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