Ben's Week In Review: November 16
Lots of games, lots of things to talk about. And everyone has already figured out our Killzone 2 secret, but it still had the desired effect. ;)
Will I buy my first NFS title since Hot Pursuit 2?
So I first saw the TV commercial this past week, and this was after I knew what to expect. I normally follow the series quite closely, even though I haven't actually purchased a Need for Speed game since Hot Pursuit 2 on the PS2. Now, that was a kick-ass game, but I've gravitated more towards the simulated racing of Gran Turismo since that time, and the only arcade-style titles I've bought say "Burnout" on the box. However, what intrigues me most about Undercover is EA's description of the game as the "first action/adventure racing game," which of course implies there's something similar to an actual single-player campaign...and that's something we don't see very often. Hell, have we ever seen it? Of course, the addition of a real cast of actors and actresses - I was aware of Maggie Q's exquisite hotness as soon as I saw "Mission Impossible III" - is another bonus, but it's this unique format that has me interested. Most of the time, I just bypass the racing genre without thinking too much about it, but...
Arnold has the game now, I believe, and I'm hoping he says it's good. Both of us are immediately biased towards the game just because it has the 370Z in it, but honestly, all I really want to know is if the style works. If it does, I may be very likely to toss down the cash this week, even though there are two or three other games that, by all rights, should be higher on my priority list. More on that situation below. ;)
Home is about what I expected
So Sony sent me a voucher code for Qore Episode 6, which featured an in-world tour of PlayStation Home. As I wasn't in the closed beta, this was my first look at the innovative community concept, and I have to say, I'm not really surprised. Of course, I've been reporting on Home for about a year now so I'm well aware of the info and details, but you really need the visual in order to form an opinion. From what I could see, Home is pretty, involving, and yes, potentially revolutionary. But I think there's something people need to realize: as Sony has said many times before, what you see when the Home open beta launches is hardly the finished product. They have a long way to go and I can absolutely guarantee that this application in two years time will be nothing like what it is now. Sony has dumped a lot of time and money into this, and they're not about to just roll out the open beta and sit on their laurels for a few months. Home is something that is going to continue to grow and expand throughout the PS3's lifespan, which is why I'm excited about it. Am I excited about what I saw in that tour? Meh, not really.
But that's not the point. I saw plenty of potential, which - say what you like - is all Sony is gunning for right now. They want a solid launching pad for a community application that will be ten times as robust in the coming years, and I think they've achieved their stable foundation. So before any of you say something like, "I'm not really impressed with Home right now," remember that you need to look at this as if it's in the infancy stages...'cuz it is.
Personal gaming update
So I've completed Resistance 2 and moved on to Mirror's Edge, which I'm almost done with. R2 was basically pure bliss from start to finish and if it weren't for MGS4 and GTAIV, it'd get my vote for Game of the Year (so far; haven't played LBP, GeoW2, or Dead Space yet). Mirror's Edge is kinda bizarre...I've never gotten this frustrated with such a good game. Sure, I get frustrated, but that's almost always when I'm playing a crappy piece of junk; frustration tends to come with the territory. But frustration almost always makes me want to stop; with ME, I have no desire whatsoever to stop. I may die eleven gajillion times on one section, but I still keep trying, over and over. It's a weird mix of feeling as if I want to throw the controller through the TV, and at the same time, feeling as if I can't stop playing. I love the game, and my only problem is the exorbitant trial-and-error gameplay and the vulnerability of Faith. Other than that, it's awesome. I'll probably have it done on Monday or Tuesday and then...
Well, it's probably one of four games I'm going to get this week. I'm passing on Call of Duty: World at War because I've never really played that series and I just got finished with R2. I want either Dead Space, LittleBigPlanet, Gears of War 2, or the aforementioned Need for Speed: Undercover. Of course, I still have more than a few games to review, so I'm thinking it might have to be short, as both R2 and ME are/were. Anything I don't get goes on the Christmas list. Oh, and with everything that Arnold tells me about Killzone 2, I'm sufficiently annoyed that I'm not in the beta (I was in the R2 beta and he wasn't, but even so), and with what he has in his possession now... Damnit, and I had to sit here with something like Legendary. Grr...
11/15/2008 Ben Dutka