A cool night pleasantly interrupted by various spikes of heat…generated on the inside, and no, I won't elaborate. ­čśë

Should we be focusing more on FFXIII's gameplay?

This past week, we dealt with the misinformation that said the "latest" media for Final Fantasy XIII represented a significant step backwards from what we saw earlier. But we soon found a clarification that although that media was only recently released to the Japanese public in DVD form, it's in fact almost a year old ; it came from the Tokyo Game Show 2008. Since then, we've seen other screenshots and full-motion video that proves how beautiful this game will be…but how will that surprise anyone? I think we really need to focus on that fresh, dynamic gameplay that is bound to turn a few heads. Lest we forget, Square-Enix really changed things up with FFXII, and based on everything I've read concerning the combat in FFXIII, it seems we'll get yet another wholly original mechanic. Every time I see an article about FFXIII, it seems to focus entirely on the graphics, and I think we're really missing the bigger picture, here.

First of all, we know that Square-Enix often sets a new benchmark in terms of visuals when the newest FF releases in any given generation. But maybe this time around, we'll already have benchmarks established by the likes of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves , God of War III , and Gran Turismo 5 ; hence, we journalists should really examine the gameplay . It'll be pretty; no doubt. But I wanna know how it's going to feel when I sit there with a controller in my hands. Don't you?

Madden Arcade? Hmm…I just might do that

EA just announced Madden Arcade , and although the football purists will scoff at it, I'm becoming easier to please in my old age. There was a time when I wanted simulated everything if I ever decided to play a sports game, and while that remains true in terms of racing (GT is the only franchise for me), it has changed drastically for other sports. I found myself playing that demo for The Bigs 2 more than a few times (although I won't spend $60 on it), and just today, I popped in NHL '94 on my SNES. Why? So I could go through the playoffs with Boston and win all the games (6-1, 6-1, 7-1, and 11-0). There isn't anything even remotely realistic about it; it only took about an hour and a half to do, and there was no real challenge in terms of control mechanics. But so what? I'm really liking the idea of an arcade version of Madden ; maybe EA can do it better than Midway, who are responsible for the mediocre Blitz titles. I kinda liked NFL Street but the lack of a tournament mode really hurt that game, if I remember correctly.

I still want to play the best of the best when it comes to all games. I still want the most realistic and atmospheric titles out there. But these days, when it comes to sports…eh, just give me back 3D Baseball , or something.

Personal gaming update

Well, I didn't get Resident Evil 5 for my birthday, but I got something better, anyway. I have been missing the mats for my car since I got it, and after doing some research, I found out some weird crap: not only are they immensely expensive (for freakin' mats), but it seems that most used M-class Infinitis come without the mats because the owners keep them as mementos of owning the car. They're also one of the most stolen mats (who the fu** steals mats ?). I guess the reason is because, like the seats, they have the Infiniti emblem on them, and furthermore, they're very thick and custom-fit. There's one whole piece for the rear that actually covers the bump in the middle, too; my parents went to great lengths to find them. But they totally tie the car together and it's definitely a lot quieter now.

So I might just go buy RE5. But I'll have Madden NFL 10 to review and I'll need to spend time with that, and then directly afterward, there's Batman: Arkham Asylum , which I'm looking forward to. In the meantime, I continue to play FFX sporadically, and I started up a new game of Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance , too. Just because. It's good hack 'n slash fun. ­čÖé

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