Ben's Week In Review: November 1
Halloween? Eh. Saturday night. Same diff.
Bayonetta: The first "AAA" game of 2010?
We all know that 2010 will be home to the likes of God of War III, Final Fantasy XIII, Gran Turismo 5 and many more, but Sega's slash-'em-up lands on the 5th of January and based on the critical reception from Japan, this could very well be the best straight-up action game of the generation so far (for the record, I put titles like Uncharted 2: Among Theives and Gears of War 2 in other categories). I know a lot of you aren't that into the idea of Bayonetta and I'm not crazy about the fact that the PS3 version will be a port, but I would strongly suggest you check it out regardless. Some of you may have already played the demo and that was enough to confirm your purchase decision, but if you don't have a Japanese account, you might still be on the fence. After all, the first quarter of next year is downright loaded with games that boast plenty of potential and Christmas is always harmful to a wallet's health. But don't balk at the challenge within (Platinum Games says it's pretty steep) and don't think this game is just about a hot heroine.
Really, the latter is one of my biggest pet peeves in regards to gamers. The "righteous" have this bizarre thought in their head that if there's a hot chick as a main character, that must mean the rest of the game automatically sucks. You know, because obviously, the developers only care about one thing, and that "one thing" is completely unrelated to the gameplay. ...yeah, right. That's just too absurd to address, really.
I love me some demos
Not surprisingly, a recent study said many consumers take demos into account before deciding to buy a game, and I'm definitely one of them. How many times in the past have we stared down at a game that didn't fulfill our expectations, and we stand there, all disappointed, saying- "damn, I wish I could've played it before I bought it." Well, that sort of space-age technology didn't exist back then and now that it does, I'm all sorts of happy. I just love the idea. I would say it's a 100% positive thing, but we all know that some demos really aren't indicative of the final experience, and others are a little misleading. Take the Brutal Legend demo, for instance...you play through the introduction/tutorial section and it plays like a standard action title with the recognizable Schafer flair. Based on that demo, I bought the game. But the demo didn't include all the RTS elements and the free-roaming GTA-esque style (which I didn't like for this game), and that annoys me. Although I am a big metal fan and I normally love Scafer's stuff, these gameplay elements just didn't resonate with me.
So yeah, that's one instance where a demo failed me, and in the past, other demos were nowhere near as good as the final product. But I think they're getting better and these days, a demo is a pretty good example of what you'll see when (or if) you buy the game. It's great, for the most part.
Personal gaming update
Well, I haven't had time to go back through Uncharted 2: Among Thieves but I have played some of my favorite chapters again. It's just so amazing; I can't get over it. I'm also getting back into Shatter a little bit, just because it's a fantastic way to pass the time, and I continue to work my way through Trine. Oh, and I downloaded the PS1 classic Oddworld (lost my original copy), and I kinda forgot how tough it was to rescue all 99 Mudokens. But it's still wonderfully designed and very unique. I do plan on picking up Dragon Age: Origins this week for the Xbox 360; Arnold and I both agree it'll more than likely be the best version. However, he did say the PS3 version is just fine so you won't feel shortchanged if you only own a PS3...but hey, the 360 version just might be a bit smoother. I haven't played through an awesome RPG in quite some time, either. Although Demon's Souls is stellar, it just didn't do it for me.
I'd also like to add one final note to this whole Borderlands snafu. I really don't want to sound as if I'm whining, but the reason Arnold and I reacted the way we did is because it seems many posters are confused. They must think we do this for our health, or something. Look- believe it or not, we write every last review for you. Only very rarely is it crazy good fun for me to write a review; most of the time, it feels like the work it really is. We're trying to help with major purchase decisions; it's why we do reviews. I think the vast majority of our normal posters understand that, but we had way too many disrespectful pricks with giant superiority complexes sign up just to insult us and bash the reviews. I know every gamer on earth thinks they can review games. I realize that. But some of you really embarrassed yourselves.
That being said, just understand we do acknowledge feedback. If we didn't, we'd never reply to the comments. Prior to Borderlands, I never really saw anyone have a problem with our reviews, so I consider that to be a good thing. :)
10/31/2009 Ben Dutka