Ben's Week In Review: March 1
Well, it's finally March, and yet, it's obvious we've got a long ways to go before spring arrives. Looks like the Z stays under wraps for at least another few days. :( Anyways...
Can't wait to hear more about Assassin's Creed 2
So the current rumor - which I'm calling about 95% plausible right now - is that Assassin's Creed 2 will take place in 15th/16th-century Venice, and I love that idea. One of the biggest reasons I adored the original is because of the atmosphere, which I just couldn't get enough of. It remains one of the most realistic depictions of human life I've seen on a video screen, and that's an awesome accomplishment in my eyes. And while I understand the complaints that it was too repetitive, I suppose it's all in how you look at it: firstly, all games are "repetitive" to a certain point. I'm running around shooting people in Killzone 2 all the time. I do that in all FPSs. I know it's a bit of an exaggeration and AC was somewhat repetitive, but I enjoyed every second of it. I could scale those lookout points all day long; I could perform assassinations in a bunch of different ways, and I could avoid the authorities in even more ways. It was just an amazing experience for me.
I do expect Ubisoft to build on the excellent foundation of the original, though. The combat could use a definite upgrade (really, it was just about countering) and yes, we could also use different missions. There were four or five different types of missions in AC, but each one felt a little too similar. Other than that, I just can't wait to see Assassin's in Venice. It's easily one of my most anticipated games right now.
Killzone 2 should still flourish despite...
...yet another seemingly lackluster marketing campaign. I wasn't feigning surprise when I wrote that momentous event article concerning the Killzone 2 commercial. However, I would like to say that I've seen the commercial several times since then, and the Internet certainly has plenty of KZ2 promotion. I just wish that commercial had seen frequent play time for the past three weeks; it would've made the most sense, and it's really what Sony needed. The game still managed to score a ton of pre-orders, though, and the Internet and magazine (print and online) promotions have been plentiful. The game is going to be a hit regardless, and the critical acclaim has long since been assured. And one could say that this was a step in the right direction in terms of marketing and advertising. I just think it's clear that more steps need to be taken, that's all.
Perhaps when it comes time to promote future exclusives like Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, God of War III, and Gran Turismo 5, Sony will have finally gotten a handle on this whole ad campaign thing. I just don't want to be seeing random game commercials more often than I see ads for something like GT5...that'll annoy the crap out of me.
Personal gaming update
I'll give you two guesses as to what I'm currently playing, but you're only gonna need one. :) I finally beat Prince of Persia a couple days ago so I was ready to go for the KZ2 launch, and although I didn't get every last Light Seed (994...grr...), it's over and done with. There were 5 seeds in the Vale I could see but had NO clue how to get, and there were just 2 others in another place I couldn't find. I probably would've gone online to figure it out if I knew I didn't have anything else to play, but I just had to finish it. PoP is definitely a great game, no doubt. KZ2, though...it's just a whole new level of FPS quality and brutal, breathless insanity. I sat down and played for four and a half hours without stopping, and I honestly can't remember the last time I did that. Typically, when it comes to shorter games that are awesome, I try to drag them out so I can savor the flavor. Unfortunately, I just don't think I'm going to be able to do that with this one; I'm gonna finish it quick. And maybe I'll go through it again!
But I also picked up Star Ocean: The Last Hope, so I'll start on that when I'm done with KZ2. I've read plenty of reviews and as far as I can tell, you'll really like the game if you're a JRPG fan; the gameplay is great and although the story takes a long time to get going and the voice acting is atrocious, it's still a lot of fun for the fans. And that's me, I'm pretty sure.
As for last weekend, when I brought you the waitress/age editorial, I will say I saw her again since then. She smiles more...she's super cute...she wants a ride in my car...but perhaps it really is a big, hefty faux pas. Ah well.
2/28/2009 Ben Dutka