: Ben's Week In Review: December 18

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Ben's Week In Review: December 18

I'm trying to enjoy this mini-break, but I still have to try and solidify a few interviews during a time when everyone is on vacation, and I have to dig into the Starhawk beta, too.

Will the Vita succeed? Don't ask me

So this guy says the PlayStation Vita is in definite trouble, and he's hardly the only one to voice his concerns. Now, one could easily argue that many people considered the PSP to be a "failure" when in fact, based on sales numbers alone, it doesn't really appear to be a failure at all. The Nintendo DS certainly overshadowed it but in 2010 and 2011, the PSP enjoyed a definite surge all around the world. I'm sure Sony doesn't want to wait that long to have good success with the Vita, but I'm just trying to make a point. Sony's handheld position has always been hazy.

Thing is, I've never been into handheld gaming. I loved the GameBoy but then again, who didn't? And that was pretty much the last time I was really into any sort of portable gaming. I also don't care much about fancy phones and 3G or 4G or whatever-G and despite the potential of the Vita, I'm just not sure what to think. Even when weighing all factors - the mobile gaming explosion, virtual social connections, price, games, etc. - I still just sort of shake my head and shrug my shoulders. My only response? "I don't know." Honest. I haven't the slightest idea how the Vita will fare.

The Last Of Us sounds amazing

Those early details were plenty encouraging, don't you agree? Firstly, I know people don't think it's too important, but even Naughty Dog could have difficulty adapting to an entirely new control format. Keeping their new project third-person, with which they've had tremendous success, is a damn good idea. Secondly, the blending of different genres has been a relatively common theme this generation, but this may be one of those progressive, innovative mixes that redefines gaming. I got chills when I read this-

"We're trying to move the medium of video games into an area elevated in the same manner of respect of film. We want to redefine what our medium is even called. 'Video game' is not an accurate name anymore. It is not necessarily a game with rules and a winner and a loser. It's an experience."

I mean, that sounds like something Quantic Dream would say. Speaking of which, I keep wondering about their mystery project, too... But I won't go off on a tangent; I'd just like to say, for the record, that The Last Of Us could set new industry bars in both graphics and gameplay.

Personal gaming update

I haven't yet had time to try the Starhawk beta but I'll get into that between tomorrow and Monday, and deliver my impressions soon after. Thanks to all who participated in the beta giveaway, by the way. Whenever they come to me and ask how many codes I want, I always say 50...but given the rapidity with which those codes disappear, I think I'm going to have to start saying 100. ;) I keep forgetting we're a little bigger now.

Also, our new show should be part of Home's final update for 2011, so the party we usually have in the Community Theater is tentatively set for December 22 (Thursday) at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST. I might be giving away a copy of the Uncharted Drake's Journal, and the PS3 version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. When it's all official, I'll put up a news headline.

Still playing Final Fantasy VII; I'll get involved in Assassin's Creed: Revelations and Gears of War 3 after Christmas. Oh, and be on the lookout for the poll this weekend; it's the first of two polls that will determine the reader's choice for Game of the Year.

12/17/2011 Ben Dutka

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (26 posts)

Saturday, December 17, 2011 @ 9:11:14 PM

I have high hopes for the Vita. It's got a great launch line-up, and the bundles are nicely priced while offering everything a gamer needs to get started with the system. Plus being able to play your PS3 titles from the system while away from home is a BIG selling point for me. I've already got my First Edition bundle paid for, so I'll definitely be rockin' Little Deviants and whatever other software is available a week before the official launch!

Since I've never done one before, I suppose I'll hop on the bandwagon...

Personal Gaming Update: I've logged 62 hours into Skyrim and beaten the main quest, as well as the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood quest lines. I can easily see myself investing over 150 hours in this title, as I've only discovered maybe 20 percent of everything there is to find on the world map. But I feel as though I've hit a good pausing point, so I've moved on to Assassin's Creed: Revelations. I was a bit disappointed with the ending, and the visual hiccups are annoying at times, but as Ben once stated, it's one of those games I can get into regardless of whatever gripes I may have because, well, poisoning guards is just so much *fun*. Should have all the side quests finished before I have to go to the frozen north of Ontario for a month without my console (SOB), so my free time will be all about replaying Mass Effect 1 and 2 on my laptop before the launch of 3 in March. Then it's just a matter of balancing ME3 with the Vita and its plethora of new titles. The new year is looking quite promising.

Last edited by TheAgingHipster on 12/17/2011 9:17:14 PM

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Saturday, December 17, 2011 @ 9:46:54 PM

I have no idea what to expect from the Vita either. When the PSP launched it was Sony and Nintendo, no one else, where cell phones games were a joke. These days we have the explosion of the iPhone/Android market, and then now even the barrage of all the tablets. Then there was Sony's effort with PSP Go which didn't seem to stimulate much demand. I dunno. I'm excited for new technology as always but I don't know what to expect. A part of me wants to be on board and really get behind the Vita, where I think Sony really needs their fans to get behind this Vita effort and make it profitable for them or we may lose the kind of quality software like GoW and MGS Peace Walker if the audience isn't there to support it. I don't think they can do it without their fans who follow their in-house lineup of games. I'd hate to think the premium handheld market faded away to the mainstream .99 to 9.99 phone market.

PGU: been giving Uncharted 3 another play through, on hard this time.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011 @ 9:58:43 PM

I want to add one more point. I think the wild card variable is the full on dual stick control interface. No one that I know of has released such an accommodating mobile playing interface. I think until Vita, few could really take FPS games seriously. Now the twitch-addicts can leave home and take their CoD-fix with them virtually anywhere. ANd that's a profitable market these days. Imagine playing Black Ops 2, or whetever, and having personal stats being logged for both PS3 and Vita. Anyway, seems like a good thing.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011 @ 11:03:03 PM

About a second stick, GameStop's about to sell a $20 right-stick attachment for the 3DS.
But I have no idea on how good it will work or how much it will wind up lop-siding the whole feel & weight of the 3DS(I don't own one).

Myself, I imagine it's going to wind up as just another "you pay for what you get" secondary-use attachment, the 2nd time being a trash can filler LOL.

Last edited by BikerSaint on 12/17/2011 11:04:16 PM

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Saturday, December 17, 2011 @ 10:23:47 PM

Yeah regarding The Last of Us, i cannot remember being more hyped for a game after seeing a teaser trailer, but that trailer was just so damn good i cannot stop pondering on how this game will turn out.

It's one of few trailers i actually have confidence in due to the fact that Naughty Dog are running the show. Time will tell obviously, but i reckon the game is going to be fantastic. It has the ingredients & it has a team that burp quality.

I am also continuing to keep my hawk eye on the progress of TTT2 but i ain't too keen on the customizations at the moment. Most of it is just generic shit so i'm hoping they improve the clothing options come closer to the console release. We need clothing options that actually suit the characters themselves. I mean, Yoshimitsu in clown pants & Kuma in jeans? Has it come to this? :/ Still hyped for the game though but the character altering isn't close to what SCV have boasted thus far.

I am also going to pre-order Street Fighter X Tekken (regardless of the shitty gem system they have going) & Ninja Gaiden 3 with the DOA5 demo, one of the best pre order incentives imo.

PGU: Same games really. KOFXIII & Tekken Hybrid are owning me. But also recently downloaded the HD Resi Evil 4 just to remind myself how good the game was & still is. It still has it & most action games this gen still cannot touch it imo. My only complaint with it is the low quality cut scenes in the Separate Ways scenario, but other than that the game rawks!1!!1

I am hoping that Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City can give me a next gen taste of what RE Outbreak was like on PS2 & i am pretty excited they're introducing Leon, Ada, Claire & Jill as playable characters. I hope it turns out well because RE4 reminds me just how godly this series once was.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011 @ 10:37:51 PM

Well, I've officially decided to buy a Vita. I love PlayStation to much to not get one. Plus, I've been playing Starhawk (thank you very much Ben) and it's a great game. Happy Holidays to everyone. :)

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Saturday, December 17, 2011 @ 10:51:15 PM

Hey Ben,
Even I'm assuming that you'll still be getting one in order to do it's games reviews, am I right?(Just charge it to the boss's account, since it's totally game, & site, related, LOL)

I for one hope the Vita's a total success, & I've had my WIFI model paid off a couple months ago.
But seeing how I've no extra money for it's games or a memory cards ATM, I'm soooo hoping for some playable Vita game demo's to D/L from the PSN store right on launch day.
And I'm not sure as of yet, but I just might even try doing my very 1st midnight launch for it(that's if my store does one).

I haven't had the time to try Home since it was updated last month, or to try out the Starhawk beta, but I'm going to try to do both this week, and hopefully make it to the PSXE Home party too, time willingly.

As for the "Last Of Us, I was super-interested in it just as soon as I saw that 1st cryptic video, but then finding out a ND title, now I'm super-stoked for it.
And I also want to see the "I Am alive" release come out before "I Am Dead" comes out & releases me.(NO there Grim Reaper, Twas only J/K, I meant game release this gen, Kay???? ?????)

My PGU....

Started my 2nd play-through of Rage this week, so I can get a few more side missions, weapon, schematics, cars, & assorted equipment upgrades done, and hopefully find more sewer missions(3 sewer missions & one 2nd time same sewer cleared-out done so far).
And to those who said the locked-out sewer missions for used game buyers, weren't much, I totally disagree. They absolutely added a good amount of fun & time to the total game-play package, & also to collecting items to sell off for needed upgrades & ammo.

OH BTW, I stopped at my local "BIG LOTS" cause they started a sale today on on limited PS3, 360, Wii, & DS games, so I picked up the God Of War HD Collection & Yakuza-4 cheap, adding to my already huge & ever growing games backlog.

Anyway, here's a sample of games at Big Lots....

For the PS3........

Heavy Rain
God Of War HD Collection
Tomb Raider HD Trilogy
LBP 1 GOTY Edition
Soul Caliber-IV
Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe
Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare
Mafia 2
Cabela's North American Adventure
Street Fighter-IV
Shawn White Skateboarding
Only $18.88 each

Tony Hawk's Shred Bundle (game & Skateboard) controller. Only $15 (For PS3, 360, & Wii)

Also: other 360, Wii, & DS titles too

PLEASE NOTE: Titles are extremely limited & sell out fast. Also, the titles will vary from store to store.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 12:19:25 AM

Oh no, Sony better damn well send me a Vita. We shouldn't have to pay for that. ;)

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Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 5:12:36 PM

Duh, I didn't think of that, but that would definitely be even better still

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Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 1:50:48 AM

A reminder to anyone who doesn't regularly visit Home that you should plan to spend some time downloading the new client and space(s) before the PSXE meet-up. Also, if you can't find the right instance of the theater (now #1), you can teleport to the same space as anyone on your friends list, which might help.

PGU: I finally finished AC2 (awesome game) earlier in the week and will finish Might & Magic Clash Of Heroes tonight, so there's two fifty-hour games out of my backlog. I'm leaning toward ME2 next, but I may consume a palate-cleanser first. Limbo, perhaps?

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Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 4:05:25 AM

allot of people are concerned for the vita simply because allot of things it can do phones can already do and people already have those so why would you go and buy a device which does things the device you already have does?
theres definitely a market out there for the vita, im just not sure where it is, and if its large enough to warrant big bucks developing titles for it.
no one wants to spend millions developing games for devices not knowing if they will ever see there money back.
thats the biggest hurdle facing handheld devices, why would you buy them, and their versions of games when phones are just as good and are cheaper.
fifa 12 for example, why would i spend 80 bucks for the vita version when i can spend 12 on the ipad version?
ok the vita version might have better graphics, and better controls.
but better enough to warrant a extra 70 bucks?
i dont think so!
then you have the extortionate prices of the memory sticks, and accessories.

the concept for the last of us is really cool.
ive always wondered why no game has really taken on that concept, hollywood and books have and they have turned out really well, so why not games?
just seems like the perfect plot for a game!
the concept is really good, but whether it reaches its potential or not is a different story.
so many games this gen have had a amazing really interesting concept but none have really met their potential.
LA Noire, heavy rain, i am alive for example.
really cool games with a really fresh new in depth interesting concept.
but all games that fell WELL short of what they could of and should of been!

im still slugging through skyward sword, and only now am i starting to see allot of its flaws.
controls, camera and, well, after you get all the flames the game really starts dragging on!
its like once you get all the flames the developers ran out of ideas and just scrapped the bottom of the barrel just to pad the games length.
as the devs from DICE said its better to have a 6 hour game and go out with a bang then have a 12 hour game and go out with a whimper!
thats how skyward sword feels, this is the first game ive played in decades that i actually cant wait to finish!
i keep saying please credits....
dam, more!?
please credits.....
dam, more!?
just drags on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on!
shame when a 50 hour game gets spoiled by the last 10 or so hours.
the side missions are so much fun, the boss battles are so much fun, every level up untill you start searching for the song pieces is so much fun!
they should of just cut it there.
thats the biggest flaw with skyward sword, it sets one objective, then that objective breaks into another, and then that objective breaks into another.
it says go find the 3 flames then you will find zelda.
ok i found the 3 flames now wheres zelda?
oh no, now you need to find the songs.
bbbbbuuuuuuut, you just said if i found the 3 flames id find her!?
it drags on so long, it takes forever to do something simple!
like walking somewhere instead of driving, it feels like your taking forever to complete whats such a short and simple task.
a 30 minute walk instead of a 5 minute drive.
all goes back to that padding, it feels like the developers got up until the song part and then ran out of ideas and looked back and said oh our games not long enough we have to pad it.
they should of just left it as is.
id much rather have a 30 hour flawless game, then a 30 hour flawless game and a 20 hour boring dreary repetitive game!

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Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 10:18:42 AM

Well, I don't know why you'd pay $80 for a Vita game troll. I believe Sony said physical copies will be on par with PSP prices, around $40.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 11:36:27 AM

He means Aussie bucks. Aside from whatever the exchange rate is, gaming is very expensive in the down-under.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 11:42:50 AM

My bad. :)

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Monday, December 19, 2011 @ 7:25:24 AM

anyone have a brick wall they need demolished?

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011 @ 4:02:07 PM

Or you could stop being so obnoxious and spend the half-second it takes to type "AUD" to make your point clear. If you need to make up for the added key strokes, you could always lose a few dozen of the exclamation points you splash across every post you make.

Then again, clarity of communication doesn't seem to be a priority for you.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 4:26:28 AM

There's a video on the PS store demonstrating Uncharted: Golden Abyuss, & it actually looks like ND have made it (it's that good)! The shooting looks a bit lame but that's to be expected. Everything else looks like Uncharted 1.5, which is brilliant for a hand-held. I'm personally not going to get the vita under its under £100 at the LEAST. I just can't afford more than one gaming system :(

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Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 4:45:30 AM

I am definitely giddy about The Last Of Us and am already counting the days, even though I still don't know of a concrete release date.

The Vita I feel will be successful just probably not overly successful. In a way I wouldn't mind the death of Playstation portables as I would then have a better chance of getting those games that are only made for the handhelds on the PS3 instead. I know that comment will probably get some serious thumbs down, but I personally don't like playing on handhelds(though I own a PSP). Plus I wouldn't wish for the death of the handheld market if they would just put those games out for the PS3 in the first place. Bring SMT to the PS3 already!!!

PGU: Mainly playing Yakuza 4 and MAG right now and a few downloadable games in between. I tried waiting to play Yakuza 4 until 5 was released here in the states, but I just couldn't wait any longer(Yakuza withdrawl is a *****). I am loving it! I'm still at the very beginning and already have Akiyama up to almost level 20 and have found myself playing Pachinko like crazy, though I still have absolutely no clue on what I am supposed to do(same with Mahjong), lol. I figured out the card games in 3 and I am sure I will figure these out sooner or later.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 5:26:25 AM

Hmm, how much do you guys wanna bet that if Vita sold 99million unit compared to 3DS 100million unit, everyone will say Vita is a failure.

Sigh, what went wrong with humanity.......

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Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 7:58:43 AM

I'll bet against. I bet there will be a lot of people who will call it a success no matter how it sells.

What's in the pot? ;)

Last edited by Beamboom on 12/18/2011 8:05:10 AM

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Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 5:08:11 PM

Hopefully that's the case, cause it wasn't with the PSP.

PSP is only losing to it's competitor, not failing in the market.
Totally different.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 8:37:08 AM

Im sure Vita will be a success. There will always be people who will have something negative to say about it just like those who want Nintendo and Microsoft gone.

I can't wait to see QD next game. Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain was fantastic experience.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 11:52:41 AM

Finished Rage this weekend. It had some brilliant moments. The corridor shooting moments made me remember the Doom days, where shooting was more about rhythm, timing and weapon selection and less about popping out of cover, so Karmack's style was definitely felt. And aside from that, it's clear Karmack and his crew love games, because I saw nods to everything including COD, Crysis 2, Fallout 3, Borderlands, Deadspace, MotorStorm, Resistance 2, Killzone 2, Gears, Ratchet and Clank, and Demon's Souls (the bandit's shanty town was obviously based on the shanty level) in the music, gameplay, level and character designs, and even through bring voice actors from all of these games.

It is a pity more effort was not put in the the story. I wasn't sure the ending was undeliberately neglected, or just a nod to the past in pc gaming (Doom, Quake, etc). But, what Id has to realize is that without story, their great games just feel like tech demos, and the bar for this has been raised even pc gaming long ago (HL and HL2). And it's not like that they don't realize this, as obviously a lot was spent on music and voice-acting.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 1:16:45 PM

To me, as it has for all platforms, it's about the games. And, though the Vita is a portable platform, the gaming to be experienced is more like console gaming than something one might've experienced on the gameboy or even the psp. Graphics, gameplay, production values and interface-wise.

I ultimately picked up a psp for the likes of Wipeout pure and pulse, Siphon Filter: Dark mirror, gow:chains of olympus, Locoroco, Tekken 5, etc, and I tell ya, the level of fun I had playing competitive online in Wipeout, or completing GOW along with all challenges while traveling abroad is no different from the fun I had on my ps3 and 360.

So I'm definitely onboard for playing Uncharted:Golden Abyss, and Wipeout 2048 on the go, or even from the comfort of my bed.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 2:37:49 PM

I'm totally with you Ben, I don't care about smart phones, and I think the Vita looks sweet, but I've never been a big hand held gamer. And I'm miffed that Sony has put all the PSP games that I have (which is very few) that I think are amazing (GOW games and MGS PW) on PS3. I could have just saved my money.

I'm not getting a Vita because of this reason because I think they'll just put the games on PS3 or PS4 in the future. I mean, I might if I start travelling a lot for film shoots or game design work as well but if not than there's nothing that makes me really want to get one.

The Uncharted game and the Super Star Dust game look excellent, but I would not be surprised if they all got put on a PS3 or PS4 in the future.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 8:57:38 PM

I'm excited for the Vita, and in particular Uncharted: Golden Abyss. I hope it sells well, but we'll just have to wait and see on that front (although it seems to have gotten pretty good support from the Japanese if what I've read about its launch over there is correct).

The Last of Us is definitely an important title. If Naughty Dog delivers on what they want to deliver with this game (and I'm pretty damn sure they will), we'll have a huge game-changer (excuse the pun) on our hands. It'll easily be a GotY contender next year (even if it won't win because ME3 is coming out and people are enamoured with Bioware because they're Bioware...but that's off-topic).

PGU: I fully platinumized Uncharted 3, so I'm finally gonna give that GotY a break and go after AC:R, then when I platinumize that I'll finish up Batman. Hopefully then I can finish Rage and LA Noire (yeah, I know, I'm way behind on those two) so that I can focus on the big releases for next year (ME3, Bioshock Infinite to name a few).

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