Ben's Week In Review: July 19
Summer is a time for outdoor activities, air conditioning, cold drinks, and exciting little romantic flings. But there's still gaming stuff to talk about!
The "frustrated" have become the "excited"
So before SCEA Vice President of Product Development Scott Rohde boasted about the strength of their first-party lineup (something they have every right to do), he spoke about how "excited" developers are to work with the PlayStation 3. He said that it's like "peeling an onion" and many designers are really starting to come to terms with this complex piece of uber-capable hardware. However, I doubt anyone has forgotten when many developers complained bitterly about the difficulty in creating games for the PS3; it was only a few years ago. This happens with every PlayStation generation: the development studios bi*** and moan about how hard the new system is, and then a few years later, we start seeing some truly amazing stuff. While I don't necessarily think it's always a good idea to give developers a completely new piece of technology with every successive generation (I can see how frustrating that could get), you would think industry guys would be used to this. Two years ago, you couldn't get away from the complaints; now, you find about one article per week with another developer going, "oh gee, this console has all sorts of great stuff in it!"
Of course, we can always expect better and better PS3 productions as the years fly by. This happened with both previous PlayStations; the most technically accomplished and impressive titles didn't typically arrive until the final few years of the machine's lifespan. Therefore, if we take a look at what we already have for the PS3 and try to imagine what is yet to come...yeah, that's pretty "exciting."
What if thatgamecompany decided to upgrade...?
When I ask this question, I don't mean to imply that titles like flOw and Flower need some sort of quality advancement; I merely wonder what might happen if this studio opted to make a big-budget blockbuster production. Co-founder Jenova Chen said their third project is "something we've never seen before", and I certainly don't doubt it. I think we're all appreciative of what thatgamecompany has done thus far, and further, we can all agree that these guys embrace original and even ingenious concepts. It seems they'll do it again with their new project, but as it's bound to be just as successful as the first two, what might happen if they wished to go the blockbuster route? Why do I get the feeling they would be similar to Team ICO and produce something like The Last Guardian? Don't get me wrong; I'm a fan of the accessible, downloadable titles; they act as pleasant diversions and never harm the wallet. I really wouldn't have any problem if thatgamecompany stuck with unique ideas for the PSN, but I can't help envisioning such a talented studio undertaking a truly huge, big-budget game. You know you'd be interested to see what they might produce, too, so don't try to claim otherwise. ;)
Personal gaming update
The summer drought continues as I'm done with Top Spin 3 (again), and I await August. I also put down my replay of FFVIII for too long and so, I've started a new game in FFX...yeah, I know, it's completely and utterly ridiculous. But this is a sickness I've always suffered from and it's not about to be cured any time soon; besides, I really love the nostalgic feelings of these old FFs. I also maintain that such titles provided me with many of my most memorable gaming experiences, so is it any wonder I want to experience them again? I did download the demo of The Bigs 2 today - I haven't played a baseball game in a while - and that was fun. It isn't worth my $60, but at least it gave me something new to play for a while. I also can't wait to get started on Resident Evil 5, which I have penciled in for next month, along with the possibility of Batman: Arkham Asylum. Oh, and I'll give Madden NFL 10 a try, too. Just because.
There ain't much else to talk about. I carefully avoided women after the Amy/Courtney snafu (which yielded little, really), but as I've hinted at in the past, a new little someone has showed up, and she remains completely anonymous to the PSXE readership. Thing is, she's a little younger than me, so... Yeah, no, not illegal or anything, but definitely a lot younger. That's all I'll say.
7/18/2009 Ben Dutka