Ben's Week In Review: April 13
Well, another week during which I couldn't tear myself away from FFX HD. ;)
What exactly is a "forced" microtransaction?"
There's no way that's a black-and-white question. When I heard Evolution Studios say that Driveclub absolutely wouldn't feature "forced microtransactions," I wondered about their definition of "forced."
Does it mean the player can complete the game without paying for any extra equipment or features? Okay, but what if it's possible yet very difficult? Things get even more complex when you consider that Driveclub will be driven - pun intended - by the community at large. Therefore, doesn't the necessity of microtransactions depend a great deal on what your opponents and allies do? How can we predict that? I think the bottom line is that despite what publishers and some developers say, microtransactions are just a sneaky way of separating you from your money.
I understand the principle, of course. And nobody is forcing you to purchase those microtransactions; in fact, with the free-to-play model, even if you hated the game, you still didn't lose any money. Buyer beware, as always. And once again, the obvious holds true: We have microtransactions because they work. Hence, many people are buying them. Businessmen simply meet demand; consumers create that demand.
Kojima may have a respectable man-crush on Western developers
Hideo Kojima made headlines by telling the developers of Tom Clancy's The Division that they're "so good, it makes me want to quit my job." But you know, this isn't the first time he has heaped very high praise upon a Western developer. He was also one of the first prominent Japanese designers to admit that Japan was lagging behind in the video game world. He often cites top-tier Western productions during interviews, and he's said he wouldn't mind collaborating with Western devs on the famed Metal Gear Solid franchise. It's really cool that he has a great respect for other developers outside Japan, but...I dunno, seems like he likes 'em a little too much.
And besides, he shouldn't downplay his own achievements. He tends to shrug off much of the acclaim that comes his way, so it almost seems like he's transferring that praise to Western designers. Like I said, it's tactful and diplomatic of him, but I still think he should acknowledge his own legendary contributions to this industry.
Personal gaming update
As I said above, it's still all about FFX in the Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster. I'm in the Calm Lands now, running around Capturing fiends and powering up for the Mt. Gagazet trek. I last played the game over 12 years ago, but I distinctly remember the Gagazet section as being quite formidable. I did forget, however, just how far you have to go before you gain access to the airship. You gotta take down Yunalesca before you get to travel! Still not sure how far I'm going to go, but I've already logged over 30 hours, which is ridiculous considering how little time I have and how big my backlog is. ;)
I won't be playing any more of The Witch and the Hundred Knight; it had promise and I liked some of the different concepts, but it was just too irritating overall. I can't stand games that make me cringe. Oh, and I know The Last of Us: Remastered is getting a ton of attention, but I've said everything I need to say on that matter.
4/12/2014 Ben Dutka