: Ben's Week In Review: December 13

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Ben's Week In Review: December 13

Christmas is fast approaching. Got all your shopping done?

Naughty Dog says what a lot of studios say

I mean, in regards to their working relationship with Sony.

This past week, the Uncharted developer said Sony basically lets them make "whatever game they want to make." I always love hearing this and in point of fact, we've heard this a lot over the years.

It seems clear that Sony's first-party studios just love being first-party. They really do. I'm not saying there isn't some push-and-pull; I'm not saying Sony, as the publishers, never pressure their teams to produce a certain element for a game, or a certain type of DLC, or whatever. However, whenever you hear a studio talk about their dealings with Sony, they aren't just like, "oh yeah, that's a pretty decent relationship." It's more like high praise; some of these teams are absolutely gushing. Yes, I know Sony is the company that publishes their product and makes them money but let's face it, there are a ton of developer-publisher relationships in this industry, and never do you hear teams speak so highly of their partners.

I well remember Sucker Punch making very similar statements during the build-up to the last inFamous, for example. And speaking of which, it seems we might hear about their new project at some point in the near future, as Sony executives say the new game is internally playable. I really hope it's another inFamous because I adore those games. But no matter what it is, I will always respect Sony for giving their teams so much in the way of creative freedom. Without that, I'm sure we never would've seen games like Heavy Rain; an admitted gamble by Sony that paid off big time, and Quantic Dream is forever grateful. If you don't take risks, if you continue to shackle yourself to the current trends ('cough' Microsoft 'cough'), you'll end up with few new IPs and those new IPs will feel nothing but safe, if not contrived.

I really can't say how gamers will respond to PlayStation VR

Sony believes that with the virtual reality explosion next year (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR), this new interactive endeavor will really get rolling. As a result, the company thinks PlayStation VR will experience a "snowball" effect in regards to sales. Simply put, with more VR devices in homes, more people will think about taking the leap. But I'm not sure it's going to happen all that quickly, primarily because a lot of people are still leery about this technology. Not only do those with long memories remember all the prior attempts to turn things like 3D into a mass consumption item, but as far as most concerned, this new tech isn't proven. I know we hear plenty of positive feedback from those who have tested it out, but gamers are really going to want to try it before plunking down $400, or whatever it costs (Sony said to expect a price tag similar to a new gaming platform).

Then there's a vocal contingent that also questions the safety of these devices. What effects these things will have on developing vision in children and even the day-to-day workings of the brain are completely unknown, and anyone who believes something like this can't possibly have any effect is just childishly naive.

Personal gaming update

I finally got done playing enough of Rainbow Six Siege to deliver a review and in short, if you want a tactical co-op shooter, get it. If you want a simpler, faster-paced, less thoughtful shooter, don't bother. It's really that simple. I'll be going back to Assassin's Creed Syndicate but I do have a few other reviews I want to finish before the year is out. I do like Just Cause 3 more than I thought but not enough to finish it. I'm still thinking about which games should win which awards at the end of the month; 2015 is over and the decisions are always difficult. By the way, do you agree with the Game Awards winners?

12/12/2015 Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (12 posts)

Sunday, December 13, 2015 @ 1:36:54 AM

At $300-400 PSVR is going to have a hard time in the mainstream. There's no doubt about that.
I'm adamant though that this sub-platform can't succeed with the core gamer by leaning too heavily into the tech as it's primary means of selling itself. This is what Sony appears to be doing through showing off a bunch of oldschool games that are light on play and big on VR sensation.

It's like Wii all over again and it's not good.

Sure, it'll be wonderful for some genres, like with racing enthusiasts. Those who like racing with a wheel and pedals. It'll be another handy peripheral to help augment the feel of the race. As for other games? It's not so easy, especially with the AAA FPS scene.

You can't just ask every AAA franchise to implement this VR tech and expect them to comply in a meaningful way. It would mean having to scale back the game to accommodate the VR rendering. In the PC space this could work because PC gamers are used to laying down extra money to increase performance and graphics detail. But this isn't an option at the console level.

All I'm saying is this venue will need something more than what I'm seeing or it's greatness will be waiting for a while after it's initial debut wears on. I'm personally excited to try it out and get into it but I'm not blinded to the reality of the situation or by the appeal of virtual reality.

PGU: I've been all over the map this last week. Let's see, I played through Metal Slug X and spent a night doing nothing but playing SNK games. Ah yes, the Neo Geo. The $800 platform with $300 game cartridges that no one could afford back in the day. Instead, we all played SNES or Genesis. Today, it's great thinking for only $10 on Humble Bundle you could get THOUSANDS of dollars worth of then-cutting edge games on your PC.

Witcher 3 had a couple of nights of fun. SPOILERS Hung out in a sauna with old-grandma boobs and then kissed some dorky boy (as Ciri). Later I went with Yennifer to get a Djinn to break the love spell on us (something I had no idea existed to begin with).

Other than that I had a wonderful session or two with Fallout 4. I think I have most of the settlements settled.

Then I snuck in some Ninja Gaiden 3 RE and Drive Club time.. and probably something else.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 12/13/2015 1:40:43 AM

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Sunday, December 13, 2015 @ 2:28:11 AM

And when I stated it'd be like Wii all over again I meant more like motion controls all over again.

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Sunday, December 13, 2015 @ 12:15:22 PM

I understood what you meant. The gimmick can't be the star.

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Sunday, December 13, 2015 @ 7:48:36 PM

Precisely. And you stated it in much fewer words than I =)

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Sunday, December 13, 2015 @ 3:04:17 AM

After the success ND has had, I have no doubt Sony gives them tons of freedom. But when they say this is the last Uncharted, I'm sure Sony might say otherwise, maybe not right now.

Im excited about PSVR but as a non consumer. I don't know where or how but I really want to try it. I just have no interest in spending that type of money on it.

PGU: Diablo 3, CoD and I'm kind of over Star Wars. Played a bit last night but that was only cus we got a group of 5 to play.

Also enjoying PSNOW a lot. I tried the free trial and was hooked. I can't believe I actually get to play Bioshock Infinite. I was super mad I missed that one, but now I get to finish it. It's really good. I'm also enjoying a few other games I missed out on and also missed playing.

I can't get behind the $20 a month over a long period of time, but I'm glad they went the subscription model. I think it needs to be around $10 a month. The deal they have for $99 for a year is great but just like Amazon Prime its hard to surrender those funds all at once. As time goes on and more titles show up it might get there. But once I started the free trial I knew roght away I'd sign up for a month anyways. So far I love and support the idea. But that price...

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 12/13/2015 3:06:19 AM

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Sunday, December 13, 2015 @ 12:15:48 PM

They say it's Nathan Drake's last Uncharted.

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Sunday, December 13, 2015 @ 12:14:20 PM

Why can't I change my avatar?

Are all PS2 Classics taken off the PS3 store to force gamers onto PS4? One of my PS3's can't find them on the store, the other one says the store is under maintenance FOREVER.

I lost my sh*t and bought Rogue Galaxy and Dark Cloud. I loved those games and I miss the classic gameplay. The "emulation" does have some success in resolution for certain aspects of the games. I remember RG being great but its better than I remember. Not fully sure what you mean about the camera Ben. You just move it with the right stick, unless you mean autofocus type stuff.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 12/13/2015 12:28:15 PM

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Sunday, December 13, 2015 @ 2:32:09 PM

Hopefully they bring Dark Cloud 2. I literally spent like 400 hours in that game. I loved the fact that I could create my own towns and they all looked pristine. Very time consuming game for sure.

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Sunday, December 13, 2015 @ 5:51:44 PM

Somehow I missed that one so id like to see it too. The rendering helps Dark Cloud a lot. looks great.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 12/13/2015 5:52:13 PM

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Sunday, December 13, 2015 @ 7:49:55 PM

But I just bought DOA2 HC on sale for PS3.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 12/13/2015 7:50:06 PM

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Sunday, December 13, 2015 @ 8:16:57 PM

and yes, on PS3 being able to see the PS2 games through a digital output (they may also be non-interlaced) makes them look cleaner and nicer than ever before. It's also nice thinking I don't have to be tethered with a wired controller. I do notice some slight frame drops that I don't remember from the PS2 version of the game. The trade off is worth it though.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 12/13/2015 8:18:15 PM

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Sunday, December 13, 2015 @ 9:30:12 PM

There are minor glitches in the other games too. I think it's clear, this is an emulator mounting PS2 images. If that's right, then a version that runs discs should work. They'd rather resell them but I think it'd be a nice customer gesture for those that have a collection.

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