: Ben's Week In Review: July 5

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Ben's Week In Review: July 5

The year is more than half over and we've already got several great games. Second half will be even better, yes...?

How does Naughty Dog do it?

I guess I just don't understand. How exactly can one studio appear to be head-and-shoulders above everyone else for such an extended period of time?

Sure, great teams can shine here and there but it doesn't seem like this particular studio ever has a hiccup. It just doesn't happen; everything they produce is amazing; everything is a legitimate Game of the Year contender. When you watch something like the E3 extended cut, you're once again struck by the same fact: Nobody can touch these guys. Okay, so it's not open-world and it takes a different skill-set - and probably a bigger team with more money and resources - to create something like Grand Theft Auto V or The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. But forget genre for a moment. Just consider every aspect of video game development, from the basic gameplay components to the artistry, story and characters, design, pacing, etc.

How do they do it all so well, time and time again? I think it'll be interesting to see if Uncharted 4: A Thief's End feels as polished and as well put-together as other entries; the project did encounter developmental difficulties, as we all know. Nolan North says Amy Hennig's departure was a very big deal and delayed the project 8 months, and she wasn't the only head honcho they lost. So there is that to consider. And I suppose people can whine about it being "only" 1080p and 30 frames per second but I'm not about to complain. If it impacts the gameplay and we say it could've been better, that's one thing. If not, who cares?

I think the last time we saw such an elongated period of undisputed superiority was Squaresoft back in the '90s. Which, by the way, means we really need to cherish and appreciate what Naughty Dog is doing because as Square proved, it can't last forever.

If the VGChartz numbers are accurate, Sony should be pleased

According to the latest updated worldwide tally, PlayStation 4 still has a big lead over Xbox One and Wii U. I think it was official that PS4 had topped 22 million a few months ago so at least the PS4 number is probably pretty close to accurate. It's pathetic that Wii U is lagging behind even Xbox One after coming out a year before both Microsoft's and Sony's consoles. But whatever. An HD version of a long-dead fad. I really couldn't care less; I'm tired of the mounds of Nintendo shovelware that have swarmed onto store shelves over the past decade or so.

I expect Xbox One to close the gap on PS4 by the end of 2015 because I firmly expect Xbox One to win the holiday season. I honestly don't see how it couldn't. If they launch Forza Motorsport 6, Halo 5: Guardians and Rise of the Tomb Raider between September and November and they still have the cheaper console, and they still lose to PS4, it's over. There's no hope; Xbox One will continue to lag farther and farther behind and in truth, we might have a situation similar to the PS2 era. It won't be anywhere near to that level of domination (we'll never see that again) but really, if Xbox One can't lead the way this holiday season, it never will. I don't even know what PS4 has left in 2015.

But I know full well what it has on tap for 2016 and beyond. ;)

Personal gaming update

Batman: Arkham Knight is a great game. I really feel no connection to superhero games but it's just a ridiculous amount of fun. It'll be hard to get away from but I really want to dive back into The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and I'll be delivering a review for Whispering Willows this week as well. But it seems we've entered the standard summer drought, which is just fine by me because I could use the break. In addition to The Witcher 3, I still want to play Rogue Galaxy (that classic PS2 RPG I missed) and finish GTAV, and I imagine I'll need all of the next two months. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is set for September 1 so I better hustle.

I'm actually glad Uncharted 4 won't be here until next year. I want time to savor that one.

7/4/2015 Ben Dutka

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (15 posts)

Saturday, July 04, 2015 @ 9:53:15 PM

With all due respect to Uncharted, I think it's a great series with excellent gameplay, graphics and settings but as far as story and character appeal...just doesn't make me go crazy.

Now I know some of you might call me crazy and that's fine because I feel the same way when others say they don't enjoy a MGS game.

PGU; Still playing the Witcher and loving it. Finding Yrden more usual than I thought. Will soon craft a Mastercraft Ursine Armor and dominate the lands.

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Saturday, July 04, 2015 @ 10:16:23 PM

Not crazy I actually agree with you.

I think Uncharted 2 was the best in the series, and I actually think UC3 as far as story goes was the weakest and I didn't like the direction they took the melee combat in. Multiplayer was better though.

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Sunday, July 05, 2015 @ 12:39:45 AM

BLASPHEMY! Just kidding, not everyone is going to like every game and that's fine, I'm glad you can still respect it even though it's not your thing.

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Sunday, July 05, 2015 @ 1:40:33 AM

I personally think these games strive on the characters and story. Much like MGS does.

However I totally understand why people wouldn't like it as well. To an extent.

Xenris - This is my favorite game series ever, but Uncharted 2 was by far the most complete. And while Uncharted 3 had some technical feats, it went in a diction with the story I wish it hadn't. But thats just a personal feeling. I thoroughly enjoyed playing it all the same though.

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Sunday, July 05, 2015 @ 7:43:31 AM

fair call man i might give MGS5 a try though wouldn't be the first time ove been late to the party on a good gamer series

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Sunday, July 05, 2015 @ 3:02:06 PM

Character liking is subjective, but you can't say they are just stock or cliche or uninteresting 1 dimensional people like so many games today.

I like them but yeah UC3 had the worst actual story ever made for a game of all time. It did have some cool side plots though.

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Saturday, July 04, 2015 @ 10:12:40 PM

Naughty Dog is one amazing dev. This E3 footage was exactly what I needed to see. That early game play demo from months ago of Nate in the jungle shooting people left me somewhat unimpressed. While ardent supporters could cling to "if you're really familiar with the series you'll notice how great it is." Sorry. That just doesn't cut it for me when it comes to ND's standards. Their stuff should be deer in the headlights every time, as it has been. They did exactly that with the E3 (and especially the extended demo).

Sales-wise, Nintendo has been on a downward console-side spiral since after the NES. If anyone has noticed, they've been bleeding 10's of millions of sales with every passing console gen, with only the Wii as the anomaly. That isn't hard to understand though. They released a gimmick that caused the non-gamer to take notice, but as soon as that crowd left, it was back to them and their hardcore base. Alone.
I'm reading reports of the Nintendo NX releasing mid-next year. I really don't think it's going to be another typical Nintendo console. Nintendo has decades of data to glean from about their shrinking existence in the console space. I don't expect them to want to try and stay in it. I have no idea what NX will be but I expect something bizarre and not quite what anyone will have in mind.

PGU: Yea, Batman is great fun stuff. It wouldn't matter if it was Batman, Ezio, or something in an Infamous setting, it's just one great game to play if you value anything awesome and worthy of praise.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 7/4/2015 10:12:58 PM

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Sunday, July 05, 2015 @ 12:40:53 AM

Well that stuff in the jungle was alpha gameplay which I don't think a lot of people realized.

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Sunday, July 05, 2015 @ 3:10:36 PM

What do you think the NX will be? a return to greatness that can play all current games? A specialized new gimmick? A robot that strokes your johnson?

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Monday, July 06, 2015 @ 10:40:36 AM

Hehe yea, those are ALL probable outcomes World.
I have no idea though other than I think it'll be mobile. Didn't they partner with a communications company with its announcement?

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Banky A
Sunday, July 05, 2015 @ 12:18:21 AM


Platinumed The Last of Us PS4 two days ago.
Won my first and only game of Survivor with
5 Downs : 5 Executions : 0 Deaths
-- so was veeeeery pleasantly surprised and made my last week as Firefly even better. Feeling super up-myself, not sorry.

Says I took two days but I don't understand the full calculation. Time excluding waiting and menus is definitely less.

81% total. Skipping the rest of the multiplayer ones, as fun as it is. It's PS3 and FFX HD time ++ Left Behind on Grounded.

Amazing multiplayer. Best I've played since Killzone 2.

Have a good week everyone!

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Sunday, July 05, 2015 @ 3:11:28 PM

FFX ftw. And make sure you get those Omega Quintet girls :)

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Sunday, July 05, 2015 @ 1:43:32 AM

Uncharted 4 is really the only game I'm looking forward to. ND is and always will be amazing. Although I have to admit I'm curious where they will go with the story. Amy Hennig left a mark on the series and I was comfortable with her creativeness for the series. I'm a big fan of hers. Now she's gone and I would be lying if I said I think they can match what she did for Uncharted. But u would also be lying if I said I'm not excited to see where it goes.

PGU: Elder Scrolls Online.

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Sunday, July 05, 2015 @ 7:41:59 AM

so hey guys it is hard to believe we are at half of the year already its one of the fastest 1st half's of year i've had in years if not ever which is crazy.

secondly its kinda hard to believe that ND has been this amazing for this long its also pritty crazy but i don't want them to stop now keep making amazing gamers guys, i hope you never stop cos i immensely enjoy all you games(well atleast from jak1 on wards which i think i most ppl anyways)but yeah they just keep pumping out awsome ness that never ceases to amazes me which is awsome.

next yeah we can all say the ps4 has a major lead ad yeah the xb1 might claw bk some of that of the end of year break and well your right if it doesn't then it has no hope cos from 2016 onwards it'll just stride out into the distance and it might got from 10mil+ to 12,13 or 15mil+ and then theres no hope. so the do need to pull something outta the bag end of this year they are gunna struggle big time no doubt in my mind anyway.

then finally PGU i don't think that i will be any new games for awhile until i find a job as thats the next step after graduation that was in May and now its June but i've played a bit of dawn or war and battlefield 4 with my mates then by myself some unchartered 3 and C&C3 and as of the last few days i was catching up on some movies i have watch yet from way back and then i was watching some one piece(anime) aswell so crack up that stuff is good times well have a great week guys wish all the best and hope you will and have enjoy ur 4th of july celebrations cos i know its a really big deal for you guys in the US

and as always
happy gaming

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Sunday, July 05, 2015 @ 3:07:29 PM

Naughty Dog just knows gamers and puts finishing touches to make something good and flesh out the world. Everybody else takes shortcuts.

The only thing they can't do is a melee fight.

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