Ben's Week In Review: November 22
Ready for Black Friday? Or are you already getting a head-start thanks to Amazon?
Has Sony doubled back on their "b/c doesn't matter much" idea?
Whenever fans voiced their annoyance at a PlayStation console not supporting backwards compatibility - for instance, the PS3 losing its synthesizer chip and then all PS2 emulation - the company's response was typically the same (and I'm paraphrasing here): "As a generation rolls on, backwards compatibility becomes less and less important for most gamers."
I've always said that was both true and false. It's true for the obvious reason that as old games get even older and technology continues to advance, we start to look upon those classics as severely outdated. And hence, we're less interested. On the other hand, the explanation is also partly false because some of those classics boast gameplay that we simply don't have anymore. It's not merely about nostalgia. It's about turn-based RPGs, linear adventures (that are rapidly dying nowadays), true action/platformers like Ratchet & Clank and Jak and Daxter, etc. Heck, we don't really even have pure stealth these days, as what we were forced into with the likes of Metal Gear Solid, Syphon Filter and the early Hitman games has been replaced by "freedom."
So, maybe Sony has listened. It seems we're getting at least some form of PS2 backwards compatibility for the PS4, even though we don't have any concrete details just yet. I'd like to learn more about it before I get excited but as I have my PS3 and PS2 hooked up all the time, anyway, I don't really care that much. My guess is that others care a lot and they're going to want to see proper emulation, and the ability to play the best PS2 games in existence.
Pay attention, more great games are coming...
I know we're still in the midst of the holiday rush but I wanted to turn your attention to several titles we talked about this past week:
First, the ones that are just around the corner. There's the PS4 version of Beyond: Two Souls, which is now slated for November 24 (and Heavy Rain hits PS4 on March 1, 2016). We've got Rainbow Six Siege (participating in the open beta?) and Just Cause 3 (this is one heckuva CG trailer), both of which are coming out on December 1. And next year, you can look forward to Gravity Rush Remastered (which was just pushed up a week) and the anticipated new puzzler from Jonathan Blow, The Witness. Lastly, even though they're not confirmed for any territory beside Japan, strategy/RPG fans are hoping against hope that we'll see Valkyria: Azure Revolution and the Valkyria Chronicles Remaster.
See? The onslaught really never ends, especially if you've got a forward-thinking mindset. Oh, and I'm sure Bloodborne fans will be all over The Old Hunters expansion this week, right? Don't forget to check those update notes.
Personal gaming update
I've had my fill of Star Wars: Battlefront, which is a flawed but fun game that's clearly designed for a mass audience. There just isn't much to this production, and I couldn't shake that "light" feeling throughout my play time. I'm guessing die-hard "Star Wars" fans are loving it, though, and that's fine; you're the intended demographic, anyway. And this is one of the most impressive-looking games based on the legendary sci-fi IP, too. By the way, to explain the graphics score, I factor map design into that category and frankly, the maps in Battlefront are nothing special.
Anyway, I can finally go back to Assassin's Creed Syndicate until I have to tackle Rainbow Six Siege and Just Cause 3 next week. After that, there's a bit of a break...what will you be playing for the rest of 2015?
11/21/2015 Ben Dutka