Ben's Week In Review: July 24
No, I'm not playing Pokemon Go. I've always hated that series and now I loathe it more than ever. ;)
So it took HOW many years for Sega to realize that Sonic should always be in 2D?
I'm not saying there weren't some decent 3D Sonic the Hedgehog adventures, dating back to the Dreamcast days. I am saying that not one even came close to the brilliance of the old-school side-scrolling 2D adventures.
2011's Sonic Generations helped remind us that for this particular franchise, 2D was vastly superior to 3D simply due to the game's inherent design and blinding speed. It just made more sense in the original format. And after repeated failed attempts for the past two damn decades to cram the legendary blue mascot into the 3D mold, Sega has finally figured it out. I saw they announced two new Sonic games, both of which will celebrate the IP's roots.
Well, it's about damn time. That's all I have to say.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided's branching paths sound awesome
I've always loved Deus Ex (Human Revolution was one of my favorite games last generation) and I've been looking forward to the new entry for a long time.
And I really like how the developers have embraced the freedom of choice option this time around: Not only can we play entirely non-lethal if we choose (and this includes the boss fights, apparently), but our gameplay decisions will also impact the story. It makes the New Game Plus option that much more attractive, and also makes you wonder, "what might've happened if I'd gone the other way, or opted for a more direct approach?" I typically try to remain balanced in the Deus Ex games while leaning more toward stealth, and I'll probably do that again. But never before did I really have to ask if a decision I made would be significant; i.e., if it would affect something other than my character's progression.
Only one more month!
Personal gaming update
I'm loving I Am Setsuna and I'm not surprised in the least at the generally lukewarm reception. Firstly, it's a classic JRPG and we all know critics have never given these games their just due (dating back to the obscenely stupid 6 GameSpot gave the original Suikoden). It's just one of those genres that should only be reviewed by certain people, plain and simple. However, that being said, there are several issues with the game that many reviews have pointed out, and the critics in question were right to do so. For instance, there's too much vagueness with the combat and progression system: The Talismans aren't different enough to matter much, primarily because a lot of the boosts are either a flat-out mystery or they don't factor into battles often enough.
Then there are the Flux elements, which nobody has any clue about. Even the game calls them a "mystery" and they can just randomly show up in battle. I hate all randomness in my classic JRPGs (one of the reasons I despised characters like Cait Sith), so this doesn't sit well with me. Plus, as I said last week, the game feels a little one-toned and flat, primarily due to the lack of cut-scenes, which no critic is going to say but it's the truth. These games needed that extra story media.
But I still love it because it's a true-blue JRPG. :) After I'm done, I have to make a decision: Wait for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided or jump into the Blood and Wine expansion for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Guess we'll see how long it takes me to finish I Am Setsuna...I hear it's only around 20-25 hours, which is mildly disappointing, but I tend to play these games slower, anyway.
7/23/2016 Ben Dutka