: Ben's Week In Review: April 1

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Ben's Week In Review: April 1

April is looking pretty bare in terms of reviews, and that's a good thing. Maybe I can finally play a few games I actually want to play. What a shock.

Dissension among the Call of Duty ranks

So they've got this "MW3 Blackout" planned for April 20, which I'm fairly certain will do absolutely nothing in terms of appealing to Activision and Infinity Ward (especially because a lot of gamers really don't seem to care in the slightest), but it's another indication of general unrest. Even some of the die-hard followers admitted the series is starting to show its age with that archaic engine, and I'm not sure the world will explode after the expected announcement of Black Ops 2. Now you've got a bunch of fans staging a little protest and - useless thought it may be - it's an example of irritation and annoyance we really haven't seen before.

So maybe the CoD craze will start to die down...note I said "maybe." I was also dead serious when I said the franchise needs hot chicks. It really is the only thing missing; add that, and it officially becomes the game equivalent of a brainless Hollywood blockbuster designed specifically to appeal to males between the ages of 18 and 35. I figure such an addition is inevitable, anyway.

We still reward great stuff

For the most part, junk doesn't sell well in this industry. It never has and hopefully, it never will. And when the critics really get behind something, it tends to do extremely well on the sales charts; take Journey, for instance. It's the fastest-selling PSN title ever, and that's not just because Thatgamecompany made it. It's not because everyone was lying in wait to pounce on the team's next effort after Flower. I mean, a few were doing that, of course, but with perfect scores and a ridiculously high average, it was bound to do well. Some can still complain about the length but really, if you're doing that, you just didn't understand this adventure at all.

It's a little sad that the developer is sort of breaking up; two major players at the studio have already left, and it'll be interesting to see the direction Jenova Chen goes with his next project. You always have to be ready for a multiplatform announcement, too; when projects are this good, they typically demand a bigger audience. Hey, it's why we PS3 owners finally got LIMBO, after all.

Personal gaming update

I've only been able to see a few more Paradox Endings in Final Fantasy XIII-2 (none of which are all that memorable), and I've been playing a little more of Assassin's Creed: Revelations and Hot Shots on the Vita. I also have Ridge Racer Unbounded to review so look for that early this week. I'm not sure I'll be able to get around to Armored Core V but I will if enough people want to see the review; right now, I'm trying to focus on other stuff. The next game I'm really excited about is Max Payne 3, which is (thankfully) a good six weeks off.

Also, stay tuned for more announcements and interviews.

3/31/2012 Ben Dutka

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Comments (15 posts)

SixSpeedKing
Saturday, March 31, 2012 @ 10:02:02 PM
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I will eventually be getting Journey just not at the moment as I'm very strapped for cash. Also I would like to see an Armoured Core V review as I have never played any of the previous games but they seem interesting and I would like a review from you, if possible :), because the way you guys do reviews here are, in my opinion, the best.

Anyway that's my two cents and hopefully you get some free time this month too.

Last edited by SixSpeedKing on 3/31/2012 10:03:18 PM

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Fane1024
Saturday, March 31, 2012 @ 10:58:02 PM
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Ben, I don't know how you manage to play (much less review) as many games as you do, on top of all the articles. It took me pretty much all month just to finish ME2 and I turboed through it much harder than I usually do (3+ hours *every* day).

Maybe you should tell John to stop dogging it and give you some help. ;P

Seriously, though, I hope you enjoy the well-earned freedom to play what you want.

PGU: As I said, I finished ME2 Thursday night and fortunately got the No One Left Behind trophy on my first attempt, so I just need to replay one bit to get the Paramour trophy (my FemShep is involved with Liara) and maybe tweak a few bits in the endgame in preparation for import to ME3.

My only complaint is that the game doesn't run as smoothly as I would like: frame rate problems, screen tearing, and the audio glitch that cut off the ends of sentences all diminished the impact of the excellent writing, direction, and acting. There were even framerate hitches during the credits.

Still...GOTY in my opinion.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, April 01, 2012 @ 12:44:07 AM

Well, bear in mind I can't finish every game I review.

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Underdog15
Monday, April 02, 2012 @ 9:39:03 AM

And since a game's score should never be heavily affected (although I can understand a couple small points) by such a small aspect of a game like an ending, it's hard to blame you.

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Metal Head
Sunday, April 01, 2012 @ 12:00:10 AM
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PGU, still playing Fatal Frame 2 at night before going to bed. I decided to give my bro the Vita, so I'm buying a second Vita. My girl is visiting her parents in Germany, so I will have more time to game :).

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TheAgingHipster
Sunday, April 01, 2012 @ 12:02:46 AM
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I for one would love to see an Armored Core V review. I've been contemplating that one for a while now, but I'm afraid the emphasis on multiplayer might diminish the experience as a whole. I'd really like to hear your take on it.

PGU: My wife has monopolized the PS3 ever since the release of Kingdoms of Amalur, so my time has been spent with my Vita. I'm a couple of rubbings and one annoying parrot away from getting my plat for Golden Abyss. Unit 13 has proven to be a nice title for quick shooter satisfaction, and I'm surprisingly addicted to Lumines. But, now that KoA has finally been completed, I'm looking at dusting off the 360 and starting up on Lost Odyssey. And, of course, if the DMC HD Collection and ACV get good reviews from Ben, those will be immediately added to the queue!

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Temjin001
Sunday, April 01, 2012 @ 1:33:59 PM

I'm somewhat intrigued by AC5 as well. PSN this month has a free edition of Qore that spotlighted the game. I liked what I saw. Reviews appear to be generally positive, given that fantasy-mech simulators are your thing.

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___________
Sunday, April 01, 2012 @ 3:16:35 AM
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oh hogs wash!!!!!
crap sells plenty well!
resident evil opperation racoon city and NG3 for instance, 2 of the worst games ive played in a long, long time and both are selling extremely well!
im sorry but the days where poor games sold poorly are sadly gone.
its now all about what name you can slap onto it and what studio you can get to degrade themselves.
its almost become as bad as hollywood!

im really starting to get bored now.
kinda good timing because i got 2 assignments and my end of term tests on this month, but where are all the games?
march is always chock full of big releases, but this year all we got was ME3 which ended up bombing big time!
its really disappointing by this time every year we normally have a handful of GOTY contenders already!
this year not even close!
oh well, 6 weeks till diablo 3 and max payne 3 come out.
i hope prototype 2 turns out half decent so it can fill in a little of that gap!

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inkme101
Sunday, April 01, 2012 @ 5:05:00 AM
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when are we gonna get that full vita write up ben?

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Beamboom
Sunday, April 01, 2012 @ 6:03:04 AM
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PGU: MASS EFFECT 3

So I've finally gotten the chance to spend two serious, multiple hour long sessions in ME3, and the intense love I developed during ME2 is being completely revived as I now continue my investigations into the Reapers, the Cerberus and all in between.

It's just so well made. And above all, so well written and performed.
The way they've managed to make each mission feel like an individual adventure, yet at the same time have them fit perfectly into the larger scheme of things, is an example for many games writers and designers to follow. The amount of time and work it must take to get things to work as well as it does here...!

Now, I loved Amalur and look forward to return to those kingdoms once the ME adventure is over for this time, but I gotta say: They really, really got a thing or two to learn from BioWare regarding characters, species and dialogues. Same goes to Bethesda. They too could learn a thing or two from how BioWare does things in their RPGs.

Dear BioWare, I love you. This is true love. I shall forever worship the ground you walk on, and forever buy your games. THIS is why I am a gamer. May your reign last forever.


Last edited by Beamboom on 4/1/2012 6:56:23 AM

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bigrailer19
Sunday, April 01, 2012 @ 2:57:00 PM

I too am enjoying ME3. But there's a lot that needs work, a lot. You expanded on how Bethesda could take pointers from Bioware but I think it could work both ways. Yes Bioware takes a lot of time developing back stories for characters and races and the story and so on. But Bethesda creates things at a much larger scale, MUCH larger!

I'll use the side quests in Bethesda games as an example. You said "The way they've managed to make each mission feel like an individual adventure, yet at the same time have them fit perfectly into the larger scheme of things, is an example for many games writers and designers to follow". Yea they did a great job on the main quest but the side quests in ME3 almost feel as if they dont even need to be there and honestly they just take up space in the journal. That's actually annoying. But the side quests in Both Oblivion and even Skyrim for example are massive and though they don't always relate to the main quest are very well thought out and methodical. Some side quests could expand to more stories.

Without making this too long my intent isn't to compare the games to eachother as they are very very different in so many ways. But express that every developer can learn a thing or two from eachother.

I have to admit though Bioware tells a good story and it also is very methodical. They tie things in nicely which tells me one f two things. They have worked on this trilogy (the story) and knew where they were going from the start. Or they really thought this out as things progressed, there are no contradictions at all. That's a great accomplishment.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 4/1/2012 2:58:49 PM

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Beamboom
Monday, April 02, 2012 @ 1:09:15 AM

I actually agree with all you say there Big. Bethesda makes things much MUCH larger and that makes things different. And I would not want it any other way either. The world would be a lesser place without the Fallouts.

What I think Bethesda could have done better is to flesh out more of the background and the reason for WHY the different encounters are as they are. Like in Fallout; There are plenty different enemies with their own special abilities and properties, we just hardly know WHY they are like that. Take the Lakelurks. Why are they white? Why do they look humanoid? What do they DO exactly? Why are they there? That's the kind of questions we would have gotten answered had it been BioWare who made the games.

Regarding the side quests in ME I agree with you too. I hardly see them as quests even, just small pieces of candy, sweet excuses for me to return to the Citadel and stroll around once more. If you catch my drift. I would have missed them had they been gone, still they could have been "more" than what they are.
In the Bethesda rpgs the side quests ARE the game, it's what makes your experience. The BioWare are much, much more focused on one story, one arc. I dig both.

One thing I don't like about the BioWare games is how their worlds are all just snippets of something bigger. Like the Citadel, why can't we have one giant city instead of just the parts connected by the elevator? And why can't we see ALL floors in that elevator, not just the floors we got something going on? This is a tad too nanny care for me. I want to get lost, damnit.

BioWare and Bethesda can't really be compared, you are right. And we most definitely need them both. But there is something about how BioWare creates the atmosphere and the characters that I just find so insanely compelling. And it's not just cause it's sci-fi either, I am equally impressed by the characters in the Dragon Age games.

BioWare just hit a nerve in me like no other dev out there!

Last edited by Beamboom on 4/2/2012 1:32:52 AM

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Shams
Sunday, April 01, 2012 @ 11:04:16 AM
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This weekend I finished Mass Effect 3 and am on the final chapters of Uncharted:Golden Abyss. I'll be playing NG3, next.

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Temjin001
Sunday, April 01, 2012 @ 3:06:14 PM
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It's been NG3 all week for me. With extra helpings too because last week was Spring break. Though, Monday Im hitting it hard again with school.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 4/1/2012 3:06:57 PM

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JLB1
Sunday, April 01, 2012 @ 4:00:37 PM
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PGU: Dark Souls is coming in tomorrow. Excitement level is at about a 8. Probability of me breaking my remote? That's a definite 10.

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