Ben's Week In Review: July 1
We're officially into the summer months, and despite hating hot weather, I love the fact that the game industry is prepared to rock. E3 is this month, and all the great games of the year are yet to come. Anticipation is often better than actually receiving...
Can we FINALLY see Killzone 2?!
Okay, so evidently, this ridiculously hyped game is going to get a tremendously large unveiling at E3; an unveiling that'll be two and a half hours long. But what exactly does that mean? A couple more hours of almost impossible-to-fathom CGI or FMV? Or will those lucky attendees be greeted with gameplay this time around? After all, they're supposed to be offering a public beta for Killzone 2 at some point, but it better be soon...that is, if the rumored September release date is accurate. Heck, it's probably not, anyway. And that's exactly what I'm talking about: it seems like every new detail, every new shred of information, every new "announcement," has an infuriating little catch to it. Either it's not entirely true, or it's not true at all.
In short, they had better come clean with this massive undertaking (what's the budget? $25 million or something absurd like that?), or I'm just gonna stop following it. I want gameplay and official news. Nothing less. So step up, Guerilla!
Heck, I'll take Warhawk as is
Arnold posted up the full hands-on preview, and I too am sad to see the beta disappear. But I've already got the game pre-ordered, and I can't wait to bring the final version home. Yeah, it's only online, but I see that as a good thing: first of all, I don't have to dedicate time to "beating" it, and despite the inherent addictive nature of such games, I get ticked easily and when that happens, I turn it off. ;) Of course, it seems GameStop's information (August 2 release, $59.99) is wrong, if IGN is to be believed. They say that Sony hasn't officially announced either the date or price, and that goes for both versions of Warhawk. The rest (including the downloadable version costing $20) is all rumor and speculation.
And while there are a few things that can be fixed based on the beta - it wasn't perfect - I had a ton of fun. Before long, I just started to ignore all the little shortcomings entirely, except for one thing: the loose third-person control. It's a little too "shifty" when trying to climb a ladder, for example. But other than that, no major issues, and it was a blast.
Piano Squall's GAME CD is very well done!
If you love Square RPGs and anime, and you're a big music fan, you can't possibly miss the chance to pick up GAME, which just released yesterday. It starts off with that memorable track from Chrono Cross ("Scars of Time"), works through a variety of anime and game tracks (including renditions from Super Mario World, Mega Man II, and even Tetris), throws in a bunch of touching songs from Final Fantasy, then culminates with the very cool Final Fantasy Battle Medley and an original "Boss Battle" composition. RPG fans have always enjoyed the soundtracks from great titles, and now, we can listen to them in an entirely new format. He didn't choose random tracks that wouldn't work well on the piano, either; I think it's pretty clear he chose them carefully to fit the format.
He said he put a lot of work into it, and it shows. I've loved RPGs for a very long time, and I've loved a lot of the great music that has gone along with it. If you're the same way (and I know some of you are out there), then I would definitely recommend GAME.
The Darkness is...uniquely intense
Few games embody the phrase, "unabashedly dark and gritty," like The Darkness. Starbreeze did a spectacular job with Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, and while this one isn't quite as amazing, it's still a damn entertaining game. The story is great - it grabs you and never lets go, really - the voice acting is some of the best you'll ever hear, the control is top-notch, and the atmosphere and presentation is nearly perfect. It's too bad the entire game only takes about 8-12 hours (depending on how you approach the gameplay), but even so, the freedom you have encourages a replay. Many will say it's not worth the price of admission for a game they can beat with a rental, but I believe in adding high-quality titles to your collection. Therefore, I definitely say it's worth considering.
It's just such a cool blend, much like Riddick, and the game is just so dark and brutal, it's immediately engaging from the get-go. Check it out if you haven't already.
6/30/2007 Ben Dutka