: Ben's Week In Review: June 3

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Ben's Week In Review: June 3

E3 this week. Nothing else needs to be said. :)

Hey, so...Tomb Raider looks pretty good

To be perfectly honest, I've never been a big fan of this franchise. When it was big, I was almost 100% role-playing and I really didn't care about action/adventure games. Consequently, I really didn't care much about the movies, despite Angelina Jolie. Now, I'm obviously a lot more diverse in regards to may gaming habits, and when I saw that new Tomb Raider trailer...impressed, I was. It really does have a major Uncharted vibe to it - and when it comes to developers taking cues from other elite designers, I have no issue; I don't call that "stealing" - and the stealth parts look sweet.

My only concern lies with the balancing of the gameplay. We see Lara with a bow and arrow, for instance, and that can be a tricky mechanic. Plus, we see her with her arms tied behind her back, which implies that Lara will be in quite a few compromising situations. Such situations have to be created with care, they require more tact and atmospheric style than when approaching a simple firefight. But provided Crystal Dynamics does it right, this one could be freakin' amazing.

Okay, so it isn't exactly "backwards compatibility"

When it was revealed that Sony might introduce a Gaikai-driven cloud service that would allow gamers to stream PS1 and PS2 titles to their PS3, many hesitated to call this "backwards compatibility." After all, this doesn't mean we can take games from our physical PS1/PS2 libraries and shove them into the PS3. It only means we can play older games after streaming them digitally. And that's a perfectly valid point. But these days, the lines are becoming blurred; "backwards compatibility" in the future won't have anything to do with physical media, right? So in theory, digitally speaking, if the PS3 can play old games, that makes it...well, compatible with old tech.

Maybe it's just the operational definition of the term that we need; the implication is obvious: That it involves our old physical software. So maybe the term just needs to go away, and then it would make more sense. Personally, I say you can keep all your cloud stuff (clouds are in the sky), and I'll just stick with my discs, thank you very much.

Personal gaming update

I had a blast with Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, even though I still say this series is much better with a friend. I also had a lot of fun with Resistance: Burning Skies. I'm hoping the score doesn't scare away fans of the franchise; that wasn't my intention, because the game really is a step in the right direction for portable shooters. No, it's not exactly what we all wanted (feels too generic, story isn't great, etc.), but it's definitely Resistance through and through, and I'd hope those who loved the console iterations would give Burning Skies a shot.

I do plan to deliver a Dragon's Dogma review this week (if I can manage it amidst E3 insanity), and Lollipop Chainsaw (which I'm so looking forward to) follows. Also, you may remember a recent article I did addressing a new book that goes after video games and online porn as reasons for the American male's failure to mature. Well, I thought it would be useful to contact the authors, so I will be posting up an interview with questions answered by psychologist Nikita Duncan (Dr. Philip Zimbardo is out of the country, so only Duncan participated).

It will be an interesting read. :)

6/2/2012 Ben Dutka

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (24 posts)

Saturday, June 02, 2012 @ 9:36:06 PM

Tomb Raider looks promising. I'm still hesitant in the game play department. I feel Crystal Dynamics is producing this title with a AAA budget and I'm kind of wondering if CD is AAA material from an ability stand point. We'll see, but I do want to be pleased. I've always liked the TR franchise and I'd like to see it solidify itself as a top tier franchise going forward. The kind that continues to draw in big funding and big visibility.

It's crazy that E3 is nearly here. I look forward to the big stories. I'm sure there'll be at least a handful.

Okay, Temjin, so why the heck does your avatar have some dude with a blank stupid stare?
My Jedi powers tell me someone is thinking this ;)
It's part of my final 3D project for school, a self model of my own head (and body) done in Max. It's crazy thinking this thing started only as a lone polygon. The blank stare is a neutral face position for the facial animations coming up next. Right now I'm rigging and skinning my dude for body animation. It's such fun stuff!

PGU: Just been playing random things in between the cracks. Motorstorm Arctic Edge, SSX, and Shinobi. All good fun.

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Saturday, June 02, 2012 @ 10:15:24 PM

I was curious about your avatar he looks simish. I would guess that the sims is not your type of game.

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Sunday, June 03, 2012 @ 5:03:07 AM


Hey man, are you getting Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown this week? If so, what console?

We should have some matches together.

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Sunday, June 03, 2012 @ 5:56:47 AM

of course they are!
the only thing thats been holding them back the past years has been budget restraints.
now there finally getting the support they need we can finally see them shine!

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Sunday, June 03, 2012 @ 9:28:11 AM

Yes, Kevin, I more than likely will get it this week, and I'll get it for PS3. But don;t you live where the toilets flush and swirl to the right? Hopefully our con isn't terrible. Go ahead and add me whenever you like =)

No name guy, I dunno, but when looking at TR Underworld I'm seeing a number of problems that wouldn't seem to me as very budget related. Anyhow, I hope for the best for TR. I just hope they don't totally bury classic TR style play. I think it ought to be largely exploration and puzzle solving based and not just dramatized action/survival.

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Sunday, June 03, 2012 @ 10:54:46 AM

dw there will be plenty of puzzles and platforming.
as they showed at E3 last year, that puzzle was actually quite clever.
the manager at my local EB has seen this and she assures me its even better than the trailers allude!
as i said before if this does not get at least 1 GOTY award next year ill eat my hat!
its looking that good!

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Saturday, June 02, 2012 @ 9:52:11 PM

Castlevania LOS2 trailer was pretty cool since it hints at the inclusion of a familiar character at the end....

Hm...not too happy about so many games being pushed to 2013 but there's still a pretty good line-up


Mass Effect 3 online - taking advantage of more free dlc. I also found myself at my friends house today playing battlefield 3. I can't wait till the school year's over.

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Saturday, June 02, 2012 @ 10:25:40 PM

Im looking forward to Tomb Raider very different from the past games. I like the fact their saying the game is open. I hope there are few surprises left for the big show. Gaikai sounds very interesting it certainly is another step towards to the digital world. As for E3 Id be happy with a GTA blowout. I don't expect to see much japanese developed games there but Id love to see Last Guardian and Versus XIII.

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Saturday, June 02, 2012 @ 10:27:10 PM

The highlight game for me thus far is Hitman Absolution, did anyone see the gameplay video of Chinatown? Looks amazing. There has also been a listing of a Hitman HD collection including Silent Assasins, Contracts & Blood Money. I am definitely getting that.

Looking forward to more E3 news, eager for news on TTT2 & DOA5.

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Saturday, June 02, 2012 @ 11:03:57 PM

Hitman looks freakin awesome...The cgi vid with the nuns looked cool too.

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Sunday, June 03, 2012 @ 4:56:26 AM

Yeah the CGI video was mind blowing i reckon. I wonder if that will be a mission of some kind in the full game with 47 having to try & sneak out of the motel room without being spotted by the killer nuns hunting him down. It could be tense if it was something like that.

Still can't believe the backlash the trailer is getting. I mean anyone who has played a Hitman game (especially Contracts) will realize that this sort of thing isn't new to the series. In Contracts they had leather clad gimps & S&M bondage women clubbing at a meat factory full of opium & in one mission in Blood Money you could parade around a small community block dressed as a clown & kill an old lady watering the garden with a pair of lawn scissors.

The game has always been dark & disturbing now when the media get a sniff of nuns (or just killers disguised as nuns) shite hits the fan, completely ignoring the fact that this is only an unplayable CG trailer & nothing more.


I think...

Last edited by Kevin555 on 6/3/2012 5:00:02 AM

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Sunday, June 03, 2012 @ 9:48:41 AM

I'm sorry but I found the whole nun thing rather disturbing - I know they're just feeding their target audience with sex and violence, but the mix of the two rubbed me the wrong way.

Then again I've never been a huge fan of the hitman series so if it's the tone of the series and the fans love it then I guess they can keep doing what their doing to keep the fans interested.

Last edited by Teddie9 on 6/3/2012 9:52:07 AM

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Sunday, June 03, 2012 @ 2:38:16 AM

pgu: i tried the demo for resistance burning skies and i had a lot of fun playing it. it was better then i expected. not sure if i will pick it up any time soon but its on my list of games to play at some point.

i also picked up darkness 2 for $12 new this week at best buy. i havent gotten very far with it yet but i will be getting back to it.

i picked up midnight club la complete edition also and have been messin around with that. has the very distinct rockstar feel to it.

all that talk about ffvii a few weeks ago got me playing it again. it has been a few years since i played it and playing it again i still love it. im just out of costa del sol or what ever it is called.

i really cant wait for monday night. im really excited for the e3 show. how many people from psx plan on being there?

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Sunday, June 03, 2012 @ 3:52:24 AM

Sorry Ben but your terms are seriously messed up here, you should be happy you are writing for a console gaming site and not a technology site. :D

Backward compatibility is already a clearly defined technical term that will forever be valid for as long as there are computers. It needs not go anywhere. It's a perfectly legit term that has nothing to do with physical media or cloud technology *at all*.

If you buy a new version of a word processor, and you can still open your old documents with this new version, then it is backwards compatible. If you can't, it's not.

Last edited by Beamboom on 6/3/2012 3:53:27 AM

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Lawless SXE
Sunday, June 03, 2012 @ 4:46:05 AM

Even using your descriptor of backwards compatibility implies opening the original file, yes? That's what makes it different from this Gaikai deal as that instead means that you stream the game from an external server/source. It is NOT opening the original file/running it off the original game disc and that is what offers the fundamental flaw in the wording.

It allows older games to be played, sure, but it isn't strictly backwards compatible.

Last edited by Lawless SXE on 6/3/2012 4:46:18 AM

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Sunday, June 03, 2012 @ 11:33:35 AM

Well, that was kinda the point I tried making, Lawless. :)
I just made a simple example of what backward compatibility is.

Last edited by Beamboom on 6/3/2012 11:42:31 AM

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Lawless SXE
Sunday, June 03, 2012 @ 1:42:39 PM

Oh... I thought you meant that the Gaikai deal IS B/C. Yeah, I get where you're coming from now :)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, June 03, 2012 @ 7:33:01 PM

No, that's the deification of electronics of which every single human appears to be guilty.

If we simply take the Webster's definitions of both words, nothing is anywhere near so cut and dry. I wasn't trying to be technical; I was trying to be literal...a fact missed by far too many these days. ;)

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Monday, June 04, 2012 @ 2:55:33 AM

No, no.

If you go down to a rental store, hire a PS2 and a game, drives back home, set up this hired machine right next to your PS3 and fire up the rented game on that rented PS2 and start playing, it doesn't make the PS3 right next to it any more compatible in playing PS2 games.

This Gaikai deal is exactly this, only via the internet instead of physically move the machine to your place.

What you do is, you rent time on *their* machines and rent *their* games to play on their machine, delivered to your screen via the internet and a computer in your house (in this case, your PS3).

Gaikais service is a way to circumvent the fact that there is NO backward compatibility in this picture. It's what their business model is built upon.

Last edited by Beamboom on 6/4/2012 3:17:33 AM

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Sunday, June 03, 2012 @ 6:01:04 AM

so cant wait till tomb raider comes out its looking freaking sweet!
a shinning beacon of reboots done right!
ill go out and say it now, if it does not get at least 1 GOTY award ill eat my hat its looking that good!

as for the BC, as others said before its not BC.
streaming games from a online service does not make your machine BC compatible!
i can stream movies i ripped off a bluray onto my 360, does that mean the 360 can play bluray movies?
its a streaming service nothing more!
IF $ony is doing it though i just hope they have a massive library for it, and are constantly adding heaps of titles to it!
the PSN job has been pretty pathetic, i mean theres like 20 games on there you can play and maybe 4 of them people would actually want to play!
i just hope this has a much higher compatibility and availability rate.
otherwise theres no point!

how can you say its resistance through and through when the 4 biggest main parts of resistance are not there?
the bosses ARE resistance, they have always been the best part of the series!
insomniac is not famous for amazing graphics, or amazing stories, or amazing locals, there famous for awesome weapons and amazing boss battles!
burning skies had THE WORST boss battles ever put into a game!
i mean you land on top of a boss and to kill it you have to wait till these balloon enemies pop into a elevator system till they expand enough to explode and kill the boss.
wow thats so creative and SO much fun!

not to mention the other 3 staples of the franchise, the enemy variety, really good AI, and care, and relate able characters and writing were all absent.
im sorry but burning skies is as much a resistance game as gears is!
just some joe blow killing aliens!

i was lucky enough to get a code for the dust 514 beta last night so ill be giving that a try tonight really excited to see what its like!
other than that i finally got my samsung galaxy S3 yesterday.
and sadly, it just highlights why apple is kicking the sh*t out of the competition!
the build quality on the S3 is fine, it does not feel poorly built or flimsy but it feels cheap.
look at the vita and iphone 4, all 3 are made out of plastic.
the 4 and vita feel and look premium, they look and feel like expensive high quality devices!
the S3, well, let you give me my very first impressions.
i opened the box, picked up the phone and the first words into my head were it feels like a dummy phone!
thats how cheap and plasticy it feels.
not exactly something you would want from a NINE hundred dollar phone!

so thats one end its sticking to the android stereotype, poor design.
the other is apps.
2 reasons why apple is kicking the sh*t out of the android market is 1 the above said design quality and feel, and second is apps.
every single time apple releases a new product THE DAY it comes out, not a week later, not a month later, THE DAY it comes out it has multiple games taking advantage of its extra hardware!
the S3 though, well, 99.99% of games dont even work on it let alone use its extra hardware!
come on samsung how can you release the worlds most powerful mobile device and not have N.O.V.A 3, the mobile benchmark available for it!?
its like apple releasing the iphone 5 and saying sorry folks you cant play infinity blade on it!

i really wish manufactures and google would stop with this stupidness!
fix up the design quality for the love of god!
a 900 dollar phone should feel and look like a 900 dollar phone!
not a 400 dollar phone!
than you need to fix the apps, come on how can you release the worlds most powerful mobile device and only have crappy kids games like uno available for it!?
android has SO much potential out there!
it has a much more user friendly open platform, and it really lets developers and customers do whatever they want!
its such a open platform, its just a shame the quality is not there to back it up.
no point telling a baby the world is your oyster, unless your going to send it to school!
without education you might as well lock him up in a locker!

Last edited by ___________ on 6/3/2012 6:17:42 AM

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Sunday, June 03, 2012 @ 10:43:12 AM

Yes, Tomb Raider is going to be something very special. This could be a game that could spawn an incredible movie as well.

Resistance Burning Skies was fun and the control was amazing. However it was the worst of the series. There were many design decisions that just failed for me as the game went on. The level, sound and trophy designs to name a few. It seemed to me either Nihilistic is a mediocre dev or they were rushed to complete because of the lack of Vita software available. Also, I played it for 8 hours and got the Platinum. There were so many trophies missing from this Resistance game.
Would have loved to see the following:
Collect all correspondence
Kill 5 Chimera with one grenade/hedgehog which I did.
Kill 2 Chimera with the Sixeye pass through
Kill 3 Chimera with the Sixeye alertnate fire
Kill 2 Chimera with the Auger tri shot
Upgrade all weapons 100%.
Absorb 5000 damage with the Auger shield

Those are just few examples. Seems like a lazy effort to me. It was a very easy game except for the Leviathan and that was because I was using the wrong weapon to fight it. I am glad I bought it but I am unsure if I will go through the game+ mode on Hard difficulty though.

Played through the Gravity Rush demo! Wow, that was insanely fun! I really took to the control instantly. I did the Gravity Kick before the demo brought it up. This game is going to be something very special. Going to play through it probably 10 more times.

Really looking forward to E3 and all the great Sony news. I hope there is a ton of Vita news. Tomorrow is going to be amazing!!!

Last edited by CrusaderForever on 6/3/2012 10:45:30 AM

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Sunday, June 03, 2012 @ 11:21:39 AM

This coming week must be the easiest week of the year for you, Ben. The articles basically write themselves.

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Sunday, June 03, 2012 @ 12:54:05 PM

Yeah but it's high stress and fast writing since you don't want to be 1 second behind the other sites in available information.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, June 03, 2012 @ 7:33:34 PM

The EASIEST week?


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