Ben's Week In Review: September 9
We can't seem to go even one week these days without a bunch of interesting news, but then again, that just makes these editorials easier for me. Anyway, moving on...
Some people aren't quite grasping this
Yes, we all know how long that Final Fantasy VII PS3 remake rumor has been around: basically ever since Square-Enix showed off that tech demo at E3 2005. But since then, despite all the speculation, hearsay, and supposed evidence, the veteran RPG publisher has continually dashed our hopes. No company executive to date - as far as I know - has even remotely entertained the possibility of such a project, but all that has changed. In the latest interview, in which Square-Enix was once again asked the big question, they said it was "just a question of timing." While it was confirmed once again that they weren't currently working on any FF VII remake, they did say the decision to do so "could take place very quickly." ...is everyone fully grasping the potential gravity of such statements?
While it certainly doesn't mean the remake is coming, Square-Enix is suddenly singing a very different tone. I guess if you're not familiar with the company's responses to the rumor in the past few years, you wouldn't notice this. But that doesn't stop it from being true. I'm more hopeful than ever!
I sure hope my 60GB PS3 doesn't break
It's great that Sony's new system is unbelievably reliable, because I sure don't want my PS3 to die. Here's the thing- I have relatively sizable PS1 and PS2 libraries (40 PS1 games and 55 PS2 games), and I still play a lot of them from time to time. Therefore, backwards compatibility is a major deal for me, which is why I just adore the graphics synthesizer chip in the 60GB PS3. Every one of my games works just fine; I don't have to download some silly patch, I don't have to wait for a zillion years for Sony to add one of the games I want to play to a b/c emulation list. This is how the Xbox 360 works - it uses emulation for backwards compatibility - but if I had a bigger Xbox library, I'd be pissed. I just hate emulation for b/c. Yes, I'm aware old titles could, theoretically, be even better than before if they take the time to make some upgrades. That's the freedom offered by emulation.
But that hardly makes up for the frustration and inconvenience of not immediately being able to play all my old games on the system. And the new 80GB PS3 does not include that chip; it approaches b/c the same way as the 360. Aaaaarrrrrrgggghhhhh! So now, if my 60GB PS3 dies, I might just have to get another PS2 along with the 80GB PS3 as a replacement. :( Look at the search engine Sony just released; it's different for the 80GB and 60GB, isn't it?
So...your excuse is we're just "playing it wrong?"
Sony and Factor 5 have released a Reviewers Guide for Lair, which I find just a little insulting. Granted, the motion sensing controls of the Sixaxis are a new phenomenon, and the review scores have indeed been all over the place. But does Sony really believe those lower scores came from critics who had no idea what they were doing? ...seriously? I'm pretty sure we can figure it out, Sony, thanks. Even though it was never my bag, I certainly had high hopes for Lair, but perhaps we just have to face up to facts: maybe it's just not that good. As I said in the article, this seems an awful lot like damage control on the part of the developers, and they're looking to make excuses for themselves. But then again, I haven't played it so I won't say that for a fact.
What I will say, is that I've been reviewing games for many years, and so have a lot of other critics. For the most part, I'm sure they could figure out the controls in this game, motion sensing or not. Personally, I just think it was a colossal mistake to not include the option for standard controls in Lair. But hey, that's just me.
9/8/2007 Ben Dutka