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