Ben's Week In Review: April 10
Only a few more days until Ratchet & Clank is here, and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is exactly one month away!
What will Capcom do with Resident Evil 7?
I still say Resident Evil 6 has the single worst case of identity crisis I've ever seen in any established IP installment.
It really wasn't a bad game but it had no idea what it wanted to be, which of course meant the developers didn't really know, either. The company's utter confusion about what to do with the franchise had been on disappointingly vivid display early that same year, when we had to suffer through Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. Now, three and a half years removed from RE6, and following a string of very successful remakes and remasters, I wonder what Capcom's thought process is concerning this legendary franchise.
What I find interesting is a recent comment from Resident Evil 2 remake producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi, where he said he took RE6 feedback into account when pressing forward with the IP. If he really is working on RE7, this means the fans should be encouraged, right? But I'm not so sure. I never know what a Japanese company means when they say they've "listened to feedback." Hell, Square Enix has been saying that for years concerning Final Fantasy, and I absolutely guarantee the majority of feedback never said anything about "give us more action and less depth," which is precisely what we're getting in FFXV. I think these companies only hear what they want to hear and for the past decade, they have never - repeat: never - been able to ignore that little voice whispering in their ears to make their games more "global" and more mainstream-accessible.
They just can't get past it. They can't stop talking about it. So, when someone says, "yes, we heard what the fans said about RE6," I have just one question: "Exactly what did you hear?" And then I'll go and compare that to the thousands of comments you can easily find online, and see if they're even remotely similar.
Yeah, believe it or not, people still care about single-player experiences
I just had to laugh when I read the statement about "underestimating the popularity" of the single-player elements in Street Fighter V. Forgive me; it seems I'm harping on Japanese developers in this Week in Review but honestly, they just seem more out of touch than ever. I know you're not even allowed to produce a major title these days sans a multiplayer option, and certain devs and publishers believe that the entire planet only cares about multiplayer and never touches single-player campaigns. Thing is, this has been proven grossly inaccurate time and time again, pretty much every time a new, thoroughly wonderful single-player game comes out. Which games tend to win the most awards each year? Let's see, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt kept raking in the awards in 2015 and 2016, and what about Naughty Dog's games? Uncharted and The Last Of Us? Fallout 4? Dishonored? The Elder Scrolls? Did anyone really ever buy an Assassin's Creed or a Grand Theft Auto for the multiplayer?
I know fighting games have a big social element. They always have; it's why they dominated the arcades and parties when I was in high school and college. I completely understand the need for an online presence. What boggles the mind is Capcom's surprise at seeing people complain about a lack of standard features, like a freakin' Arcade Mode. How is it possible to "underestimate" this badly? Again, all you had to do was ask the community ahead of time and I'm pretty sure you would've gotten your answer...whether or not you chose to hear it.
Personal gaming update
I've finally put away Assassin's Creed Syndicate, as I've done everything there is to do, with a few very small exceptions. It bugs me that it says 97% complete but I really don't care about the last 3% and Jacob and Evie are the unstoppable assassins I wanted them to be. As for Dark Souls III, it's another great game, of course, but it irks me that From Software didn't take the opportunity to fix any of the longstanding flaws. The frame rate really does seem worse this time around, and by the third installment, the camera and lock-on mechanic should be nigh-on perfect. And if we really are talking about the last Dark Souls, I think it's unforgivable that the technical elements remain unrefined. That being said, I seriously doubt the hardcore fans will care that much, and I still say it shouldn't get an Easy Mode.
Yep, Ratchet & Clank is out on Tuesday and I can't wait for that. Then Uncharted 4 in May and when I saw that comment about the intro, I was reminded of The Last Of Us. That may have had the best, most emotional intro of any game I've ever played, so now I'm really excited to see what Naughty Dog has in store for us on May 10. That first hour better give me chills!
4/9/2016 Ben Dutka