: Ben's Week In Review: November 8

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Ben's Week In Review: November 8

Working on reviews for Fallout 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops III; you'll see them both this week.

Are shooter fans really "shifting" to PlayStation 4?

In the past week, we heard several comments from Sony about how first-person shooter fans seem to be shifting console allegiances; i.e., from Xbox to PlayStation.

First, PlayStation UK marketing boss Lauren Bradley says the shooter audience is "tending to switch" to Sony's console, and then another marketing head honcho, Adam Boyes, called the Sony/Activision Call of Duty partnership "historic." Now, I don't mean to downplay the importance of such a partnership; it is a big deal, but isn't there a very simple explanation for this shift?

Is it about anything more than the fact that Sony has a significant lead in the hardware department this generation, while last generation PS3 struggled against Xbox 360 in the first few years? It's basically a complete role reversal and - surprise, surprise! - the most lucrative games and the most lucrative partnerships move to the console that has the market lead. Activision siding with Sony and PS4 for Destiny? The publisher doing it again for Black Ops III? Sure, why not? Xbox One remains well behind PS4; you can reach that many more users that much faster with timed exclusivity DLC deals, right? And as all shooters these days basically revolve around the social multiplayer aspect, lots of gamers are simply going to buy the version their friends are getting (I've heard this a million times). So, as many of those friends have PS4 as opposed to Xbox One, the results are expected.

I doubt this has anything at all to do with any other factor. I've heard Black Ops III performs better on PS4 and I think I heard something similar about Destiny. We've also seen plenty of multiplats performing a bit better on Sony's console, so I suppose that might have some minor influence. But for the most part, the games are pretty identical across the two consoles and really, it just comes down to user base.

Yes, VR games should have different ratings and different reasons for ratings

It was nice to see Sony acknowledging the possible dangers of virtual reality entertainment, and they're wondering if VR games will require a different rating system. I believe this is inevitable and they should be testing the possible effects on health - especially developmental health, as it pertains to younger individuals - right now. If traditional games required epilepsy and seizure warnings, I'm guessing the warnings would have to be even more stringent for virtual reality. And given the studies that are saying kids should avoid extensive exposure to 3D due to vision issues, one wonders what temporary or even permanent side effects VR can cause. Of course, as is the case with anything else, moderation is key; I doubt VR will cause any significant damage if someone uses it occasionally and for only an hour or so at a time.

But if there's one thing humanity has proven, it's that they haven't the slightest clue what "moderation" is. That's why new ratings, with the aid of in-depth studies and feedback from both physical and mental health professionals, should be in the works right now for VR entertainment of all kinds.

Personal gaming update

As you might expect, it's all about Fallout 4 and Black Ops III. I'm not going to say too much about the Fallout 4 graphics controversy; I can say it's not exactly the best-looking open-world game I've ever seen, but I think everybody already knew that. I'll save further analysis for the review. As a side note, I'm actually really surprised about that Lynda Carter news. If you haven't already, click through to the Bethesda blog and listen to her "Good Neighbor" song; it's just so good. I'm not quite old enough to have been a fan of "Wonder Woman" back in the '70s but I certainly knew who she was, and I did not know she had a Grammy-winning band that frequently tours. Anyway, it's certainly a nice addition and the game's music does excel.

Need for Speed isn't bad at all (please stop interpreting mid-7 scores as "bad"). It's actually a lot of fun but the constantly connected requirement and rubber-band AI really got to me. I just want to get back to Assassin's Creed Syndicate ASAP. Speaking of which, if you want both Syndicate and NFS for free, don't forget to participate in the new giveaway.

11/7/2015 Ben Dutka

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (7 posts)

Saturday, November 07, 2015 @ 10:29:38 PM

In reference to VR --- can you imagine VR games having too much violence? -- The news corporations would go ballistic after the first release of a violent game and a violent tragedy in the states. I would suggest that if VR does kick off that Rockstar stays away from it for awhile. I personally do not care about VR because I see it as a huge heath risk.

No PGU for me. I've been doing homework pretty much the whole weekend. For those getting Fallout - ENJOY!

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Saturday, November 07, 2015 @ 10:54:37 PM

I think the market lead relates to consumers shifting. Furthermore yes I agree, common sense says the market will follow consumers. But its no secret last generation. Microsoft was buying up these exclusive deals. I'm not sure Sony is, but they may not have to either.

I'm not big on reviews anymore so I could care less how VR games are evaluated. However, I don't think it will be much different. Everything still applies except the immersion part. That will dictate a lot game to game.

Since I'm on the subject I stumbled upon an IGN pre-review prior to their full review, when looking at gameplay of Black Ops 3. I really enjoyed it. They explained everything I needed in enough detail that I knew I wanted it without even attaching a score to it. That's how a review should be. It was informational and not subjective or opinionated. Much different than most things today.

Don't care if FO4 looks good or not. It's all about the world and gameplay. Games can be good and not look like Uncharted 2 did in its time.

PGU: Black Ops 3 until whenever. I'm getting Fallout 4 and Star Wars this month as well.

Black Ops 3 is actually really good. I'm excited about the 4 player co-op which really needed to return. They did a lot of good things in the campaign to make it feel like it's not a shooter on rails. The many cutomizations add a varied gameplay mechanic that can warrant multiple play throughs. Something not normally said about CoD. It really does offer many ways to play with out shoot, cover, repeat.

Only played a couple rounds of Zombies but it's good. It's a little overwhelming with all the customization being that it's just a survival mode.

The mp is as expected but much deeper, more refined, and finally no spawn camping and no spawning on enemies! I havnt played a match where I've spawned within enemy range. The character specialists is much needed and welcomed as well. No more generic characters. All good here so far.

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Saturday, November 07, 2015 @ 11:28:36 PM

Edit: I got ahead of myself. I related ratings to reviews regarding VR. I agree with what's said. More interesting is how advanced I imagine this will be. I look back to Sega VR. This will be vastly different. Having bad eye sight for whatever reason, I tend to wonder how this would effect even me. I don't typically have issues with just gaming and I can watch 3d movies fine. But for periods of time I'm curious how I will react to this. I'm not sure I'll buy it but given the chance I'd like to try it out.

Anyways just wanted to elaborate.

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slow and smart
Sunday, November 08, 2015 @ 1:51:55 AM

"Don't care if FO4 looks good or not. It's all about the world and gameplay. Games can be good and not look like Uncharted 2 did in its time."
exactly,so true!

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Sunday, November 08, 2015 @ 12:39:02 AM

It's still hard to believe how much things have changed from last gen to this.

I hope Fallout 4 delivers.

PGU: About to finish FFIV. Yep. Already. It's a short one. Died one time on the final boss but I think I'll take him on next try. The story is okay but the game play is solid, for it's time anyway. It looks great though on my Vita.
After FFIV I'm not sure if I should wait for Suikoden II to go on sale or maybe try The Legend of Dragoon (something I snagged for a buck some months back for the heck of it).

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Sunday, November 08, 2015 @ 8:20:44 PM

I loved Dragoon when I played it back in the day. Not sure how it holds up today but when I was in public school it was really awesome.

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slow and smart
Sunday, November 08, 2015 @ 1:55:49 AM

Can't wait for F4,......and graphics?,duh: GAMEPLAY

VR:yes i agree with different ratings,very good!

Last edited by slow and smart on 11/8/2015 1:59:14 AM

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