Ben's Week In Review: October 24
Ah...good weather, finally. Is there any place where it's autumn year-round?
So...nobody in the US played games in the '80s?
I keep thinking Japanese developers completely discount the Western gamers who grew up during the dawn of the industry. Granted, it was basically all Japanese in those days, so they're right in assuming that video games were simply bigger in Japan. But when I hear that Atlus only expected to sell a measly 25k copies of 3D Dot Game Heroes in the US, I can only conclude that they think Westerners didn't start to get into gaming until much later. 25,000 is basically 0 and in all honesty, if they were expecting that, I'm surprised they released it here at all. But it goes and sells 160,000 units, which sorta proves that hardcore gamers who want a whiff of nostalgia still exist. Let's face it: the title in question was designed for those who lived through the age the game parodies.
And we were there. If I remember correctly, there were quite a few of us. Sure, it paled in comparison to the number of Japanese into Nintendo and everything else in the '80s but what kid didn't want a NES in the mid-80s in this country...? I think this is part of the reason Japanese devs think Westerners only want shooters, and why the JRPG is almost non-existent on consoles these days.
Is Treyarch scared or are they bragging?
I've been trying to figure this out ever since I saw the news. On the one hand, they might actually want to avoid the backlash felt by Infinity Ward for Modern Warfare 2's airport scene. Then again, that controversy didn't exactly hurt sales, now did it? Besides, shooter fans seem to be looking for even more authentic, and thus, more dynamically grisly action in their games. Therefore, when a team says they had almost "went too far" in regards to the exhibited violence, it's hard to decipher the statement's actual meaning. I keep thinking it's almost like a teaser, i.e, "boy, we really had to reign ourselves in...but you won't believe what we let slip through!" The very words "went too far" are bound to perk the ears of the violence-loving twitchers. However, A Treyarch animation designer said it so perhaps we should just take it at face value.
If Activision had said it...well, that's something else entirely.
Personal gaming update
I finally got a chance to finish Enslaved: Odyssey to the West; I had stopped at Chapter 10 after reviewing it and got too busy to finish. But it's done now; I thought the final encounter was a little lame and frustrating (sure, focus on the game's weak point, the third-person shooter aspect with the staff), but the ending itself was great. So very surreal and philosophical; quite surprising, actually. I also think I might be close to finishing Vanquish, which is totally kick-ass. I still have to deliver reviews for ZHP, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 2, among others. In November, I'm obviously looking forward to Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Call of Duty: Black Ops. Oh, and I must reiterate: LittleBigPlanet 2 is awesome.
Time Crisis: Razing Storm, on the other hand, is not. By the way, if I only had to score the Story Mode, the game would've gotten like a 3. It's just horribly broken. Good thing there are other modes and games included like Time Crisis 4 to help the final outcome.
10/23/2010 Ben Dutka