don't exist anymore, as developers can always issue fixes and additions via updates and patches, and gamers themselves can have a significant impact on the experience.

Not all of us want to be developers, you know. In fact, many of us simply trust developers to do their jobs well, and that's why we reward them.

Personal gaming update

I want to make this abundantly clear: The Evil Within is not a polished game. You can like it all you want; doesn't change the fact that we got a downright archaic third-person control and combat scheme. It actually reminded me a lot of Resident Evil 4, only with more true survival elements. And yeah, RE4 was amazing. But we needed an upgraded version of RE4, not a game that feels very much like RE4 ten years after the fact. The camera sits too close and it often gets seriously screwed up, the AI is dumb, and the basic control is clunky and unreliable. This is when compared to other third-person action games and yes, critics have to make that comparison.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, on the other hand, is a perfect example of a polished, refined mechanic. It doesn't use the FPS mechanics from Half-Life 2. There is a difference, and a significant one. Anyway, I've also got some downloadable games to check out, including Fluster Cluck, which ought to be amusing. Lastly, I've maxed my Crusader at Lv. 70 in Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition and I've got 10 Paragon Ranks now. Just about to tackle Torment difficulty...

10/18/2014 Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (28 posts)


bigrailer19
Saturday, October 18, 2014 @ 11:35:48 PM
Reply

I don't think more single player stuff would have made a difference in the online problems with driveclub. It still would be an issue and people would complain. It's more relevant in games like BF and CoD because that's why people play them, and a racing game, people just want to race. But I don't think it would change the situation much. This was meant to be a social racing game and that's what they developed.

PGU: Done with Destiny for the foreseeable feature. It was a good filler for me and my buddies, and we enjoyed playing it together, despite the development ideas that made us laugh and wonder where Bungie head was at. But now that Borderlands is out I'm moving forward.

I'm having a great time with this game and the new game play elements are refreshing and solid. I really like the new atmosphere and variety of enemies as well. It's subtle things like shooting an enemies helmet off and them struggling for air that adds new dimension to the gameplay. And once again I'm reminded that Borderlands has the best mp experience in gaming. I'm actually very surprised it scored less than a 9 in your review, because everything about it is executed properly. Anyways anyone hanging on to their PS3 and wants a solid gaming experience this is it.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 10/18/2014 11:40:54 PM

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Temjin001
Saturday, October 18, 2014 @ 11:40:23 PM

I've pretty much been only playing single player Drive Club and I haven't run out of things to do yet. Can't say I've been playing it hardcore but the lack of online hasn't really sunk in for me yet because I'm still in the solo stuff.
I did try it online last night (while it worked). It was pretty fun. I did like the in race challenges against others. I just wish there was more excitement and notification from the game interface when that stuff happens. Like if I set a challenge record it should be a global notice to other racers.

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bigrailer19
Saturday, October 18, 2014 @ 11:58:14 PM

I imagine there's plenty to do all the way around. While I get it being frustrating it sounds like you've made the best of it.

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Temjin001
Sunday, October 19, 2014 @ 1:57:34 AM

yea, I mean I don't think the game couldn't have been better with more content. I don't see how that would be a bad thing.
I think though because this game was ALWAYS billed and and branded as primarily an online-social racer most of it's weight and criticisms should be leveled there.
But for me, as a more single player oriented kind of guy, to have like 70+ extremely well modeled cars and like 50 mostly gorgeous tracks (and the variants don't suck) I don't think I could ask for much more myself from an ARCADE racer. If I get 20+ hours out of the game in single player content, which I think it has, easy, it'll feel worthwhile to me. I did pay about $14 less than a regular full priced game so that helps too. Grid 2 was the last arcade racer I really got into (not open world!) and I don't remember it with as many cars. Pretty sure it had less tracks too. It had a garage though, or like a hub where you played pretend that you were someone famous. I guess that's what Drive Club is lacking. The make-believe aspect of being an important race car guy =p

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Temjin001
Saturday, October 18, 2014 @ 11:51:18 PM
Reply

I feel Drive Club has a number of things going against it. First and foremost. The soft reviews. These reviews didn't even take into account the horrible online problems the game has.
Sony really needs to get their act together.
They're missing a lot more often than they're hitting right now.
Drive Club
Knack
KZ ShadowFall
Beyond Two Souls
Gran Turismo 6 (I loved it. most critics didn't)
GoW Ascension
all had lesser than expected scores.. most of which were deserved.
I honestly am having doubts about Order now. A mobile dev is taking on the reigns of a new AAA franchise (have these guys even proven they can do something on their own? They've only created mobile versions of existing ips before. A perfectly laid template for them to follow). There's lots of weight on their shoulders and it would seem next-gen graphics means squat to critic scores.

Anyway, I think some were a little to hard on Drive Club for not being "next-gen" enough. But tell me, what the crap is a NEXT-GEN arcade racer supposed to be? What? Open-world? Last I checked only open world arcade racers are deemed worthy anymore of "progress" in the racing space. Forza Horizon 2, NFS Most Wanted, Burnout Paradise are the arcade-racer title bearers right now. If next-gen only means OPEN WORLD for racers, then I don't give a crap if a game is considered next-gen or not. Heck, it would seem all of gaming's next-gen'ness is placed on the backs of if an offering is open-world enough.

Traditional arcade racers don't need to re-invent the wheel. They just need to look better and offer a new twist to their classic play structure. They've been doing the exact same thing since the nineties as far as I'm concerned.

I want to listen to my music when playing Drive Club so I want the new firmware. But Drive Club is pretty much it, and only because it's own soundtrack blows chunks. I miss SEGA's way of doing racing music... dang.

PGU: I'm ready to hang up Destiny for a while. Drive Club has been entertaining, even if there's a number of annoying things about it. I hate rubberband ai for one.
I look forward to going back to TLoU and maybe some of my backlog from here.



Last edited by Temjin001 on 10/18/2014 11:57:20 PM

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Beamboom
Sunday, October 19, 2014 @ 12:52:23 PM

I'm wondering if Sonys problems with their exclusives might be related to their economical situation - that they just can't put enough resources into the productions any more?

And I totally share your worries about The Order and all that is surrounding it.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, October 19, 2014 @ 1:38:58 PM

I don't really think Sony is having problems with their first party games. I think people just have to high expectations. Knack was a fantastic game, and although more simple than a game like R&C it was still good and the graphics were awesome. KZ was super solid and I actually, along with many others, appreciated the approach to the sp, which was better than KZ3. Driveclub has its problems but I'm reading that most consumers are happy with the way it plays.

Point is the games are not bad and actually rather good. But there is something interesting happening this generation where games are not meeting the reviewers expectations and we are holding those scores - even if there are high scores too - against them. But on the flip side of that consumers are enjoying the heck out of games even those with mediocre scores. Destiny is a perfect example.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 10/19/2014 1:40:18 PM

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Big_Boss90
Sunday, October 19, 2014 @ 2:05:17 AM
Reply

I agree with you ben on the whole ( the evil with is not a polished game) and it did remind me of RE4 which is not a bad thing at all, however its still a game that i really enjoy and one that should be played by any survival horror fan.

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sawao_yamanaka
Sunday, October 19, 2014 @ 3:16:07 AM
Reply

It isn't that the camera sits really close in the evil within. The game is below 720p that the game view is eschewed wrongly. It is portrayed in a letterbox format like resident evil 4 before it. They really had no clue how to use the engine at all. An engine that was built to run at 1080p and full 60 fps, like the new wolfenstein which used the same engine. So disappointed in the game.

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Big_Boss90
Sunday, October 19, 2014 @ 4:05:48 AM

So what your saying is since the game is not at the resolution or fps that YOU would like it sucks im i right?? , play the game for what it is and not how it looks buddy!.

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sawao_yamanaka
Sunday, October 19, 2014 @ 12:17:23 PM

The resolution and fps is far from the problem. I am not your buddy either. The game is a disappointment and tango should be ashamed that they screwed up using this engine. Sub-par graphics and framerate is bad enough with gameplay that feels old.

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Big_Boss90
Sunday, October 19, 2014 @ 3:48:56 PM

Maybe iam the only one that can look past its flaws and still enjoy this game.

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Solid Fantasy
Sunday, October 19, 2014 @ 11:11:35 AM
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Everyone is talking about the new Borderlands or Shadow of Mordor and I'm just sitting here playing BL2 on my Vita while watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, October 19, 2014 @ 12:38:04 PM

That's not a bad way to spend your time either.

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Kevin555
Sunday, October 19, 2014 @ 11:39:59 AM
Reply

Been playing The Evil Within, it's not bad, definitely not as good as I'd hyped it up to be but it's decent. I don't find the game scary at all though, it has it's tense moments but nothing on the scale that P.T gave us. This game barely scrapes the cracked shell of Lisa's rotten toe nail when it comes to scare factor.

The black borders are also a big pain in the rear, especially on a big T.V, don't care if that was their "artistic vision" to add them or not, in this day & age we should not be dealing with this ratio size garbage that we had in the PS2 era on our CRT sets. And the "we want to give it that movie style feel" schoolboy excuse doesn't fly either, i want to play a game not watch a film. But apparently the borders needed to be there to prevent framerate drops, welcome to next gen folks! :D

Onto the positives then, the games gruesome puzzles are pretty damn rad & the old fashioned, washed out looking visual effect really adds to the atmosphere. The game feels like true survival horror too, you can melee enemies but most of the time you will end up dead trying too & ammo limitation seems perfectly balanced (atleast in my playthrough). In no way is this Mikami's best work but with a few touch ups this could become a new IP that i'd be willing to support if they can fix it's current problems, of which there are many.

So yeah it ain't bad, not Mikami's finest moment but a genuine birth of a promising new IP imo. Personally (speaking for myself here) i think playing P.T has changed my perspective of what next gen horror games should be like. The fact that one single corridor scared the stuffing out of me more than the entirety of Evil Within's 16 chapters says alot about how Konami & Co are approaching this genre, & how most others are still trying to create true horror experiences & failing at it.

Last edited by Kevin555 on 10/19/2014 11:41:52 AM

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surfer
Sunday, October 19, 2014 @ 3:16:39 PM

I agree Kevin. After playing the first chapter, I was actually excited but then the next couple chapters were kinda boring run of the mill stuff for me. Too much emphasis on action. Scare factor is very low and I am not a fan of the outdated control scheme.

Luckily I rented it at Redbox and I do not miss it.

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xenris
Sunday, October 19, 2014 @ 1:53:33 PM
Reply

Im still waiting for Driveclub to be free for PS+ users so for now I don't have a say on the game.

I like the idea of being able to listen to my own music while playing a game. I usually don't even when I PC game, but the option is nice depending on what game you are playing. For example if it is a co op horde type game where the music is generally generic why not rock out to your own stuff?

Haven't played the Evil within but I think it looks fun, and want to get it at a bargain one day.

Right now the only games on my radar are Lords of the Fallen, and perhaps Dragon Age inquisition. AC:Unity I don't trust, it looks fun but still looks like same old AC and after AC3 I was tired of the mechanics. Only if I hear that AC:Unity requires a good degree of stealth will I look into it.

Most of the games I'm hankering for are coming out next year :)

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SASSYGIRL82
Sunday, October 19, 2014 @ 3:50:46 PM
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Well as far as I'm concerned drive club had almost a year delay to work out kinks n was suppose to have a free to play version n was never realized out of greed this is what karma does n if this is the death of evolution so be it

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Nerull
Sunday, October 19, 2014 @ 5:31:31 PM
Reply

Anyone who says custom soundtracks in games are unnecessary is just plain ignorant.
Sure for most adventure genre games the score is usually more fitting, although if it has decent replay value it's nice to play your own stuff for subsequent playthroughs.

But the main strength is for sports, fighting, and racing games just to name a few. Not to mention that the PC versions of GTA have allowed you to put your own stuff on the ingame radio since the third installment.
Having that ability is the ONLY thing that would make me actually consider rebuying it for PS4.

It's hard to believe someone who reviews games for a living doesn't realize just how quickly those kind of games' soundtrack get old.

WWE 2k15 is a prime example, though I'm not sure it's going to be a D1 purchase. The entire stock music lineup was picked by John Cena. Now let that sink in.... do you really want to listen to that trash for more than 5 seconds?
Ya I thought not.

Last edited by Nerull on 10/19/2014 5:39:03 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, October 19, 2014 @ 9:46:36 PM

"Ignorant?"

Wrong.

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Nerull
Monday, October 20, 2014 @ 1:53:09 AM

Just in the sense that media support, more specifically music playback, has been one of the most suggested features in the applicable page of the PS4 blog since launch.
Many people want it because it adds obvious value.

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Beamboom
Monday, October 20, 2014 @ 4:13:42 AM

To be of an opinion is not ion itself ignorant - "narrow-minded" perhaps, but to believe that a game should be enjoyed with the original soundtrack is an opinion.

As for me I believe it totally depends on the game. I would not mind if I could, for example, add some more fitting songs for the radio in Fallout - simply because one get really really tired of listening to "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" for the millionth time.

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Nerull
Monday, October 20, 2014 @ 1:28:27 PM

I didn't mean to imply general narrow-mindedness, only that he seems to ignore the validity of this feature, and the segment of the PS community that disagrees with him on this topic.

Last edited by Nerull on 10/20/2014 1:31:21 PM

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Beamboom
Monday, October 20, 2014 @ 1:53:42 PM

Yeah I agree with you, I can see plenty situations where I'd like the option too.

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Highlightreel
Monday, October 20, 2014 @ 9:42:46 PM

All I can say is after 200+ hours in Burnout Paradise I was more than happy to be able to play my own music.

Stay Classy PSX...

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Big_Boss90
Sunday, October 19, 2014 @ 6:52:42 PM
Reply

Love your replay dude. I agree 100 percent, i would love gta5 so much more if i could listin to my own music or while playing a racing game. I for one love the update and glad it was made. Now for rpgs or just adventure games that wont work, just fighting,racing,etc ect..

Ben i like how you said (who the hell wants to listin to there own music in games) that would be alot of us, but as always you just have to speak for all of us right oh powerful one lmfao....

Last edited by Big_Boss90 on 10/19/2014 6:55:21 PM

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DemonNeno
Sunday, October 19, 2014 @ 7:08:55 PM
Reply

I've been spending my spare time playing Dark Souls 2. I'm pretty sure that I'll continue at this snail pace of progress followed by death... And death... And death!!

I'll probably try Evil Within in a few months, when it's cheaper than the tag dangling on it right now. Just don't think it'll be worth my time, yet.

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Monday, October 20, 2014 @ 5:23:26 AM
Reply

well thats good to know i won't be getting the vil with in then not that i was going tog et it but now i defintely not as for borderlands i will be getting that at some point

happy gaming

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