: Ben's Week In Review: May 1

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Ben's Week In Review: May 1

We start a new month and as you all know by now, a new chapter in life for yours truly.

As I said in that farewell piece, I'll still try to do the Week in Review but it'll be more like an extended gaming update, as I won't be following news as much. So, just a few notes from me:

Games I Want...Badly

I'm not interested in the Deus Ex: Mankind Divided special editions (I rarely care about collectible stuff), but this is undoubtedly one of my most anticipated titles of 2016. And it's strange, too...

Those who know me know I can't stand sci-fi settings and I'm also not the biggest fan of first-person action/RPGs. These are two very big reasons why I despise Fallout, though I suppose that's more post-apocalyptic than sci-fi. The point is, I really shouldn't like Deus Ex at all but in fact, I've always loved it and I've never really been able to pinpoint exactly why. It could be the narrative, which has always been pretty good, or it could be the fact that I can sort of play it like a stealth/action game if I so choose.

I know not many around here are anxiously anticipating Mirror's Edge Catalyst but I am. I adored the first one and while I know the sequel won't have the same emphasis on puzzle-solving, at least they kept guns out of the equation. So long as the parkour mechanic is spot-on, this one should be great. Didn't get a chance to dive into the beta but that's okay; I prefer to wait until the final product is out, anyway.

I've said before that I Am Setsuna could be the ultimate JRPG love note and I'm holding out hope that this is precisely what it ends up being. I know Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness is coming out this summer, too, but I haven't finished a SO title since the second one back on the original PlayStation. I dunno...I always burn out with these games before I can finish them. I Am Setsuna, on the other hand, might hook me.

I have to say, if the Blood and Wine expansion for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt really does come out on June 7, it's going to throw a major wrench into the works. I almost never play DLC or expansions but as The Witcher 3 is my favorite game of the generation to date, and Hearts of Stone was fantastic, I have to play the second expansion. And let's not forget that it's supposed to be 20 freakin' hours long, double the length of Hearts of Stone!

And of course, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. The reason I say "to date" above is because I'm pretty convinced Naughty Dog's latest is gonna end up in the top spot for me. Though I have to say, Ratchet & Clank ranks right up there.

A little more personal stuff

Firstly, I really do appreciate the outpouring of thanks I've seen over the past 24 hours or so; I'm even hearing from fellow journalists I haven't spoken to in years via email. They all have some very nice things to say and though I don't do social media, there have been some wonderful comments on the PSXE Twitter and Facebook pages as well.

I will not go into detail concerning my new venture, as I said before, but I can say that it involves overseeing/managing content and distribution for a major up-and-coming site, and I have an independent project as well that will be completed this summer. In short, I'm extremely busy; I just wanted to make it clear that I have no choice here. If there was any way I could've kept doing stuff for PSXE, I would've made it work. But these things require all of my attention, plain and simple. And no, none of this - with the exception of a small side pet project, not mentioned here - involves video games in any capacity.

But there were indeed a lot of memories here and I can't possibly list them all. Maybe in the future, we'll all be settled in a "post-PSXE" forum somewhere, rambling in a bunch of "hey, remember when?" threads. ;) For instance, remember when we had to keep the secret of Twisted Metal for PS3 for like a year and a half? Jaffe's partner slipped it during an interview and when Dave asked me to be discreet, I agreed...and he repaid the favor by giving us an exclusive on the project just before he went on stage to unveil it at E3. And remember that bad-ass announcement to close Sony's show? Man, that was sweeeet.

That's just one memory, of course. Many others. Honestly, last year's E3 ranks right up there for me, too. Ah well. All good things...and all that. :)

4/30/2016 Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (27 posts)

Saturday, April 30, 2016 @ 10:36:24 PM

Oh look, you're back :)

So you'll still be doing these weekly reviews? Then you're not really going away are you?

Lol you had me worried there.

Folks, just check in on a weekly basis, we're good, Ben is still here.


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Sunday, May 01, 2016 @ 12:10:05 AM

Finally got around to finishing up Uncharted 3 in preparation for Uncharted 4. Uncharted 3's ending was really, really, aggressively bad. Hennig has always had problems finishing off games, which is weird for someone who so consistently knocks it out of the park up to that point with every story she's written, but this was by far the worst of the lot. I've always been a big fan of hers, but maybe it was better that she stepped away from the franchise.

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Sunday, May 01, 2016 @ 1:10:59 AM

I don't know about it being better that she walk away. The ending in both 1 and 2 were pretty good. But I will say the two boss battles in 2 and 3 really took me out of the story. Not sure whose fault that is.

But I'm with you about the ending for 3. Some of that game just made me wonder "what the heck"... at times it didn't feel like Uncharted. Or rather what I thought Uncharted should be. Maybe that's more my problem.

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Sunday, May 01, 2016 @ 2:37:09 AM

Given that 4 is Drake's finale, and Hennig has never written a solid ending, it may not be for the best that she had nothing to do with the final product, but it's probably for the best that someone else is giving Nate his send-off.

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Sunday, May 01, 2016 @ 10:59:13 AM

Yeah, maybe. I think I'd much rather see her idea play out thougb.

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Sunday, May 01, 2016 @ 2:08:30 PM

Damn Bio, we are in agreeance! Deception was grrr.

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Banky A
Sunday, May 01, 2016 @ 8:16:06 AM

Finished Suikoden on PS3 controller today. Even caught the endgame on my Twitch stream. 108 Stars of David woohoo.

Amazing game. Can vouch for how much of a classic it is. Couldn't stop playing. Thank all you old dogs for hyping it up. I even moved the save to PSVita and took it to the library.

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Sunday, May 01, 2016 @ 2:09:17 PM

Hey no probs, now move onto Suikoden II and be UTTERLY amazed. then III :)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, May 01, 2016 @ 9:30:44 PM

The first Suikoden? Yeah, love that game. One of my all-time favs and every time I play it, I HAVE to get the 108 SoDs. :)

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Banky A
Sunday, May 01, 2016 @ 10:35:55 PM

Already onto II!
Named the hero the same as my original hero... I'm sorry to whatever God that offends.

It would have been funny if the import save also kept the original hero name. But I know it's Tir McDohl in II.

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Sunday, May 01, 2016 @ 2:19:38 PM

So hey if I can swing it with time and folks trust, I'd be willing to do the Uncharted 4 review.

I imagine I can do Star Ocean 5 as well, I've played all of those in their 3D forms and I heard this one is only 30 hours so Ben you may not peter out and give up as most do. (and I almost did with Star Ocean 3) That game begged you to quit with it's hard arse learning curve. SO5 probably won't have that.

Possibly Doom, but I don't want to take on too much, if the other guys will do any I'd appreciate that. Since it'd be games I bought and probably no more review codes reviews here are going to be coming much slower than other sites. As you all know Ben was my stalwart mentor in game reviews (i found his approach methodical and sensible) so I tend to follow his structure while adding my flavor.

Once again for JRPG turn based lovers I'm shouting out a return to PS3 for "Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel".

It would have been cool to extort a mention of PSXExtreme dot com on the stage for keeping that Twisted Metal secret for a year :)

Man it's been a tough week for me. This place starting to close down, I had a kid I work with have some hard issues, and I lost a college friend who I used to be able to count on for smart, reasonable intellectual discussion to some extreme radical feminist views that led to her unfriending me.

Feels like 2 big pillars of what would always be there were kicked down. I have to reassess and look to the future too, lest I be mired in the past. And, like Ben, I got to find a way to get some more green after this summer.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 5/1/2016 2:27:27 PM

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Sunday, May 01, 2016 @ 4:20:01 PM

Okay, and F*ck, after I buy a game at full price it always goes on sale and with the best version.

Legend of Heroes Trails of Cold Steel, a mix of Final Fantasy VIII and Persona 4 by my early experiences is now on sale via Amazon and is Prime eligible: https:/t.co/uPzSkwO6S7/s/gtTS

You get the Lionheart edition. Hell I might buy it just for the physical greatness.

It IS worth the low amount of dough, and there is a sequel coming later this year if that tells you anything. The digital version I bought is also a cross-buy game that gives you the Vita version and so cross-saves. I don't think this Lionheart edition is cross-buy but it will cross-save if you still love your Vita and need a reason to play on it.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 5/1/2016 4:27:08 PM

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Banky A
Sunday, May 01, 2016 @ 7:12:27 PM

Wait do you also not know Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky exists? I would've immediately told you about the whole Legend of Heores but I thought you definitely knew. Damn.

Play Trails in the Sky in the midst (preferably ASAP). It's the best narrative out of all of them and is the foundation for the world that they all share. Liberl vs Erebonia.

There's a trio of them right now representing Liberl, Crossbell, Erebonia. The Crossbell one is 100% Japan only, no English subs.

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Sunday, May 01, 2016 @ 10:31:08 PM

Ben, who is John Shepard? Freelance or just a pen name?

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Banky A
Monday, May 02, 2016 @ 5:32:30 AM

It's been a couple days since Ben's resignation announcement but I thought I'd write a proper message to really sum things up for me. As this is the last official Week In Review. Filling in the legacy like everyone else.

I found PSXE at the dawn of 2008 when I was Year 9 at school (so 3rd year after finishing primary/elementary). I think I was maybe 13-14, that year I got my first PS3 which included my first game... *gasp* Grand Theft Auto IV (still one of the greatest games I've played alongside Last of Us, Journey). I had a lot of funny moments, debacles, scuffles with people here because of my strange, overly excited and naive writing style of expression. This was due to my age and being Thai. It literally wasn't until perhaps one year later that I started to make more sense. I know from the bottom of my heart that you guys at PSXE must've helped shape the person that I was becoming, around that point in time.

I distinctly remember the comment where I shared the fact that Final Fantasy VII and VIII taught me English when I was 6 years old once I landed in New Zealand. The responses that I got were profound and strengthened my connection with the community.

The Supreme gaming website in NZ is called NZGamer(dotcom). I'm a loyal part of it simply because of the AWESOME, real, sponsored prizes that they giveaway. Even after all the ~10+ things I won - most noteworthy being an Xbox One Forza 6 Edition + Logitech G29 racing wheel... it was nothing in comparison to PSXE. I hate to sound like a self-nation-loathing racist creature but A LOT of times I just HATE the way New Zealanders speak and express themselves (specifically how they DON'T). Every article over there just has people saying "That -Sounds- cool, I -Might- keep an eye on this", "This game -Should- be awesome", "-Looks- good. Might buy it if reviews are good". Everything is a God damn estimation, possibly, prospect, chance. It's only 4.5 million people but nobody has the guts to say anything with certainty, with conviction, funny, clever or outside of the box. Which is strange because we have many notable geniuses who think extremelyyy out of the box. I just feel like their traits are so much more relatable to people outside of Oceania than not. Still an amazing country that I'm proud of.

Hell I even appreciated some of the absolutely dumb things people say here like, the spurs of rage from _______ and a couple newer guys.

This place was pretty much my getaway. I even found 'ffrulez' as one of the three users here who is also from NZ, and we've been casual PSN friends since 2008. I even see him streaming on Twitch regularly. I really disliked PlatformGamerNZ because he brought with him the exact attitude I was sick of hearing of. Some of you liked it though, which was nice.

PSXE is the perfect mix of NZ's politically correct conservatism and USA's IGN/Destructoid pure internet meme regime (actually without any of the latter, but you catch my drift).

I've still yet to get started on your eBook from Amazon, Ben! In the upcoming Week In Reviews, I hope to share news of me finishing it. I bought it on Day 1 of your article to pay it forward and show support.

If I do something cool in the future I'll remember you guys here and give a little back. We'll have a chat if I can still contact anyone :)

Have a fulfilling future, and play on!

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Banky A
Monday, May 02, 2016 @ 5:40:10 AM

PSN: BankeA
I'll be gaming on it forever unless Sony unlinks it if they allow name change purchases.

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Monday, May 02, 2016 @ 12:19:00 PM

A great read. Thanks for reminiscing.

Hey I didn't know Ben wrote a book!

What's the title? I'll get it right away.

Btw, I'm actually working on a book myself. I've been doing heavy research for it in the past year, and this is the year where I'm basically in the writing phase.

And let me tell you, writing a book is one of the most difficult things you could ever do. Let me reiterate; writing a 'good' book is very difficult, especially when it has a greater meaning and importance to you, and where everything you write has to be 'perfect'.

I'm quickly finding out that the perfectionist attitude is the worst one to have when it comes to writing. Anything that does get written down, either takes far longer than it should, or isn't 'good enough' and gets deleted, and then you're back to square one feeling crappy about yourself for all the time you just wasted...

I just don't get how Ben churns out so many articles like it's nothing...

I feel like I'm no writer, but I do have a story to tell, and valuable information to share. So here I am chugging along, trying to get this thing done (hopefully by the end of this year).

I do apologize, I know I'm rambling on.

(Btw I'm procrastinating right now lol)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, May 02, 2016 @ 7:14:26 PM

Eh, it was more of an experiment, that ebook. It was a bizarre form of prose that probably didn't work. But by all means, read if you like. :)


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slow and smart
Monday, May 02, 2016 @ 7:45:02 AM

The games that i want badly are
no mans sky/deus ex/dishonored2.
[Also:Uncharted 4/tomb raider]...
And horizon and the last guardian but will they be released this year?

PGU:i finished Fallout 4 [incl automatron],
got the magazines 123/123
the bobbleheads 20/20
and locations 352/???
Now i'm waiting for the dlc Far Harbor this month and mods for Fallout 4 in June[and dlc for the witcher 3 in June]:great!

Last edited by slow and smart on 5/2/2016 7:52:30 AM

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Monday, May 02, 2016 @ 10:47:48 AM

After reading your farewell post I felt deeply saddened, this site and your hard work in it has kept me coming back for more news, reviews and comments with the PSXE band of brothers.
I rarely ever look at any other sites for gaming news, and PSXE is the first site on my favorite tab :-)
I have not commented much since going back to college @ 37(Done now), becoming a father and opening my own IT business, but I have checked it daily and it is my last connection to the wider world of gaming, even if I rarely ever touch my PS3. I haven't got the time to play anymore and like you have more pressing things to attend to, but gaming is still a big part of my past and hard to let go...
I will still comeback and follow the site since so many great members have taken up the task of contributing to it, and the community will always have a special place in my heart.

Farewell Ben! May you have much success and happiness in your private and professional life.
Thanks for all you've done for our favorite hobby!

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Monday, May 02, 2016 @ 1:59:51 PM

I remember that Twisted Metal secret, I remember a lot of things.

One thing that I am sure most will not remember, for it's lost in the dim and distant past... PSX Extreme had it's own video program showing in the PS Home theater, and we used to have PSX Extreme gatherings in Home.

We as a community have seen and done a lot, almost all of it facilitated by Mr Ben Dutka.

Many thanks Ben, you did an awesome job, and I believe that you'll do an awesome job with your new opportunity because you give things your all.

Personal Gaming Week in Review

Played the crap out of Ratchet and Clank. Had a blast. Noticed that R&C on PS4 is the fastest selling R&C to date and could not help wondering how long it takes Insomniac to Up Their Arsenal and Go Commando on us.

Spent a fun evening in Eorzea on Saturday, reminding myself of why I love playing online games. I must go back more frequently.

FFXIV is a different sort of MMORPG to me. But then I stepped off the completely miserable gear treadmill and grind several content patches ago. Gone is the stress, the potential berating by others because I was not the perfect tank, and did not have ESP to know how they like to run things. No more elitist assholes complaining about my gear, despite me telling them I hadn't run that content before and so I didn't yet have the gear it drops, nor anything better. No more pro-bro's trying to tell me how to do my job while they lay face down in stupid because they can't dodge anything. Yep, stepping off the gear treadmill, and allowing the 'progression' groups to whizz past me has been a liberating experience.

PS Stay tuned for upcoming news about a PSX Community site/forum. Even though we may no longer had as active a news staff, our community can continue from strength to strength.

Last edited by TheHighlander on 5/2/2016 2:02:36 PM

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mk ultra
Tuesday, May 03, 2016 @ 5:25:37 PM

I remember those Home gatherings. I learned what an instance was when I couldn't find anyone. Lol.

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Wednesday, May 04, 2016 @ 8:09:46 PM

I remember seeing you guys on home too. Have a few pics of us in there watching the PSX show. Good Times.

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Monday, May 02, 2016 @ 8:30:12 PM

All the best Ben. I used to check the site everyday and always enjoyed the reviews, news and especially the wide ranging comments from the regulars.

Highlights were your Heavy Rain review which was excellent and also the characters like World, Highlander, LimitedVertigo, BikerSaint and Blankline.

Good times!

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, May 04, 2016 @ 5:02:54 AM

I haven't been checking in here anywhere near as regularly as I used to, and so I'm a bit late reading the news of your departure, Ben, but I wanted to say thank you for spurring so many conversations that I was proud to be a part of, and for introducing me to what I still consider to be the best gaming community that I have yet seen.

Best wishes in all your future endeavours.

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Banky A
Wednesday, May 04, 2016 @ 6:23:06 PM


Just finished Stage 1 to unlock the future Mark of the Conqueror DLC.
Wow this game is the real deal! I was planning to spend two hours on it to unlock the DLC. I started at 12am, looked at some related vids -- I wrapped up on 6am. Help, me.

I had four multiplayer 'Visitors' join by the end of it to help me out and that was very humbling.
Regrettably I don't think I'll have time to finish Stage 2 before the demo period elapses. I had too much of a blast discovering all the nooks and crannies while being tired and slow.

Everyone keep an eye on this Onimusha (creedence clearwater) revival + Bloodborne soul-sister for combo fanatics.

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Wednesday, May 04, 2016 @ 8:09:57 PM

Godspeed Ben!

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