Ben's Week In Review: January 23
Big week with two big reviews, and Dead Space 2 in just a few days...
We have to forget Duke's past
So it seems that Duke Nukem Forever really is coming out this year; it now has an official release date. When I was writing that article, I was thinking about how I should approach the review... We can't possibly factor in 13 years worth of expectations, can we? I mean, if I did that, the game would probably have to get a 5 regardless of how great it is; the expectations, anticipation, and overall hype for over a decade is incalculable. Therefore, we just have to forget that it ever happened. We have to forget that "Did Not Finish" helped to spawn the term, "vaporware." I know it seems impossible, but if we don't go into this thing with a completely blank slate, I have a bad feeling we're destined to be disappointed. From what I've seen of the game thus far, it does look interesting, and it should certainly have plenty of that Duke flavor and attitude. It's what matters most.
Really, all we need is a competent FPS with all the atmosphere and style we'd expect from a next-gen Duke Nukem. I think that'd be quite enough and besides, let's not forget that Gearbox says the single-player campaign is a good 15 hours. At least, that's what they claim. And you know, I can't remember the last shooter that took that long to beat. So I'm looking forward to DNF and turning a blind eye to every last rumor and piece of speculation that has been showing up since the late '90s.
So glad we're all grown up now
Honestly, if Heavy Rain had failed, it would've been the most disappointing occurrence of this generation for me. I was so worried it would flop and subsequently prove we gamers haven't grown up; that all we really want is Call of Duty, that nobody who plays video games appreciates a good story and a progressive, innovative form of interaction. And you can tell that David Cage is happy; he has every right to be satisfied. On the flip side, the failure of Alan Wake either says something about the Xbox 360 userbase (and I think it does), or it simply means it wasn't quite as good as Heavy Rain (and it wasn't). I want games like that to succeed, so we can actually watch the industry move forward. If I'm Cage, I know that I can take the next step and I'll likely be rewarded for it, and that must be a good feeling.
Personal gaming update
It was a pretty amazing week: both LittleBigPlanet 2 and Mass Effect 2 are well worth most anyone's time and yet, I'm not that interested in either. I recognize the greatness of both, of course, but I won't be spending a great deal of time with LBP2, and I've already explained my stance on ME2. This week, I'll be reviewing Dead Space 2 and Hyperdimension Neptunia, and I fully intend to play and complete Visceral's latest. As for Neptunia, that's a definite wait-and-see situation. In the meantime, before Killzone 3 drops in a month, I'm finally pushing through Gran Turismo 5. I'm only Lv. 14 with like 540,000 credits, but I should have my Super license this week and I've done a lot of the Special events. The game's amazing but Arnold has long since explained that, so I won't bother. ;)
For the record, I just gave up on Fable III. If you want to know why, just check the last two Week in Reviews. I finally got to the point where I realized I disliked the combat and what's worse, battles are essentially worthless. It's the Facebook of RPGs; it's more about social stuff than anything else. So that got traded in and while I don't necessarily regret the 25 hours I put into it (I so tried to like it), I also don't regret not finishing it. I just didn't care enough. No, the next RPG for me is Dragon Age II, which I'm almost certain I'll really enjoy.
By the way, I will reserve judgment on the freshly confirmed Final Fantasy XIII-2 until I hear about the gameplay. For the record, I do like Lightning, just because she finally got interesting in the latter half of FFXIII. We'll have to hope, I guess...
1/22/2011 Ben Dutka