: Ben's Week In Review: March 24

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Ben's Week In Review: March 24

Bioshock Infinite this week. Woo-hoo! Who's gettin' it?

Fox Engine and photo-realism...but Kojima, that's not why I play your games

As everyone well knows, the Metal Gear Solid franchise isn't only known for its great gameplay and super creative boss fights. It's also known for presenting the gaming world with some of the most complex and engaging narratives we've ever seen. It's what creator Hideo Kojima does best in my opinion. Sure, they've got plot holes and he still doesn't know when to end a scene, but the stories are still ten times better than what we get in the majority of games today. So when I heard that the new Fox Engine will be striving for photo-realism, I wasn't overly excited. In fact, the older I get, the less excited I get over the promise of fancy new graphics.

And while I would certainly appreciate some amazing visuals from this new engine, I hope Kojima understands that most of his fans love his games for the storylines, characters and settings; i.e., the artistic side of gaming. I know Japanese developers have been lagging behind in terms of cutting-edge graphics and the Fox Engine might help to close the gap, but I don't want the primary focus of Kojima's games to change. In other words, I wouldn't want him to sacrifice all that great character design and writing for the sake of a few more pixels. I doubt he'd do that; I'm just saying. And yes, I know he has to work on his dialogue.

Wow, I'm actually interested in a "new" Final Fantasy

Here's something you might not know about me- I've been skeptical about every new Final Fantasy since Final Fantasy X. When they announced FFX-2, I was sort of on the fence about that idea. My problem with it was that up until that point, every new installment in the series had been entirely new: New characters, new combat mechanic or significant twists on an accepted mechanic, an entirely new world, etc. But I loved FFX-2 because it presented the single best and most advanced turn-based system we had seen to date. Then I was skeptical again when I heard about FFXII. However, while it had my least favorite plot and characters (hate stories based on politics), I really loved the gameplay. A lot. 120 hours later and Yiazmat (50 million HP) was dead. FFXIII, skeptical again. But that was the first time where I found out that some of my fears were justified.

And it has gone downhill ever since. Lightning Returns seems like a total colossal clusterfu** of a tragedy as far as I can tell. My point is that it has been a while since I looked forward to a new FF with absolutely no reservation. Sure, FFX HD and FFX-2 HD aren't "new," per se, but at least they'll look new. And they'll give newcomers a chance to see what they've been missing all these years. What's most important is that you're looking at two of the best examples of the turn-based mechanic to ever exist. I believe the others could be found in the Shadow Hearts games, by the way.

Personal gaming update

So I'm at the end of Halo 4, I think. I like it just fine, as I said before, but it's just not making me say "wow." It's a shooter. It's a really good shooter, I'll grant you, but beyond that... I mean, I like the new weapons and enemies but once again, it's not like they went all out. There's just a new race of aliens and that has only resulted in two or three fresh enemies, and maybe a small handful of new weapons. So anyway, it's almost done and I'll be glad to move on. Can't wait for Bioshock Infinite but as usual, all these games are keeping from catching up. I haven't yet finished Tomb Raider, for instance. Still, I take some solace in knowing that April and May are sort of bare in terms of new releases.

I'm still wondering if I'll ever have a good enough reason to pick up my Vita again. I guess it'll just have to wait until the next time I take a vacation. If I'm around a console, there's just no way I'm playing the Vita. It has similar experiences, only slightly lesser and that's not helping sales. Thing is, the PSP had some very different experiences (for instance, a lot of old-school-style RPGs you couldn't find anywhere else) and the Vita doesn't seem to have a niche of its own. It's like a portable PS3 but all this means is that I'll only play it when I don't have another option.

Well, that isn't entirely true. I'd still take the Vita over a smartphone or tablet any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

3/23/2013 Ben Dutka

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Comments (22 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, March 23, 2013 @ 10:31:42 PM
Reply

I'm all ready for Bioshock but it won't arrive day 1, which is fine because I have a lot of work to do. I'll play this weekend till I bleed! ...or maybe I should savor it with short bursts of play. Decisions...

Photo realism is great and all but let's not let that make all our gaming worlds have to be like the real world. How about using those fancy graphics to make whole new worlds come alive, ya know the kind only found in Japanese entertainment.

FFX HD collection is gonna be great and I'm stoked for it. Not sure if I should get the disc or go digital though. I only hope the release date isn't like another year away. What's it say if SE's only guaranteed hit is 12 years old?

I've been playing a buncha stuff, Resident Evil 6 among them, which I got at BB for $5, lol. It's a good game and also a shining example of how out of touch Japanese devs can be when trying to conform to western norms.

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Wrote
Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 8:05:28 AM

Get ff 10 on disc so ur sale counts towards the total and outsells ff 13-3.

Poor japan, it wants our western sales but what they don't get is we just want them to be distinctly Japanese. Honestly I like their different style compared to the western style, they def think outside the box when their not conforming.

Here's to the ps4 bringing back Japan's greatness!

~Wrote

Last edited by Wrote on 3/24/2013 8:06:10 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 6:26:22 PM

yeah ur right, I'll do that I think. Plus I like hard copies and boxes.

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I007spectre
Saturday, March 23, 2013 @ 11:56:52 PM
Reply

Im getting Infinite, but for PC not PS3.

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Beamboom
Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 2:14:01 AM

Me too.

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Killa Tequilla
Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 8:07:12 AM

Why?

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Solid Fantasy
Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 8:20:56 AM

Well, maybe your PS3 died and still needs repair and in that absence you have a great chance to utilize a much more expensive PC... That's pretty much my reasoning.

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Beamboom
Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 10:25:22 AM

The question is rather, "why not?".
It's because I want to play the best version, of course. Read the reviews. I got a gaming PC as well so I got the option.

Last edited by Beamboom on 3/24/2013 10:31:32 AM

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Killa Tequilla
Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 11:04:48 AM

Sold at, "why not".

I pre ordered the songbird edition and fully payed for it. I don't know if I should open it or keep in sealed for ever and buy a new copy. Any advice? (Ps3 version)

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Beamboom
Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 3:06:46 PM

I'm drooling all over the reviews - this game apparently is *epic*, they even say it might beat the ultra-epic epicness of the first game.

I am so sold on this title it's not possible to be more ready.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 1:34:28 AM
Reply

Although I cant wait for Bioshock, I may have to hold off for a week or so... But imcertainly looking forward to it. What ive seen has me confident it could be my favorite in the series.

Im excited about Kojimas engine, Id like to see it compared to what QD is doing with the PS4, even with the PS3 and the kara demo.

PGU: GoW, and mainly the online portion. Yeah its that good. Havnt even finished the campaign yet. Theres just a lot of appeal in the mp from the leveling of your character, weapons and armor to the fantastic balance in the gameplay. The more I play the more I realize the game industry will look for fault anywhere. Super job by Sony Santa Monica for trying something new and it working out.

Excited for GDC this week. I actually think the the news im most excited for is anything related to Borderlands 2. I really need to hear about this new character or a level cap. Either one will determine when I can pick up the game again. Ive gotten to a point with my Siren where anything else I do is is worth nothing. The new character will determine if it appeals to me enough to start over with a new character.

Im not sure what all will be at the show but looking forward to unexpected news. If there is any.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 4:13:42 PM

Well some good news/ bad news from.Gearbox regarding Borderlands 2.

The new character has been announced and looks extremely melee heavy, a terrible edition for this game but could make things at least interesting, not to be confused with intriguing.

The level increase comes out in a week! Sweet! Bad news: its only free to season pass holders. What the hell? Ive supported the game too, all dlc was paid in full and I still have to pay for it? Gimme a break. If I would have known it would be part of a season pass I would have bought the dang thing. This is the type of thing that really makes me upset. I dont typically like to bad mouth developers because they all work hard. That and I am very pleased with Borderlands 1 and 2. But Gearbox is making some terrible business decisions lately. I understand they have to make up for revenue loss, but when everything is said and done ill have spent abd given them more money that the season pass holders will, and yet im getting the shaft. Along with many others.

Anyways sorry bout the rant. On a better note, it appears that a 3rd vault hunter plythrough has been added to raise the enemy levels past 50. Btw the level cap increase is 11, upping the cap to 61. Not bad.

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matt99
Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 3:12:13 AM
Reply

That's why I haven't gotten the Vita, it's main selling point in terms of games seems to be portable versions of ps3 games...most people can wait until they get home to play a game, and if you have the ps3 why would you play a slightly lesser version of the same game?

It's as if sony felt obligated to put out another portable but then got sidetracked by the ps3.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 3:28:57 AM

The thing about handhelds to me is exactly what you just pointed out. Why play a slightly lesser game? HHonestlyit really frustrates me that Uncharted Golden Abyss is only available for the vita because I will never buy one but its my favorite franchise.

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Wrote
Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 7:58:29 AM

You are so right. Where are the original ips. Especially ones based on already established PS games. An infamous game is obvious, so is gow,the PSP gows are the f'n sht. Hey and final fantasy. And just RPGs in general, a skyrim port is just begging for me to rebuy that game.

Maybe gaikai will be cool with the vita, but we don't know how it'll work.in the mean time I want a 3ds. Fire emblem and Pokemon are all I need. Yeah I'm a nintendork somtimes kinda

Last edited by Wrote on 3/24/2013 7:59:39 AM

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Beamboom
Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 3:15:37 AM
Reply

It's been a lot to do at work this week so I've not gotten that much further in my project of making my own game. But I have more and more realized that I simply will not be able to get anywhere without a graphics designer. It's an absolute requirement. I was hoping for this to be a project I could fiddle around with by myself, if so it took a lot of time. But it's just not doable, and that is demotivating. I might try to recruit one of the designers at work, but it becomes that much more serious once I do that.


PGU:
Crysis 3: So I finally got one of my most anticipated games for 2013. I've only just started, but hot damn how good it looks - *especially* in 3D.
Either way, it's Crysis how I know and love it, so I got a good feeling about this. I think I will enjoy it even if it is not as big a jump in quality as the second was.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/24/2013 3:25:16 AM

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___________
Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 6:14:15 AM
Reply

ive spent the week trying to finish ascension, sadly havent gotten very far because of finishing work late every day.
its a shame that its been pushed out for the ps3, it just feels that it could of been SO much better if they saved it for a ps4 launch title!
not only would of that helped sales, but also the game just feels so sloppy and rushed!
checkpoints are FAR too far apart!
allot of sequences are really broken, if you dont do things in the correct order they dont reset and you cant finish the game you have to restart from checkpoint.
really frustrating, especially when you have a hour a day to play a game and you spend most of that redoing sh*t!
just allot of design decisions that seem really poor, it feels like a game that was made by a bunch of school kids as a extra credit project!
defiantly not something that was made by one of the BIGGEST BEST developers in the industry!
VERY disappointing!!!!!

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Wrote
Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 7:49:01 AM
Reply

Kojima will continue to make good story focused games.. just with better graphics, photo realism has to be achieved sometime doesn't it?

Final fantasy still has at least one more shot to get.. well final fantasy "right". Turn based isnt gonna happen for a ff, so if we accept they'll be action-y maybe we'll accept it better.

Halo 4 seemed good but really not a huge improvement. And since ign is all we can go by now, the reviewer gave halo 4 a 9.8 and BioShock infinite a 9.4. And I'm having trouble believing that's legit, seems like a typical xbot or maybe infinite isn't as good, but after they delays it better be awesome. I admit I'm not a shooter fan but I like the BioShocks so idk. Oh and why should I want a vita? I can get most of its games on my ps3. And as a future handheld owner I'm leaning heavily to the 3ds, i t has all the RPGs... and Pokemon is a huge one.

Pgu: I'm playing mgs for he 2nd time in a row, slowly working my way thru the difficulty's til I'm a 'big boss' lol. Then I have deus ex and archam city which I missed last year. I'm also playing fire emblem GBA in my phone, its addicting, also subway surfers... :)

PS I'm really pumped for what kojima reveals, he's a flippin celebrity in the video game world, ground zeros a d1p and so is the phantom pain. What a tease, his marketing is working for the phantom pain.. or mgs 5 as we all know.. hurry up Gdc, and pls be for ps4 so I have more good games for my future ps4

Yea.. Wrote

Last edited by Wrote on 3/24/2013 7:52:54 AM

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Solid Fantasy
Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 8:25:51 AM
Reply

MGS games have always been at the upper limits of graphical presentation. I don't think we would be looking at the gameplay or story line ever taking a back seat in the focal point.

Look forward to that Bioshock review.

PGU: The ups store was closed and now I have to wait till tomorrow to send my PS3 out. After three months away from it I really just wanted to get back into Deus Ex and some online Twisted Metal, maybe a fresh copy of Rising to. But no, there will be none of that till I get that heat sink taken care of.
In the mean time, I still need to beat Xcom on the PC and breed a gold chocobo on Vita FFVII

Last edited by Solid Fantasy on 3/24/2013 8:27:11 AM

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Hand_of_Sorrow
Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 1:07:03 PM
Reply

i've just played MGS4 and just a little of couple of others.
i reconize a god when i see one, i always reading what
kojima has on the table.

pgu
i downloaded mass effect, with an update. you can import
your me1 save to me2. i just finished me2, it'll be interesting
to see if the decisions i made in me1 will have any impact in me3 in anyway.

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Teddie9
Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 3:05:32 PM
Reply

I'm pretty pumped this GDC to find out what Kojima has up his sleeve, otherwise I want to get my hands on Bioshock Infinite soon.

PGU: I go home next weekend, probably will play some Okami or dmc.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 3:57:41 PM
Reply

Speaking of those few extra baddies in Halo, I hope next gen we can move beyond 3-4 bad guys with palette swaps. Can someone make bad guy in-game creation software or something. It's like we're stuck in the days of sprites.

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