Ben's Week In Review: February 27
A busy week and it looks like March will be even busier. But that's good, right?
Oh great...here we go again
I've spoken about it before: my odd aversion to The Elder Scrolls franchise. Whenever one comes out, the process is exactly the same; it's basically inevitable. I follow the game for months before it releases, get myself all pumped and hyped, and buy it on day one with lofty expectations. Then I spend the next few days desperately trying to get into it, telling myself over and over, "by all rights, you should love this." Then, after a good 10 hours of trying, I realize it's just another failed attempt and I have something to sell. As much as I don't want to fall for the same trick again, I now realize the routine is starting a new: after watching that awesome Skyrim trailer, I'm all sorts of excited. I can't wait. I think, "yup, this is the one." I try to convince myself that my tastes have changed a little since Oblivion.
But in the end, I think it's just a mind game and somewhere deep down, I'm convinced I'll be disappointed again. That doesn't stop me from being all excited, though, and that's annoying. 99% of the time, if I know enough about a game and I'm pretty sure I'll like it, I'm happy with the final result. The Elder Scrolls just keeps bucking that positive trend. Let's hope the trend ends later this year...
Dragon Age II is gonna divide RPG fans
There's nobody who hates a watered-down RPG more than I do. After playing them for a good 18 years, I've been sick and tired by the downshifting to hacking and slashing and the sacrifice of strategic, in-depth mechanics. And I suppose some fans will see Dragon Age II as a mainstream concession of sorts; an abandoning of BioWare's hardcore faithful due to the increased speed and more action-oriented approach. For the record, they could've left the gameplay the same as it was in Origins and I would've been happy. But as I expressed in my hands-on analysis of the demo, I am not about to accuse the developers of dumbing down a great title. It's true that the more streamlined approach to combat means we miss a few small features, but I maintain one thing- to claim that DAII isn't an RPG is just ridiculous.
It's more of an RPG than most anything else on store shelves that calls itself a "role-playing game." The amount of depth included in the talents and skills sections - which apparently have gone unnoticed or ignored by the offended - is significant, and you still have to approach any given combat situation from a strategic standpoint. It feels nothing like an action game, and that's that. I don't think there's any other way to see it.
Personal gaming update
Killzone 3 is long since complete and that game is bad-ass. Plain and simple. I'm basically done with Bulletstorm, which is a bit flawed but still lots of fun in my eyes. My next game will have to be Dragon Age II and beyond that, we'll just have to see. I still go back to Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together because it's a great game...even if it's not FFT. ;) I am becoming more and more excited for L.A. Noire, though.
As for our new YouTube Channel, I'm planning a video commentary for Dragon Age II and maybe something original; we're definitely not going to be neglecting that new branch of the site. It's too important. I will also continue to work on that which cannot be announced just yet, but as of this weekend, I think we're a step closer...
2/26/2011 Ben Dutka