Ben's Week In Review: June 12
E3 is just about here but I'm going to have to play catch-up on the news. I just hope they announce the new Red Dead. :)
I think we all knew Final Fantasy XII HD was coming
I remember hearing rumors for a while and most assumed it was a foregone conclusion. Now Square has announced The Zodiac Age for PlayStation 4.
I know it'll offer a bunch of improvements and stuff, and I really loved the Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster. However, while I'll probably get FFXII HD for PS4 just to have for my collection, I doubt I'll actually play it again. It's actually my least favorite series installment in terms of characters, storyline and atmosphere; I almost didn't care about any of that. At the same time, it was a logical, fantastic progression of the traditional turn-based gameplay, and the direction Square Enix should've maintained over the years.
A lot of people didn't like the License system but I really liked it, and being able to retain full control of your party within a hybrid real-time/turn-based structure made this one of the most in-depth, diverse, and rewarding RPG game structures ever. It's why I ended up putting over 120 hours into the game and beating everything, including the final optional boss, Yiazmat (took like 5 hours to whittle down his 50 million HP but I did it). I had a great time crafting an invincible party and it's entirely because of the gameplay construct. Now, if I really don't like any RPGs that come out in the future, I might actually go back and play this enhanced FF. It won't be high on my priority list, though.
No PS4 Neo at E3 but we know it exists
Sony has confirmed as much and I'm only mildly surprised. I really thought they'd unveil this thing at E3 and now that they're not, I wonder if it'll even come out this year. I'd assumed they wanted the upgraded system to be available alongside PlayStation VR but maybe not...? I don't know. I do know Sony didn't really say much in their confirmation of PS4 Neo, aside from what we already knew: That the upgraded console was designed for "hardcore gamers," that it was made with 4K HDTVs in mind, and that most, if not all, PS4 games would be available for it. They made it plain that all PS4 titles made in the future will be playable on the standard model, which is probably the right move. I assume anything high-end will be a guarantee for the PS4 Neo, anyway, so it's not like avid gamers have to worry.
I still have my doubts and I still don't want it this year, even if it makes it for the holiday period.
Watch Dogs 2 looks pretty good
I just saw the debut trailer for the recently announced Watch Dogs sequel and it's encouraging. I was a fan of the original production but it just didn't stick with me. I always thought the writers could've done a lot more with that script and those characters, and I'm not a huge futuristic/sci-fi lover, so it's hard for me to feel attached to such stories. There were a few minor gameplay idiosyncrasies I assume Ubisoft will iron out in the sequel, too, but that's not a huge deal. I also know they want this to be a very big hit; after all, without a new Assassin's Creed this year, Ubisoft needs something to fill the void. And AC always sells a lot of copies...I doubt Watch Dogs 2 can sell as many. Well, it could, if it's advertised enough, I suppose.
Personal gaming update
I'm not sure I'm going to finish Doom. As fun as it is, it's starting to feel like too much of a chore. And with a really boring story and a lot of repetitive environments, I'm starting to tire of the experience. I respect the old-school approach and I don't mind the challenge, but the word "fun" isn't popping into my head anywhere near as often as it did when I first started. I just think my gaming preferences have changed over the years and on top of which, the industry has changed, too. I like retro throwbacks as much as the next aging gamer, but Doom sort of showed me I've become pretty attached to the more modern productions. They're simply deeper and more rewarding on different levels, that's all.
And now that I have Mirror's Edge Catalyst, which I really do like a lot, I may not go back to Doom. Catalyst is super fun and for the most part, it's the sequel I wanted. I think there's too much of a focus on combat - as I'd predicted in the past - and the puzzle element is scaled way back but otherwise, it's a great advancement. This time, Faith has skill trees and gear, and far more skills, and we're in a (mostly) open environment. The times you have to beat in order to get three stars on some of the delivery missions are a little ridiculous, but I've managed. :)
Plus, I've got to get to the Blood and Wine expansion for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which is likely next on my list after Catalyst.
6/11/2016 Ben Dutka