Ben's Week In Review: January 22
Spent two hours shoveling today. My new driveway is deceptively large.
We probably should've expected it
We all knew Capcom would announce Resident Evil 6 eventually, and I suppose we should've anticipated the shift to a more action-oriented formula. I had hoped they'd get that out of their system with Operation Raccoon City but the trend of Japanese developers trying to emulate Western game makers continues. You know, I understand the reasoning; there's a wee bit of desperation behind it as Japanese designers seem to be falling further and further behind with every passing year. And in any industry, those who are behind look to the leaders and attempt to make some changes based on consumer preference.
But I never thought I'd see the day when Japanese creators voluntarily sought to lose their identity. I know they think all gamers only went Western style settings and themes, but there are millions of gamers who grew up in generations where most titles available came from Japan. And given Japan's fiercely proud culture, one wouldn't expect them to cave so quickly. Call of Duty? How's about sticking to what you've always done well, and see if that works? Do that before changing.
Kingdoms of Amalur might surprise the hell out of RPG fans
Although they've been working on promotion, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning continues to fly under the radar. But based on early feedback from those who played the demo (I'll get my impressions done early this week) and other information, this one seems uber-promising. Having been supremely impressed with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (when I didn't expect to be), I have to say I'm looking forward to Reckoning. That new batch of info really struck me and yes, if you're wondering, I want this game more than I want Final Fantasy XIII-2. Never thought I'd say that (WRPG vs. JRPG always used to be a no-brainer) but...well, there it is.
As a side note, I wonder how much influence Curt Schilling had in the creation of Reckoning. I know he's a pretty hardcore gamer and he helped found the studio, but I'd love to know how much input he had, from the drawing board to the execution of ideas.
Personal gaming update
So I finally beat Gears of War 3, which was great. It had a better story than either of the last two, IMO, just because it felt a little more personal, what with Marcus going after his father and all. The end was pretty satisfying, too. I don't think there was anything particularly innovative or progressive about it - felt a bit too much like Gears 2 - but that's okay. I'm not a big fan of messing with winning formulas these days. I had also expected to be playing through AMY but...well, I make a point of not playing horrible disappointments. I.e., no time for junk.
I'm looking forward to all the games that are coming. Kingdoms of Amalur is only one; I also can't wait to try Twisted Metal (gone gold, baby!), Syndicate, SSX, and Max Payne 3. Yes, I know it got delayed but that only makes me want it all the more. :)
1/21/2012 Ben Dutka