You know, I forgot how great Shadow of the Colossus was. …kinda random, but I just started playing it again. ­čÖé

CliffyB is right, you know

While I haven't agreed with some of his statements before, Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski's comments concerning next-gen graphics make perfect sense to me. I've always said that true significant leaps in visual presentations can be spotted by anyone, not just individuals who have lived and breathed video games for decades. A few less pixels has never really impressed me, and certainly wouldn't impress those not "in the know." That's why Bleszinski cited the "Mom test;" i.e., new hardware should give us an upgrade in graphics that even our out-of-touch mothers can notice. That would suggest a significant leap and something worthy of our money and attention.

However, that being said, although I can appreciate great graphics, I'm really reaching the point where I just want great experiences. Obviously, visual presentation is part of a great experience, but it's only a part . So when I say I only want a console that plays games I want to play, I'm not exaggerating in the slightest. I couldn't possibly care less what other features it has, and that's the truth.

How many sandbox shooters do we need?

Now it almost seems as if they're trying to kill off linearity in shooters, too. The Resistance series is done (well, basically), Killzone never sold as much as it should've, and very few purchase any Battlefield or Call of Duty for the campaigns. So maybe it makes sense that developers are moving away from linear storytelling within the genre, but I mean…how many do we really need? Borderlands 2 will be out this year, DUST 514 is essentially a MMOFPS, Far Cry 3 will undoubtedly be very open-ended, and now Crysis 3 will also take the sandbox approach ? I mean, I really loved Crysis 2 ; does the sequel really have to be more about exploration and player freedom than storyline?

It's just getting a little annoying. I know developers probably think that anyone who plays a shooter isn't looking for a fantastic story with awesome character development, and I'm probably in the minority. But I'm just not sure killing off linear storytelling in FPSs is the right way to go…not that I think it'll happen, but it certainly seems to be a current trend.

Personal gaming update

I'm pretty much done with Final Fantasy XIII-2 , as I've lost the motivation to go for the last two Fragments, and I've seen all the Paradox Endings. I still want to keep moving through Assassin's Creed: Revelations , but I sidetracked myself with Shadow of the Colossus . I'm talking about the one in the ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection , and I just love it. I had forgotten just how meticulously designed those Colossi were, and just how amazing it was to take them down. The best part is that I've left it behind long enough so that I don't remember exactly how to beat all of them, so in some ways, it feels pretty new.

Other than that, I still tinker with the Vita here and there, and thankfully, the reviews have let up. Stay tuned for more fun news; this week was sorta slow, as just about everyone seemed to escape for vacation. Saw a lot of "Out of Office" emails. ­čÖé

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