Ben's Week In Review: June 12
I assume you're all E3'd out so I'm avoiding that for this update. But if you want to catch up, feel free to check out our Sony conference impressions, and don't forget about our mammoth E3 video update.
Demos are great, but OLD demos...not so much
While I'm not the biggest fan of all the changes and advancements this generation, I have to say that demos are great. The idea of being able to play a title before it releases has been a dream of gamers for a very long time. And for the most part, play samples are a good indication of the final product, especially when the demo comes out the week before the game's release. But putting a demo up too early typically means we're dealing with old code or an old build, which immediately causes negative feedback to circulate. This apparently happened with the Duke Nukem Forever demo and same goes for the Resistance 3 sample that briefly appeared on the Asian PSN this past week. Why bother doing such a thing?
All you manage to do is turn people off ahead of time. It's all the more tragic when that demo isn't even accurate; i.e., it's old and inferior to what the final game will be. Then everyone has the wrong idea and any early "buzz" is negative or at the very least, skeptical. Look, I know Resistance 3 won't set the graphics bar but I'm fairly convinced it'll be great. I have my reservations about DNF but the point is, don't bother with demos unless they're accurate.
Itagaki, you can never go home again
While many Japanese game designers and executives have called out the country's apparent decline in the video game industry, Tomonobu Itagaki may be the first to say Japan's developers "don't know how to make games." Now, I have to say, while I don't agree that all Western studios are now superior to Japanese teams, I will say this- the bottom line is that the majority of games I own this generation are of Western origin. This has nothing to do with any allegiance; let's not forget that I'm a die-hard JRPG fan (or at least, I was). But the difference is obvious- while nearly all games in my PS1 collection come from Japanese developers, nearly all titles in my PS3 collection come from Western studios. That means something.
I still say if Japanese developers had stuck with what brought them their fans in the first place... You know what I mean. I used to be able to count on Square but no more; now even Metal Gear Solid isn't immune to this desperate "appeal to Western tastes" mentality. What is Rising, again? I have faith in Japanese talent. But what can I say? The best games every year are rarely from the East and that's that.
Personal gaming update
So I finally got around to finishing L.A. Noire and I've posted my final thoughts and reflections. It's a must-play for just about everyone, I say. My brother thinks it's funny that I really like Elsa's German accent, though; mainly because I've often said I really despise that accent. ...now I have to eat my words. I still say it's more Austrian than German, though! Anyway, I've moved on to inFamous 2, obviously. The game rules. I know some of you weren't too happy with my review but I'm sticking by it.
By the way, for those who don't see the stickiness I speak of, here's a test: jump off a building and pan the camera down so you can see how far away from the building you are. Gauge how far away you have to be so Cole just falls straight down without adhering to a part of the wall. You might be surprised how far away you really have to be... But the game is addictive and great, so I won't harp on that. :)
And by the way, this should be the week. June 16 is near and I'm hoping we can finally lift the lid on our big announcement. And I hope you'll all like it!
6/11/2011 Ben Dutka