Ben's Week In Review: November 29
Well, I guess the holiday season is officially here...again. Does the world suddenly cast Haste when you reach 30?
I accept Lords of Shadow as a Castlevania title
In what I considered to be one of the more interesting stories of the past week, we learned that Konami was initially hesitant to give Lords of Shadow the "Castlevania" title because they weren't sure how this move would be received by the fans. After all, it's a fairly significant removal from past entries, as it's clear they're producing a game more similar to the likes of God of War or even Devil May Cry. And while I still say that no CV will ever top Symphony of the Night, I have to admit to myself that 2D side-scrolling adventures (as beautiful and accomplished as they can be) are dead. Therefore, I accepted the idea when Konami took the franchise 3D in the last generation and I accept the shift again right now. Why? Because if you don't keep up in this industry, you fall behind and die.
And I don't know about you guys, but I don't want to see the Castlevania series die out, which it is currently in danger of doing if Lords of Shadow flops. It's clear the 2D productions are vastly superior but that doesn't mean they can't produce a fantastic next-gen action game. I have every confidence they can do it, and I'm looking forward to the effort.
I'll just ask it: why would ANYONE buy a Xbox 360 right now?
I own both consoles and no, I'm not giving up the 360. I still need it for the next Gears and Alan Wake (but besides that, I'm not sure what else I want for it). That being said, in looking at the current situation, if I were a consumer seeking a video game console, how in God's name would I end up with the 360? Same price. Live costs, the PSN does not and if you do the research, the PSN has more fantastic downloadable exclusives, both services have Netflix, and the community sizes are comparable now (despite what Microsoft says). The PS3 exclusives have clearly outstripped everything else - even the mainstream media has shown this to be true to just about everyone; the Spike TV Video Game Awards correctly put Uncharted 2: Among Thieves at the head of the list - and oh yeah, it's a freakin' Blu-Ray player. A damn good one, too. It's a million times more reliable - by now, everyone is aware of the catastrophe that is the 360 hardware - it has connectivity with a handheld device, and the controllers that use Lithium batteries are always superior to those that use standard AA batteries, regardless of personal preference.
There. So is it any surprise at all that the PS3 is coming out on top at retailers thus far in the holiday season? Consumers aren't stupid, you know. This is all pretty cut and dry right now.
Personal gaming update
So Assassin's Creed II is my new addiction and I never expected it to be this long. For those who don't know, if you wish to do everything in the game (and of course, I do), I figure this game could last a good 40 hours. I'm already like 26 hours in and I'm not even to Venice yet. I just love everything about this sequel and I will stand by my 9.4 review until the day I die; this is just so unbelievably impressive in so many ways. When I'm done, I'll return to my former addiction, Dragon Age: Origins, and finish that up. All of this should probably take me close to several weeks to complete, which is good timing, as I have a bunch of games on my Christmas list. I want Resident Evil 5, Left 4 Dead 2, and Halo 3: ODST. Oh, and I'm definitely hoping that Ubisoft's new unannounced title is another Prince of Persia. Love those games.
Other than that, I gots nothing new to add. I see Arnold's 350Z review is up and crazy in-depth, and I'm glad a lot of you appreciate it. I do miss my 350Z some days but overall, I'm extraordinarily happy with my M35x. It really is one of the most perfect cars for Connecticut; that's all I'll say. :)
11/28/2009 Ben Dutka