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Ben’s Week In Review: April 8

All kinds of interesting news this week, and of course, I've got a little something to say about several topics of interest. No skin of my teeth if you don't care to read it. 😉

Okay, so the PSP dropped in price…

It's a conspiracy. It really is. Heading into 2007, I really didn't have much desire to own a PSP, even though there were a few titles available I wanted to play. Then the news started to pile up regarding new software I'd love to get my hands on; not the least of which was a remake of my favorite game ever, Final Fantasy Tactics . Then we hear about the remake of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood , and a brand new God of War for the handheld, and things get even more interesting. Finally, this past week, two more pieces of news that only make the PSP all the more appealing: the announcement of a price drop and all those recent rumors that include a Devil May Cry for the PSP.

I'm telling you, it's a damn conspiracy. They couldn't possibly do much more to make me cave in and buy the system, I swear. What's next, a free game packaged with the PSP? A worthy Symphony of the Night sequel? I mean, come on .

Did we ever have any doubt?

So that recent study concerning violent video games and their affect on children's behavior was pretty damn intriguing. No study produces what Aristotle called "a priori truth," but then again, the results seem perfectly logical to me. As someone who holds a degree in Psychology, I must say this is the kind of experiment that interests me in more ways than one. I'm a gamer, yes, but I've always been fascinated by studies like these. The results of this one make sense, don't they? Does anyone doubt that those students who committed the Columbine atrocity were disturbed? Did you see the essays and home videos those kids produced before their rampage? Did anyone with a brain really think it happened because they freakin' played Doom ? Look, it should be common knowledge that unstable personalities are more affected by what they see and hear, especially in the entertainment realm.

Stable individuals, on the other hand, aren't impacted hardly at all. And that's simply because they maintain a continual and constant grasp on reality, and understand a bit about morality. They have a conscience. Unfortunately, some people just aren't born with the correct level of mental stability. Another example? The paranoid schizophrenic who said the "voices in GTA" made him commit a murder. Key words in that? Not "voices in GTA." No, it's the paranoid schizophrenic part!

Madden's first 100-speed man is…Devin Hester?

What, seriously? 16 years the franchise has been around, and EA has never saw fit to award a perfect speed rating to another player? Come 2007, they give it to Devin Hester ? What about Bo Jackson? Remember that guy in Tecmo Bowl ? Granted, TB was hardly a simulator, but there were some wicked fast athletes in the past 16 years in the NFL, and I refuse to believe that not a one was as fast or faster than Hester. Then again, perhaps EA is simply saying that the "100" rating simply means "fastest in the league that year" and not "fastest all time." And that would make sense. But if that's the case, how come they never did it before? I dunno, it just bugs me.

$2 billion is lot of money

It's what they estimate companies will be spending to place in-game ads by 2011. It seems like an absolutely absurd number, but then again, we have to realize just how big – and how mainstream – gaming has become. It's no longer a niche hobby for a niche demographic. It targets many different demographics across all ages and, yes, both sexes. Girl gamers are ever on the rise, as are casual gamers, which is one of the biggest reasons in-game ads will be so huge in the very near future. Personally, I don't really mind them. I'll just ignore them like I do all the other ads I see in TV and movies.

Personal Gaming Update

So I finally got a chance to start up Splinter Cell: Double Agent , which is a really great game, as expected. There are a few things I don't like about it, and I actually think I liked Chaos Theory a little more, but that's okay. I've loved the series ever since it first arrived five years ago, so to me, it's hard to go wrong with one of those installments. Of course, I'll probably be able to finish it within the next week or so, and then it's either on to Okami or, God forbid, I start up a new game of Final Fantasy Tactics or Final Fantasy VII . Somebody is going to have to stop me, though, because I really shouldn't. There might not be much on the way in April (and everyone can keep their mouths shut concerning Oblivion ), but if I start up another new game in either FFT or FF VII…well, I won't play anything else for a while.

That's just the way it goes. I want to play through my favorite games at least once every few years or so, and I've been catching up on new titles so often, I deserve some nostalgia time. Or maybe I'll go through Alundra again… Ah, good times. 🙂

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