Ben's Week In Review: January 30
I think we're all a little NGP'd out, so I'll bypass that for this Week in Review.
We don't always have to be so serious
There's nothing wrong with taking your hobby seriously, but we often have to remind ourselves that a "hobby" - almost by definition - should be a satisfying, relaxing distraction. If we take things to seriously and get too competitive and too emotional, we inevitably lose a hefty chunk of that all-important "fun factor." This is why I have no problem indulging in something silly and over-the-top, like the upcoming Duke Nukem Forever. Game of the Year? Unlikely. But so what? It's The Duke! That professional fan-made movie really did remind me of a simpler time, and the awesome Return of the King trailer got me all pumped up. Kill stuff. Be a bad-ass. Chase the hotties. Come on; it's the classic old-school video game hero! We don't always need to be so darn serious; guilty pleasures have their places, too.
By the way, same goes for Bulletstorm. Better than KZ3? Nah. A stress-reliever that puts a sadistic little smile on my face? Yep. The latter will likely grow tiresome faster than a masterpiece like Killzone 3 but simple stress-relievers aren't supposed to be 10 hours in length. For just a few hours, you occasionally need to vent. So enter DNF and Bulletstorm, and don't apologize for it. Admit your indulgence!
Looks like Dragon Age II is my next RPG
We've learned that the Dragon Age sequel will feature 103 minutes of cut-scenes, which obviously means there's a fantastic emphasis on story. That shouldn't come as any real surprise if you're familiar with BioWare; Mass Effect 2 wasn't really my thing, but it's clear this particular developer enjoys creating complex, fulfilling storylines. And in the Dragon Age setting, I should really be able to appreciate it more. I've been moving along in Hyperdimension Neptunia (review coming soon) and while I won't give anything away just yet, I will say it's not really doing it for me. And I really loved Origins; the only reason I never finished it was because I got sidetracked, and I hate it when that happens.
And you know, it's so odd that cut-scene length has plummeted over the years. When CGI/FMV was all the rage in the original PlayStation and PS2 eras, it was all about story-telling through that amazing new medium; I think we all remember some of the FFs and oh yes, Xenosaga. But these days, with technology the way it is, we can have something like God of War III and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, where the non-interactive sequences look basically the same as the interactive parts. ...never though we'd see the day, huh?
Personal gaming update
Well, for now, it's all about GT5 and Dead Space 2, which is really great. I still don't like the plot as much as I did in the original title (more mysterious in the latter), but the atmosphere and action is always, always intense. Visceral knows how to keep you on your toes; they never let the game get too predictable, and the scariest part is the fact that you have no idea what's coming next. As for GT5, I got to see the credits just because I won the Gran Turismo World Championship but obviously, there's a ton left to do. I'll play it on and off in between other games, certainly. By the way, I used my favorite car, the Lexus LF-A; after doing everything to it, it's a 700HP, 225 m.p.h. beast with ridiculous acceleration. Of course, winning that event nets you the Bugatti Veyron that, after upgrading, sports like 1200HP, but I just love the look of the LF-A. If I was rich, that's the car I'd have. :)
Attention PSXE readers- As a side note, we're going to try starting up something new for the site, and as part of it, we're going to be answering reader questions. So, if you have something you want me to answer, you can either post your question below in the Comments (don't worry, I'll see it), or you can send it to me via e-mail. I can't talk about this new endeavor just yet, but we'll be starting it this week and hopefully, you'll see it all come to fruition soon. Thanks. :)
1/29/2011 Ben Dutka