Ben's Week In Review: December 19
It's tough to imagine that Christmas is less than a week away. But hey, time flies.
FFXIII-2? I can go with that...I guess
When I saw what Nomura sent to Square-Enix Ultimate members, I started thinking: is this something I would want? Well, I first thought about Final Fantasy X-2, which I very much enjoyed, despite the fact that it obviously wasn't as amazing as FFX. Then I compared the two situations. FFXIII didn't turn out the way many of us had hoped, so if a sequel took another step backwards...well, that'd just be another nail in Square-Enix's coffin, in my eyes. But if they incorporate some of the feedback they've received from fans, and they take the risk of making it a traditional RPG, it actually might end up being the FFXIII we all wanted in the first place. I think it's possible. I still believe those guys have what it takes.
Besides, I think it's critical to have a solid cast of characters for a sequel to fly, and although FFXIII didn't have my favorite FF cast, it was still a highlight, IMO. Lightning was a cold bitch for the first half (and that was just boring), but I liked her a lot more after about the 25 hour mark. I think all the characters got better with time, and that includes Vanille, who I found insufferable at first. Hey, maybe they could take that solid cast and put them in a game that focuses on Gran Pulse and expands on that foundation. Then, we get a mechanic that actually feels like an RPG mechanic... Can't I hope?
Take-Two isn't a one-trick pony anymore
GTA is one of my all-time favorite franchises, but I think it's really cool that Take-Two Interactive is spreading its wings. Along with Rockstar, they've produced plenty of quality titles that most gamers appreciate. But if they don't release a GTA installment, they almost always post a loss in their fiscal year, which was always a little depressing. One always thought that Take-Two was on the cusp of disaster; all they needed to fall was one surprisingly lackluster GTA entry... But that probably won't ever happen and on top of which, they've got other great stuff. The GTA-in-the-west, Red Dead Redemption, is a nod to the future for the company. Granted, it's a lot like GTA but don't forget about NBA 2K11 and the upcoming L.A. Noire, which looks utterly fantastic.
Take-Two seems to fly under the radar more often than not. Gamers are usually too busy bashing on Activision and Square-Enix to say they actually like a certain publisher, but we should probably appreciate what Take-Two has done in the past decade or so.
Personal gaming update
Assassin's Creed; Brotherhood is done. Well, basically done. The game has been beaten and every last possible Memory is at 100%. So I have full 100% Memory Sync, 100% Rome renovation, all the treasures, and the Romulus treasure. Even the optional stuff is all at 100%. I just have to pick up the last few Borgia flags I left hanging in a few Romulus Lairs, and get two more recruits up to full Assassin rank, and then I'm officially done. The question is whether or not I dive into Gran Turismo 5 or Fable III...tough decision. Both will take me forever so I'm thinking I'll just have to play both at the same time, which I usually hate to do. And believe it or not, we're only a month away from LittleBigPlanet 2, and five weeks away from Dead Space 2. Pretty nuts, huh?
Also, I'm going to start to work on something that could greatly expand PSXE. I can't really talk much about it right now, and there's no guarantee of anything, but at least the option is there. I'll need at least a few weeks to dive into it but it could be worthwhile, and it should serve to usher in many more users without alienating long-time readers. The latter matters most to us, by the way. And any new people will have to accept that. :)
12/18/2010 Ben Dutka