Ben's Week In Review: April 24
Yeah, there's more evidence for more powerful consoles but frankly, I'm tired of talking about it.
Can't wait to learn more about your new game, Supergiant
I'm one of those people who has great respect for talented development teams with a track record of quality. I don't forget impressive achievements and I try not to forget the people who made them.
That's why I can't wait for Supergiant Games' latest promising project, the recently revealed Pyre. They say it's a "party-based RPG," which automatically gets my attention, and the art style is undeniably and uniquely fantastic. And it stands to reason, as these guys have produced a couple fantastic titles that stand out: Transistor wasn't quite my cup of tea but it was indeed a top-quality game, and I just adored Bastion. Not only has Supergiant proven they can make fantastic games that both look and feel original, but they've also proven they're not a one-trick pony. That's why we should pay close attention to Pyre.
I know "party-based RPG" isn't exactly explicit and it's feasible that I'll just hate the gameplay. But based on this team's first two games, I seriously doubt I'll hate it. At the very least, I can't wait to try it and really, Supergiant's success reminds me a little of Thatgamecompany last generation. Very different style of interactive entertainment, of course, but after two great games, one starts to get the feeling that the third title will be mint. Let's not forget: TGC started with flOw, moved on to Flower, and then delivered Journey. Yeah. So everyone keep a close eye on Pyre; I'll keep checking the developer website in the coming months.
Don't count out Mafia III as a potential AAA production
Yes, I know that the previous two entries fell shy of expectations. I know because I played both of them and after Mafia II, I distinctly remember noting the potential of the series. It would be a mistake to say it's just a Grand Theft Auto clone, as most people called Mafia (and in fact, just about any open-world action/adventure game in those days). Done correctly, with a proper emphasis on atmosphere and narrative and tightened gameplay control, any Mafia game has a chance to be excellent. When I heard Mafia III was scheduled to hit in October, I put the title on my tentative radar, so-to-speak. I know the first two efforts were average and there's always a chance that the third entry will be another near-miss. But I've always known this IP's potential and based on my research, we have a decent shot at a great 8.5 game.
Of course, the problem these days is that open-world action/adventures are all over the place, so competition is just stupid stiff. If you're not one of the best sandbox games out there, you're not going to fare well. Plus, if you're going to launch just before the fall lineup really starts rolling, you better have the goods because some gamers might simply look past you and wait for the heavy hitters. We shall see.
Personal gaming update
I'm toward the end of Ratchet & Clank but I still want to do some of the optional stuff, like get all the gold bolts and maybe the RYNO cards, too. I got all 60 brains the other night and I've got the breathing apparatus so I don't have to worry about drowning anymore. Beyond that, it'll be all about Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, which has been my most anticipated game of the generation since PS4 launched. I'll also want to play Doom and then comes Mirror's Edge Catalyst, and I have a bit more time now that it won't be ready until June 7. I know the Blood and Wine expansion for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt might come out the same day but I can wait on that.
I thought I had no interest in any summer games but as it turns out, I Am Setsuna will be here in July and as I said yesterday, it could be the ultimate love note for traditional RPG lovers. I haven't completed a JRPG in a very long time; the genre has just sort of died for me. But I might just fall in love with this one. :)
4/23/2016 Ben Dutka