Ben's Week In Review: August 16
Summer got here a little late, but it's definitely in full effect. I despise heat, but somehow, I hate humidity even more...rowing or playing tennis in that sh** is just plain hell.
Why is everyone "on the fence" concerning Bayonetta?
So when I delivered the story that Bayonetta would run at a very competent 60 frames per second on both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, I figured it was a good sign, and most would respond positively. But to my surprise, it seems a great many people have little confidence in Platinum Games and designer Hideki Kamiya, even after seeing plenty of gameplay footage. I see almost nothing wrong with any of that footage and I would automatically assume action aficionados would be drooling. Many are drawing comparisons to the Devil May Cry franchise and rightfully so; Kamiya was responsible for the creation of Dante in the original DMC. To me, it has the cartoon-y, comic book style attitude of DMC and the super fast action of Ninja Gaiden. We've also heard the developers say it will be immensely challenging so to assume it'll just be a button-mashing borefest is completely insane. But I have a theory:
I have a feeling that if we saw these exact same trailers and that exact same gameplay footage, and the protagonist was a guy, the vast majority of responses would be overwhelmingly positive. There's this bizarre undercurrent amongst gamers lately that says if a leading lady is involved, the title is suddenly all about T&A. Perhaps it's subconscious, but I believe it's true. And at no point in any of the footage I've seen does it seem like the designers created Bayonetta for the sole purpose of adding titillating cut-scenes; the gameplay is straight-up frenetic craziness. She doesn't even "bounce" like the girls in Ninja Gaiden Sigma, and yet, we're assuming the game is of lesser quality because it's "about the girl." Sorry, but this is dumb. Stop thinking that.
Never knew there could be a biased developer...
It almost seems impossible. I was under the impression that all companies, video game developers included, were in business to make money. But every time I hear about Gabe Newell and Valve, I can come to no other conclusion than this: they're biased against Sony and the PlayStation. I mean, you can't keep claiming the system is "too hard" for you when every other major designer on earth has come around. And you can't say you don't "need it" when there are 24 million potential customers for your games out there. None of this makes any sense whatsoever. Valve has simply lagged behind the rest of the developing world by choice, and I can think of no other reason besides the fact that Newell and Co. have always been PC fanboys. And because the 360 is so similar to PC architecture, they deign to step down from their lofty plateaus and produce games for that console. But the PS3 is like an alien to them, so they don't bother.
It's just too stupid to talk about. Know why? Because as far as I'm concerned, it's no great loss. They make like one great game every few years or something like that, and outside of L4D and a zillion Half-Life titles, I have no idea what makes them so great in the first place. So...whatever. Just don't tell me this is the proper way to run a business.
Soooo sick of movies with political agendas
SPOILERS ahead for "District 9"
I usually do a "personal gaming update" here, but there's just nothing to say right now. Still want to play Batman: Arkham Asylum, which I'll be reviewing, but outside of that, I just go back and play a lot of fun titles I've already completed. So anyway, I saw "District 9" today; if you're not familiar, it's Peter Jackson's new sci-fi flick. I almost never go to the theater and this only reminded me why: apparently, they can't make a movie that's not either painfully insulting and stupid or loaded to the gills with the standard Hollywood, uber-liberal agenda. Want to know what the movie was about? Okay, take the aliens, turn them into any minority group, and you've got a New Yorker article about how humans always oppress other peoples for no reason, and if we'd just "look deeper" and "put ourselves in their shoes," we'll be that much more enlightened. ...basically, "District 9" is a gore-fest superimposed over an after-school TV special.
You know, I don't need a lecture. I really don't. I'm all for tolerance and trying to see people for who they are rather than what they are, but I learned this in effing FIRST GRADE. We all did. We don't need it continually bashed into our brains; it's just boring me to tears. Either make something original that tells me an interesting story without the damn soapbox, or don't bother. Seriously. And outside of the extra violence for no reason whatsoever - yes, they're gonna cut into that guy while he's still awake because it's so much easier than sedating him - the movie had no redeeming purpose. I just can't understand the high reviews for this thing...I know it has been received well. It's why I went.
But I'm sorry. I'm just sick and tired of this.
8/15/2009 Ben Dutka