Ben's Week In Review: October 14
We're entering the fall blitz...everybody ready? How about those wallets? Nice and hefty for all the games you want? Or is the holiday wish list full instead?
A portable Final Fantasy may be our last hope
I'm currently ignoring the abomination that is Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, so when I heard that Crisis Core and Type-0 director Hajime Tabata might want to work with the Vita, I caught a glimmer of hope. Sadly, big-budget new installments in the series are clearly only going to disappoint the long-time faithful no end, but the smaller on-the-go productions might have some semblance of past glory, right? I mean, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII for the PSP wasn't exactly what I wanted, but it's a hell of a lot closer than Lightning Returns. And if Tabata makes something along those lines, that could be really great. We have to remember that old-school and traditional RPG fans have routinely had to turn to the portable or downloadable market to get their fix this generation, so...it makes a lot of sense.
Heck, make it downloadable if you want. I've always said I hate the idea of playing a Final Fantasy on a silly little handheld screen, but I had tremendous faith in the franchise back in those days. In truth, I thought I'd always have it. Now, I just want to see something halfway decent and if it has to be on a handheld device, fine. The Vita can do some pretty sick things, anyway. And by the way, if Sony really wants to push Vita sales, a classic-looking FF title could really help. Like, a lot.
I think you're missing the point, Treyarch
I do agree with what the developer said concerning that six-year-old Call of Duty engine. It's certainly true that the anti-CoD crowd has blown this way out of proportion, and it's completely inaccurate to say the engine driving Black Ops II is anything like the one from yesteryear. As Treyarch says, a whole lot of upgrades and positive alterations have been made. But you know, that isn't the point. Left to their own devices, most game makers want to produce the very best video game possible and ideally, that would involve brand new engines every so often. Certainly more often than six or seven years. The question, Treyarch, is this- If Activision didn't essentially demand that you complete a Call of Duty for release every other year, would you have gone this long without trying to create a new engine for the franchise? How about you, Infinity Ward?
I think the bottom line is that when you "annualize" a series, even if you've got two studios to trade off on a bi-annual basis, you're ultimately being restrictive to the creative process. That's the reason we don't have a new engine. So just admit that much, at least. Yes, you've managed to extract an astonishing amount from the original CoD engine. Yes, people have whined too much about it. But are you really going to sit there, as developers, and tell me that you wouldn't have wanted a new CoD engine by now? I mean...come on.
Personal gaming update
As a lot of you have already figured out, Dishonored pretty much rules. If I had more time, it's something I'd definitely went to go through again. There's just so much to like and given the freedom to approach so many missions in so many different ways, you just can't stop thinking and planning. I love that part about it; just so awesome. As for what's coming up, you can expect a Joe Danger 2: The Movie review on Monday night. I've been playing it off and on for about a week and although I'm not as impressed as I was with the original, it's still a great game. Just a little frustrating. Okay, a lot frustrating. I'll save the rest for the review.
Am I missing something big that's coming out this week? I feel like I am. Well, if it shows up at my door, I'll know. Beyond that, expect more reviews and previews, as well as another interview or two. Hope y'all liked the Pamela Horton chat; she seems to know what she's talking about, although I've just never been able to get into MMOs. Nice to see her picks for her favorite games of all time, though. ;)
10/13/2012 Ben Dutka