Ben's Week In Review: August 10
In between E3 and the Leipzig Games Convention, there's what I like to call 'tweener news, this time of year. So...let's deal with that. :)
What is Quantic Dream hiding?
So these new Heavy Rain screenshots popped up this past week, as most of you know, and the hype continues to grow by the day. But as far as I can tell, most of this hype is directly caused by little more than a lack of information and details. Thing is, whenever we see or hear something new about Quantic Dream's project, it's always something like this...a couple new mysterious screenshots, a quick, sometimes innocuous blurb, etc. I suppose my real question is: what are the developers trying to hide? If the game supposedly looks amazing - and if those screens really are gameplay, which I don't believe - why keep it under wraps? Perhaps they know exactly what they're doing; maybe they realize their silence in regards to official info is causing a hype spike, and they want that. But if they do want that, they had best deliver the goods when all is said and done. Otherwise, all of this is just smoke and mirrors, and we're getting all excited about nothing.
I'm not saying I don't have faith in the project (I loved Indigo Prophecy, even though it needed a lot more in the way of actual action/gameplay), but I am certainly wondering what Quantic Dream has planned. If it were me, and if I knew millions of people were clamoring for a look at my game, and I knew it was awesome, I'd want to unveil it ASAP. I'd have no motivation to hide it. All of these thoughts worry me just a bit...
LittleBigPlanet is for "everyone"
Media Molecule and Sony aren't singling out any one particular group when it comes to this cooperative-based platformer. It's not just for kids, it's not just for platforming fans, it's not just for online fans, it's not just for multiplayer fans, and it's not just for customize/puzzle fans. No, the developers say LittleBigPlanet is for everyone, and...well, that's the kind of target audience you want, isn't it? You typically want to cast the widest net possible, unless you've got one of those niche strat/RPGs or a MMO you want to promote. But as they say, they're a little worried about conveying this fact to the majority of gamers out there; far too many PS3 owners (and would-be owners) don't even know it exists. Or if they do, they know very little about it. This is why I figure you're going to start seeing television commercials and a whole lot of other promotion during next month, just so when the game launches in October, a ton of people are aware.
I have to admit, this isn't really my type of game, but I always applaud innovation and ambition, and LBP is both innovative and ambitious. There's really nothing to complain about, and even if it's not my bag, I'll certainly give it a try. I have this sneaking suspicion that it'd be somehow wrong to ignore a top PS3 exclusive, all the while acting as Editor-in-Chief of a PlayStation-oriented website. I'm sure people would find something amiss with that. Heh.
Personal gaming update
So I'm finishing up what I want to do in Soul Calibur IV before starting on MGS4, and I'm also playing Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds online. But here's where I have to vent a little- if any of you are familiar with the game, and familiar with the franchise in the past, you know Clap Hanz added the Advanced Shot this time around. However, they didn't remove the Traditional Shot, which has been a staple of the series for over a decade. This, I thought was a great idea...until I realized that they decided to reward people way too much for using the Advanced Shot. It's not harder to hit a great drive with the Advanced system - it's actually easier, IMO - and you can hit it a good 20-30 yards further! Essentially, this means that if the best Advanced player competed against the best Traditional player, the Advanced would win every single time simply because he can drive the ball further in identical conditions. This was a stupid move. It basically means there's little point to playing online if you're going to use Traditional shots, and that's lame.
I can still do good stuff (just got -22 on one unofficial game), but the Advanced-ers really piss me off. I won't be playing it much, it seems, so MGS4 looms nigh...
8/9/2008 Ben Dutka