: Ben's Week In Review: September 20

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Ben's Week In Review: September 20

It has been a supremely busy week - mostly due to the MAG beta code giveaway, which is now complete, by the way - and I need a break. But I ain't getting one...TGS is this week. Oh boy.

So, Square-Enix...watcha doin' with Nier?

I'm an old-school Squaresoft fan from the original PlayStation days when Square could really do no wrong. And I've always associated that publisher with role-playing, although I do remember the likes of Einhander and Brave Fencer Musashi. But as soon as I heard Square-Enix was looking to appeal to the Western audiences more, and they opened up their offices in Los Angeles, I knew we'd start seeing some different projects. I guess one of them is Nier and I have to admit, it looks pretty damn sweet. I'm not entirely sure why S-E is planning two very distinct versions of the game - one for the PlayStation 3 and the other for the Xbox 360 - but I'm hoping both are well worth buying. Follow that link, and then follow another link to the official site where you can watch an early teaser trailer of the game. It looks like some sort of kick-ass action/RPG...or perhaps it's more action than role-playing; I don't know. I do know that Square-Enix still knows how to make everything look very pretty, so it comes as no big shock to see that Nier is shaping up nicely.

And of course, the more I see of Final Fantasy XIII, the more I desperately need that game. All the FFXIII wallpapers some of you guys uploaded wasn't helping that craving, either, and if I had the time, I might actually consider importing it this year. But the fact is, I most certainly don't have the time and if it launches in June (or perhaps in March, as Square-Enix hopes), that's better. Not nearly as much going on at either time.

Guess what I'm getting on February 9?

Bioshock 2. That's right, baby. That game will be mine. I so loved the original; it's what made me realize that we really can break free of the standard FPS mold if the developers put their minds to it. A great story, an absolutely fantastic atmosphere, beautiful gameplay and control, and overall, one of the most entertaining titles of the generation, in my opinion. If you haven't had the pleasure of playing Bioshock, you definitely need to pick it up; don't be swayed by any ill-advised belief that it's "just another FPS." I know we have many readers who are kinda down on FPSs these days and they tend to avoid the genre, but really, Bioshock is a whole different breed. It may look and play just like an FPS but somehow, it sets itself a good distance apart. I have nothing but the highest expectations for the sequel, too, and it's interesting that 2K has brought in three other development teams to assist. I remember writing that news article and wondering if we'd start to see other designers do this...provided everyone works together properly, it's like a win-win, right?

But anyway, I know the first quarter of 2010 is already loaded but don't you dare ignore this one. It really needs to be somewhere near the top of your list. Just trust me.

Personal gaming update

I'm basically in "review mode" between now and Thanksgiving so I have very little time to play anything for myself. I did the NHL 10 vs. NHL 2K10 comparison and next up is the Heroes Over Europe vs. IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey. This week, You can look for a dual review from me and Arnold for Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, and I'll have Katamari Forever done, too. I got that today 'cuz Katamari is always totally bad-ass and if you disagree, I will fight you until you finally give. 'evil grin' Then there's October...dear God. Well, at least I got Demon's Souls out of the way, and it appears that the other big RPG of the month - Dragon Age: Origins - might not make it next month for the PS3, and that might be a good thing.

You may call me a nerd if you like, but it's all about games until December. Hence...girls are gonna take a backseat. I won't lie; they mostly have been for a while, but what can I tell you? Maybe now that I'm 31, my priorities are changing...only in the reverse direction, or something. Oh well. Such is life. ;)

9/19/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (29 posts)

frostface
Saturday, September 19, 2009 @ 10:48:28 PM
Reply

31 meself and thought I was the only one who's gaming priorities just took over...glad to see I'm not alone! Nice review Ben! Never played any of the recent Final Fantasy games but guess when this one drops I'll be needin to find time for it.
On another note, Just realised there's only like 2 days between the U2 and Operation Flashpoint releases next month...Think I'm gonna need a 2nd job!

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, September 19, 2009 @ 10:51:09 PM

Well, I meant that my priorities regarding my personal life may have changed. But I know what you're saying. :)

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johnld
Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 4:51:49 PM

Its simple for me, the older i get the less i avoid things that cause me a headache. I dont avoid them altogether but if its turning out to be a pain in the ass, approach with caution. Games are just enjoyable with minimal stress, hahaha.

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frostface
Saturday, September 19, 2009 @ 10:56:08 PM
Reply

Thats exactly what I'm sayin dude! lol

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ThePearlJamer
Saturday, September 19, 2009 @ 11:27:10 PM
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Hey Ben, guess what I'm getting also on February...it starts with Bio and ends with Shock 2...

In all seriousness, hopefully I'll be done with it by the time GOWIII launches because I am a very busy person and don't always have the time to play video games as much as I would like to.

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kevinater321
Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 8:45:47 AM

I can't figure it out! what are you getting in February?



Damn this guy is good with puzzles.

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ThePearlJamer
Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 9:48:58 AM

It's like I'm the next Dan Brown lol

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Masterofallz
Saturday, September 19, 2009 @ 11:43:26 PM
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Aw Ben, girls are in the back seat for me to. I just got my heart ripped out of my chest and stomped on.

I dont feel too good.

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Kowhoho
Saturday, September 19, 2009 @ 11:59:11 PM

I'm here for you, buddy.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 5:21:56 AM

Keep the faith brother, remember one is not all, and you'll be ready to make a comeback sooner than you think.

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Aftab
Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 9:18:05 PM

Nah dude, your heart didn't get ripped out... your brain did. Use your head, and your heart will follow, just as the girl will. And as for the girl who calls you to follow her and against your head, ignore her. And don't worry too much about the heartache. It means you're not a natural a**hole... But, it's part of growing up, and manning up.

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Scarecrow
Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 1:44:03 AM
Reply

Just wanna say that Ninja Theory lost a great franchise

Their new game: Enslaved doesn't look nearly as good as Heavenly Sword

That right there is such a shame...

Enslaved, will have guns, robots, and the like.

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Deleted User
Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 1:47:04 AM
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Square is not what the company should be. Like those glory days you mentioned Square Soft Playstation One erea. Every disc came in white. Love my collection.

Look, after the Enix buy out, Square has became lackluster. FF12, gameplay and the end to random encounters gone, but I felt shorthand. Character development was minimum. Every so hour, at best, some will pop in a line and that's it. These Nier titles , as well as the previous The Last Remnant, Star Ocean, Infinite Undiscovery.. all lackluster. Nothing spawning creativity. Nothing "wow"

Square is choking under it's criticism. I want my favorite gaming company to find its mojo and excell once again

Last edited by n/a on 9/20/2009 1:52:09 AM

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Scarecrow
Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 2:15:04 AM

Actually, FFXII was one of Square-Enix's greatest titles

I'm sure Ben agrees

Just because it didn't follow the "you gotta save/protect" the princess storyline followed by other Final Fantasy doesn't mean it was bad.

Losing turn based doesn't mean the game is bad. In fact, some found it to be one of the biggest reasons why they loved FFXII

Story wise, it has as much story as any FF. The only difference being that you actually spend time traveling from hotspot to hotspot making your flow of information and story progression seem more slower and far between. However, you can always travel by Chocobo and walk through places just like you did in previous FFs where it took 10 minutes between events (story progression)

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Banky A
Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 2:24:23 AM

XII had the feeling of epic.
Which is what RPGs should be anyway =D

For some reason, on my save it says 331 hours.
So I guess I hated the game or somethin'.

Here's my conclusion. FFXII might've come as an iffy title for some people because of one thing:

- No Soft-reset lololol (serious)

P.S. Still gotta' kill the last Mark and hunt Yiazmat.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 5:28:53 AM

gotta disagree a tad scarecrow, XII was epic in its own way, but was too big a departure. The political story jived well with me, but the battle system was basically just "set it up well beforehand and let everyone do their automatic job," which is nice for straight strategy but dies when you look at the decisive stuff of old.

I'm replaying FFVI and I can easily witness how turn based is superior when you want to strike that balance between strategy and turn based.

And the lack of a world map replaced by miles of mindless running was no treat.

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Scarecrow
Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 1:23:48 PM

@World,
I do prefer turn-based to anything out there.

But that doesn't mean that the system they introduced was bad. That's the point here.

On a percentage scale: Turn based gets 100%
XII's system, when you consider it all gets at least an 80%

So while it wasn't the perfect system, it had its pros and was a good system, overall.

It's the difference between a Viper GTS and a Lamborghini. While the Lamborghini is the perfect one, the Viper GTS is something you can enjoy.

The world map thing is more of a personal preference than one being better than the other.

I enjoyed a world that's actually alive and explorable. It was such a spiritual adventure for me since you can actually grind through the world as you get from place to place. It also acted as a way to show all the misery and destruction Vaine caused around the land. Beautifully designed environments...man as an artist I was psyched!

By the way, after you got your airship and a means to travel by "airplane service" you could just fly to where you wanted to go next. So it wasn't in your face all the time.

I find the no world map system better since you're not walking 'round the world in like ten seconds. The world map cuts down the play time too.

I'm like Ben, I like experiencing every second of a game. That's why I put over 240 something hours in this game.

But yeah, again, the world map is or lack of it is just personal preference.

The turn-based system is just better than anything though.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 8:58:03 PM

For my part, I don't like political stories of any kind so the FFXII story didn't really resonate with me. But the ending MORE than made up for it, IMO.

I also liked the gameplay a lot more than I thought I would, and it's definitely one of the best games ever. All FFs are, really. It's not my FAVORITE - that's FFVII, of course - but it's a damn fine production.

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Banky A
Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 2:20:03 AM
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'Soft-reset' were the days of Square's glory ^_^

It was even in Kingdom Hearts, the game which had massive charisma.

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Banky A
Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 6:22:00 AM

Yeah.

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Scarecrow
Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 2:49:54 AM
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Need Tales of Vesperia US release date next week. Do it Namco!

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neighber
Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 3:19:36 AM
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U guys are lucky to have girls in the back seat, its better than gettin home and findin out yo girl has been playing few of yo rpgs while u were out. that is what i deal with on a daliy bases.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 8:58:40 PM

There are worse things in life. ;)

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Naga
Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 5:24:15 AM
Reply

needs dragonball raging blast
needs dragonball raging blast
needs dragonball raging blast

Last edited by Naga on 9/20/2009 5:24:38 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 5:34:58 AM
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World gone mad! Here's my playtime: Prototype, Oblivion, FFVI (anthology edition), Nightmare Creatures II, Uncharted 2 beta, Eternal Sonata, Grandia II, *sigh*

My regular business took a dip and I'm due a story to Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine soon. Or Ellery Queen, damn it's 5:35 am and I should go to bed. God help me.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 9/20/2009 5:35:57 AM

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Alienange
Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 10:32:47 AM
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Bioshock was made by leaders in the industry. Anyone who passed it up because "it's a FPS" has not only missed out on one the best games in history but has a serious lack of gaming judgment.

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Scarecrow
Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 1:26:10 PM

I don't care 'bout the genre
So I'm ok with "missing it"

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KilloWertz
Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 1:57:27 PM

While saying Bioshock is one of the best games in history might be a little much, I do think it's one of the best FPS games of this console generation. I agree with Ben in saying that just because it's an FPS doesn't mean you shouldn't play it unless you absolutely can't stand playing anything in first person.

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Fane1024
Monday, September 21, 2009 @ 4:14:22 AM

Agreed. I'm no fan of playing in first-person, but I enjoyed BioShock (what I've played so far) due to the atmosphere. I got pulled away from it (for Oblivion, I think), but it's third on my list at the moment.

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