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Ben’s Week In Review: March 17

Okay, so there's plenty to talk about, thanks to rumors gone wild and one of the best games in recent memory. So let's get to it.

What's with the Warhawk and PSP misinformation?

There seems to be an issue lately with sources getting their quotes and details screwed up in regards to certain topics. One of the most ridiculous back-and-forth scenarios belongs to the upcoming PS3 game, Warhawk . After confirming it would be multiplayer-only, the debate began to rage: how would the game be distributed? Would it be delivered to retail stores in typical Blu-Ray format, or would it be available only as a downlodable title from the PlayStation Store? First, IGN says a SCEA rep told them the game would be Blu-Ray only . Then, Sony's semi-official blog, ThreeSpeech, said that's not true, and Warhawk would be sold only on the PlayStation Store . Could someone please, please straighten this out? I don't even care about the game; but the constant eff-ups are starting to get to me.

Then there are the PSP redesign rumors, which were shot down (kinda) after Sony clarified that Ray Maguire's comments were taken out of context. So we had to update the story with the very vague, "well, it's probably going to happen, but not for a while." This is the kind of thing that frustrates the hell out of both author and reader. I mean, I'm just saying.

Blu-Ray/HD-DVD War Over Already?

So far all year, Blu-Ray movies have been trouncing HD-DVD in the sales department, and now the majority of film studios are siding with Blu-Ray while retailers all over the world are considering ditching HD-DVD entirely (one major Australian retailer already has). So the question is, has the conflict ended prematurely ? Historically, Sony has not done well when they've tried to introduce a new media to the world, but this time, it seems they've hit on a winner. Of course, as most everyone knows, the PS3 is a Blu-Ray player, and if HD-DVD does indeed bow out early, this can only mean good things for Sony's console. Not only is it the cheapest Blu-Ray player available, it's also the only one that can play DVDs. That will prove to be a very popular feature very early on; there are plenty of people out there with giant DVD collections.

And, oh yeah, the PS3 should have some pretty good games coming out this year. If Blu-Ray does catch on and HD-DVD falls by the wayside, it's going to give the PS3 one helluva boost.

How many times do we have to say it: gaming isn't just for kids!

It's a well-known fact by now that the average age of a gamer in the U.S. is approaching 30 years old (if it hasn't hit that number alredy). Of course, it makes sense to all of us who have been gaming since the '80s, but still baffles those still living in their own little fairyland worlds, who believe games are still just for kids. Recent Reuters/Nielsen info says otherwise – as do all the statistics – and it's getting clearer by the day. What we can't really understand is why even those in fairyland don't have a sense of logic…

These are the same people complaining incessantly about the likes of GTA. Do they really believe those games are designed for children? Seriously? Do they believe the "Mature" rating stands for "miniature individuals," or something? Where, oh where, is the common sense ?

God of War II…Almost Too Good

If there is such a thing. The game is absolutely incredible from front to back, and one has to look very hard to find even the most minor flaws. The original was a phenomenon as well, but despite being one of the game's biggest fans, I never really believed I'd see so much expansion in the sequel. And when I say "expansion," I'm referring to the addition of some seriously awesome gameplay options, enhancements, and alterations. They're both significant and appreciated, and they're all implemented nearly flawlessly. When one plays this game, one starts to wonder…"how come we don't have more games like this? Why is it so much better than so many other games?" See, the problem is, something like God of War II spoils you. You expect other games to be just as good – or at least close – and that basically never happens.

And after playing Gears of War right before GoW II, I must say, I've just had two of the most amazing gaming experiences in my life back-to-back. The only other two that might come close are way back in the day, when I played Super Mario 3 and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 one right after the other. But to repeat- God of War II is just plain awesome. Expect the review a little later…

Me Likey The Hot Shots

So there's a playable Hot Shots Golf 5 demo on the Japanese PlayStation Store, and I'm ultra-tempted to make a fake Japanese account to get a crack at it. I've been one of the biggest fans of the series ever since it debuted almost nine years ago on the PS1, and I will be getting HSG 5 when it comes out. It's hard to explain why, but I actually consider the HSG games to be extraordinarily realistic (you have to think of everything, just like in something like Tiger Woods PGA Tour ). They're also both accessible and wildly entertaining, so while it gets plenty of love in Japan, I think it gets overlooked here. My belief is it's due to the somewhat "kiddie" or cartoony exterior…but trust me, golf fans, beneath that exterior lies a very deep golf game. You should give it a shot.

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