Ben's Week In Review: January 29
February is a very busy month, people. Get ready for plenty of high-profile games!
Kojima did the right thing
In recent weeks, we've learned more about the Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance project, and the most recent tidbit of information involved Hideo Kojima canceling the project. It was shelved for a while, which is why we didn't hear anything about it. Kojima clearly didn't think it was on the right track but when the time came to make a decision, he opted to give it to Platinum Games. They have a proven track record in the action department and Kojima said his team was basically working outside its comfort zone and things weren't going very smoothly.
Most Japanese developers desperately try to cater to Western tastes by stepping outside that comfort zone and forcing themselves into an unfamiliar mold. But Kojima didn't do that because he knew the end result wouldn't be worthy of his name. Why can't more Japanese designers be like this? Why can't they all recognize what they excel at, and attempt to continue to excel at it, rather than changing their entire approach? And remember, Kojima Productions handled the character creation and story for Revengeance, so it could be a fantastic blend...
I hope people don't ignore Quantum Conundrum
It seems gamers are often too quick to dismiss downloadable games these days. But I really hope Quantum Conundrum gets the attention it may richly deserve; ex-Portal designer Kim Swift is heading up the project, and she walked us through eight minutes of engaging gameplay. I loved Portal 2 and this looks awfully similar, only it has that added twist of different dimensions. I think it's interesting that the puzzle genre has sort of fallen off this generation, but at the same time, the Portal titles have done exceedingly well. Therefore, I'd like to think Quantum Conundrum has a good chance at being successful, too.
Puzzlers really have to be extremely well done to catch my attention these days, and Portal 2 was ingenious. I'm seeing a lot of that same creativity and inspired imagination in Airtight's new project. Can't wait to try it.
Personal gaming update
Right now, it's all about Final Fantasy XIII-2. I expect to have the review up later Monday night; I still have to play more before I feel comfortable writing the full analysis. For an early taste, feel free to check out the highlights summary, which took me some time to put together. It's actually a little surprising when you consider all the upgrades to FFXIII's gameplay and design setup. No, I still don't see it as true role-playing for a variety of reasons, and the storyline won't be a strong point, but there's a lot of good here. Bear in mind that I was one of FFXIII-2's biggest detractors...and I am having fun.
But as good as it might be, please God don't do Final Fantasy XIII-3. Not unless it's a total and complete overhaul to make it an actual RPG, which I doubt will happen. Just pump out Versus XIII, try to forget what happened with the online FFXIV and get going on FFXV. Maybe they'll get it completely right then.
I also expect to see Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Syndicate, and a few others in the coming week(s). Oh, and Twisted Metal, of course. :)
1/28/2012 Ben Dutka