Ben's Week In Review: July 27
For whatever reason, I can always find stuff to talk about at the end of every week. This either means I'm putting up a whole lot of content, or I just have a lot of opinions...or maybe it's both. Well, whatever. :)
Is one of the most depressing trends in video games reversing?
Could it be? I never thought I'd see the day when I had actual evidence that one of the worst trends in gaming might be coming around: the well known, well documented, and oft-despised fact that most every game based on a movie is either mediocre or downright awful. But in 2008 alone, we already have two examples of games that - while not stellar or instant classics - could still be classified as "good." One is Kung Fu Panda (sorry, the link is busted but we gave it a 8.1), and the other is The Bourne Conspiracy, and both served to brighten my spirits a bit. Now, there is no game for "The Dark Knight," but it seems one is most certainly on the way, as confirmed by Gary Oldman. We have almost no details on the game, but perhaps the developers (whoever they may be) are taking the extra time to produce a game worthy of such a great movie. Thing is, what annoyed us about bad games based on movies is that the movies in question normally weren't bad. You know?
I sent a quick e-mail to LuxoFlux regarding KFP, just thanking them for "kicking a stereotype in the ass." I received a very nice reply, saying they put a great deal of effort into the game, and it truly was a labor of love for them. Obviously, this is necessary for any good video game production, and I was just happy to see it happen for a game based on a movie. And while Conspiracy wasn't fantastic, it was still quite entertaining and far better than what we could've expected in the past. Furthermore, with what may be lengthy development time for The Dark Knight, we could have another "good" or even excellent title. So I ask: is this the start of a reversal? Oh, I hope so...
Can't wait for the Resistance 2 beta
I'm hardly the only one, but you have to remember, I can easily recall a time when I had no idea what a "beta" was. I knew them as Sony's failed video format (VHS killed it quick) way back when, but that was about it. In fact, I had never been involved in a beta test until last year with Warhawk, and I was a bit leery about the whole process. But I had a blast playing, and I can't imagine not having a similarly entertaining experience with the Resistance 2 beta. I suppose this is going to be another aspect of the new generation that will become more and more popular (and even anticipated); much like downloadable content. Of course, I am now well aware of the many PC betas they had available in past years - well before beta testing for console titles - but it almost seems as if every huge title may have a beta. It's a good idea, I think, and it's also a good idea to have a playable demo for the big-name games, too. Both of these are advancements in the game industry that I can really get behind, because both hold the long-term interests of the gamer at heart.
In the end, I don't really care about anything else: the developers and publishers are here to entertain us, yes? So it should, of course, be in our best interests to encourage more interaction between the guys who make 'em and the guys who play 'em. That just seems 100% logical to me.
Personal gaming update
Okay, before I take any more flak for "still" playing Top Spin 3, let me just say right up front that I am now officially finished. I've beaten all the legends, achieved the Grand Slam, watched the credits roll, and now, my character is Retired. A friend of mine brought over Battlefield: Bad Company so I could watch a bit of it; it sure looks fun. I may still play it, but Soul Calibur IV will be in my hands in a few days time, so I'm passing temporarily. But I have succumbed to my ongoing weakness for my classic PS1 RPGs, but this time, instead of FFVII or FFT, I decided to go with Chrono Cross. It's one of the few top-notch RPGs I didn't play more than once, and I've always regretted it, so I started a new game. I had forgotten how good that game really was; it was so very ahead of its time, especially in terms of combat. We don't have that kind of depth in most RPGs even today, and even though it's a decade old, I still think it looks very pretty.
Don't worry, while I currently intend on finishing it, I'm sure the modern day will get in the way somehow. Besides, I've still got MGS4 to play, and that's a must. :)
7/26/2008 Ben Dutka