Ben's Week In Review: December 2
If I haven't said it before, Happy Holidays to everyone! 'Tis the season...and I love this time of year, don't you? :)
I don't know what to say, Kojima...I just don't know what to say
At first, my reaction to Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima saying he wanted to stretch his wings (which we've heard him say before) was the same as everyone else's: "Hell yes, go for it!" And I certainly believe he has earned the right to try just about anything; Konami should be willing to publish any title that comes from Kojima Productions, whether it be another MGS installment or a brand new IP. Kojima is also a bona fide visionary of the industry and a legitimate legend. That all being said, what he says about not having shown the world what he can really do might be true; after all, besides Zone of the Enders, what has he done outside of MGS?
And in some ways, that worries me a little. I know it's sacrilegious to say but grand masters in any art form can't do everything; they all have their own styles and strengths. So it'd be irrational to assume that Kojima can make any game in any genre and it'll turn out to be top-tier AAA quality. And to be honest, I would want him to try something drastically different...even though the end result could be iffy. There's only one thing I fear- A black mark on Kojima's career, which is what a failed new IP would be. I mean, that would just suck. I really don't want to see that.
Agni's Philosophy took a year, huh?
It's not that I wasn't impressed by that awesome tech demo. I think just about everyone was, at least to some extent. And I also don't believe the production of this demo actually took away from development on any upcoming game, like Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII or Final Fantasy Versus XIII. There's just one thing that bothers me- Several game designers, including David Cage and Keiji Inafune have stated that we're focusing too heavily on technological achievement these days, and we need to turn our attention to emotional drama and real character/plot substance. Now, what I get from a tech demo is nothing but a high-tech vibe. I understand what could be done with it from a story/character perspective but I'm not actually seeing it yet.
In short, I'm just worried that Square Enix is going to keep going down this "more flash, less substance" path. If you take a full year to create a series of pretty pictures, you seem to have technology as a top priority. And while there's no doubt that the Final Fantasy franchise has often excelled in the realm of technological accomplishment, that is not the problem Square Enix has right now. But then again, look what company I'm talking about? The corporate equivalent of a gigantic identity crisis.
Personal gaming update
Woo-hoo! Finally got a chance to get back to Assassin's Creed III, which is just plain amazing. I also want to finish Hitman: Absolution at some point; it's a really solid game and lots of fun to play. Then there's Okami HD, which reminded me of a PS2 classic's greatness. I have to take one more break from ACIII to deal with Far Cry 3 - review coming ASAP - but after that, I might be able to actually play what I want for more than an hour at a time. You just don't get anywhere doing that.
I hope people enjoyed that Wendy Braun interview; it's always nice to talk to a cheerful, dedicated individual who loves what she does and enjoys trying new things within her craft. There are too many freakin' whiners these days. Too much bitching and moaning and complaining. I prefer to hear from successful, driven, charismatic individuals, thank you very much.
12/2/2012 Ben Dutka