Ben's Week In Review: July 14
The closer we get to the launch of the PlayStation 4, the more excited I become. :)
Is it possible that Japanese devs are intimidated by Western game makers?
There's no doubt that the Gran Theft Auto V gameplay premiere was impressive. I still don't like the idea of multiple protagonists, or switching between characters during missions, but the game is almost certainly going to rule. The level of achievement and overall quality seems obvious, so it makes sense to hear praise from other developers. However, when Hideo Kojima said it actually "depressed" him a little, it got me wondering: After all these years of a declining Japanese video game industry, during which time they've all had to watch the Westerners tearing it up, is it possible that even the best Japanese designers are feeling...outmatched and intimidated?
This isn't just some random dude. This is Hideo Kojima. A renowned perfectionist and visionary who always demands the best from himself and anybody he works with. Those comments he made weren't just respectful, they actually sounded awestruck. They almost sounded as if even the great Kojima is feeling outmatched (as if that's realistic). Remember, too, that he's one of the major devs who stepped up and said that Japanese designers need to...well, step up. I have every confidence that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will be something special, and I'm sure Kojima expects it to be, too. But it sounds as if deep down, he thinks he can't compete...and that's shocking to me.
I've got no interest in "photorealism"
I've never been much of a graphics junkie to begin with, although I always appreciate excellent visual achievement in this medium. I believe this hobby is about escape, about letting off some steam, about relaxing and even recuperating after a long day. I've got zero interest in controlling human beings that actually look like human beings; to the point where my brain has difficulty differentiating between reality and fiction. Not only do I consider that to be extremely dangerous, I also think it completely changes the nature of interactive entertainment. I think it becomes something insidious, something that can actually change the way we behave and interact with others. After all, this is "interactive entertainment" and when it starts to mirror reality, we really need to worry.
Therefore, if Tim Sweeney is right, and video games are "absolutely photorealistic" in less than 10 years, I'll be done. I'll spend my time playing old games. I'm sure I'll have plenty, and I'm also sure I can go back and find a great many I missed, but always wanted to play. I think games are getting too close to true authenticity now and I have serious reservations about the future. I've always said I'll be gaming until I die but given the anticipated changes, that may not be true. Well, in terms of new games, anyway; like I said, there will always be "old" games to play.
Personal gaming update
In my zeal to put off finishing the latter part of The Last Of Us, I've finished my run-through of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, once again remarking at its timeless greatness. I'll probably finish Naughty Dog's awesome title now, and then it's on to...well, I suppose I could go back and finish Hitman: Absolution or God of War: Ascension, but I'm still on the old-school kick. Furthermore, after seeing that SD/HD Final Fantasy X comparison video, I wanna play a FF. It's either going to be FFT or FFVII; I have a tremendous urge to replay FFX but obviously, I want to wait. I don't care enough about sports games anymore, so NCAA Football 14 is out.
I'm not really all that interested in playing anything until GTAV and Killzone: Mercenary on September 17, even though Saints Row IV in August could be mildly amusing. Or, I suppose I could indulge in Hotline Miami again. That game is just soooooo much fun. ;)
7/13/2013 Ben Dutka