Ben's Week In Review: October 16
Some great games already in for the fall, many more to come. Prepare yourselves!
This focus on the realistic and the gritty is hurting JRPGs
You know, we've spoken at length about the demise of the JRPG this generation. Recently, I've blamed critics for being biased against the sub-genre, thereby resulting in lower-than-anticipated sales, which in turn causes developers to second-guess the production of more JRPGs. However, if you look at the biggest (and best) games in the world right now, they tend to be either realistic or gritty or both. The success of colorful, inoffensive, mostly nonviolent games seems to only work for Nintendo these days.
Of course, there are exceptions to that rule (Ratchet & Clank, for instance), but the industry trends are very clear. If it isn't realistic/gritty, it's more sci-fi or darker in general; i.e., BioWare's productions like Mass Effect and Dragon Age. These bright, non-bloody JRPGs with younger-looking anime characters just seem to be falling by the wayside. So when I see Ni no Kuni commercials, or I hear about the Tales series, I keep thinking they just don't fit anymore.
Stop freaking out about the length of Uncharted 3
I almost didn't post the story because I knew what would happen. Firstly, gamers would immediately forget that both of the first two Uncharted games weren't longer than 12 hours; many gamers finished them in around 10 hours. Secondly, when you hear a critic or journalist give a length estimate, it is always on the short end. Always. Reviewers were saying Heavenly Sword was like 5 or 6 hours long, for instance, and that was crap. It was easily an 8-10 hour game for all normal players. And it's not that reviewers want to lie.
But it's the only number they know. All they know is how fast it took them to finish; they can only speculate how much longer it would be for everyone else. And many times, it's really hard to tell. When you're going fast and you just need to get it done, you'd be amazed what you voluntarily skip. You'd be amazed at what your brain automatically dismisses as unimportant just for the sake of progression. 8-9 hours from that sort of source? It's a 10-hour game. At the least. And that's hardly any different from previous iterations, so don't start freaking out.
Personal gaming update
As you might expect, I haven't had much time for myself, so I haven't even been able to finish RAGE or Catherine. The only good news is that I'm close to the end of both (I think), and nothing else is on my plate...yet. Batman: Arkham City arrives this week, of course, and that's hardly the end of things. I also have to deliver a review for PAYDAY: The Heist, and I have The Sims 3: Pets sitting here...although I'm debating on a review. I'm just not sure anyone will care about it.
Plus, we've got The Cursed Crusade, Okabu, The Lord of the Rings: War in the North, Sonic Generations, and GoldenEye 007: Reloaded to deal with. So yeah, it'll just keep getting busier. But thankfully, it only goes until Thanksgiving and then I can finally get a break.
10/15/2011 Ben Dutka