Ben's Week In Review: October 20
Countdown to the PS4! Only a little over three weeks away...
Man, those two big delays are disheartening
Next to Beyond: Two Souls, Watch Dogs was my most anticipated title of the fall. I still loved Beyond but after being slightly disappointed in the result, I was convinced that Ubisoft's new IP could be the autumn game of my dreams. Some years ago, Gran Turismo 6 would've qualified, but I find myself drawing farther away from sports and racing titles. GT6 could still hook me, but I may not have the requisite time. Therefore, when I heard about the Watch Dogs delay, I was definitely disappointed. And we lost The Crew, too, which is amplified by the additional delay of the anticipated PS4 launch title, Driveclub.
Granted, Driveclub wasn't really high on my priority list, but its loss makes the PS4 launch lineup look more anemic. Furthermore, it would've been a nice little bonus for PlayStation Plus subscribers (the game is to be part of the Instant Game Collection when it arrives; i.e., free for Plus peeps), and that service is essentially a requirement in the new generation. I just think the industry could've done without these delays, although I do agree with analyst Mike Hickey, who said the Watch Dogs delay was the right thing to do. If it isn't ready, it isn't ready. Don't give us a disappointing product; give us excellence. We'll wait.
I've said it before and I'll say it again...
I want Kingdom Hearts III more than Final Fantasy XV, and certainly more than Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Did you see that new KHIII gameplay footage? How pretty was that? Ten years ago, I never would've said I wanted a new Kingdom Hearts over a new Final Fantasy; I mean, that would've been a joke. I liked KH just fine but it wasn't a patch on my favorite RPG franchise of all time. Now, if Square Enix is just going to turn FF into an action-based game - even if it is an action/RPG - I'd rather take the KH formula. I don't need the flashy, in-your-face, "we're not really trying to be Western but we kinda are" new FF formula. That blows. Sorry, but it does. At least KH still has its own style and charm to it; if I want action with RPG elements, there will probably be a lot better games out there than FFXV. Yeah, I said it. And sadly, it will turn out to be all too true.
I just hope they get the mechanics right in KHIII. I always had a problem with the camera and, to some extent, the control in previous installments. If they can nail that down and they don't force me to keep the same teammates throughout (Donald and Goofy are fine but really, why would I use them when there are so many cooler characters in the game?), I'm all in. And if they allow Cloud or Sephiroth to be playable...oh dear Lord...
Personal gaming update
So I went through Beyond again to see if I could alter the story significantly, and I really can't. It's just much more linear than Heavy Rain. The only good news is that you can indeed get vastly different endings by making important choices towards the end...but that's only toward the end. This is one of the biggest reasons why I believe Quantic Dream's latest comes up a little short. Of course, they set the bar extremely high with Heavy Rain (and before that, Indigo Prophecy; darn good idea to do a high-def remake), so maybe it should've been expected. But I still say they went too far into the action realm; QTEs just start to take the player out of the experience when more is happening. Great story, though, and the acting from the main characters was superb. Definitely a must-play for people who like the artistic side of gaming and who appreciate an emotional narrative.
My girlfriend and I are going through The Cave; she loves the puzzle-solving elements and it's not too strenuous in terms of platforming. We also go back to Dragon's Crown from time to time, which is just fun. I'm considering going through Beyond co-op (it does support two players, after all) but above all else, we just want that Portal 3 announcement. Yes, I know, maybe in 2020. I get how Valve works. LOL ;)
10/19/2013 Ben Dutka