Ben's Week In Review: August 29
Apologies for not getting this up a little sooner - I know y'all are used to it going up around 10:30 or so - but I was out.
Okay, so there's a lot going on with Vanquish...
Not only is it in the news a lot, but the very structure and style - that whole "Gears of War on crack" description seems to fit - really looks over-the-top bad-ass. Shinji Mikami is one of the industry's best and I suppose we have to forgive Platinum Games for their Bayonetta PS3 transgression. After all, they evidently used Sony's machine as the lead dev platform for Vanquish. So some of you may be assuming the PS3 version will be superior, but Platinum has just recently said they can't tell the difference between the two versions. Now, I see it this way: they didn't want to make the mistake of making one version better than the other (it's really unfair to the other half), and perhaps the reason they started with the PS3 this time is because it's easier to tackle the more difficult platform first...that makes sense, right? I mean, I could be wrong, but I just like to think the designers are taking the correct route.
I really hope the game turns out to be as much fun as it looks. I am a fan of Gears, even if it's not my favorite series in the world, and the speed and constant immersion via rapid-fire insanity could prove to be awesome. Guess it's just another of those wait-and-see situations. By the way, in addition to our upcoming Q&As with Insomniac and Tecmo, we may also try to set something up with Platinum.
Striving for perfection is always admirable
There's a damn good reason why guys like Hideo Kojima and Kazunori Yamauchi are so well respected, and are so well known for producing masterpieces in our industry: it's because they're perfectionists. In any walk of life, that trait is admirable (and in all honesty, we don't have anywhere near enough people who sport that trait). This is why I'm awfully encouraged to hear the Bioshock creators say they were really unhappy with the way their game came out. They were pretty harsh, in fact. Obviously, the best part is the contrast; the fact that most all critics and gamers were nothing but appreciative and heaped praise upon the award-winning game. And yet, the guys who made it were like, "bah, we could've done better." Now, their mindset is, "we could've done better and we will do better with Bioshock Infinite." This is why I'm telling you that game will be unbelievable and you'll be missing out if you don't play it.
Yup, I'll go out on that limb. Why? I know the first two titles were fantastic and better yet - the kicker - I know Irrational's philosophy. That's enough for me.
Personal gaming update
I've completed Alan Wake and I'm plenty happy with it. Certainly a more "cerebral game" than most others and although it isn't anything like Heavy Rain in terms of gameplay, I still believe the same type of gamers would appreciate Remedy's great psychological thriller. I know the game sold badly, but it seems as if the devs wanted to stick with it and make a sequel, and I really hope they do...if they do, though, as I believe Microsoft owns the IP, it'll never come to the PS3. I'm not saying Alan Wake or the addition of a sequel would make owning a 360 worthwhile (if that's all you wanted for it), but if you're already a 360 owner, I say you gotta try. I never went back to Super Mario Galaxy 2 and I just can't; I don't want to get into it, but I just can't put it on the upper tier of current gaming. Sorry.
You should see a Shank review late Monday, and you should also see a Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions review towards the end of the week. After that is Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2 and personally, I will buy Halo: Reach. I've played and completed ever Halo and I'll play this one, too...but fair warning, Microsoft: if you don't give me something new this time around, I'm done with the series. The good news is that it seems a lot of Reach really should feel fresh. We'll see.
8/28/2010 Ben Dutka