Ben's Week In Review: November 30
Well, I guess now that we're past Thanksgiving, we're officially into the Christmas season. So considering you're all probably exhausted from shopping, I'll get right to it.
Hey...don't forget about Prince of Persia
Ubisoft expects high review scores for this one, as do we. It's one of the most anticipated titles of the year, and although I know you've already splurged on top-quality titles in the past couple of months, there might be one more to nab. The only major review I can find so far is from IGN, but that's a 9.3, and all other early indications are simple and straightforward: yep, it really is that good, and it's yet another must-play. At first, I was a bit skeptical because the developers decided to take a significantly new direction with this next-gen installment, but it didn't take me long to jump on the bandwagon. Not only do I find the cel-shaded artistry to be downright gorgeous, but I think I'll love the new gameplay style. Although I had a blast with all three PoPs from the PS2/Xbox era, I typically had a problem with the battles that featured dozens of enemies against the Prince. It just seemed out of place, what with the unique and even revolutionary platforming and puzzle combination.
Those who recall Sands of Time will remember the rewind and wall-running functions of the gameplay; two factors that other developers essentially stole for use in other titles. Although I don't expect much in the way of innovation with this PoP, I certainly do expect something special. And as far as I can see, it's the last 2008 blockbuster, so don't just ignore it 'cuz you're already backlogged!
I want a North American release date for WKC!
I was a little worried when I saw the news that White Knight Chronicles wouldn't be at this year's PlayStation! Experience event in Tokyo, which started the speculation that the game may not hit its December 25 Japanese release date. Then again, now that Level 5 is holding their own little event this month, I'm hoping WKC will be the focal point of that particular gathering. If it is, I really want them to issue a launch date for North America; at the very least, could we have an estimate? Honestly, I'd be happy if they just said, "March 2009," or something. I remain annoyed and saddened that the turn-based role-playing mechanic I love so well has basically disappeared entirely, but this is one of those cases where I may not care. Provided Level 5 comes through on all their promises and the real-time combat doesn't boil down into standard hacking 'n slashing, I'll likely be happy with the result. I also know for a fact that many RPG fans out there are eagerly anticipating WKC, if only because many of them are jumping off the Square-Enix bandwagon.
As for me, I still have plenty of faith in S-E, even though I can't agree with their recent business decisions. No matter how they try to spin the issue, one can only conclude that they're kinda ignoring their loyal fans who also happen to be loyal to the PlayStation brand. Then again, the Nintendo fans probably thought the exact same thing way back when, so perhaps we don't have a leg to stand on...
Personal gaming update
So I'm nearing the end of Dead Space, and when it's over, I may replay it, or go for another Mirror's Edge run-through. I know I want Prince of Persia, Gears of War 2, LittleBigPlanet and Left 4 Dead, but those are all on the Christmas wish list. So I'll just wait to see what I get and then make my move; in the meantime, I'm either going to do a replay or just take a break. Of course, this is about the time of year when I look back and say something like, "damn, I didn't play FFT or FFVII this year." But I did play both this year...although I didn't finish either one. That happens. I'll get the itch to play them, go for about 20-30 hours, then get sidetracked with something new, and that'll be it until the next time the itch rolls around. But I have enough time between now and Christmas to go through one of them, don't I...? Eh, maybe I'll just get Fable II. I really enjoyed the first one, and I've been hearing good things about the sequel, even though it's not really my kind of RPG. I'm just afraid that because I haven't touched my 360 in so long, I'm way overdue for the RRoD failure, and I just know it's gonna happen. LOL
By the way, thanks to all who offered up the kind responses in yesterday's editorial. I took a bit of a risk posting up something so personal, but considering I feel like I know so many of you, I figured it'd be okay. And it was. :)
11/29/2008 Ben Dutka