Ben's Week In Review: May 16
A very busy week right here...we'll try to make sure all angles are covered in terms of reviews. :)
If this is true, we gotta see more of it
When I heard the report that White Knight Chronicles 2 would actually release with an updated version of the original WKC, that got me to thinking: isn't that a damn good idea? Not only will they include the first title with the sequel (which makes perfect sense, as WKC2 is a direct follow-up), but the developers will also overhaul the original so it features the new mechanics and additions in the sequel. ...how sweet is that? Now, I'm well aware that Level 5 is going above and beyond the call of duty, but I really think it would behoove many designers to take this same approach when it comes to certain sequels. It may be a little more difficult to "upgrade" the original so it holds all the enhancements of the sequel - depending on the project - but just the idea of packaging the first game in with a sequel...it's just awesome. Everyone often complains about "bang for your buck," especially in regards to shorter experiences, so wouldn't this be a very nice option?
And if they could manage to overhaul the original adventure so it plays like the sequel, that's even more incentive. It'd be one thing if this were the movie industry and sequels are never as good as the originals, but it's basically the opposite in gaming; many sequels really are better because the technology and refinement gets better. It should definitely be the case for WKC2...
Another example of what developers should do
So they insist the single-player campaign in Dead Space 2 won't suffer due to the new multiplayer mode, and that's primarily because Visceral has two separate teams working on each aspect of the production. This appears to be a running theme with EA, too: for Medal of Honor, EALA will produce the single-player quest and DICE will handle the multiplayer modes. This is exactly the type of thing other designers should do, because we've all noticed examples of the multiplayer emphasis infringing on the quality and longevity of single-player campaigns. I think the recently released Splinter Cell: Conviction is a definite example. It's fine by me if you want to cater to all those who absolutely require a multiplayer experience, but I'm convinced that too many game makers are underestimating how many fans remain who prefer the single-player aspect. They've been doing it for years. But maybe they're starting to come 'round...
Have you noticed that almost every time a developer details a multiplayer mode in a new game, they make a point of saying how it won't hinder the single-player experience? This means they've heard the complaints, at the very least.
Personal gaming update
Unsurprisingly, I'm in a definite jam. I didn't expect to like Nier as much as I did, and now I'm struggling to finish before the big games for this week arrive. Then there's 3D Dot Game Heroes, which again, I honestly didn't think I'd want to play through to completion, but damn...it's Zelda! I'm wondering if I'll be able to review Red Dead Redemption and Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, stop long enough to finish Nier and 3D Dot Game Heroes, and then go back. However, it's more likely I'll have to keep playing the new gems because I'm convinced they'll be damn good...I hate it when this happens. It drives me nuts to have games in my collection I haven't beaten, and it's annoying when they start to pile up. Probably shouldn't complain, though; a lot of great games is always better than not enough. ;) It's just a matter of time, really.
Not much else to talk about. My car now has two coats of wax on it and is fully detailed and ready for the summer, which is always nice. Cars like that benefit from a definite shine the whole way 'round...
5/15/2010 Ben Dutka