Ben's Week In Review: April 5
I still can't believe I'm actually playing a JRPG again. The last one was Lost Odyssey and before that it was Final Fantasy XII; feels good to play my age-old favorite genre again. :)
Will Bayonetta be the hardcore action title of the year?
So director Hideki Kamiya said on the Platinum Games blog that he hopes Bayonetta will be "sadistically difficult." This worries me simply because I'm not an immensely skilled action gamer - as I've said before, the mere fact that I beat games like Ninja Gaiden and Devil May Cry 3 on the Normal difficulty settings is amazing - but I'm still intrigued. Heck, after I saw Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, I went on this long rant about how I don't want gaming to feel like a chore. It's why I adore the God of War franchise and couldn't give a crap about the so-called action purists who maintain that a game has to be tear-out-your-hair challenging in order to be considered "great." But I still find myself wanting to at least try Sigma 2, and I feel the same way about Bayonetta. First of all, I don't have this weird hang-up some guys have about playing as a female; that's just adolescent insecurity and if I have to take to the battlefield with a scantily-clad hottie, so what? What...if guys do that, we're delusional and distorted enough to try to date the fictional image on screen? Right. I'm that far gone.
Look, if the game in question is basically a mix of DMC and NG only with a female main character, I want to give it a shot. I love beautifully orchestrated action titles and if it's good enough, maybe I'll suffer through the difficulty.
A tri-Ace multiplatform title is big news
It seems that tri-Ace is teasing a new RPG; their site features a big ol' countdown clock, so we're all anxiously awaiting the announcement. But remember: this is a multiplatform release that will likely be published by Square-Enix, and I don't think enough people are giving this its due attention. Look, we all know that Square-Enix hasn't exactly gotten on the good side of PlayStation 3 owners; I'm playing a game right now that, by all rights, should absolutely be on Sony's console. But this is another tri-Ace game and it's not going to be a 360 exclusive, which basically means that the days of Square-Enix siding with Microsoft are gone. It only seems logical- the publisher didn't see a whole lot of sales potential in a system that had only sold a few million units early on. But even so, they lost a whole lot of Sony fans in the process, and now they're going to try to win them back...? Who knows? All we know is that this game is multiplatform, and The Last Hope, the last tri-Ace game, most certainly isn't. Therefore, I consider this to be a major step forward, and one that might eventually redeem Square-Enix in the eyes of many gamers out there.
Personal gaming update
I had a busy week so I didn't get much more time with Star Ocean, but things are going well. I don't have much of anything new to report, besides the fact that I still like it. :) I also forgot that Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena just recently came out, and that's basically the only new game I'm interested in; I might pick it up to play after I'm done with The Last Hope. Then again, I've also resolved that I need to play LittleBigPlanet as soon as humanly possible - I've ignored it for too long - so I might just have to spring for that, instead... I dunno, we'll see.
The only other piece of news is this- the Z is gone. It actually has been gone for several weeks and the only reason I didn't say anything is because I didn't want Arnold to know. LOL But he knows now and even though I'm a "traitor" - heh, it's true, I am - he understands the decision and even likes my new car. Unfortunately, we can no longer say that the PSXE boys both have 350Zs, but I suppose I can live with that. It wasn't a matter of money or preference (I loved the Z; you all know that); it was basically more of a favor to the family. My brother needed a car for college next year, and I didn't feel right about having my parents pay a bunch of money for a car, when my old Maxima would be perfect. So when my father asked about it and I realized how much of a help it would be, I started to consider doing it. I've had the Max for over 8 years now and it's in fantastic condition, but if I got rid of it, I couldn't very well keep the Z year-round...not here in CT. So, it went away in exchange for a crazy deal I got on a...
2007 Infiniti M35x. If you're not familiar, it's Infiniti's top luxury car; the upper model above the G class. It basically goes for a whole LOT of luxury and doesn't sacrifice much in the way of performance; as Arnold noted, it's really built on an extended Z chassis. I drove similar cars - Lexus GS350, BMW 535i, etc. - that offered AWD and everything else I wanted, but the M35x seemed to offer the best overall package. And as I'm 6'3, I ADORE the amount of room I have. It's just an amazing vehicle, and it comes with the full tech/Nav setup, too. Back-up camera, air-conditioned/heated seats, a cockpit like an airplane, and wonderful comfort. The price was unbelievable and with only 23k miles on one of the most reliable vehicles on earth, I had to do it. Midnight blue with black leather interior. No pics yet, but you can go look one up. ;)
4/4/2009 Ben Dutka