Ben's Week In Review: May 8
Strangely, I got an e-mail from a PR lady who asked if/when I'd review Puzzle Agent. As it's a PSN title, I replied with, "gee, I'd sure like to...whenever the Network is back." It seemed she had temporarily forgotten. I want to forget permanently.
I adore Assassin's Creed, but...
There's no bigger fan of this franchise; it's my favorite of the generation with the exception of Uncharted. I had my reservations for last year's Brotherhood but it turned out to be exactly what I wanted, and I loved it to pieces. I have to say, though, new reservations have popped up after learning more about Assassin's Creed: Revelations. I don't mind the gameplay enhancements, I love the idea of using both Ezio and Altair, it'll be interesting to visit the historical, majestic city of Constantinople, and the expanded concept of the Borgia Towers is intriguing. But a few things leap to mind- first and foremost, Ubisoft said more than once that Brotherhood would be Ezio's last chapter and the next AC would be ACIII, so they could utilize a new hero and setting.
...but as I see it, they didn't have time. They needed the annual entry and they cut corners to hit that deadline. I'm sorry, but it's difficult to see it any other way. Plus, that zip line sounds suspiciously like a way of speeding up (and thereby dumbing down) gameplay that absolutely does not need to be faster. The fans love the patience and stealth involved; they love the unparalleled atmospheres. Don't go too crazy on us, Ubisoft.
Hey EA...Activision doesn't care about you
While EA continues to crow about Battlefield 3, making one bold statement after another, I keep thinking that Activision just doesn't care. Why should they? So what if the new CoD has to go up against a superior product? Since when does that matter to the hordes of casual gamers and die-hard CoD fans? NFL 2K could magically return this year, be significantly better than Madden, and wouldn't secure more than a fraction of Madden's overall sales. When it comes to billion-dollar franchises, I just think they're immune. I think it really doesn't matter anymore. Besides, with a $200 million budget and three studios cranking on Modern Warfare 3, it's not like we'll get dog sh**.
But really, like I said, it wouldn't matter if we did. EA can talk all they want. Maybe they'll get decent sales thanks to critic support and hardcore gamers but let's face it- most of the CoD brethren who quite literally only play one game a year haven't even heard of Battlefield.
Personal gaming update
I really like MotorStorm: Apocalypse but the PSN went down before I could sample the multiplayer, so I have to wait until the Network is back before doing a review. Now, the same could go for Brink, but let me ask: I can play it on Xbox Live and count that experience as part of my PS3 review, if the readers don't mind. If you don't like that idea, I'll wait on the review for that, too. Just let me know. I can't imagine the Live multiplayer would be that much different...
Other than that, I'm still trying to finish Dragon Age II and Final Fantasy IV on the PSP. You know, concerning the latter, we've gotten so spoiled by the hard drive and auto-saves. You just sort of assume the game will save after doing something significant, and sadly, that stuck in my head...I took down two bosses in a row in FFIV and neglected to save. Then, exploring with my new airship, I went into a busted-up castle to go a-looting, and stumbled across a Monster-in-a-Box. ...can't escape, monsters way too powerful...dead. And oh yeah, hadn't saved since before those boss fights.
Oops. ...oh, how we forget.
Oh, and Happy Mother's Day! :)
5/7/2011 Ben Dutka