Well, we had over 70 degrees for the first time in like a millenia today, but it'll be back to normal 50-degree, rainy April weather while I'm gone on my mini-vacation. Figures. LOL

God, what I wouldn't give for GT5 in 2009…

It was a bizarre way to issue the rumored update info, but if there's even the remotest possibility that Gran Turismo 5 will release in December of this year, I'm going to cling to it with all my strength. I'm positive I'll love Uncharted 2: Among Thieves but if GT5 really did hit this year, it would quickly become my most anticipated game of 2009. I've played and loved every last GT installment since the original PlayStation days and in all honesty, I really don't play any other racing games. As far as I'm concerned there isn't another franchise out there that even comes close to the realism and authenticity of GT (if you say Forza , you get clocked; it's a joke of a simulator), and while I like arcade racers sometimes, they bore me quickly. I really had a thing for the Burnout games for a while, and I still love Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 , but I can only lose myself in GT. The entire package is always so extraordinarily polished and refined, and besides, where else can I take my former car – the 350Z – out on the racetrack and actually have it feel like the real thing?!

I just got finished taking Prologue for another spin, where one of my favorite cars is the Corvette Z06. That thing is a beast, but I also love the racing tuned 350Z in there; it rocks so much. If there's any truth to that 600 cars, 96 race tracks part of the rumor…holy crap, I can't wait. GT is one of the very few franchises that's an automatic Day 1 purchase for me whenever it gets a new entry; Final Fantasy – the actual series – is probably the only other one.

WHY don't we have "AAA" Western-themed games?

Okay, so it seems Rockstar didn't secretly bring Grand Theft Auto V to Game Informer; it's far more likely that it's the impending Red Dead Redemption , the sequel to Red Dead Revolver . Now, RDR was a pretty good game but I really want something special with Redemption . I've always wondered why a developer hasn't taken the Wild West premise and given us a truly memorable experience. I mean, "Western" has an entire effing genre in the movie world and these days, with the gap between film and games shrinking every day, the Western contrast becomes more obvious. Really, it almost seems as if somewhere, someone said, "hey, gamers don't care about the Wild West. They just want sci-fi shooters." …who said? When did that poll run? Did I miss the survey? Correct me if I'm wrong, but there are quite a lot of Western fans out there, and who wouldn't want to step into the shoes of Dirty Harry? Yeah, you can't have the crazy fantastical weapons you might find in the futuristic shooters, but I can live with that. All I want is a really cool Western-oriented shooter and Red Dead Redemption could be it. Here's hoping.

Of course, now that I've mentioned it, the game is gonna suck. You watch. Whenever I pick a relatively unknown title – at least so far as the mainstream/casual crowd is concerned – and I try to hype it 'cuz I think it has potential, it falls flat on its face. Shows you how much I know, huh? Heh.

Personal gaming update

I'll just come right out and say it: Star Ocean: The Last Hope is pissing me off . I mean, it's one of those games where I want to finish, but every time I pick up the controller, I worry about the end result of that particular play session. The game is just so erratic. One minute, you're fighting six trillion battles in a row; the next, there's quite literally two to three hours of story stuff. The change in flow is just so jarring. Then, there are huge, ridiculous spikes in difficulty. You could quite literally go from destroying legions of enemies and never getting touched, to getting annihilated in the span of an hour. The worst part is that cheating AI seems to be in effect: the delay you have after attacking is annoying as is, but I don't see that kind of delay in any of the enemies I'm fighting, and if you get knocked down, they can kick the crap out of you while you're helpless. Before you can get back up and block or dodge, they'll just keep pummeling you. Idiotic. At the same time, I have more characters now and I'm opening up more planets and stuff, so I really want to keep playing. It just bounces between great fun and "holy sh**, I so want to smash this fu***** controller on the floor."

Okay, I'm out for a few days. I leave tomorrow and will come back Wednesday night. Arnold will handle the news updates while I'm gone but have no fear, I will return all refreshed and with renewed vigor. πŸ™‚ I suppose I can let people know how things go next weekend after meeting the new Ms. So-and-So …if I feel like it. πŸ˜‰

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