: Ben's Week In Review: October 11

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Ben's Week In Review: October 11

Well, at least I don't have any more sports games to review.

PlayStation 4 price drop was the right thing to do

The holiday season is always critical for a console manufacturer, so perhaps it was inevitable that Sony would cut the price of the PS4.

I know the system has continued to outsell Xbox One even after the latter dropped its price earlier this year, but the sales difference in this country is a lot slimmer than people understand, I think. Since Xbox One's price fell, it has competed very favorably with Sony's console in the U.S. and heading into the most important period of the year, it was still cheaper and had several huge exclusives.

That's why I'm convinced - as Sony was as well, I bet - that Xbox One would indeed outsell PS4 without too much trouble if it remained $50 cheaper than PS4, and had the benefit of Halo 5: Guardians, Forza 6 and Rise of the Tomb Raider. Hell, the new Halo alone would probably be enough for Xbox One to win the holiday battle. I know Sony thinks Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection can be a system seller but let's face it; a compilation of older games isn't going to outstrip three brand new highly anticipated titles on a competing platform. I actually wonder if PS4 can stay ahead of Xbox One in the U.S. this holiday season even with the price drop; I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft cut into the overall lead.

That being said, I think we all agree with Xbox boss Phil Spencer when he admits his company made some serious mistakes when Xbox One was first announced. He doubts, as I and many others do, that Microsoft's console can ever catch PlayStation 4. Yeah, well, that's what happens when you prove you've never cared an ounce about gamers from the start, and you're solely interested in coercing the consumer to spend every dime he or she has got. Microsoft reeked of manipulation and arrogance at the start of this generation; Sony catered entirely to the gamer. No surprise who's ahead, if you look at it that way.

Is it even possible to add up the total number of fixes delivered by patches for The Witcher 3?

I was wondering about this when I saw that the latest gigantic patch brings over 600 fixes to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. I mean, that's the third or fourth major patch, I think, and each one has supposedly given us hundreds and hundreds of fixes, improvements, additions and enhancements. I'm sorry, as much as I love the game, all this really proves - over and over again - is just how busted the game was when it first launched. It's pretty much the only reason I couldn't in good conscience give out a 9+ score but of course, after all the updates, it's easily a 9+ game now. It also brings one back to the ongoing argument concerning those first reviews and scores: If the game is a lot better than it was after it first launched and consumers are interested in buying it for the first time, wouldn't those original reviews be misleading?

It's ridiculous to say critics should issue entirely new reviews; after all, all this would do is tell developers and publishers it's okay to release half-done products. Let's not be enablers. At the same time, I think there should be some disclaimer in the original review after a developer provides players with gigantic updates and patches that substantially improve the experience. I'm thinking about doing that with my review, in fact. It only seems fair, as it's equally fair that I will not change the score.

Personal gaming update

I'm lying in wait for the Hearts of Stone expansion for The Witcher 3 (here's the launch trailer in case you missed it) and Assassin's Creed Syndicate. However, I'm also playing Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance and Dragon Quest Heroes for review purposes and thankfully, I've got some time to do it because both games are pretty huge. Don't care much for the latter, as it's basically Dynasty Warriors with a DQ skin. This shouldn't shock anyone, as the developer is Omega Force. It drives me up the wall to see what certain Japanese companies are willing to do to completely decimate and/or drastically alter a revered franchise, and for no good reason. If I wanted to play Dynasty Warriors, I would. What if I actually want to play a Dragon Quest game? Oh right, I forgot; it has to be "updated" to make it a mainstream twitch-lover's production, like all modern-day titles.

Well, whatever. I might try to review Rock Band 4 as well.

10/10/2015 Ben Dutka

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (13 posts)

Saturday, October 10, 2015 @ 9:50:04 PM

"It's ridiculous to say critics should issue entirely new reviews; after all, all this would do is tell developers and publishers it's okay to release half-done products."

1. I agree and...
2. Who wants to review the same game twice?

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Sunday, October 11, 2015 @ 2:26:13 PM

I mean yeah, if they couldn't release a bomb game when it was set to release and it only became top notch after a bunch of big ass patches someone else can review it.

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Saturday, October 10, 2015 @ 9:54:03 PM

I wouldn't be surprised if MS takes Nov and Dec in the US. Recalling last year MS offered crazy good deals, making the XO effectively like $250 before the cost of bundled games were added in. I expect a similar thing this year from MS.

Witcher 3 had too many problems at launch to have netted as consistently high scores as it had. It's a cool game that has made an identity for itself as a leading AAA RPG franchise but the team really needs to tighten up on quality control. I'm concerned their apparantly much bigger Cyber Punk RPG coming down the pipeline may be even more of a mess. No day 1 purchase from me with that one unless critics make it known the game is in much better shape relative to Witcher 3's launch.

PGU: Anyone been to a Dave and Busters? Hot dang! I didn't know arcade's like that existed anymore. Go to one if you can (but go on Wednesday nights because games are half-price). I got to play the Star Wars Holo-pod game, among many others, and it was pretty awesome. They also had a 4 player arcade Mario Kart. Crazy. It's like I walked into another dimension.

Anyway. Been making progress on my game engine. Got the camera and perspective implemented, including also texture support (though very simplistically at this point). It's real time consuming stuff. I need to slow down a little on it though as it's been too distracting.

I look forward to playing the Uncharted Collection and more MGSV.
I also crazily got 100 wins in DOA5 Plus's survival mode. That was exhausting. literally for my thumbs.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 10/10/2015 9:55:16 PM

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Sunday, October 11, 2015 @ 10:51:07 AM

My friends and I used to go to D n B a lot when it still had that old English pub atmosphere about 3 years ago they completely changed it into a night clubesque, blasting techno music so loud you can't even have a conversation without yelling. So we don't go anymore.

I downloaded the demo for Uncharted collection. While they still look great the controls feel pretty bad compared to The Last of Us and especially MGS5. They're mushy and chaotic at times. The controls and animations really haven't held up well with time. Same with the sound. I don't remember it being that flat and muffled.

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Saturday, October 10, 2015 @ 11:28:09 PM

Disclaimer sounds like a good idea I remember you have brought this up over the years.

When the Witcher 3 released I didn't have any major issues just simple pop ins here and there I figured there might be bugs because I played the previous games. For me Witcher 3 is the best rpg I've played since Final Fantasy X.

I'm looking forward to Hearts of Stone, AC Syndicate & the final episode of Life Is Strange. Dragon Quest Heroes does interest me but I'll wait for a price drop. Right now I'm on my second play through of W3 making different choices.

Last edited by bebestorm on 10/10/2015 11:28:56 PM

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Sunday, October 11, 2015 @ 12:24:58 AM

Two interesting points were brought up in this article. One being Microsofts lack of care about consumers and the other about games such as The Witcher needing numerous updates to make it run and play as intended.

To the first point, this industry is making me frustrated. I loved when I could go pick up a console knowing I could play games. Now because of microtransactions, making consumers pay for subscriptions, dlc, etc... I don't know what I'm immediately getting nor how what comes out later affects the overall quality of the original release. This is something MS supports and uses similiar strategies, much of them convinced consumers that the Xbox One was not a system for gamers. It goes deeper than consoles and right down to the games we play. Publishers and developers today are exploring many different strategies to take as much money from consumers while convincing them the return is great and justified. While in reality it's not.

To the second point, The Witcher is far from the only game needing many amounts of updates and large sized updates. AC is another game guilty of it, and in fact it's about the most embarrassing release of a game I've seen. What game needs a whole area patched into a game to make it run correctly? Look no further. But beyond that we are at a place where the industry keeps pumping games out and just patching them as they go. Publishers have caught on that consumers will buy the game regardless so developers continue to push out the product just to meet deadlines. Rather than wait a few months and maybe get further along. It's a tragedy unfortunately, but it will never get better. The Witcher was praised and it's regarded as a great game. However, when compared to a game that needs little to no patches you realise just how bad they really are. It's unfortunate but again it's not going to change. Because we will buy the game regardless, because how are we to know a whole city needs to be patched and loaded back into the game months after its release? We don't.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 10/11/2015 12:27:01 AM

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Sunday, October 11, 2015 @ 11:02:04 AM

The micro transactions are pissing me off in MGS5. I didn't mind buying some mother base coins so I could have an additional Forward Operating base to boost my staff, resource refinement time and the number of combats units I can deploy but then boom. Konami released a patched that moved more than half of the stuff I collected offline to their servers where it is open to looting by other players if they invade your forward operating base. Which is a cool concept only Konami ruined it by basically taking our single player loot and holding it ransom on their servers. If I want to protect it? I gotta buy their bs virtual insurance with real money if I don't want to lose resources while I'm not online. The worst part, is any resources or in game currency I spend comes out of my Motherbase(offline) stash first meaning if I spend too much GMP, then can't log into their servers for whatever reason, I lose access to the funds stored on my Forward Operating base which will put Motherbase in the red. Which in turn causes soldiers to lose moral then eventually leave to which you can't get back once they're gone.

No thanks. This is clash of clans type bullsh*t in Metal Gear. I thought I was buying Metal Gear. Not Second Life.

It's still a stellar game that I can't seem to put down but the way they changed the way your FOB works and moving much of your resources online, it's put a damper on the game. Also the patch changed the way it saves at check points. The game noticeably chugs and stutters at check points now. It's not game breaking but annoying since the game ran at a near flawless 60fps 99% of the time pre patch. It's quite noticeable when you're running through a check point on horseback when the frame rate drops.

Last edited by Jawknee on 10/11/2015 11:19:40 AM

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Sunday, October 11, 2015 @ 11:56:00 AM

I totally understand. And the problem is they patched it in later. They let the consumer gather to the necessities then patched it to make you buy what you need later to protect it. It's a way of forcing the consumer into something.

And I get it. It doesn't hurt the games quality, but it does hurt it's market appeal.

Thus is my exact complaint about Destiny. The publishers and developers have brought out a new type of marketing system. It's working so well and it's unfortunate. It's essentially pay to play because you cant progress with out buying the dlc. None of which are worth their price either.

They've figured out how to maximize profits while keeping us in check. It's crazy.

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Sunday, October 11, 2015 @ 1:18:20 PM

Yea this is garbage. This kind of nonsense is going to cause me to buy less games this generation.

If and when you buy MGS5, play it offline and don't install the patch until you know you want to play MGO or are satisfied with your single player progress. The economic system worked great pre patch. Now it's basically a hunt to maintain an certain threshold of resources above what is required to keep Motherbase functioning normally when offline. Can't even touch the online GMP. as I said, if you do then if and when you can't log in or don't want to log in, unless you have a minimum 5,500,000 GMP before you log off, you won't have enough to run mother base offline unless you grind for more GMP. Because once you log off with only 5,500,000 GMP in the bank, all you'll be left with is 500,000. Which is enough to continue to play offline but it still makes expanding the storage capacity pointless(before the patch, you maxed out at 5,000,000 GMP. Moving it online doubled the max). I emailed Konami about this. Hopefully they hear enough complaints and fix this. A fix could be that they just simply remove GMP storage offline completely. That way we can still have access to all our money if we're not logged in and don't have to worry about making sure there more than 5,000,000 in the bank before we attempt to play offline. Or instead of dipping into our offline stash first, make it so that the online portion is spent before the Motherbase portion is dipped into. As it is now, anytime is spend GMP, it uses the offline funds first.

Don't get me wrong, the gameplay is fun enough that I personally don't mind grinding in the Side Ops but for others this could be a major problem. This kind of bs should never have been allowed to happen to a franchise like Metal Gear. I'd be surprised if this was what Kojima wanted rather than what Konami pushed him to include.

Last edited by Jawknee on 10/11/2015 1:27:08 PM

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Sunday, October 11, 2015 @ 3:06:05 AM

I already said it before, this is a good holiday for gamers. Who the F cares what ends up selling more. Of course it will be Playstation being that it was still outselling xbox 2:1 even when it was more expensive.

So after playing Skyrim again on my ps3, meaning no mods, I have a bit more to say about it. Like a rererereview for myself. I still don't like it much. After 80 hours and just about every major quest done I can honestly say I still enjoyed Oblivion more. Skyrim isn't bad though, it really came down to the story for everything. I couldn't get into the world. It still felt empty, with no soul. I did however have fun playing it with my old character build. Heavy armor + stealth. I do get why people love it now though, its a world that I can totally see people wanting to live in.

Other than Skyrim its been Dishonored, Bloodborne, and the past couple of betas that have come out. Siege isn't too bad and Battlefront isn't as good as Battlefront 2.

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Sunday, October 11, 2015 @ 6:46:39 AM

It's already ok to release a half-assed game.
Just look at Skyrim, it was a bugfest and yet considered one of the best game ever.
The greatest and perfect example of being amazing and broken at the same time.

And because there's post-launch patch, most reviewers don't care!

Last edited by Snaaaake on 10/11/2015 6:47:24 AM

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Sunday, October 11, 2015 @ 7:46:58 AM

Still Witcher 3 has many bugs. The contract "Skellige's Most Wanted" is still broken for me (target dont die at the end and keeps doing the same animation). Some people told me this one was a very important mission that opens others that affect the finale. Bummer.

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Monday, October 12, 2015 @ 12:09:55 AM

I was never able to finish that quest either for the same reason. Eventually I just gave up on it and went to youtube.

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