Ben's Week In Review: July 3
Sorry, I think I forgot about the last Week in Review; I've been pretty busy lately. :) Anyway, Happy July 4th Weekend!
Might have to get that Bioshock Collection...
Though I may not replay any of the games, I always like the idea of having collections of some of my favorite franchises. And as the Bioshock series is undoubtedly one of my all-time favorite IPs, the recently announced compilation should end up in my library.
I don't remember the original so well these days, but I do recall the sequel and the last entry without much problem. Bioshock 2 was wonderfully atmospheric and challenging; it tasked you with understanding your foes and your environment, perhaps better than any other game at the time. And the blend of FPS and RPG elements was just awesome. Bioshock Infinite was a perfect progression, giving us a slightly more open - yet still wonderfully tantalizing - landscape, another excellent story with memorable characters, and one of the best combat mechanics of the recent generation. Again, balancing the "magic" aspect (your Plasmids) with the regular firearms infused the game with a depth and style totally unique to this franchise.
It annoys me that Ken Levine has moved on to other things and this IP is sorta left to languish. Or is he actually working on a new Bioshock, and it just isn't a regular entry for consoles, or something...? I think this was confirmed a while ago but I don't remember now...
Why should Capcom shy away from the "ghost story" label with Resident Evil 7?
Come on, guys. Looks like you're finally making a Resident Evil survival/horror fans have always wanted, and it's precisely because you're re-embracing the "ghost story" vibe of the original games. I know RE is supposed to be more about zombies and freaky demons and monsters as opposed to supernatural elements, but so what? To me, "ghost story" could mean just about anything, and it almost invariably focuses on Hitchcockian thrills and chills as opposed to simple shock value brought on by gore and titillation. Therefore, I don't think the Capcom bosses should be so quick to dismiss the "ghost story" concept, because I believe a lot of long-time franchise followers really love it. Hell, Silent Hill was very much a "ghost story" (at least with certain segments of each story), and that's what made those adventures so spine-tinglingly great.
Of course, we'll still need to see some actual gameplay before I get all excited. I imagine long-time fans are in the same boat...
Well, I would HOPE the PS4 Neo and PS4 Slim would be the last console upgrades for the generation
Still don't know if I like the idea of either upgrade at this point, but I wasn't surprised at all to hear Sony confirm that both new systems would be the last in the cycle. I know Microsoft revealed the Xbox Scorpio at E3 but did Sony say anything about Neo or the Slim? Do we know about the specs for either? I mean, let's say they both come out this holiday season...why should I buy one or the other? Is the PS4 Slim basically just a more efficient version of the current PS4 with a larger hard drive? I have to assume it's not the Neo, which is just going to be significantly more powerful and obviously, more expensive. In other words, my current PS4 will be outdated when compared to either new console, correct? See, that's my problem.
It's not a huge deal but I just wish the manufacturers had stuck with their consoles a bit longer. Not Nintendo, though; they desperately need that NX or whatever it is because the Wii U was a joke from the start.
Personal gaming update
I'm almost done with Mirror's Edge Catalyst. It's not a great game but it's still fun, despite the immensely frustrating extras. The free-running is actually great; I just wish they hadn't decided to make everything timed. The only respite I have from the clock is when I'm trying to find the collectibles scattered around the map or attempting to scale and hack one of those billboards. Well, there are three Grid Nodes you have to bypass to open up different Safe Houses on the map, and those are all about a platforming puzzle, though they're not especially difficult. By the way, I have a digital code for Catalyst; if anyone wants it, just email me.
When I'm done, I plan to start the Blood and Wine expansion for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which is my second favorite game of the generation behind Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. Problem is, the latter title is just so superior to everything else right now that whenever I play another game, I feel spoiled. It's like, "yeah, it's fun but it's no Uncharted." :P Oh, and I know the new Star Ocean is out but unsurprisingly, it's not really scoring all that well. I usually ignore JRPG reviews from main sources for obvious reasons, but even trusted sources for that genre say the game isn't very good. Nah, I'll just wait for I Am Setsuna, which isn't far off now. :)
7/2/2016 Ben Dutka