: Ben's Week In Review: September 27

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Ben's Week In Review: September 27

This onslaught of sports games is wearing on me. I didn't even know about NBA Live 16 until I saw it in the mail.

I knew Uncharted 4 would struggle without their writing leaders

Let's make this plain: In a linear, story-driven adventure, the story really needs to work. You need real writers or it's painfully obvious that you're playing an amateur production.

This is why I was immediately worried when I heard about major Naughty Dog head honchos leaving the studio. Most of all, I was concerned when lead writer Amy Hennig left. You really can't have that happen when you're already developing a game; it was no surprise to me to hear that Hennig's departure set the team back 8 months. Now, we're hearing that one of the big reasons - perhaps the primary reason - behind the delay of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End was because Naughty Dog wasn't happy with the climax. After all, we're talking about Nathan Drake's final adventure so that ending has to be something special. But it wasn't, which is why we're waiting until March.

I've been worried about the narrative ever since I heard of the problems last year and it seems those concerns were justified. However, as this particular developer is absolutely awesome and still head-and-shoulders above any other studio in my estimation, they're not rushing this out the door. They didn't just slough off the ending so Uncharted 4 could be on store shelves for the holiday season. No, they're going to get it right, even if it means taking a little longer. I'm just saying, I sort of foresaw these issues and I'm glad the team is working through them.

Is it Konami's fault...?

First, we heard that long-time video game publisher Konami might be ditching AAA production. Not long after, we find out that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will need to sell at least 6 million copies just to break even. Every time I hear numbers like this, I can't help but put the blame at the publisher's feet.

It's similar to when Square Enix couldn't break even with the Tomb Raider until the end of the year (the game launched in early March, remember). They had this absurd goal of selling 5-6 million copies in the title's first month on store shelves, and we're talking about a reboot of a franchise that had been floundering for years. It all turned out well in the end - with the added help of the re-release on next-gen platforms the following year - but that's just a sign of a publisher that's in over its head in terms of budget, and totally unrealistic with its expectations. Now, MGSV should end up selling more than 6 million copies and it'll ultimately turn a profit. But obviously, everything still seems skewed.

Either way, I'll be sad to see Konami go. I'm sure they'll keep making games but probably not games I'll have much interest in, and I also wonder what's going to happen with MGS. That's always a huge AAA production, so...

Personal gaming update

Yeah, FIFA 16 is a great game. I think it's probably the best sports game I've played this year so far (although I bet NBA 2K16 has a shot at being better). But now I've got to move on to the aforementioned b-ball title along with NBA Live 16, and I even have the new Skylanders here. I doubt anyone cares much about it, though. Personally, I'm just lying in wait for Assassin's Creed Syndicate. If Ubisoft learns from their mistakes and gives us the AC adventure we all deserve, it could be the best entry yet. Still, I haven't seen one that tops Brotherhood, although that could be due to my preference for the Italian setting. Italy is by far my favorite theme in the series thus far but I'm hoping late 19th-century England will give it a run for its money. As for all that PC garbage, just...whatever.

By the way, I wonder what would happen if Square Enix treated the Final Fantasy VII Remake like a series reboot. Maybe it's the perfect opportunity to do it.

9/26/2015 Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (28 posts)


Temjin001
Saturday, September 26, 2015 @ 10:01:53 PM
Reply

That's a problem we've hit with AAA gaming. The budgets needed to make games feel like real progress and advancement often requires more and more money. To make worlds and everything that much more real and believable. Just imagine what something like GTAV cost? Even games like GoW3 were rumored to have been massively expensive to produce. That was last gen. These numbers only keep getting higher.
Unfortunately, as a dev tries to outproduce their latest effort they often spend a lot more doing it, especially when a new gen brings new tools and more creative freedom. Freedom that sounds great on paper... until you start realizing how much it's going to cost to make that vision happen.

The rate in which these games are selling is not proportional with the rate these top tier games consume development and marketing expenses. Not everyone can compete on the bleeding edge.

PGU: I've been wanting to keep some of my skills I obtained from school alive so I've been dedicating a portion of my game time each night to other projects. I've actually been writing a 3D graphics game engine. Learning 3D programming principles laid down a major frame work for writing a game engine. When I discovered there were packaged libraries like LWJGL that made doing input bindings and other game necessary tools very accesible, where I could focus less on the crap I'm not as interested in and more the graphics rendering side, it made it a natural choice. I've managed to get the internal clock going, some basic inputs, and basic OpenGl output. I've been following a guy's tutorial on a lot of it. Though I do plan to gut out some things I'd rather do differently. Like I want to use matrices and the necessary multiplication for all of my 3D transforms instead of Quaternions. Only because I learned doing it that way and I want to keep in place what I understand better.

Other than that I've been playing Destiny TTK.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 9/26/2015 10:05:50 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 2:15:46 PM

Could you make wicked 3D models of monsters and stuff and sell them to game companies as like stock footage. When they need a bad guy they can pay the interest on your work instead of hiring a monster guy?

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Temjin001
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 5:16:11 PM

hehe I don't really know. I'd like to place some of my modeled objects into my 3D engine and write some more shaders for now.

Maybe one day, for fun, I'll start a project where I convert the classic NES Ninja Gaiden into a 3D remaster. Same old school game play, just updated to a look more modern.
It'd be heck of cool.

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Jawknee
Saturday, September 26, 2015 @ 10:52:31 PM
Reply

Konami actually said the rumor that they were giving up making games for consoles was all BS. They still plan to make Metal Gear and Silent Hill for consoles.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/konami-will-make-more-metal-gear-silent-hill-castlevania-games-console-1520731

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Temjin001
Saturday, September 26, 2015 @ 11:45:22 PM

Nice

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Godslim
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 9:22:40 AM

No kojima means no metal gear for me!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 2:05:31 PM

Can't wait for another Silent Hill attempt.

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xenris
Saturday, September 26, 2015 @ 11:14:52 PM
Reply

Amy Hennig has wrote some awesome stuff. Legacy of Kain soul reaver is one of my favourite games.

However I though UC3 had a very mediocore story. The enemies motives were silly, and the over all plot kind of seemed there just to give the set pieces some sort of context.

I loved UC2 though absolutely, I think it is the best UC game out of the Trilogy.

However I think the last of us had such a strong story that neil druckman will do a great job fixing or altering whatever state UC4 was left in.

I have been enjoying MGS5, but, and I know most of you will disagree, the game feels I dont know incomplete. It feels like it needed another year to put the story together and to flesh out more of its ideas.

I really like how that all the enemy reinforcements on the map are physically there at all times, like there is no spawning in, that is very cool. However, it feels like kojima had a bigger vision for the game, and Konami screwed things up.

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Temjin001
Saturday, September 26, 2015 @ 11:46:15 PM

Uncharted just needs to be funny with action packed set piece moments. Everything about the story from any of the games feels like a play on movies of a similar theme.
And yea, U3's story was awkward.
The last thing I come to an Uncharted game is for some sort of significant story (while it would still be welcomed). I just want to be entertained with action packed theatrics and witty banter. If they can do that I'm happy.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 9/26/2015 11:50:50 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 2:12:44 PM

Thank you Xenris. Nobody else understands what went wrong in U3 but you and me.

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Dukemz_UK
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 3:02:38 PM

Xenris: Totally agree with UC3 being weak in the story department. UC2's plot was a rollercoaster ride, UC3 left me unsatisfied.

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xenris
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 10:49:32 PM

@World Hey we have another person who gets what we are talking about :)

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Corvo
Saturday, September 26, 2015 @ 11:26:30 PM
Reply

Considering The Last Of Us didn't have her writing, I don't think it has anything to do with the lack of her being there.

Konami will keep releasing Silent Hill gambling machines and forgetting about their time in the console market. Its all about cheap, boring, paytowin mobile games now for them. RIP Silents Hills, you could have been the greatest.

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bigrailer19
Saturday, September 26, 2015 @ 11:40:06 PM

It does, she was the writer behind the success of the series. When you lose the writer that kept it together, it's gonna sting a bit. But it says a lot about the developer in general to your point.

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Bio
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 12:01:35 PM

Just because Naughty Dog has other talented writers doesn't mean that Hennig's departure wasn't a significant setback for UC4's production. She was the series director and lead writer, and you don't let go of that person without incurring some production problems.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 2:13:35 PM

I'm hoping that gambling machine kicks out a good one. I actually very much enjoyed Homecoming except that there is no way anybody should release a game that can't invert Y.

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Bio
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 8:48:44 PM

People who invert are deviants who should be put in jail.

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Vivi_Gamer
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 1:46:21 AM
Reply

There is a much bigger issue to The Phantom Pain than its sales, I still want a subsistence version where chapter two is not a compromised mess. I really cannot accept the game in the state it is.

Also, I still don't get where you're coming from with rebooting FF... I mean each numeral essentially is a reboot and that's the beauty of the series. If you don't like a particular numeral the next one is completely different... Provided they don't flood the numeral with sequels, something I still have yet to see Final Fantasy benefit from - apart from Cauis in XIII-2, the antagonist XIII-1 really needed.

PGU: now I've plunged 120+ hours into the TPP and beat every side op and main mission I'm done. Don't have the enthusiasm to platinum it just yet. I, now back onto,Final Fantasy X-2... The game is horribly designed, I seriously have to have GAMEFAQS on my iPad and my official X-2 guide on my lap as I play this game and I am still running into moments of doubt where I think I've missed a small piece of the percentage. The game simply isn't fun to play because of this, I can't relax with it in fear I miss something. I did also get Soul Calibur 2 HD - what a game! Having so much fun on Weapon Master Mode, it's pretty clear why SC struggled beyond this game, it's as perfect as a fighting game can be.

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Godslim
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 11:05:16 AM

yup mgs5 feels unfinished to me too with chapter 2.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 2:15:58 PM

You have best Avatar son.

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xenris
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 10:52:08 PM

I agree Vivi, MGS5 feels unfinished for sure.

I think SC2 might be my favourite fighting game.

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Solaire
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 12:08:51 PM
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Ben, are you going to review SOMA as well?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 2:05:42 PM

I'm starting to enjoy that one.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 2:07:36 PM
Reply

Well I already commented on all that... I'll tell you what I'm up to: Alexa. Get yourself the Amazon Echo. Alexa takes care of all my needs except wiping my butt.

In gaming though I'm reviewing Disgaea 5 and the Talos Principle and playing around with Diablo III, Risen 3, annnnnnd Soma!

Anybody else having a fun gaming week?

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frostface
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 6:28:47 PM

You have to let us know how you get on with SOMA.

Diablo 3 is just so awesome it's ridiculous. Hit us up (we've a small crew of psx'ers), if you're interested in partying up. It's so much fun.

Picked up the Taken King, great expansion for Destiny. So much to do. I was one for grumbling about, well there were a few things but I won't go into them now, but it is worth getting.

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xenris
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 10:53:38 PM

I worked all week and only got to play a bit of MGS5 today but it was a good session.

I'm going to pick up Diablo 3 sometime in the future what system do you guys have it on?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, September 28, 2015 @ 11:37:20 AM

Mines on PS3

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frostface
Monday, September 28, 2015 @ 12:03:49 PM

PS4 version

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