: Ben's Week In Review: July 18

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Ben's Week In Review: July 18

Hard to play tennis in this heat...oh well, rowing inside and Top Spin 3 will have to suffice until the furnace lets up.

Wada is confused...but maybe the fans are, too

You know, everyone has been getting on Square-Enix president Yoichi Wada's case lately, but I actually feel a little sorry for him. Not only has he lost touch with the fans who helped make him rich and famous, but he seems honestly and genuinely confused. And I don't think it's necessarily his fault; as he said, he's heard plenty of contrasting feedback. Don't think for a second that he doesn't hear, "oh my God, Final Fantasy XIII was so awesome!" all the time. One in every two PS3 owners (or close to it) owns that game in Japan. And I seriously doubt they all returned it disappointed. So yeah, a lot of old-school veteran fans of the franchise are a little disappointed, but there are a good many who have nothing but glowing praise for the game. And Wada really doesn't seem to know what to do next...

So perhaps the question is, what can we do to try to help him? Calling him names isn't gonna do anything; we need to try to give him a hand in the intended "direction" for FF. It'd be interesting to see if we're even of the same mind on this issue...personally, I just say if you had opened up FFXIII, given us a world map and towns and NPCs that made it feel like a real RPG, and allowed us to have a gameplay mechanic like Dragon Age's (just let us pause, for crying out loud), I think it would've made everyone happy. But who knows?

I'm not sure I want to be "surprised"

Quantic Dream says fans of Heavy Rain might be surprised when they hear about their big new project (evidently entitled, Horizon). And although Cage does say the team continues to make strides in the field of interactive storytelling - which is exactly what I want - to say I'll be "surprised" at the new game implies it's very, very different... We know Quantic is actually working on two separate titles right now, and we know the team is always interested in breaking new ground and innovating. So regardless of what they do, I'll be interested. But at the same time, I don't necessarily want them to stray from the formula too much; granted, they made unbelievable strides with Heavy Rain but admittedly, there's more that can be done. We can all imagine just how far it can go, can't we? I once envisioned a cross between Heavy Rain and Red Dead Redemption... Could we maybe work on that before starting something entirely new?

Personal gaming update

Not much else to report. I've decided I want to replay Uncharted 2: Among Thieves because I never got a chance to do that, and I've basically maxed out another character in Top Spin 3. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is still going to happen, and then Alan Wake come my birthday in early August. After that, I'll have to focus on August reviews like Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days and Mafia II...is anyone really enthusiastic about either of these? I actually have moderately high hopes for the Kane & Lynch sequel, if only because I'm intrigued by how far IO plans to push the envelope. If they go over the edge simply for the sake of going over the edge, I won't be impressed. But here's hoping for something better than that.

By the way, I'm still wondering when Final Fantasy Versus XIII will get fully unveiled. I'm guessing the Tokyo Game Show but I find myself becoming more nervous than excited as we get closer; I'm just so worried I'll be disappointed...and I don't want to be.

7/17/2010 Ben Dutka

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Comments (101 posts)

Scarecrow
Saturday, July 17, 2010 @ 10:35:43 PM
Reply

I'm over FF

GT5! Can't wait!
There are other rpgs series, not as cinematic, but still fun.

WKC, Ar Tonelico, Record of Agarest War, Alterier, etc.

---

Squeeeenix has moved on, I'll do the same. Unless they make a FF worth my time.

Quantic Dream can do anything I really don't worry 'bout them.

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Highlander
Saturday, July 17, 2010 @ 11:47:53 PM

Ar Tonelico III will not be turn based.

:(

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 5:33:13 AM

What kinda based will it be Highlander?

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shadowscorpio
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 11:01:28 AM

Hack 'n Slash based?

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Highlander
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 5:15:31 PM

It's described as "action oriented".

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GuardianMode
Saturday, July 17, 2010 @ 10:42:29 PM
Reply

Im having a bad feeling about Versus as well. Its like they are holding off to the last minute to reveal anything. That looks like a bad sign for us "old school, non twitch gamers."

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hellish_devil
Saturday, July 17, 2010 @ 10:44:01 PM
Reply

Mafia II setting has me intrigued, but I'll wait for a review....and a price drop.

As for Wada, he's a lost case. SE (Japan related) released FFXIII, and it sold like hot cakes, but the fans weren't all pleased. Now, they release Dragon Quest IX, it also sells like hot cakes, but this time around, fans like it!! So... I think it's obvious... Both games were targeted to the same public, both were commercially successes, but just one managed to please the fans.

Last edited by hellish_devil on 7/17/2010 10:47:54 PM

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NeoHumpty
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 1:09:55 AM

I just think that Wada needs to make these new "Westernized" games as their own new IP. No point in a sequel when it is only a pale shade of the originals. Make them for the people that like them, but bring back my RPG.

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StangMan80
Saturday, July 17, 2010 @ 10:46:08 PM
Reply

I plan on getting Mafia II's collectors edition.
It is looking very good.
I can't wait for Nov 2nd I preordered the GT5 CD also.


Last edited by StangMan80 on 7/17/2010 10:47:35 PM

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Lawless SXE
Saturday, July 17, 2010 @ 10:58:09 PM
Reply

Eh, I've had enough of the Final Fantasy XIII talk. If anyone cares, go read some of the other things I've written about it on the articles around the site.

Surprised can be a good thing. Maybe they'll be doing a game with even more options that Heavy Rain had. Maybe they'll be doing a game in which EVERY action you perform has an impact on the ending, rather than the (I hesitate to say limited here because it is still far greater than anything else to date as far as I know) limited number of things in HR. Although, I'd like to see QD bring their brand of storytelling into a more traditional gaming experience, if only to see what they do with it.

Personal update:
Still working on finishing the latest chapter, I was hoping to have it done some time last week, but no such luck. Maybe Thursday though...
I finished reading The Time Ships on Friday, and then yesterday purchased Love in the Time of Cholera and Anna Karenina (Thank you Ben for those suggestions), and have started reading the former.
Still chipping away at Valkyria Chronicles, while playing a little bit of Demon's Souls on the side, which I might add I found a copy of yesterday. Black Phantom Edition FTW!
I'm trying to get myself excited for the show, which rolls around in a fortnight's time, but am finding it difficult. The social event of the year here in town and I invariably find it boring, disappointing and depressing.
And, my boss has not yet had the decency to give me my group certificate, so I can't get my tax return. Which means I will wait until next month, regardless of whether or not it comes this week.

Okay, once again I'll be taking the week off from commenting here, still be reading though. I'll pop in if I need to say anything that I feel needs to be said.
Until next week people, Peace.
P.S. Sorry for any spelling problems, I'm wearing gloves at the moment.

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JackC8
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 8:26:35 AM

Just ordered The Time Ships - sounds interesting. Thanks for the tip :)

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Doosharm
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 1:32:30 PM

"Although, I'd like to see QD bring their brand of storytelling into a more traditional gaming experience, if only to see what they do with it. "

That's exactly what I was thinking. QD brought something so completely original to the playing field that I don't think they can do any wrong. Even if the tackled the most common and mundane genres of gaming I think they would still put such a spin on it as to make it feel completely new. In fact, I would go so far as to suggest they should do just that. If they show the world what CAN be done in a certain genre then people will begin to see there are other options and we may actually get some more innovation out of old, stale genres.

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CharlesD
Saturday, July 17, 2010 @ 11:01:20 PM
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I really liked FFXIII but I agree the controls needed to be opened up a little more. It is just too fast paced you don't have time to make decisions or plan. Also being entirely unable to attack while getting beat to hell in a paradigm shift is quite annoying.

I want something that is still considered an interactive drama from Horizon and when they say we'll be surprised it better not be surprised in the way of, "my god what did these people do and why.." It really needs to maintain the multiple ending emotionally involving intense cinematic storyline with the feeling of complete control. If they can do that I'll be happy

As for Kane&Lynch or Mafia II intrigue, I will be buying Mafia II as soon as it is confirmed a nb (non-bomb) I think the destructibility factor is interesting and the fact that bullets are wikid harmful to your character means there might be some thinking before you move. Combat in general might be more strategy based. The time period is great and the attention to detail on the characters and story seems to be quite interesting. Although I don't expect higher than a 9 it looks like a rather fun game.

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kraygen
Saturday, July 17, 2010 @ 11:10:14 PM
Reply

I have high hopes for mafia 2, I really enjoyed the first one and the second looks ten times better.

I don't know if there's any way to help wada, I mean everyone told him they wanted ff7 remake and then he comes out and asks if anyone would be interested in a ff7 remake. When they say yes, he acts surprised. I'm not sure how to help him.

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Alienange
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 11:51:25 AM

Exactly the same thoughts about Wada. If you're that oblivious as to why you are where you are, then who can say or write anything to make him understand? Might as well be talking to a boulder.

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MyWorstNightmar
Saturday, July 17, 2010 @ 11:38:07 PM
Reply

Ben, I'm really surprised that you haven't played Alan Wake yet. I know it was HIGH on your radar for a long time, and now that it has been out, you have managed to avoid it thus far. Especially surprising as there really isn't much to play this time of year. Is there something that has soiled your enthusiasm for the game?

If I had a 360, I would at least rent it to give it a try.

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Highlander
Saturday, July 17, 2010 @ 11:47:26 PM

Maybe he took it's nickname - Alan Wait - seriously?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 1:17:38 AM

No, my birthday is coming up and I can't really think of anything to ask for. Figured I'd just get Alan Wake then.

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Highlander
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 1:29:10 AM

LOL! I was just kidding around.

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Temjin001
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 1:36:04 AM

I wouldn't know what more to ask for either if I just got a new freak'n 3DTV with uber visuals that kill you when you play it.

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MyWorstNightmar
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 10:16:10 AM

Chicks dig 3DTV's.

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Alienange
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 12:32:50 PM

They do?

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Highlander
Saturday, July 17, 2010 @ 11:46:57 PM
Reply

<rant>
You know what's wrong with video game development these days? Producers. Fat, over paid middle aged men who haven't picked up a game controller in years and wouldn't know what to do with one if they did. Men who's digital dexterity is limited almost entirely to fingering a cigar, counting bills and punching numbers on their touchscreen smart-phone.

You see dear readers, I am annoyed, and I think I finally puzzled it through. You see all these RPGs that come out with new combat systems trying to fix something that wasn't broken in the first place. New combat systems that replace 'old fashioned' turn based with twitcher friendly real-time, action base, combat system. Well I have thought about this and thought about it. Wada and his friends at SE counting their pieces of silver gave me a lot of material to think about recently, and now NIS announces the latest Ar Tonelic will have an action oriented battle system - despite all the previous games being turn based.

It was then that it finally struck me. these middle-aged men who haven't an ounce of gamer in their soul, are the ones with the power. Not the consumer, not the developer. No, the producers. the ones listening to marking analysts and focus groups. The ones reading studies and trying to read the tea leaves. Theyre' the ones that commission games and guide the features that will be included. A game isn't going to be released unless a publisher is happy, so no point in developing a turn based game if no producer will publish.

All these new games come along, and these money men who pretend to be gamers are counting the sales of games like Modern Warfare 2 and wondering how they can get a slice of that action. Instead of listening to gamers, they look at the numbers and decide that whatever that game does must be the sekret sauce. So now multi-player twitch based action is the name of the game - regardless of genre.

The thing is, what it comes down to is that these executives are telling me what They are defining the parameters of the market. The customer is always right, except when they're not. Instead of listening to the thoughts of customers who previously bought their games these fools are listening only to the sounds of cash registers ringing up copies of MW2.

What an asinine way to make games. Forget your existing market, don't listen to them. No, instead listen to the dollars spent by gamers who have never even looked at the genre your game is in. Yes, let those dollars be your guide, after all your existing customers are like sheep and will buy what you tell them too, right?

So now these morons in-charge are destroying their old market in an attempt to woe a new market - a market that really doesn't care for anything other than shooters set in a semi-realistic war-zone.

I'm sorry, I'm just ranting and rambling I know. But why the hell would the makers of Ar Tonelico decide to change from turn based battle to action oriented battle in a very traditional JRPG game crossed with a Japanese dating sim game. Why?

Oh, whatever. It won't change just because some random commenter on a PS3 news site decides to rant.

*sigh*

I'm going to go back and replay Xenosaga to make myself feel better...

</rant>

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Lawless SXE
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 12:27:47 AM

Y'know Highlander, you're dead right. Commercialism and consumerism is going to kill the gaming industry for veterans such as yourself. Well maybe not, but certainly for those people that like strategy and slowness.

I just wish that there was some way to get this across to all those foolish people that greenlight games. Mayhap we should search for a way to unite all gamers towards the solitary goal of reintroducing diversity, but many would be too busy shooting up MW2 to be interested. Such a shame...

Peace.

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Highlander
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 12:30:53 AM

The only way to cling to gaming diversity I know is to cling to the PlayStation and (to a lesser extent) Nintendo, both of those brands remain loyal to their customers and seem to encourage games other than action heavy first and third person shooters.

As Ben posted earlier this week about hardcore gamers and which platform is best for them, PlayStation is it. In the words of the Coca Cola marketing machine, it's the real thing - and it only does everything.

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Lawless SXE
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 12:38:07 AM

Oh, I've got to give props to Sega. I know they don't do consoles anymore, but the games they make and commission are, well, different. But yeah, Sony only does diversity, and Nintendo only does platformers :P

Peace.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 5:50:48 AM

What you said makes me wonder how many gamers these practices are killing off. Not literally, but if the things you enjoy in gaming are gone, more people are likely to give it up. For instance, I am in Minnesota and am a Vikings fan. The Vikes contract is up really soon, at which point if they don't get a new stadium they will leave MN. If I don't have a team to back, I probably won't even watch Football anymore. There's no longer an vested interest in the sport for me if we lose our team.

Thankfully as a Playstation backer I like many genres so I can keep gaming, but as the RPG formula dies out I have one less vested interest in gaming... sucks balls.

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MyWorstNightmar
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 10:23:04 AM

You know World, people around here (including me), are still not over the Hutchinson deal. We got screwed so royally. And all we got out of the whole sorted mess was Nate Burleson.

Once Hutch was gone, things went to sh!t. Sure we got to the playoffs the next two years, but only won two games. Stupid GM was a fool.

I guess I know what sour grapes taste like, huh?

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Alienange
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 12:59:17 PM

Very interesting TheHighlander. I would have to say I completely agree with all that. Not only are many publishers chasing after the dreams of selling like MW2, they're also chasing after the success of the Wii by accommodating to the casuals. I guess it's easier to have a 'me too' approach than to actually use your own brain.

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frylock25
Saturday, July 17, 2010 @ 11:50:05 PM
Reply

Personal gaming update:

i got ACII in the mail and played the hell out of it all week. so much that i drove my gf nuts. she is comlaining it was all i was doing. so...?

i decided to go back to uncharted 2 and finish off the treasures. i need 9 more right now, hoping by the end of the night to be done. been a while since i have played this and i love it. still as great as the first day i got it.

still playing brain challenge, think im up to 71%. my gf is finally getting the hang of it i think shes at 20%.

i am still waiting to find a used copy of the new transformers for a little cheaper. normally i buy my games new but not for activision any more, and i really want that game.

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fluffer nutter
Saturday, July 17, 2010 @ 11:55:53 PM

frylock, do you live in the states? Toys R Us has a deal, starting on Sunday, where you buy two games from a select list and get a $50 gift card. Transformers is on that list. I'll be grabbing a couple games.

Also, there is a B2G1 for $1 used sale that was posted in the forums. Transformers is one of the selections.

Last edited by fluffer nutter on 7/17/2010 11:56:53 PM

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oldmike
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 12:04:14 AM
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heads up evil gamestop has 3D dot heroes for 29.99

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Shams
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 12:06:25 AM
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I just beat U2 a couple weeks ago on Crushing. One of the many qualities of the game is that even the single-player never gets old. It's just as much like watching your favorite movie, as it is like playing your favorite game. The lines will still invoke LOL's and grins. New strategies and enemy behavior constantly reveals itself. And one gets reminded how beautiful the game is every time you put it on. Awesome.

I sold my 360 a month back, so I won't be getting Alan Wake anytime soon. Also, FFxiii will have to wait some more, as I'll be getting in to Demon's Souls, and I'm thinking I'll be occupied with that for a while.

My anticipation level for K&L and Mafia 2 is fairly low, and not so many AAA must buys seem to be on the horizon, which is fine & dandy as it has given me more time to digest my current collection. But as usual, I'll be looking out for psxextreme reviews, just in case they change my mind.

On other fronts, I've started running again (I've let my body go to hell and I'm trying to get it back). Also, I plan to watch Inception, but I'm not sure if I want to see it in 3D, or not. Summer is hot, but I'm enjoying it, while we have it.

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Highlander
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 12:09:16 AM

Regarding Uncharted 2 - yep, I'm replaying the final chapters in crushing again, just for fun.

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Highlander
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 1:30:43 AM

No, no, it's a challenge, it's fun, but can be punishing. I find you just have to be very deliberate, and approach the levels in a completely different manner to the way you might otherwise do it. Headshots, sniping, grenades, and care.

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Lawless SXE
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 1:35:55 AM

Uncharted 1 and 2 on Crushing weren't that hard... Well except for that final boss on Among Thieves. I don't know how many times I tried that battle before finally giving up.
Peace.

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Highlander
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 2:00:57 AM

@Lawless,

There's a trick to that final boss, you can manipulate the AI and literally run rings around him while trying to pot-shot your way to the end. You can google it, but in the end all you are doing is manipulating the AI's ability to track you and respond to your threat. It still takes a while, but it can be done.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 6:03:27 AM

Inception was awesome, but there's no need to see it in 3D (Didn't even know that was an option)

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Shams
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 7:50:19 AM

@World:
Good, because I saw Avatar in 3D, and I found the effect detracting for the most part. Inception seems to be receiving even better critical acclaim than Nolan's Batman movies, so I wouldn't want my experience ruined by some cheesy effect.

@FFRulez:

Although, on Crushing U2 was obviously not a walk in the part, I do remember it being far easier than U1. Unlike U1, you didn't necessarily have to exploit bugs or cheats to make it through to the next area, and you didn't have to make 20 headshots to put down an enemy (unless he's armored). And unlike Demon's Souls or Ninja Gaiden Sigmas on MNM, checkpoints were frequent, so it's not like you had to successfully execute arduous, massive, killing-spree, marathons unscathed to make any progress.

@Lawless and Highlander:

Although, it did take more attempts than I care to admit (anywhere between 10 and 20 times I'm guessing), I didn't use any special strategy. But as Highlander said, I did bait him by running away from him in what seemed to be an optimal route with the most number of exploding amber deposits, and the longest distance (which helps deposits regenerate). I didn't bother emptying my clip in him, though gun fire does noticeable damage, and I did shoot from the hip as I was running away from him towards then end. And besides exploding amber deposits, I think I did finally end him with a behind-the-back, free-thrown grenade (ammo and grenades start respawning as soon as he starts chucking grenades three at a time). I even got thrown by him in my successful attempt, but still survived, so, like I said, it was difficult, but not controller breaking-difficult.





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Alienange
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 1:03:42 PM

Crushing mode was amazing. Enjoying the game on normal was fun, but crushing mode forced me to adapt and create strategies that were not necessary in normal difficulty. I welcome that kind of ingenuity over the cheating AI most devs use to make things harder.

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johnld
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 3:06:32 PM

i had a lot more trouble beating that last boss in hard mode than crushing, never bothered to look for exploits because i just couldnt put down the controller long enough to go online and find it.

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eLLeJuss
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 12:22:58 AM
Reply

Alan Wake? Just don't touch it Ben. I was so excited to play it and when i got it. BOOM felt like haze all over again. well not really. It wasn't bad but it wasn't good either.

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Geobaldi
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 1:06:10 AM

Just about all the reviews that I've seen for Alan Wake say it's good and all ratings, on average, have been around or just behind Heavy Rains' ratings.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 1:18:06 AM

I'm going by the reviews on this one.

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Temjin001
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 1:24:25 AM

Okay, so I've only played some of the Heavy Rain demo, and I've played some of Alan Wake (mostly observing my brother playing it) but are these two games actually that similar that they're often referenced together? Or is it the film noire vibe I feel from each of them that create so many comparisons?

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Shams
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 9:49:04 AM

Film noire vibe. A.Wake is a survival-horror/action-adventure, like an "Uncharted in the Dark", but not quite the tour-de-force or scary as the name suggests.

Heavy Rain is really the only unique game of the two, being a decision based game as you know, with nothing quite like it this generation, other than say, Mass Effect, but is still more like a choose-your-own-adventure novel with occasional exploration and frequent quick-time events, than an action adventure with standard gameplay.

So, yup, the single thing they have in common is the film-noire vibe they both were aiming for.

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Ergi
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 1:12:43 AM
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The sad thing is fans can no longer count on square enix (not just square enix) to produce those traditional story driven RPG's that created the huge fan base in the first place.
Is there any guarantee that FF versus 13 won't have exactly the same gameplay as FF 13 ? Has anybody mentione it to be different?

I don't want to think about what kind of surprise we are getting from Quantic. But one thing is certain, they seem to consider their fan base. Maybe we'll be surprised but he seems to know what fans expect of them and take these expectations into consideration. Wada has no clue what fans expect.

Maybe he should make FF versus turn based and see the reactions and sales.

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Danny007
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 1:16:45 AM
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Well Ben, yes I am enthusiastic about Mafia II. I think it looks intriging and really fun. I have the collector's edition pre-ordered.

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Charger7302
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 1:18:47 AM
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I loved Alan Wake, and I believe Ben will too.
BTW, has anyone here, who lives in California, even been able to play their "phat" ps3s? I haven't. It's been so hot here that as soon as I turn on my 60 gig, the fans go on full blast.

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Temjin001
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 1:27:51 AM

Ah well, that's just what mine was doing before it died... for me, it wasn't in the summer, but the winter.

Hope you're saving up for a nice Slim in the meantime, because by the looks of your avatar you'll be wanting to drive one of them cars in that GT5 game =p

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fluffer nutter
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 4:20:24 AM

No problems here but my house has the AC on and it's quite comfortable in here.

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FM23
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 1:53:46 AM
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I remember FF back in the day and I hated the 'pause' gameplay, but that was then, I would like to try one of those games again and see if my perception on this type of original gameplay stays consistent with my present opinion. I still want to play Dragon Age and I will try FFXIII before the summer is over. Just waiting until I am truly bored to buy another game before Mafia II comes out. I've been waiting for this since I heard it was coming out. Mafia was classic and I am betting (based off trailers) that this game will deliver a story better than Rockstars creations...heres to wishful thinking, but thats alot to live up too.

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nogoat23
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 2:39:42 AM
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The future of Final Fantasy:
(In my opinion)

If you have a franchise, there should be a few key things that last from one game to the next. In the case of Uncharted, God of War, and most games, that thing is the characters. In a game like Final Fantasy where the story is different for each game, it needs to be other things.

Yes there are moogles, chocobos and Cid in each game, but we also need towns, exploration, and the ability to revisit early locations with end game weapons for the fun of feeling god-like.

Imagine you are tasked with reinventing the wheel. Experiment all you want with different types of rubber and tread, but you better make sure that the thing is still round at the end of the day.

When deciding what these key elements should be, just go back through the main series and take a look at what people loved about each game.

My personal favorites? Awesome weapons that may or may not require random side missions to assemble. Mini-games that make me forget about the main story line. The ability to wander and back track. A level up system that is initially confusing but makes it feel like Christmas whenever I get to the next plateau. Final Fantasy 13 didn't have these things, which made me just a little sad inside.

The people that liked Final Fantasy would have liked it if it wasn't called Final Fantasy. The people that didn't like Final Fantasy didn't like it because it was called Final Fantasy.

Going back to the wheel metaphor. When trying to reinvent the wheel you invent a shoe. The people that put the shoe on their feet are happy, the people that put the shoe on their car are not. Square Enix is allowed to make shoes if they want, they just need to avoid marketing the shoes as car tires or car owners will be upset with them.

There's also a second issue at hand with Final Fantasy. In video games, sequels are routinely better than the originals. I think I even read an article about this on this site. However, with Final Fantasy, you never know if the next game is going to be better because they always try to change everything. What if, instead of constantly reinventing itself, if Final Fantasy just made small improvements? We might have less innovation, but we might have more fun. Do sequels need to be innovative?

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Highlander
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 2:54:47 AM

That's the thing about *sequels*, they *do* need to keep a lot of the same things.

When Ratchet and Clank A Crack In Time was launched there were complaints that it wasn't innovative enough because it was what it was. Literally reviewers knocked off points because the game wasn't something other than what it was. I'm seriously not sure what they wanted the game to be. I mean it's Ratchet and Clank, so you know it's a 3D platformer with climbing, jumping, hand to hand melee and amazing weapons. You're not going to go without these elements, and you're not going to change the controls after 6 games. So what did the reviewer want to be different?

Seriously, that's a perfect example of how not to screw up a game. What if they had simply developed R&C:ACIT as a 1st person action game? Would that have been innovative enough? Or perhaps they should have included multi-player? Um, OK, but R&C is a platforming game, so it's not like it's really set up for death match play.

What I'm getting at, is what you talked about. A sequel needs to retain many things to be a sequel. If it changes things wholesale, then it's not a sequel, it's an entirely new game. I think that FFXIII really falls into this category. Being a sequel in name only, is essentially a lie.

Game makers need to keep an eye on this, but so do reviewers. Reviewer need to heed this when reviewing a sequel, after all there's no point punishing a sequel, for being a sequel.

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Shams
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 8:28:13 AM

@Highlander: Exactly, FF13, from what I gather from the reviews, bore nothing from the franchise other than the name, and for that reason, was an exploitation of the name, in the marketing sense, and from it's following. Perhaps it was a good game, but I believe they should've named it something else, if it could've stood under it's own weight.

I also agree with your assessment of the reviews of Ratchet & Clank: ACIT. They knocked points from it, despite it being a major step-up from FTOD in almost every way. It had an open-world/space travel with even radio stations a la GTA. It had unlockable planets, like the very special one unlocked by finding and beating emperor Vorselon. It revolutionalized extra content by tucking away vids, and deleted levels IN the game, instead of putting them in a menu. It had introduced a puzzle mechanic, in those Clank levels, that I have never experienced before, not even in Portal or Braid. It retained also everything we loved from before, like the funny banter, Mr. Zurkon, and the RYNO schematic plans, and the gun that transforms enemies into cute animals. The only thing I think it lacked from FTOD is that it didn't seem quite as cinematically epic, as the CGI seemed a tad more short-winded, perhaps because of more budget constraints this time around, but otherwise, this game, IMO, was a proper step-up from the predecessor in almost every way, while remaining true to it's original formula.

And maybe that's what folks like Wada maybe mistakenly worried about. They might feel all the old-school fans are jaded now, and all the new customers are MW-fiends with the attention spans of chipmunks. Or maybe, more specifically, this paranoia of Japanese gaming industry having to revolutionalize or be destroyed has clearly gotten out of hand.

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Temjin001
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 5:41:11 PM

Good comments guys.

I do want to add something from the perspective of a fan of FF but not nearly as hardcore as many of those who frequent these comment boards. Because of this I really avoid making critical comments about the series because I'm sure many of you know better than I.

As for my experience with FFXIII I've played up until the earlier parts of Gran Pulse before the game went back to the rental shop.

While I can definitely tell FFXIII strays from prior installments in terms of game structure and combat there are still many hallmarks of the FF series to be found.

I've always been attracted to the grandiose production values, soundtrack, intricate and fashionable character designs, creative creatures, spells and simply the overall wondrousness that has defined so many of the FF's in the past. On those ends which make up a good portion of my desires the game has totally succeeded.

And something else I wanted to add. Being more of an action-gamer the changes to the combat really didn't bother me. In fact, several battles I enjoyed quite a bit.

Though, I do still enjoy many of the prior turn-based FF's. Perhaps rather than Square significantly mixing up the combat formula that has defined the traditions of FF they may have been better off implementing a new game series that introduced us to the paradigm shift stuff.



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Jalex
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 4:25:08 AM
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I really don't understand why more people aren't excited for 'Mafia II' (or why this site doesn't have an article concerning the game's PS3-exclusive downloadable content, but that's another matter).
Gamers generally go nuts for every open world game, wether it actually looks intriguing or not (and most of them aren't, though they are getting better), and this looks to be one of the best.
The original 'Mafia' is an absolute classic to the majority who played it (myself included, as it is the main driving factor behind my excitement for 'II'), and the sequel looks to only improve on every little thing along with adding plenty of new elements.
A mostly unused and very detailed setting, a seemingly strong narrative (again, not just going by what I've seen, but also based upon the majesty of the preceding title's plot and execution of), colourful characters, diverse and polished gameplay (from what I've seen and read, respectively), stellar voice acting, even wonderful graphics and more.
Seriously, where is the disconnect between the gamer and the game? Maybe the developers should call themselves Rockstar Czech. That would probably land them tons of unnecessary hype, huge sales and grand critical acclaim right there.

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FM23
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 4:06:46 PM

So true. Mafia's story was definitely better than any of Rockstar's previous ambitions before GTA IV and RDR. San Andreas had the worse story for GTA. But honestly, this site is no different from others...its all about preference. Heavy Rain is heavily promoted on this site because Ben loves it. Mafia may not have been his cup of tea, so his interest in providing news on the subject is not high and he also provides news based on the community and people around here are PS lovers and maybe Mafia has never really hit a funny bone so be people don't comment on it, so both go hand and hand. Provided the PSX community showed interest and Ben, Arnold, or John showed interest, Mafia news would be flowing more frequently. This is just an opinion, doesn't mean it is accurate what so ever. Either way, Mafia II looks to out do the competition story wise, but the gameplay looks no different than any other game, but we will just have the see. I love the camera angles on the characters. Hated the static camera in RDR. At least in GTA, you could change it.

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Deleted User
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 5:32:54 AM
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hey guys whats up

i am through with final fantasy i never really played any of the games last gen. this gen was my frist time playing final fantasy i tryed to play XIII twice and could not get in to it i guse final fanasty is not my thing. can't wait for mafia 2 and K&L 2 but i have one promblem i am going on a two month vaction with the family i am leaving this afternoon i am seeing my gf for the frist time since she moved to florida last year can't wait to see her again. i will be back in september.

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Deleted User
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 5:44:45 AM

personal gaming update

been playing NCAA Football 11 for my ps3 going through the the trophies left and right. this game look like it has easy trophies i had this game for almost a week and i am at 32% completed trophy wise been playing it since wednesday. on friday traded singularity for the frist mass effect since i have the second one so i have been playing that to for the 360. well that pretty much it happy gaming all.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 6:07:04 AM

Well you got it backward that champ, if you didn't like FFXIII that has nothing to do with whether Final Fantasy is your thing or not since it wasn't really a Final Fantasy. The last gen ones you didn't play are more Final Fantasy than XIII, so you have it ass-backwards. Just a heads up in case you wanna give the "real" series a try.

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Jawknee
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 11:12:40 AM

I was just going to say the same thing. Don't judge the franchise based on XIII. It should not have been a Final Fantasy game rather another one of Square's other RPG/Action hybrid games. And even in that case it's not as good as their other games.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 5:39:01 AM
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Wada is batsh*t crazy; not calling him names, that's just what he is.

I get the feeling that Horizon is going to be sci-fi. Somehow I don't get the same feeling that it being "surprising" means it will be some kind of fu*ktard FPS or something. Cage knows what he is doing. The question is, will it take so long it has to be on the PS4?

Playing Silent Hill: Homecoming, or... trying to.

Not interested at all in 'Meh'fia II

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 7/18/2010 5:40:16 AM

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Jawknee
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 11:05:36 AM

At this point i think Wada is close to being the Japanese Bobby Kotex. He seems to care about games a little bit more then Kotex but its going down that road. He like Kotex are not thinking about whats best for the industry or gamers but whats best for their company.

While some could/would argue that thats ok, i would just say to those, whats bad for the industry will ultimately be bad for their company.

Last edited by Jawknee on 7/18/2010 11:10:27 AM

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AntDC
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 5:33:14 PM

Trying to play as in its scary or as in it's not that great? I couldn't get into it, IMO it's really lame compared to the other Silent Hills and its the game my PS3 died on as well, so that kinda made me hate it even more. :)

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___________
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 6:07:13 AM
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what does he have to be confused about?
i mean seriously, his company has destroyed one of the industries most popular beloved series!
all they had to do with XIII was release a traditional JRPG with plenty exploration, character development and the fans would be shouting it from the rooftops!
but no, thats too hard for $E!
if it was up to them, we would still be in black and white 2D graphics!

i really dunno what to expect from davids new title.
i really hope its allot like heavy rain, because we really dont get anything unique like that and thats why i really enjoyed heavy rain.
i wish he would do a heavy rain sequel, take one of the characters probably ethan and so us the future of that character.
obviously that would be hard, depending on what ending you got but so what?
if i had a nickle for every time i played a sequel and said, wait this cant be right, he.....

either that, or give us a new serial killer story, but this time have us as the detective trying to solve the case.
i really enjoyed playing norman in heavy rain, i really enjoyed searching around the crime scene searching for clues.
its just a shame the clues really dont lead to anything, if you find them all they do, but if you miss one or two its like there just there for the sake of it.
you really dont feel that you have failed to solve the case, you just feel that was the way its suppose to be.
i really want his next game to take this consequences thing to a whole new level.
he always said in heavy rain every decision you make will change the story, and there will be consequences to suffer.
but really theres only 2 or 3 parts in the game where that happens, most of the time you may get a extra cut scene or miss out on one but thats not really changing the story.
missing out on a cut scene is not going to make me feel guilty, its not going to make me say dam i wish i did this instead of that.
they need to try and emphasize this is what you have done, so now you have to live with that choice and deal with the consequences it brings.

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LittleBigMidget
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 6:43:39 AM
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I NEED to hear something on Arkham Asylum 2, I'm like the biggest Batman fan ever. I await for the Game of the Year (LBP 2) and might subscribe to PS+.

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JackC8
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 6:56:46 AM
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Here's some advice for Wada: You can't polish a turd. Gameplay is the most important part of a game, and FFXIII didn't have any. The more I think about it, the more convinced I become that they were originally planning to release it on the Wii and designed the combat systems around that concept. It truly is a "casual" game that any 10 year old can master in 5 minutes.

I've been playing TimeShift this week. It's an okay game as shooters go. Enter an area, get killed 15 times, get to the next area, get killed 15 times, etc. Graphics are mediocre and the whole timeshifting thing is just a gimmick - the game would have been much better off without it. It's just like putting the game on super-easy mode for 10 seconds at a time, which you'll need to do constantly because otherwise you'll get killed constantly. I'm hoping that as I get farther into it they'll make better use of the timeshifting mechanic, and also have some more interesting environments - everything is pretty bland so far. I'm also hoping that I'm not almost to the end already - you never know with shooters.

Also been playing a bit of Project Eden on the PS2. It's really quite fun! Most enjoyable game I've played in a while.

Didn't really game much this week, been busy with my f'ed up router and my f'ed up modem, and my enthusiasm for gaming was really destroyed by that brain dead FFXIII. It may take another week or so to fully recover.

Oh yeah, I also pre-ordered GT5 this week!!!

Last edited by JackC8 on 7/18/2010 7:12:21 AM

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Jawknee
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 11:01:53 AM

LOL actually you can polish a turd but its still a turd.

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shadowscorpio
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 11:26:03 AM

I went back to playing FF 12. I simply can't believe how much better it is than FF13. I have the limited edition FF 12 that has the developer commentaries. As you might know there are towns, NPCs, a couple mini games and side quests in FF 12, let alone a ton upon a ton of things to do.

Can you believe that the devs said that they wanted to do and put in so much more when it comes to FF 12 but couldn't because of the deadline?

Remember FF 12 was PS2 exclusive. FF 13 was multiplat and can't even measure up to what FF 12 gave us. Square-Enix even admitted that they removed a whole games worth of content. So lets not fool ourselves, the PS3 is more capible than the PS2 yet the next game in the FF series can't even give us HALF of what the previous did? I'm sorry going multiplat and trying make both versions identical by catering to the inferior system ruined FF 13.

You don't need to see someone take a bite out of an apple to know that someone took a bite out of it. Sorry for the long rant.

Last edited by shadowscorpio on 7/18/2010 11:28:28 AM

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johnld
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 3:09:18 PM

hahaha, mythbusters confirmed it, they did manage to polish turd. hahaha

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Snaaaake
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 10:10:17 AM
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FFXIII, one of the best RPG this gen, but a very bad game for FF standard.

Every FF game has always set bar so high it's almost impossible to reach yet FFXIII doesn't even come close to it.

Wada abandoned the fans, he is giving us banana when we're asking for an apple and he hopes giving us banana will actually make us happy.

Is he deaf or blind?

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Jawknee
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 11:00:06 AM

Thats not fair to the banana. I would take a banana over FFXIII any day.

I would say were asking for a PayDay and they are giving us a turd in stead.

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TEG3SH
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 10:39:00 AM
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on a personal gaming note, on august 26 i'll be going bak home and as I only have a 360 with me I missed all the PS3 exclusives since sep last year. so I literally can't wait to finish all of them especially uncharted GOW and heavy rain, I know there were a lot of great games but can anyone recommend games I should play after those 3 ???? thanks

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frylock25
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 1:40:35 PM

i dont know if you played some of these on your 360 but i recommend bioshock 2, tekken 6, red dead redemption and assassins creed II. batman is also worth playing.

PS3 exclusives: MAG, Mod Nation Racers and ratchet and clank. did you play infamous?

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TEG3SH
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 1:58:23 PM

yeah I played most of those on 360, really good games and infamous is really awesome last game I played on my ps3, Modnation I'm planning to get, I played it at a friends house and I loved it. Thanks for the MAG remainder I always wanted to get it but I kinda forgot about it. thanks man

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kellett007
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 2:57:34 PM

Yakuza 3

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tlpn99
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 10:46:28 AM
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After the first Kane And Lynch I am not epxecting great things from this one. Both my friend and I got stuck on exactly the same bit, between the 2 of us we tried 50 times each and still couldn't get past it so in the end we gave up. So I am not holding much hope out for the 2nd one. I'll wait for reviews etc.

As for Mafia II I am looking forward to this one. I enjoyed the first Mafia game. I am hoping this one is much better.

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Jawknee
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 10:57:37 AM
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If I'm not mistaken, wasn't Wada a replacement for another CEO Square let go only a few years ago? Hasn't he only been in his position for a short amount of time?

I've sent emails to Square a number of times letting them know they are losing their old fan base. They don't seem to care so i have no hope he will figure this out. For the most part i agree with Highlanders assessment. I don't think Wada even plays games. He only sees the money in it and when deciding which direction to take Final Fantasy or Square for that matter hes most likely going to follow the money. The old fans be damned.

No new games. Still finishing up the Metroid Prime Trilogy. Started a new game on MGS4 and Killzone 2. Still playing Peace Walker though i have played it less in the last week. PSP is rough on the eyes if played too long.

Last edited by Jawknee on 7/18/2010 10:58:22 AM

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shadowscorpio
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 11:07:35 AM

Things just seemed better under the old CEO. I wish being an avid gamer was apart of the requirements when being hired for any position for any game developer.

Jack and Kevin from Sony are gamers. Wouldn't surprise me if everyone from Sony was a gamer. Many that's why they are so good to us. They 'get it'.

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Underdog15
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 11:00:41 AM
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Hey Ben, I have a little tip concerning FFXIII:

If you want to PAUSE FFXIII, just hit the PS button. Works like a charm!

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 6:47:45 PM

Yeah, really not what I mean. I mean I want a pause that allows me to survey the situation, issue commands, etc. Like a real RPG. :)

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Jawknee
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 7:51:38 PM

Ben did you set the ATB to active or wait in FFVII?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 12:53:43 AM

Wait, of course.

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shadowscorpio
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 11:11:07 AM
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Fans confused? Ben, we've been confused the second we saw SE games that were supposed to be on the PS3 go exclusive to the 360.

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Kokushi
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 11:33:20 AM
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Cant wait for Mafia II.

Personal Gaming Update:

Finally got Uncharted 1 and is AMAZING (right now im in the part called ''Trapped''), one of the things i like in the uncharted games is the water, is so clean that you just want to drinking it, LOL.

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Alienange
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 11:52:13 AM

You should see the snow effects in UC2. You'd want to have a snowball fight.

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Gone
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 12:33:10 PM
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FFXIII is $19.99+tax this week at Best Buy with Reward Zone Gamers Club coupon.(YMMV)

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Alienange
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 1:21:26 PM
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A cross between RDR and HR would probably be fantastic. Instead of picking flowers you could become a Legendary Clue Collector or some such. Or is that what Agent will be?

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Qubex
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 1:29:05 PM
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Really looking forward to Mafia II....

Ben, you didn't mention Formula One 2010 from CodeMasters... it looks very good and that EgoEngine 3 is looking very smart indeed.

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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johnld
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 3:24:33 PM
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my personal gaming update:
I have nothing to play, i've beaten all the games i have. i recently borrowed and beaten transformers war for cybertron and singularity from gamestop. They said they could only give me trade in credits for my trade ins so i bought a gift card and borrowed transformers and singularity. funny thing is i got they let me get cash when i returned singularity. so basically i got cash back for trade ins.

Transformers was a great game but is a little disappointed on the lack of cover system aspect of it. everything else was great. took me less than a day playtime and beaten it on hard mode. the only problem i had was the last bosses for each campaign. one attack could kill my character at any point in the boss battle. other than that its an amazing game. i'll definitely pick it up again once price drops.

Singularity, in my opinion is another great game, although its not really my type of game. best i can describe it is that its a futuristic bioshock. beaten it in less than a day playtime but only on normal. the only problem i saw was that hip firing seems to be more accurate than aiming down the sights. aiming down the sights was so inaccurate especially when you're fighting an enemy that shakes the screen. i ended up with hipfiring an assault rifle and shotgun the whole time.

my brother just sold his 360 so i have none to use but i'm planning to get one after i finally find a job and theres a game i an seriously interested in. both must be met. for now, i wont be playing any 360 games. actually ended up browsing 360 games and remembered i dont have one now.

i guess i'll go back to playing a few matches in MOH beta, reached level cap for all classes, maybe MAG, uncharted 2, and Bad company 2. if i'm bored enough i might play MW2 and maybe a few games with warhawk too. i want to play modnation racers but the load times are irritating when it happens on mostly every time i switch screens, and i really dont mind loading screens. maybe its because they show me a number and i see it stuck at 45% or something. ohh and for some reason i seem to like playing pokemon... i found my bros pokemon pearl and most of the time, i cant put it down. If you guys are down to play any of these games send me a friend request, just let me know who you are. psn is the same as my name here on psxextreme.

Last edited by johnld on 7/18/2010 3:27:35 PM

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Alienange
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 3:54:10 PM

It's true. Random requests to be added as a PSN friend are annoying. Why can't people add a comment saying who the hell they are and WHY they want to be your friend?

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Highlander
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 5:11:48 PM

Definitely agree with you there Alienage.

I seldom respond to friend requests now because 9 times out of 10 they are random ones coming from people who've walked past me in Home once, of played Uncharted 2 online with me. If you don't include a message telling me who you are or at least tell me you're from PSX, I am really unlikely to respond in any way but deleting the request.

As I've said before I use both male and female avatars, and the female avatar tends to generate a ridiculous number of friend requests from sad gits. I've yet to figure out why, my Home settings prevent text or voice chat of any kind because I can't be bothered with it. So these guys must think they stand a chance with the person behind the avatar, forgetting that the person might be a married guy in his 40's just messing around with a game.

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Underdog15
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 6:35:45 PM

I find I get a bunch of annoying invites when I have a good game.

For example, in MW2 last night, I had a 15-0 game in Search and Destroy. Got 3 invites... no message to go with it... Straight to the garbage bin.

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Alienange
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 12:08:00 AM

@ Underdog15 - Tell me about it. As if adding you as a friend will make those sad sacks better players.

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Arvis
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 10:11:56 AM
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Hey Ben, what sort of characters are you making in Top Spin 3? Made-up people? Or are you trying to "re-create" actual ATP/WTA players that aren't included in the game?

I've been slowly trying to build up my Zheng Jie character since I got the game.

-Arvis

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 11:45:45 PM

My own character, really.

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Luiscosmo2
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 11:07:01 AM
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I liked FFXII..My first FX..But ima try to save money to buy a FF from PS Classics...

I liked Heavy Rain and whatever Quanitic Dreams makes its not goin to become too mainstream..

And I Can't wait for...MAFIA II...Based On some real Mafia members...Can't wait.

Last edited by Luiscosmo2 on 7/19/2010 11:07:20 AM

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DazeOfWar
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 11:47:42 AM
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I actually just got sucked back into RPGs. I use to play them all the time but got into a lot of shooters. I have recently grown tired of them after MW2 since nothing much has changed.

FFXIII has been pretty good so far but it just doesn't feel the same. I just recently picked up Trinity Universe, Neir, & Resonance of Fate at Gamestop for the B2GO free deal. So far Trinity and Neir have been decent.

Quantic can do whatever they want. I may or may not play it depending on if it's interesting enough. I enjoyed Heavy Rain but I don't think they need to stick to HR gameplay.

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Stabs88
Sunday, July 25, 2010 @ 11:19:59 PM
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Just a quick post on the upcoming FF Versus...from what ive been seeing on the site and the very FEW pics that are out, it does look O.K. The possible hack-an-slash i guess is O.K. but is a very different approch then anything from a FF series. Im feeling it could feel more like a kindom hearts which is once again O.K. not to over us it. I did love KH and these side stories from KH...thats a whole nother story. But like everyones been sayin...its a little nerve racking. We have what? Maybe 2 months till Toko? I guess hope it hits more of a mark then XIII (Not bashing it at all, was good in its own way...just not the usual Square way)

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snypa_69
Monday, July 26, 2010 @ 8:54:56 AM
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I recently played heavy rain. It was most enjoyable. So am looking forward to whatever the next game holds.
Have not played FFXIII, not played a FF game since VII. which i might add was most enjoyable. Are any of them as good as VII?

So anywas my gaming at the moment consists pretty much of MW2 and blur online. Wicked fun!!
Completed uncharted 1 last week (top game) and have uncharted 2 to go through between online sessions!!
After that im gonna be playing Dead Space. Can anyone tell me if this is good?

Snypa :-)

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