Ben's Week In Review: October 28
Without any doubt, the pre-holiday snowball is starting to gain speed down the mountain, and we're already running to keep up with it. So let's take a break and look back on the previous week; a path that snowball has already traversed.
The PS2 is 7 years old. Wow.
It almost doesn't seem possible, but Friday was the PS2's seventh birthday, and Sony is celebrating with a brand new Ceramic White PS2 bundle and 160 new titles before March! I remember working at EB during the launch, and while it was easily the most anticipated/hyped system launch ever, not everyone believed it would become the most popular console in history. I distinctly recall some of the launch issues, like the defective units that scratched discs when users placed the system vertically, and the immense hardware shortage. Neither was nearly as big of a catastrophe as the Xbox 360's launch, but hey, that's Microsoft for ya. Time really does fly; I can still remember meeting up at midnight at the store to discuss the next day's plans and picking up our pre-ordered PS2s. I also remember bringing it home, putting it under my bed, and resolving not to play it until I got off work the next day.
That's the kind of feeling we gamers get only once every six years or so, and it's one that should be cherished. Call me old-fashioned or sentimental or whatever, but there's nothing like the feel of a brand new video game system and a brand new generation. It means more great experiences, and more importantly, new experiences. Thank you, PS2, for giving us some of the best memories ever. And here's hoping the PS3 can do the same!
Please don't screw this up, Mr. Anderson
Okay, so it's long past time they did a "Castlevania" movie, but they had better not turn this one into a laughingstock like movie makers do with other video game adaptations. Granted, we don't know too much about it, but history sets a bad precedent, and gives me very little faith... The only game-to-movie transition I've really enjoyed is Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and that's not saying much because there have been a lot of films based on games. And of course, it's a swinging door; very few movies make for good games. I suppose we could say that Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay - an absolutely fantastic game - was loosely based on the Vin Diesel films, but that's about it. I worry that this Castlevania movie is going to be a colossal failure, and a legendary game franchise deserves better than that. It deserves the correct talent (perhaps Paul W.S. Anderson qualifies), the right amount of effort, and something that will make fans of the game series say, "yeah, that's cool." But forgive me if I remain a touch concerned.
Oh well, at least Uwe Boll has nothing to do with this project. That's something.
Ooh, gimme a Psychonauts sequel! Please?
We already know about Tim Schafer and Double Fine's newest project, the very promising Brutal Legend. But that banner (which you can find via this rumor story really got me hoping for something I didn't dare hope for: a sequel to the best platformer of the last generation! Obviously, that's a Psychonauts banner that's blacked out on their site, but it may not be a sequel; it might just be a Wii or PSP remake, or something. However, while either of those possibilities is more realistic than a next-gen sequel, I'd really like to see a sequel. Any avid gamer knows that Schafer is never rewarded enough for his ingenious titles, which is why you very rarely see sequels to some of his best productions. The casual mainstream gamer just doesn't give him any love (heck, they've probably never heard of him, as silly as that sounds). However, knowing all this, I still hold out hope. A Psychonauts sequel is exactly the game that might get me playing platformers again!
Of course, I now have the option of the great Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. If only I could drag myself away from Warhawk long enough...
10/27/2007 Ben Dutka