Ben's Week In Review: March 13
Daylight savings tonight and the warm weather is inching closer...
Dark Souls: a fulfilling challenge or a chore?
That's really my only question. I have no doubt the game will be great - perhaps even amazing - but over the past few years, I've learned that gaming has become more of a source of relaxation than ever before. The days of killing myself to finish Ninja Gaiden and Devil May Cry 3 (before they fixed the difficulty with the Special Edition) are long gone, and I'm just not interested in extreme challenges that add tension rather than relieve it. Now, I don't mind some difficulty and I do get a small rush of satisfaction when conquering something particularly tough, but I'd much rather just enjoy myself. So I'm a little worried at From Software's statement concerning Dark Souls: they plan to make the hardest game possible.
I don't expect cheapness, certainly, but I remain firm in my belief that Demon's Souls suffered from a definite balancing issue. I hear the gameplay in this follow-up effort will be a little different, and I also imagine we'll find different advancement systems and mechanics. That alone is intriguing. And I know the game will be designed specifically for the hardcore, but there is a limit...well, for me, at least.
Can we call Dead Space the Resident Evil of this generation?
It's clear that EA has high hopes for the future of their critically acclaimed and well-respected horror franchise. They mention the immense success of Capcom's Resident Evil series and make it plain they hope Dead Space will follow a similar path. Now, while I don't think we can say DS is as revolutionary as RE was back in the day, there are two things we have to remember- firstly, many will argue that Alone in the Dark officially began the sub-genre we called "survival/horror," and others add that Silent Hill did more for the category in some respects. Secondly, we shouldn't underestimate what the first Dead Space did; it managed to properly fuse a third-person shooter mechanic with an atmosphere and style that was vintage Resident Evil. The debate could rage for a long time, but at the very least, DS innovated, if not revolutionized.
But to get to the level RE hit back in the '90s seems unlikely. The industry has changed so much and the competition is steeper than ever before; more great games arrive at a faster clip than we've ever seen. For anything to stand out, it really has to hit big. Dead Space is big but in comparison to "RE big" during its heyday? Weeeeell...
Personal gaming update
So I'm playing and loving Dragon Age II. I do believe hardcore RPGers might be disappointed due to a number of obvious reasons - several of which I mention in my video commentary - but I also know the game is fun. But there's one thing I haven't mentioned- with all this great hardware and technology, why - why - did so many RPG developers do away with an open world map? We'll get one again in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, I know, but this used to be a staple; a mainstay. And we could do amazing stuff with it, too! Why am I going to a menu to select my location? I do that in DAII; I did it in Ar Tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel, and it just never seems to stop. Why are they restricting us in this way?
Just a question. Maybe people don't care, I'm not sure. Next week, we've got Yakuza 4 to go over and I've still got to weigh in on the competition for MLB 11: The Show. Yeah, 2K Sports has a pretty decent offering in MLB 2K11, or so I hear. Oh, and then there's Top Spin 4, which I can't wait for, but I know nobody cares about. ;)
3/12/2011 Ben Dutka