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Ben’s Week In Review: February 10

All kinds of stuff going on this past week, and as usual, I have a few thoughts on the current news and the current state of my gaming agenda.

God of War on PSP?!

Okay, so Arnold goes and finds this out, which means I can already sense my wallet whining. I don’t have a PSP and haven’t really wanted one (haven't been into handheld gaming since the GameBoy days), but over the past month, there have been three new reasons for me to own one. The first was when I learned about the remake of my most favorite game in the world – Final Fantasy Tactics – heading to Sony’s handheld, which very nearly prompted me to purchase the PSP that instant. Then came the announcement of Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles , which includes a remake of Rondo of Blood and the inclusion of my second most favorite game in the world, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night . And now, there’s the possibility of a God of War for the PSP? Good God.

Now, if it’s just a remake of the original – easily in my top 3 favorite games of the last generation – I wouldn’t be quite so excited, but if it’s a brand new GoW title…I might have to seriously consider buying a PSP. It’s just too bad that the damn thing is so expensive. And of course, I have a giant backlog with the games I already have for the PS2, PS3, and Xbox 360, but even so, I’m going to have to keep my eye on the PSP.

Manhunt 2 on the Wii? …what the hell?

Why hasn’t this gotten more attention? Some of the news stories kinda mentioned it in an offhand manner, while others didn’t even bother to bring it up. To me, this seems completely out of whack, and makes me wonder what Nintendo really has planned for this generation. Yes, the GameCube had the Resident Evil games and the occasional “M”-rated game here and there, but this is Manhunt we’re talking about; one of the most brutal and controversial games in history. We all figured we’d see a sequel eventually, but I guarantee none of us would’ve put money on the Wii…and then comes the official announcement that Manhunt 2 will go to Nintendo’s “family-oriented” platform. The company prides itself on that label. The console received an award for “Family Platform of the Year” in 2006.

Then directly following the announcement of the sequel, Rockstar says Manhunt 2 is clearly for adults . Am I the only one who finds this whole situation very, very strange?

Killzone 2 Pops Up, Then Disappears Again

So first, we got the very intriguing rumor that a playable demo of Killzone 2 might be right around the corner, thanks to the announcement of “important” Sony news at the upcoming Game Developers Conference. That certainly caused a stir around the Internet, but within a few days, Sony had shot down the rumor , claiming there’d be “no Killzone 2” news at the GDC. Considering how big the game is supposed to be, and considering the competition will be stiffer than ever before, we’re all starting to wonder just how good Killzone 2 will be…after all, the original was only decent, and hardly the groundbreaking “ Halo killer” it was purported to be. On the other hand, it seems Guerilla is recruiting the entire damn country to assist with the sequel, and spending a huge amount of money, so what are we to believe?

Now, we all know by now I love my FPSs. But at the same time, I despise constant hype that ultimately falls flat when the final production doesn’t deliver the goods. I admire the effort they’re putting in, and I’m excited about the proposition of a fantastic FPS, but I’m honestly just sick of hearing about the game. Either drop a demo or some real in-game screenshots or just quiet down for the time being. That’s what I say.

Various D.I.C.E. Stuff

A hot topic for Sony at D.I.C.E. this year was the Network , which Phil Harrison believes should be a definite focus in order to conquer this generation. Personally, I’ve never really been into online play, but I certainly understand the appeal, and Harrison is probably correct in his assumption. But because I rarely play online – making me the quintessential casual online gamer – I very much like the idea of a free Network. It’s why I really don’t have any intention of signing up for the Gold Live membership just because I’d hardly ever use it. But when the option is always there, and I don’t have to pay a dime, I’m actually more likely to jump online from time to time. If I paid for it, I’d feel obligated to use it more, that’s for sure. I just hope that, in the future, developers don’t entirely abandon fantastic single-player experiences, assuming everyone just wants multiplayer and online and nothing else.

The other bit of news is that Lair is “80-90% complete,” which means we could be looking at a must-have PS3 title for the summer. The only thing I’m worried about is whether or not Factor 5 is really pushing the whole motion sensitivity thing for flying around on dragons. It was a neat little addition to Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII but in all honesty, it couldn’t compare to the control I had with the standard analog setup. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see…I’m sure there will be an option in the game to switch to the traditional form of control, though. It definitely looks cool.

A Chrono Trigger Remake…?

So a Chrono Trigger remake is a “possibility,” is it? Well, that’s just fine by me. The game was awesome. Now, about the “possibility” of a Final Fantasy VII remake…? Where’s that report? That’s the one I care about. Just let me know when that happens; I’ll mark the calendar and prepare for the ensuing anticipation, which would make me grin for months.

Final Fantasy XII Update

Well, after about 110 hours, there isn’t too much left to do. However, the two biggest obstacles still remain (Omega Mark XII and Yiazmat), and I know it’s going to be a pain in the ass to take them down. The good news is that I was able to beat the Hell Wyrm without much difficulty, and it had about 9 million HP…Omega only has a million more than that, so I’d like to think he’s doable. And Yiazmat may have a downright absurd 50 million HP, but I can always leave and save during the battle, which makes everything much easier and very possible. But before I attempt either, I’d like to max out at Lv. 99 (currently at Lv. 90 with my three characters I always use), just because I can use the extra damage I’d deal. I’m not worried about the HP (it’s already at 9999 with Bubble Belts), but if I want to equip the better accessories like the Sage’s Ring, Ring of Renewal, Genji Glove, and Cat-ear Hood, my HP should be as high as possible without the Bubble Belts. Besides, I suppose I can always cast and re-cast the spell Bubble

Once all that’s over with, I’ll go ahead and beat the game. And then, I’ll finally, finally hook up that 360 and get going on Gears of War . Yes, I realize I’m very behind. So what else is new?

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