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Ben’s Week In Review: April 1

April Fool's! Heh…I'm not actually doing a Week in Review today. It's my joke for the week!

…oh, all right. Here goes. 🙂

Virtua Tennis 3 just isn't that great

I'm sorry, it just isn't. It's good , but not great, and that's disappointing. As you'll see by my review , I have two major issues with the game: 1. it's just way too damn easy, and 2. it doesn't include enough aspects of the real sport, despite not being a "simulator," per se. For example, in tennis, you have four basic shots- top spin, slice, lob, and flat. And best of all, this corresponds beautifully to the four face buttons commonly found on controllers these days. But for some bizarre reason, they don't include the flat shot in this game. …what the hell? Why not? One button for lob, one button for slice, and….two buttons for top spin? What's going on here? The flat shot is kinda important.

Being a tennis fan and an avid tennis player, it's little things like this that bug the crap out of me. It probably won't matter to anyone else, and I do understand that VT 3 isn't trying to be a simulator. But at the same time, it's not like it would've taken that much effort to include a few of the basics, and for the life of me, I don't know why Sega didn't do it. I mean, I'm just saying.

Anybody else NOT all that interested in Ninja Gaiden Sigma?

Now, bear in mind, I think Ninja Gaiden was one of the greatest action games ever made, and Ninja Gaiden Black was an upgrade that made it even better. Furthermore, I've no doubt that Sigma is yet another update that will make the already fantastic game even better . But I already spent money on the first two. Do I really want to spend $60 on what amounts to the same game with an expansion pack built in? Eventually, I'll want it if only for my collection, but I'm not so sure I'd play through it again. Yes, I'm aware of the extra stuff included, and I'll probably want to play that upcoming demo this month, but I'm having difficulty justifying further expense on a game I've already beaten. Does anyone else feel this way?

And lastly, I just have to say that the original was hard enough where it felt more like a chore near the end. I have more fun with a game that has normal difficulty like God of War II , so the only way I'll go back through NG is if I use an easier mode. Or, maybe it'll be fun to play as Rachel. I'll have to see, but full price for this game? It's perfectly justified if you've never played it before, but as for me…I don't think so.

GTA IV Goin' All…Russian?

So the debut trailer certainly got everyone's attention (including the Mayor of New York City ), and it's bound to sell a gazillion copies come October. I'll buy it, that's for damn sure. As I've always said about this franchise, the games can be very subjective because atmosphere and environment is the biggest factor in determining our immersion, and ultimately, our enjoyment. This is why, being the huge '80s fan that I am, I'll always prefer Vice City , even though San Andreas is easily the most advanced and accomplished GTA, and III is the most revolutionary and "impactful."

So it looks like this one's gonna be back in Liberty City (despite the resemblance to New York City), and that's okay by me. And Rockstar has given us another completely new "hero;" they've gone from completely anonymous to Italian mobster to African-American gangster to Russian…well, we'll just have to wait and see. I love the new look and style of every GTA, because none of them ever feel recycled. Russian, Scandinavian, Turkish, Mongolian, Indonesian, whatever. I just like to experience new characters and new locales. 🙂

Oh look, our Oblivion review is up

See? It's right here . Looks great, doesn't it? Sure it does. That's because it is . I know it is. RPG is my favorite genre. Taking all this into account, wouldn't the logical reader immediately assume I'd be playing this game right now? Or if I wasn't, it was tops on my list to purchase and play? Well, it's not. I simply don't have the time to lose hundreds of hours to this game – and that's exactly what would happen if I ever started – and I still have some catching up to do. However, I've been saying this since the start of the year, and with a pretty bland April coming up in terms of games, I can easily catch up. All I've got left is Splinter Cell: Double Agent and Okami left to play; the former can be completed relatively quickly, I think.

So now I'm starting to rationalize. "Oh, I can play Oblivion ; I've got the time now, and there's really nothing coming out too soon that I absolutely need to play." This is a baaaaaad train of thought. I wish someone would stop me. Good God…

Quick personal gaming update

As indicated above, I'm going to start SC: DA next week, and I also picked up a sweet little game called Amplitude . I'd known about it ever since its release, of course, but I never actually got around to playing it. I heard it was really short and I didn't really want to pay the full price of admission, and on top of which, it stayed at about $30 for what seemed like ever. But I found it at FYE this past week for $15, so I snagged it. The game is fun as hell , even though I am happy I waited because it really is crazy short. There are only like 20 songs, and I almost finished the entire game in one sitting. But I always want to go back and play some of my favorite songs just 'cuz it's so darn entertaining.

I also still play Hot Shots Golf: Fore! online occasionally, even though Sony will probably take the servers down any day now. Oh well…guess I'll just have to get HSG 5 the day it comes out. Love my HSG. 🙂

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