Ben's Week In Review: August 18
Everyone ready for the PlayStation 4 launch date? We should have it on Tuesday. :)
Could Grand Theft Auto V have a similar "wow" factor to GTAIII?
As far as most are concerned, Grand Theft Auto didn't really begin until GTAIII exploded onto the scene back in 2001. That's when the franchise underwent a drastic overhaul and went from being a merely average top-down driving game to an epic, revolutionary, open-world extravaganza. To this day, many say the third entry is one of the very best video games of all time, and tons of gamers all over the world credit GTAIII with getting them interested in sandbox-style interactive entertainment. Remember, at around that time, nothing that size had really been conceived on a consoles; worlds of that scope were typically restricted to MMORPGs. It was just mind-boggling.
But everything we're seeing and hearing could indicate another revolution - or at least, an evolution - when GTAV comes out. The developers are making some bold statements and one can't help but be impressed. Look at the media we've accumulated thus far...I mean, this could end up being one of the defining moments in the industry's history: A significant step forward in open-world entertainment. Even the multiplayer looks potentially extraordinary. But maybe the days of massive revolution are in the past...maybe such leaps can no longer be expected.
Is anyone else a little concerned about that "big surprise" Kojima teased for MGSV?
On the one hand, it's really easy to get excited when Hideo Kojima says there will be something in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain that we've never seen before. It's Kojima. It's MGS. It has to be awesome. But if you listen carefully to Kojima over the past few years, you start to hear something similar to that which we've heard from Square Enix. He has called out the Japanese gaming industry for not stepping things up, for not adapting, and in general, for falling well behind the Western developers. He has stressed the importance of Japanese game makers maintaining their culture and style, but MGSV is a multiplatform title, yes? The first in the series if you don't count Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and you shouldn't because that's a spin-off mostly done by Platinum Games.
Maybe Kojima was under severe pressure to produce a game that Westerners would like, that Xbox owners would want to play. And maybe he bowed to the widespread stereotype prevalent in Japan right now, which is- gamers in the West only care about shooters. I don't believe stealth will be eliminated from MGSV, but I get the sneaking suspicion that this "big surprise" will be a nod to the Western audience...or rather, a nod as far as the Japanese are concerned, which could be a very, very bad idea.
Personal gaming update
I wish I had more time to put into Tales of Xillia but unfortunately, the timing of that release sucks. There's Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Saints Row IV and Madden NFL 25 I have to take care of in the next couple of weeks, and Killzone: Mercenary and Grand Theft Auto V are right after that. But that's all right; I've long since discovered that I simply don't care enough about JRPGs unless they're turn-based. If they're just action/RPGs, I feel like there are much better options out there, and I've never cared about anime, anyway. I've just wanted the turn-based, which is mostly dead now.
By the way, that Mercenary beta is great; here's hoping it flourishes on the sales charts and the Vita gets a little boost. The only problem is that I don't know what else is coming out for Sony's handheld any time soon. I do have high hopes for Media Molecule's Tearaway, though.
8/17/2013 Ben Dutka