Ben's Week In Review: June 7
Well, E3 is over and...I...'yawn' ...okay, have to stay awake long enough to write this.
Do I have sudden reservations about Gran Turismo 5?
Yes. Yes, I do. I'm not doubting the game's quality; I'm absolutely convinced it will be as close to perfection as Yamauchi and Co. can get (their pursuit of a flawless production is why they're not releasing it now). But at the same time, I realized I was looking at NASCAR in that trailer they showed off during Sony's E3 press conference. I knew there would be Rally, but then again, there always has been so it wasn't exactly a shock. And of course, the video was gorgeous...but here's the thing: I hate NASCAR. Hate it. I wish it would go away forever (even though I know it won't). I'm hoping all that NASCAR stuff will be optional in the game because I absolutely refuse to play it. I'm not interested in racing the same car everyone else has, continually turning left and hoping I don't nudge a car, crash, and spend the remainder of a 500-lap race in 37th place. I'm just not sure Yamauchi thought this one through; what GT fan walked up to him one day and said, "hey, you know what'd be awesome to have in GT5? NASCAR!" Yeah, I can pretty much guarantee that nobody said any such thing.
NASCAR fans will buy NASCAR games. I seriously doubt they'll buy GT5, which still has its focus in road racing. I also doubt that GT fans have any interest in NASCAR whatsoever, and because a lot of that trailer involved the one racing sport I hate more than anything else - with the lone exception of NHRA - I have to admit to being a little perturbed. They're not really going to make me do this, are they? Please God, don't let it be so...
Castlevania = direct God of War rip-off?
So that "mask" turned out to be the logo for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, and as great as that trailer was, it just doesn't feel like Castlevania. Yeah, I knew it couldn't possibly be 2D in this day and age but even so, this franchise always had a very distinct atmosphere and flair to it. It was darker and more mystical, as most any good vampire production should be...and that leads me to my next issue: there are going to be vampires in this game, right? Isn't that the point of the original CV? Richter Belmont? You know, the vampire hunter? Then there was Dracula's son, Alucard, in Symphony of the Night? In that trailer, it appears the new character is Gabriel and he fights all sorts of amazing-looking beasts, but I really felt like I was looking at another GoW iteration. Since the success of that franchise, third-person action games have been taking cues from SCEA's efforts for years, but this may be a little blatant. I mean, does anyone notice how close that whip is to Kratos' default blades? And look at how the game moves...
I'm not necessarily complaining because I love GoW. And if Konami makes it good, I'll definitely want to play it. But it almost seems like the death of a classic franchise when I watch that trailer. Honestly, I think they should've brought Richter back in next-gen form and continued a story from the old NES Castlevanias, or something. And obviously, there's zero chance of ever seeing Alucard return in a SotN sequel, but that's what I'd dream about.
Personal gaming update
So while I had plenty of fun with Red Faction: Guerrilla, I still find inFamous to be more fun and indeed, even addictive. I'm one mission from advancing into the second portion of the city, and I've taken the time to liberate 100% of the Neon District. I did all the side missions I could find and I'm going the complete Hero route, just 'cuz I think I'll get cooler powers and stuff. I could be wrong; I don't know, but I've already got those grenades, this concentrated blast that really does damage, the lightning that chains to other enemies if you get a headshot, and this new ability that slows down time and basically lets you snipe with your power. It drains a ton of energy really fast, but it's still major cool. Just running around the city seems to be endless fun. :)
After this, I figure I'll return to FFVIII, maybe until my birthday rolls around in early August and I can get Resident Evil 5, which I unfortunately missed out on. Beyond that, I'm just waiting on the super huge titles of the fall, although I'll be interested to see how Batman: Arkham Asylum turns out... As for anything else, I can't really think of anything. Besides the fact that women really are insane and I'm just about ready to say g'bye to all crazy people. No need to over-complicate my life. Really.
6/6/2009 Ben Dutka