Ben's Week In Review: August 16
I actually expect some fireworks at this year's PlayStation Experience. Perhaps God of War and Gran Turismo...?
Well, horror fans got their wish
I know fans of the genre loved the Resident Evil HD Remaster - and rightly so - but in my experience, horror aficionados still place Resident Evil 2 ahead of the original. Kinda like "The Godfather II" vs. the first movie; both are amazing but die-hards like to rank the sequel just a smidgen higher.
So, when I heard Capcom was doing a Resident Evil 2 Remake, I knew series lovers would be ecstatic. From a personal standpoint, I'm actually sort of excited as well, because this was the first RE adventure I really played. I mean, I think we all played the first title; even if we didn't finish it, or even if we didn't own it, we probably still sampled it. It was too massive to miss and if you didn't have it, chances were, somebody you knew did. I was at the end of my sports/racing game days (Ridge Racer, Twisted Metal, Jet Moto, Madden and various baseball and basketball games were receding; only Gran Turismo would remain), and I hadn't quite started my RPG kick. Therefore, I did try the first Resident Evil.
But I really got into RE2 and it has the distinction of being one of the very few games that could interrupt my RPG lovin' back in the PlayStation days. I think Medal of Honor and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night are the only other two titles to interrupt that obsession. So, when I say I actually played and finished RE2, that means a lot. Later, I basically owned a Dreamcast just so I could play Code Veronica. Yes, for me, as for many others, RE2 was a landmark game.
Can't wait for Rainbow Skies
Even though I don't really play strategy/RPGs anymore, I really liked Rainbow Moon. I had a few problems with it later on, but I think the developers are addressing those issues in the upcoming sequel. It's great to hear that Rainbow Skies is coming to PlayStation 4 in 2016, and don't forget PS4 owners get the first game, too. If you watch some of the gameplay for the new effort, you can see the major changes and improvements; I especially like the more dynamic approach to exploration and combat. Multiple distinct characters with the ability to tame over 100 monsters? Count me in. I also love how they're putting a heftier emphasis on the story; it's one of the biggest drawbacks of Rainbow Skies.
And while I know fans of the genre say "the longer the better," I'm actually hoping the new game is a little shorter than Rainbow Moon. I'm sure that won't happen but whatever. Not everyone has countless hours per week to spend playing games, especially when so many amazing titles launch in any given year.
Personal gaming update
After finishing Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, I wrote a brief thank you note to The Chinese Room. I wanted to tell them how much I enjoyed not only the game, but their dedication to furthering the art of interactive storytelling in this industry. They were nice enough to acknowledge the letter with a follow-up thank you, and they also said the response thus far has been "overwhelmingly positive." I'm glad to hear it, even though I know there are a few reviews out there that trash the game. Let me just say this: If you don't understand what the developers are going for, if you can't appreciate their goals, then you shouldn't be reviewing it. There's a reason I try not to review flight sims and real-time strategy games; it's because I'm admittedly out of my element. A few critics were very clearly out of their element with this one, and that's all I'll say on the matter.
Anyway, only a couple more weeks until Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Mad Max. I still say the former will have a negative effect on the latter, but who knows? Maybe gamers will buy both, or maybe the games are different enough to cater to completely different audiences. I can't wait to try both but I know which one has a better chance at Game of the Year. ;)
8/15/2015 Ben Dutka