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Ben’s Week In Review: April 28

Well, I'm back from a much-needed vacation, and I find there is plenty of news out there to talk about. That's the way of things, isn't it? Leave town for a week, come back, and you're all kinds of behind. LOL Anyway, onwards!

More Adult games on the way…not surprising

Last week, an interview pointed out the seemingly unending drive of adult entertainment executives, who are looking towards the video game realm as a new venue for their erotic wares. …that's a fancy way of saying a lot of smut will be showing up on store shelves pretty soon. Now, we all know that sex sells, but if they hadn't noticed, the PlayBoy games haven't exactly sold as well as the big-name franchises, like Grand Theft Auto , Final Fantasy , Halo , etc. See, I'm not entirely sure sex in video games is a good idea, simply because this remains an interactive hobby. We play the games, and that's a very different thing than ogling naked chicks participating in dirty acts. Yeah, Leisure Suit Larry was a cult classic – sorta – but these days, we want great interactive experiences.

I just don't get the attraction. Video games and sex simply don't mix, in my opinion. Then again, I think Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball sold plenty of copies, so what do I know?



Yes, it arrived this past week; the Ninja Gaiden Sigma playable demo. As far as I know, it includes five levels and one bonus level for the player to fight as Rachel. Now, while NG is certainly one of the best action games ever, I've already traded in the game for Ninja Gaiden Black . I don't really want to spend another $60 for the same game. I've posted about this before, but now I'm starting to wonder…everything I've heard about this demo has been bordering on glowing praise. Some have even said it's a pretty significant step up from the Xbox versions, and with some of the well-documented additions, I'm starting to think I might just have to buy the game. Again.

I guess I'll have to download the demo to find out. I'm just worried that once I do, I'll have to add yet another game to my "must-buy" list for the year. And that list is already getting a little out of hand. 😉

So, EA "needs" the Cell for their FPSs?

That's what they say , anyway. They didn't really go into specifics during the interview, but it's one hell of an intriguing comment. The weird part? Doesn't EA focus almost entirely on multiplatform titles? Are they hinting at the possibility of franchises like Medal of Honor being exclusive to the PS3? And this is the second bit of praise I've seen for that Cell in the past week since I came back. The other was when Factor 5 said they were blown away by the PS3's processor when they set out to create Lair , so now I'm starting to imagine just how much potential the Cell really has. It could be ridiculous.

Interestingly enough, the 360 is widely considered to be the best console for FPSs. But could things change this generation? Resistance: Fall of Man is an awesome FPS, but I think it's only the tip of the iceberg. Let's just hope developers get a solid handle on that Cell and begin to tap into its true power before too long.

Here's hoping Odin Sphere is the last great PS2 RPG

Final Fantasy XII and Rogue Galaxy were fantastic RPGs, but we all knew there'd be a few more before the PS2 called it quits. I had hoped Dawn of Mana would turn out to be good, but it appears to be a gigantic flop. So now, after doing the preview for Odin Sphere , that one seems quite promising. There isn't much time left for the PS2, one of the best RPG machines in history, and I'd like to see it produce one more worthwhile role-playing experience. I'm still trying to catch up, of course – I plan to start Kingdom Hearts II this week – but I almost always have at least one RPG sitting on the back burner. I'd hate to have none. 😉

Odin Sphere, please be good! Or at the very least, decent.

Video game music fans, pay attention: GAME is on the way!

I've always thought music and sound was one of the most underrated and under-appreciated facets of any video game production. I've played games that wouldn't have been a fraction as enjoyable if it weren't for their fantastic soundtrack ( Castlevania: Symphony of the Night , Final Fantasy VII , Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete , etc.), and I always like to hear new renditions or arrangements of classic game tracks. Therefore, I turn your attention to pianist Michael Gluck and his forthcoming GAME CD. You can check out more info at his site, , where you can see the full list of game tracks he arranged for piano. RPG fans will recognize most all of them.

The CD ships on June 30, and we will be posting up an interview feature with the young musician right around that time. I had a chance to chat with him today, and he clearly loves games – and game music, of course – as much as anyone. He's also a big RPG fan like me, which makes him cool in my book. 😉 Anyway, check back around the end of June for that interview, and for all you fans of classic game soundtracks, you really oughta check out GAME.

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