Ben's Week In Review: August 3
I certainly wish I could be joyously writing about the Final Fantasy VII remake or sequel that Square-Enix just announced, but sadly, I'm forced to live in reality once again. Ah well.
Is Advent Children the start of a trend?
Obviously, the amazing CGI and FMV in the Final Fantasy franchise has always been a staple, so it's no real surprise to see something like "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children." Being a huge fan of the game, of course I loved that movie, and I will most certainly be getting the new Blu-Ray Collection that's coming in March of next year. Of course, it certainly helps that we'll be getting that Final Fantasy XIII demo, too. :) Anyway, with the new technological advantages this generation affords, I'm just wondering if we'll see more in the way of CGI high-definition movies based on video games. Wouldn't the Metal Gear Solid series be perfect for this? What gaming fan wouldn't buy "MGS: Snake's Early Years" or something like that? With the same level of unbelievably choreography and quality we see in games like MGS4, and in movies like "Advent Children?" It wouldn't end there, either; plenty of current games could make a successful leap.
We're always complaining that Hollywood makes terrible movies based on video games, so I say, don't even give them the opportunity to screw it up. Put it in the hands of the same developers who made the game and just say, "here, you have free reign to make an awesome high-def CGI movie, with enough fantastic action for everyone and enough story to satisfy every big-time fan." I think it's time for this.
We're not giving Ninja Theory it's just due
We're just not. They're in the process of unveiling their new title, and I think people should be far more excited about it. While it wasn't perfect, Heavenly Sword was a fantastic accomplishment in many different ways. There's a very good reason why it received our Best Acting award in 2007, and I have yet to see better voice acting or better voice synching (in coordination with the visual; moving mouths) in any game since. It wasn't the deepest action title ever, no, but it was deep enough to satisfy a large portion of gamers, and the technical aspects on the whole were excellent. Ninja Theory has the potential to do something pretty darn impressive, and even if it's not Heavenly Sword 2, we should still be in max anticipation mode for their new project. For those of you who have played HS, you will remember how that title excelled, or at least, you should.
That game provided me with a wonderful experience, and the presentation was just so professional and refined. Whatever they're working on now, I want to know more about it, and it will quickly land near the top of my "most anticipated" list. I don't go by titles or developer recognition; I go by what that team has done in the recent past. And if I use HS as a measuring stick, I am most encouraged.
Personal gaming update
I have reached the unfortunate conclusion that despite owning the original 60GB PS3 that supports both PS2 and PS1 software, I may just have to buy a PS2. I've been forced to stop playing Chrono Cross because the game kept freezing on me in battle, and I just couldn't get past it. I've also noticed some other playback problems with both PS1 and PS2 titles, and even though none are as serious as what just happened in CC, I'd rather have perfect playback all the time with a good ol' PS2. And besides, when I need to get another PS3 - hopefully not soon, but as reliable as the machine is, I don't expect it to last six or seven more years - it won't offer backwards compatibility for PS2 games. So I might just cave and get a silver slim PS2 and be done with it.
I do have Soul Calibur IV now (review will be up in about a half-hour), and I'll be playing that for a little while. It's great fun, and yes, I did get MGS4 for my birthday. Clearly, that's next on the list. :)
8/2/2008 Ben Dutka