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