Ben's Week In Review: February 17
It has been a huge week for Sony, what with PlayStation 3 sales continuing to rise quickly and Blu-Ray all but securing an official victory. So let's get to it.
Get that white flag ready, Toshiba
We expect the official announcement within the next few days, but in the meantime, the latest report from Japan confirms that Toshiba and HD-DVD are calling it quits. Wal-Mart decided to side exclusively with Blu-Ray, Toshiba is supposed to be planning a Blu-Ray player for summer, and sales for Sony's high-definition format have outstripped HD-DVD since the start of this surprisingly brief format war. I say "surprisingly" just because Sony's last attempt at introducing a new video format ('cough' Betamax 'cough') failed miserably, and on top of which, the PS3 didn't start off well. And let's face it, Sony planned to use the PS3 to champion the Blu-Ray format...and at first, it didn't look good. But the system has gone nowhere but up ever since the initial launch in 2006, and Blu-Ray began to really trounce the competition earlier this year. I'm just glad I apparently made the right choice in siding with Blu-Ray (I own 4 Blu-Ray movies now), and I think many others are happy now, too. Thing is, nobody likes it when they have to guess between two competing formats; it's just easier on the consumer when there's only one option.
I suppose the real question now is, will Microsoft work to provide a Blu-Ray add-on for the Xbox 360? If they don't, it means their console can't play high-definition movies while the PS3 can, and that's a gigantic selling point. Huge. This really is a no-brainer for Microsoft...
Chains of Olympus sex scene better NOT become a target
Yeah, we all know about the sex scene in the upcoming PSP blockbuster, God of War: Chains of Olympus, and some are already predicting this will generate a media uproar. This absolutely boggles the mind. The game is clearly rated "M" for Mature, which means those under the age of 17 shouldn't be playing this game. Sony isn't marketing to younger gamers, and most retailers will refuse to sell it to consumers who aren't of the appropriate age. It's the exact same deal as a rated "R" movie, and yet, we never hear anything about rampant sexuality in films. This makes zero sense, because when we're talking about movies like "Hostel 2," which is essentially torture porn, that's a zillion times more damaging than anything we find in video games. In Chains of Olympus, there is nudity and the sound of lovemaking, but you never even see the actual activity on screen. These days, that could fit in a PG-13 movie, and still, the anti-game activists are gonna freak out? WHY?
Oh wait, I know why. It's because every single one of them still believes that all video games are for kids, and are marketed to kids. ...yeah, I completely forgot all those ignorant politicians and parents were idiots. My bad.
Personal gaming update
Well, I'm done with Devil May Cry 4, which was awesome. I'll probably go back through the game on the harder difficulty at some point, but I've already started Lost Odyssey, and I'm pretty happy with it so far. Of course, GameSpot can't do anything right anymore, as they completely screwed up the initial review by scoring a damn beta copy (or something), so I wouldn't trust their review. But I liked all the other reviews I read, especially IGN's, so I was excited about this one. Thing is, it's one of the last few "traditional" RPGs that are going to be made (don't kid yourselves, it's true), and I hate the idea that turn-based RPGs are all but gone. This game basically proves it shouldn't die, and that style is still fun. The characters are pretty good so far, the gameplay is indeed very entertaining, and perhaps most surprising of all, the writing is extremely good. The dreams you acquire throughout the game are written out in fiction prose, and they're done with a clean, professional hand. I was most impressed, especially because you don't often see this level of writing talent in most games.
So anyway, I'm happy with Lost Odyssey for now. It has a great deal of promise. After this, I'll be looking to pick up Twisted Metal: Head-On: Extra Twisted Edition because...well, because it's Twisted Metal.
2/16/2008 Ben Dutka