Arnold's Press Pause and Rewind: May 20th
E3, I No Find You Attractive Anymore! ....NOT!
I've got more to say about E3 this week. Specifically, how its relevance may have drastically been downgraded, largely because of its timing. With E3 previously in May, it allowed the industry to reveal games just in time for the holiday push. The holiday push is a PR timetable that begins at the end of Spring, and that's precisely when E3 used to land. Being in July, E3 is now past that 'push' time, and which makes it un-ideal for game announcements and revelations.
By this time in the years before, E3 would've just ended and we'd just be coming back home. While there was no E3, companies weren't going to let the pivotal month of May go to waste. If you noticed, a lot of games and announcements were made over the past week or so. The E3 of yesterday has essentially been replaced by private Gamer's Day events, such as Sony's event. Much like Sony, Square-Enix also had a lot to reveal, much of which was Final Fantasy, but an entire event was put together, regardless. Other publishers and developers made a plethora of announcements, and suddenly our work load feels almost no different than what it was during past E3s. While E3 as we knew it is done with and changed, it hasn't changed the fact that May will remain the most pivotal month for game companies to reveal their upcoming plans.
So now that we've got a whole bunch of cats out of their bags and the PR train is rolling, the next thing left to do is let 2000 of us go and play these games (plus other unannounced stuff) and make our impressions even more public. These recent gamer's day events allowed publications nearby the expo to check out the games, which means not that many people have been exposed to these games just yet - E3 will change that. Still, I can't help but feel a bit apprehensive when it comes down to my expectations for the show. Honestly, I'm going in with pretty low expectations.
I Want Off This Ride They Call a Videogame...*hurls*
The next topic at hand regards games that are so poorly developed that they can induce nausea and motion sickness to the point of vomiting. Most recently, I've endured some seriously nauseating gameplay after playing F.E.A.R and Spider-Man 3 back to back most of last week. FEAR's choppy framerate really made it hard to play the game any further than half an hour. But Spider-Man 3 was probably even worse, not only does its framerate absolutely suck, but the game's camera is absurdly wild.
There's a danger to games developed like this, largely because of how easily it provokes nausea. Maybe I'm getting old or something (I'm 22, so that can't be it), but so many of these games have these wild camera swings and stuttering framerates. And I know I'm not the only one who complains about feeling sick and having a headache, many of my friends do too. Developers need to realize what they're doing, and publishers need to stop allowing crap like this go through just so they can meet a deadline. Either force your staff to work harder on the game to iron out its kinks before the deadline, or don't publish a broken turd that is making me sick after I play it. I get these games for free; but worst of all, I feel sorry for the people who pay $60 + tax for them. Spider-Man 3 sold over 210k copies on the PS2 and Xbox 360 combined, within 3 days - and that's just for those two consoles.
This Fantasy Isn't That Final...
Lastly, after seeing Square-Enix's plans for Final Fantasy, I'm glad that the series seems to be primarily staying on Sony consoles. I was also happy to see Square-Enix reiterate that the core Final Fantasy games were exclusive to the PlayStation 3. I also feel as if I may have stumbled on to something I believe is quite correct: we'll be seeing a Final Fantasy VII remake on the PlayStation 3. Square is doing quite a lot of Final Fantasy VII whoring, and I'm not being funny, I'm just stating the truth. You see, a lot of people don't know what Final Fantasy VII is all about, since it is a 10 year old PlayStation game, which would have made quite a number of PS3 and PSP owners today too young to have played it.
So with all of these FFVII based spin-offs, prequels, and movie sequels, Square-Enix is clearly working on getting that hype-train to chug at full speed for the 'real' thing. Watch, as soon as FFVII: Crisis Core is released for the PSP in Japan in a few months, there'll be some sort of announcement made regarding FFVII to coincide with its release. And there's a good chance that the Final Fantasy VII remake has actually been the reason for Crisis Core various delays. Square probably wants to have the remake follow Crisis Core's release within a certain time frame, and so if development on the remake hits bumpy roads, Crisis Core has to suffer.
But that's just my crazy, wild theory...
5/20/2007 Arnold Katayev