: Ben's Week In Review: December 30

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Ben's Week In Review: December 30

It's the last Week in Review for another year. My, how time flies.

Square Enix is obsessed with Lightning? ...but why?

It's one of the more interesting quotes I've heard from the Square Enix head honchos concerning Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. It kind of explains why the game isn't being called "Final Fantasy XIII-3" and it also explains their persistence in shoving this character done our throats. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't really have a problem with Lightning. I thought she was a mostly one-dimensional character for the first half of FFXIII, but she really opened up in the second half and became somewhat interesting. She was sort of a non-entity (just this remote goddess) in FFXIII-2, but I dug her style. Now her style has shifted a bit, and she has basically her own game where she fights solo the whole time. And it isn't a spinoff; it's an official installment in the franchise.

So why? What is it about Lightning that has everyone at Square Enix falling all over themselves trying to promote her awesomeness? I guess I'm just missing it. She's pretty and all, and I think she can have a strong, compelling personality, but for the most part, the writing just isn't there. I mean, it's okay but it seems clear to me that Square Enix should maybe hire some professional storytellers who can actually write dialogue. I guess I'm just confused as to why this particular character has become S-E's princess this generation. I'm not quite getting the appeal.

Boy, the PS2 had one hell of a run, didn't it?

Think about it: They're only just now stopping shipments in Japan. The system launched in March of 2000 (October 26, 2000 in the US, if you're wondering), which means that the console has enjoyed consistent shipments to Japanese retailers for well over 12 years. I can't think of another machine that has had the same long-term success, can you? People can whine about the PS3 not matching the PS2 in terms of sales but in the first place, this generation is far from over and the PS3 has a lot of life left. In the second place, there was little to no chance the PS3 would surpass its predecessor. The PS2 enjoyed the perfect storm. It really did. It beat both Microsoft and Nintendo to market by a year, and this was after over five years of the original PlayStation taking the gaming world by storm.

The PS2 didn't do as hot as predicted its opening year, but it was basically full-on domination from then on. Neither the Xbox nor the GameCube had any hope of catching it and all told, the PS2 went on to sell over 150 million units worldwide. That's just insane. And by the way, The Wii won't break that number. It won't even come close; it's barely at 100 million now and the Wii U is already out. No, we may never see another console as dominant as the PS2 again, and we shouldn't expect to, either.

Personal gaming update

I got some games for Christmas, including Halo 4, so I can't wait to get started on that. I still want to finish a few other titles in my backlog, including Hitman: Absolution and Far Cry 3. Beyond that, I'm very much looking forward to January, which includes DMC and Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. Both are very high on my priority list, so it'll be interesting to see if they can live up to my lofty expectations. By the way, the latest gameplay offerings for DMC have been awfully impressive in my eyes. I'm not sure why the game isn't getting a bit more attention; after all, it launches in only a few weeks time. This is Devil May Cry we're talking about!

I will be putting together PSXE's Game of the Year Awards around New Year's, so look for those. I'm sure you're all wondering what titles will take home the biggest prizes but in truth, I haven't decided on all of them yet. I'm still going back on forth on the biggest award...I'm just so freakin' torn...

12/29/2012 Ben Dutka

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Comments (35 posts)

Dukemz_UK
Saturday, December 29, 2012 @ 10:47:25 PM
Reply

PS2 is the King of the Consoles, by a large margin. It's the console that rekindled my love for gaming after a long absence, and I've never looked back since.

PGU: Still going through my huge backlog, including Uncharted Golden Abyss, Gravity Rush, Unit 13. Also replayed Journey while connected online, enjoying the interaction with other helpful players. Next on the list is the Unfinished Swan.

Happy new year for Tuesday everyone!

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frostface
Saturday, December 29, 2012 @ 11:05:16 PM

Happy New Year to you too mate.

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matt99
Saturday, December 29, 2012 @ 10:55:22 PM
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I'm guessing one of the games you're torn between is Journey. Has anyone played both the full game and the demo for Journey? Because I played the demo and hated it, but judging by all the critical acclaim I'm guessing it's the type of game that requires you to play the whole thing to really experience what it's all about. If this is the case then I'll probably get Journey tomorrow since it's on sale.

So having not really experienced Journey, my GoTY goes to Dishonored. It just felt like such a fresh new experience, and definitely the most enjoyable game I've played all year.

PGU: Ripping through the Mass Effect Trilogy, I didn't understand the hype before but now I certainly do.

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frostface
Saturday, December 29, 2012 @ 11:11:00 PM

Yeah you really do need to play through the whole game to really get it. The demo gives you the basic mechanics but you really have to play from start to finish, travel with some random companions and experience the emotional roller coaster the game brings you on. It can't be compared to other games, it stands out on it's own.

I've Journeyed three or four times now and each time I've experienced it differently yet it's a game that isn't full of choices or hidden paths etc... But it just does something that makes it a must play game and I think you'll thank yourself for taking the chance on it.

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SirLoin of Beef
Saturday, December 29, 2012 @ 10:59:55 PM
Reply

I agree Ben, I don't think we'll see another console have such a dominant run as the PS2 had. I had a lot of fun with the PS2 back in the day but I still lament the way Sega handled the Dreamcast. That was one fun machine!

As far as my personal gaming update goes, I just got my Vita today and started messing around with Uncharted. So far, I think the pathway painting (or whatever the heck it's called) is the neatest way the game uses to Vita's capabilities. I need to get a bigger memory card but the 4GB that came with it will suffice for now. That is one heck of a portable unit!

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frostface
Saturday, December 29, 2012 @ 11:13:00 PM

Congratulations on the new Vita. You're gonna have so much fun. One of the best purchases I've ever made. Enjoy it mate.

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PoopsMcGee
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 1:34:57 AM

Agree with you guys wholeheartedly. Play Gravity Rush next, it's my favorite game of this year. And now it's free with Plus!

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Killa Tequilla
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 2:47:10 AM

Everyone without a PSVita hates it (wth?) but as soon as you buy one you love it instantly!

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Lawless SXE
Saturday, December 29, 2012 @ 11:42:39 PM
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Personal Update:
Been slow going on the reading/writing front. Just preoccupied with other things, I guess, though what those other things are I don't know. I swear, there's been about 14 hours in each day lately, rather than the usual 24.
Finished Deus Ex: Human Revolution earlier. I wound up enjoying it a lot more than the first like... six hours had me thinking I would but I'm not in any hurry to play over it again. Towards the end, it seemed to just become impossible to stealth your way through and I really didn't like that. Anyway, I'm torn between starting Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 and Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom. Not sure whether I want something frustratingly hectic or seemingly chilled out. Really tempted by the latter though. I'm kinda sick of fighting people and want to explore a bit.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 12:20:46 AM
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PS2 was amazing.

Square Enix is on their own planet.

GoTY belongs to Borderlands 2. Hopefully that makes your decision easier Ben! Kidding. But seriously it should.

PGU: Borderlands 2 and doesnt appear anything else will get any play time, anytime soon either. Even with my huge back log. Just hoping I can make time for DS3 when it arrives. The game isnt just addicting but the replay value is huge. Starting my 2nd playthrough tonight.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 12/30/2012 12:21:26 AM

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Knightzane
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 12:31:16 AM
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PS2, lord of crusaders, god among kings, and master of chiefs (haha see what i did there?) To this day, i still have not beaten every game that released for the ps2. I missed out on so many horror games because of FF, KH, and star wars battlefront 2. DBZ BT3 as well. Plus the cube had metroid primes. Love samus.

PGU: Got my gf the journey GOTY edition disk thing. It came with flower and those other ones. So since shes been occupied i've doven head first into fallout new vegas. When im not playing NV im playing hitman. Hitman is just so freaking awesome. But fallout just has me addicted. The same way oblivion had me hooked. Theres so much to do, see, and collect.

SE has lost me. The girl from FFvs13, Stella, is gorgeous. She deserves so much more screen time than lightning. I am really interested in the sad love story between her and noctis. I really am but nope. They want to give lightning all the love.

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Snaaaake
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 2:33:04 AM
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In my opinion, I still think that SE will not give up on squizzing everything out of Lightning yet, she's awesome and hot, but milking a character can only go so far.
And finally, I started playing FFXII and KHII again, and I still don't know how they can go from making such titles to games like FFXIII or Lightning Returns.
Back in the PS2 days, everything from SE is always gigantic yet now......

And so along with those I also continued my Disgaea 4, defeated Zetta and stole everything off him, now leveling the rare Yoshitsuna I stole from him and I can't wait to clear all the floor and use this powerful sword.

And still scratching my feet to get more X-Dimension ticket and also looking for the Mewkin Pirates.

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Killa Tequilla
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 2:44:47 AM
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Ben, when you finish Far Cry 3 can you tell me what you did at the end? You'll understand when you get there. Just so I don't miss your post, put it on a Week In Review?

PGU: I've been playing RAGE again, for some reason I don't think it looks as good as I thought when it first came out and I played it. It feels like it hasn't aged too bad, but hasn't aged well... Anyway, playing through the DLC on the hardest difficulty and it's pretty fun playing RAGE again.

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Beamboom
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 7:20:36 AM
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PGU:

Faster Than Light (FTL): A great discovery! An amazingly fun game that, as far as I understand, is made by only one guy. One guy! Imagine that, in 2012.
This is such an excellent example of how alive'n'kicking the indie scene is these days, and it's also made me realize that we really miss out on stuff if we only do our gaming on consoles.

FTL is a "spaceship simulation roguelike-like" that lets you take your ship and crew on an adventure through a randomly generated galaxy filled with glory and bitter defeat.
You manage your resources, command your crew, trade at trade stations, hire crewmen, build your ship, discover quests and go where no man has gone before.

And when you are dead, it's game over. Start a new game is the only option, but the world is randomly created by the game so it's a new universe to explore each time. Great stuff.

One can only dream of how awesome it would have been if one of the big studios dared make something like this with the level of production quality they are able to inject into a project.


Last edited by Beamboom on 12/30/2012 7:40:12 AM

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Clamedeus
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 10:34:54 AM

I'll have to check that out, my friend has that game and he loves it.

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Beamboom
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 12:00:27 PM

In my opinion FTL is the undeniable, absolute *proof*:
Gameplay > graphics.

There's simply no reason whatsoever to browse screenshots from that game. It's essentially just an interior overview of a space craft, with a static background behind it.
Gameplay is absolutely all this game has to offer. No effects, no advanced CGI, no actors, no eyecandy. Just gameplay. Period. That's it!

But that made it win a GOTY for Best PC Strategy Game at IGN this year, against the likes of XCOM and Civilization 5.


Last edited by Beamboom on 12/30/2012 12:01:05 PM

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Solid Fantasy
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 8:05:49 AM
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I really enjoyed that short clip of Deus Ex!

PGU: The PS3 died again. ylod. Not sure what to do. I have plenty of options and won't be home till late March so I'll have plenty of time to think it over. Might get it repaired again and hope it makes it to the next gen. I simply need a PS3 b/c there are too many good games coming out in 2013! Not to mention the fact that Twisted Metal's online was just finally starting to connect.
In the mean time I've got gravity rush, FFVII, and ASCIII:L on the vita and some RAGE DLC and Xcom for the PC.

Can't wait to see PSX's goty awards!

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sawao_yamanaka
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 10:58:12 AM

Did you have a slim or an old fatty?

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Solid Fantasy
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 11:56:36 AM

80gb fatty with b/c. I don't know the exact model #. It was the one of the MGS4 bundle deals.

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sawao_yamanaka
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 1:22:45 PM

Oh those. Those are prone to break, I used to have one of those. I sent it in for repairs to Sony and they sent me a slim. Those fixes are temporary, I knew of a website that they had a semi-permanent fix for it. Can't think of it at the top of my head. Gonna have to google it and post it when I find it. Is your ps3 still under warranty by any chance?

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Beamboom
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 8:26:16 AM
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This just in:
Dishonored won GOTY 2012 at the main gaming magazine in Norway!

/me do the happy dance

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Xzer0
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 10:51:56 AM
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IGN picked up Journey the GOTY 2012!!! I´m so happy!!!

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Snaaaake
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 12:16:17 PM

I think Gamespot also gave it GOTY.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 1:42:47 PM
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Playing Rage. It's kinda cool, there's some real quality in there aside from all the pop-in textures but what was all the hype about?

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Beamboom
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 2:40:50 PM

The hype was essentially all about the graphics. Don't you find it amazing? I've never seen this combination of map size and graphics quality before.

(the amount of pop-ins depends on your hard drive)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 3:02:30 PM

Why should it depend on my hard drive? I'm not the type to let it hinder my experience but it's borderline Alpha Protocol territory, lol.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 12/30/2012 3:06:11 PM

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Beamboom
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 4:11:44 PM

Aha - then you experience the same as I did with my fatty.

It's because of how the game is designed, it's heavily dependent on a constant stream of one gigantic texture (much larger than the available memory) from the hard drive. So if that file is spread all across your drive in segments - so called "fragmented files" - your hard drive can't deliver the data fast enough to the game because the head needs to jump here and there on the disk surface to "collect the pieces", and that takes time, something that force the game to keep the lower resolution textures until it has received the needed data from the drive. I guess you can call it a "data stream lag" due to slow/fragmented drive.

So a tidy drive with lots of free space will store the files less fragmented, thus faster to read, thus less pop-ins.

I know first hand what difference it makes, cause tried Rage on my old fatty with barely enough free space to install the game, and it was borderline unplayable. It was an insane difference from my slim with lots of free space.


Last edited by Beamboom on 12/30/2012 4:23:43 PM

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tes37
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 4:29:50 PM


Rebuilding the database might help you World.

http://www.ps3blog.net/2011/01/28/tips-and-tricks-ps3-rebuild-database-faq-recovery-menu/

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 5:47:11 PM

Ah hah, well thank you for that little lesson, maybe I can clean it up, there's definitely a space issue I just figured if I have an 8 gig install it should flippin work fine.

Still not sure if it's my kind of game or not, I'm not digging the driving stuff at all I expected something else I guess. Hopefully there's more shooting later.

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Beamboom
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 5:02:01 AM

Yeah the driving stuff sucks, I totally agree. It also received flak for that. But that's just some of the missions, and you will enjoy the game a lot more once it runs properly.

So uninstall Rage and erase as much else as you can on the drive (old savegames, old installs you no longer play, video files, anything you don't need to have stored on the disc).

And that link from tes37 also looks like a good idea if you're fine with deleting all old messages and playlists, I was not aware of that feature. If you follow that advice, do it as the finishing touch, after you've deleted as much as you can. That'll make it most effective.


Last edited by Beamboom on 12/31/2012 5:03:35 AM

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Ludicrous_Liam
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 7:10:36 PM
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Y'know, since about 2007, there has always been (atleast) one game, each year, that just stood out to me as GOTY, no questions asked:

2007 would be Uncharted, or maybe Modern Warefare;
2008 would be GTA, MGS4 or LBP;
2009 would be Uncharted 2 or Uncharted 2 (xD...okay MAYBE Killzone 2, Infamous, AC:2 or Batman:AA;
2010 would be GT5, RDR, GOW3, or Heavy Rain;
and 2011 would Uncharted 3 or LBP2.

But this year, there really hasn't been one. Perhaps it's due to a lack of PS3 exclusives - as I mostly tend to buy those - but there has definatley been a lack of AAA games this year, from my perspective. Anyone else feel the same?

...Or am I just feeling the symptoms of Uncharted withdrawal? xD

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TheCanadianGuy
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 2:50:35 PM

i think i've kind'a felt that was for most of 2012 this really felt like a year where the smaller independent games/Devs got more love. which i'm totally kool with.

most of the year we heard all about games like journey. mark of the ninja and TheWalkingDead (my personal GOTY) more than the full budget AAA titles we still had a good lineup of them though. i'm really surprised we're not hearing more from Max Payne 3 i think it's definitely GOTY worthy. throw in Assassins Creed III. Dishonored. Mass Effect 3. and Far Cry 3 and i think we got a pretty good year. it definitely wasn't 2009 or 2010 but still a good year.

BTW L haven't seen ya online for awhile change PSN Name ?

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Gordo
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 10:19:12 PM
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This year has been all Vita for me. Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward is keeping me occupied at the moment. I'm not sure what it is but games with moral choices like this, the Walking Dead and Mass Effect etc always sees me help the pretty ladies to the exclusion of everyone else. I think I have a broken moral compass. Survival of the fittest indeed!

Anyway, loving Zero Escape. Well worth it.

Happy New Year!

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JDC80
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 10:27:51 PM
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For X-Mas I got a new tv, new laptop and new chair on the gaming my new girlfriend got me Ninja Gaiden 3, I got myself MLB 12 the show,Resistance 3, Killzone 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2. I get NHL 13 and NBA 2k13 in a few weeks.

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Deleted User
Tuesday, January 01, 2013 @ 8:30:37 AM
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Lightning's amazing but one of the weakest Final Fantasy protagonists in the history of the series.

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