Ben's Week In Review: December 23
I just can't believe Christmas is two days away. That really doesn't seem possible. :)
Elizabeth better be the best damn AI partner ever
Here's the thing- I loathe babysitting. I despise having to worry about an AI partner. I hate having to spend half my time protecting a mediocre partner. The first two Bioshock titles represented a couple of my favorite gaming experiences of the generation, and next year's Bioshock Infinite is my third most anticipated game of 2013 (only behind The Last Of Us and Grand Theft Auto V). When I heard Irrational's new potential masterpiece was including an AI ally, I was pissed. I mean, I have every confidence in those guys, but there are just so many ways an AI buddy can screw you over and tick you off. But then, I read what Ken Levine said about making elite AI and now I feel better. I'm not entirely appeased by any stretch but I do have faith in Levine and Co.
We've had so few examples of truly excellent AI partners that I'm leery of the entire premise. However, done properly, a character like Elizabeth could add a huge amount of depth and personality to the story (which should be very special, by the way). I still believe Bioshock Infinite will be amazing and I might actually like having Elizabeth around, but she better be fantastic. In other words, she should be just as polished as the rest of that production. Which, by the way, is guaranteed to be top-notch.
Final Fantasy Versus XIII further proves its vaporware status
For a long time, Duke Nukem Forever defined the term "vaporware." Then it came out and blew stinky chunks. Now we have a new epitome of the comical term, and it's Final Fantasy Versus XIII. The latest news is that Square Enix might be changing the title...? I'm sorry, but that's hilarious. All that tells me is they have no clue what they want to do with the project. You can't get this far into development and change the name, unless the project in question has become something completely different, something foreign even to the designers who started it. If the title is "tentative," they're still way out in left field, contemplating stuff that shouldn't be contemplated at this juncture. Then again, maybe previous rumors that Versus XIII had become Final Fantasy XV are true...
Well, whatever. I'm too despondent to talk much about Final Fantasy right now, especially after seeing that depressing Lightning Returns trailer. Maybe it'll be a cool action game, I don't know. I just know it isn't Final Fantasy. And as I'm fairly certain that Versus XIII won't ever show up - and if it does, it too will be unrecognizable to RPG fans - I remain bitterly indifferent. Okay, mostly bitter. So what?
Personal gaming update
Haven't had much time to play much, what with the holidays, work, and the new girlfriend. And no, she's not a gamer, although she has had quite a bit of fun playing some old SNES games and Katamari Forever and Hots Shots Golf: Out of Bounds on the PS3. :) But her not playing doesn't bother me one way or the other. So I'm still working on Assassin's Creed III and Far Cry 3, and I'm looking forward to Halo 4 (which I should be getting as a Christmas gift). And I have to remember that January brings Anarchy Reigns, DMC, and Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, so that's hardly a dead month. Hell, the entire first quarter is pretty freakin' busy.
By the way, if anybody is wondering why I haven't issued an editorial addressing the politicians attacking video games for the Newton tragedy, the reason is as follows-
I don't see the point. Such an issue goes far deeper than games, guns, or even mental disorders. As is always the case with such earth-shattering situations, the causes are deep and complex and there's no solving them by pointing fingers at any one thing. And that includes pointing fingers at those who are pointing fingers. Seriously, why? It won't bring back those children and teachers, and it certainly won't make those affected feel any better. Let the victims rest in peace and hope the future brings better days. That's all I'm going to say about it.
12/22/2012 Ben Dutka