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Ben’s Week In Review: December 9

I suppose I should start my Christmas shopping this week, but rather than harp on the money that must be spent, let's reflect on the weekly gaming news, shall we?

Not bad, Spike…still could've been better, though

So they revealed the winners for this year's Video Game Awards on Spike TV, and while I don't agree with all of them, it's not a bad list. Let's face it; we're not looking at the most hardcore gaming awards event possible. It caters to the pop culture crowd more than anything else, so it's no surprise to see them opt for popularity over quality every now and then. Just look at that last award category that Halo 3 won…what the hell is "Most Addictive Video Game Fueled by Dew," anyway? What does that even mean? And I question a few of the other winners as well, but for the most part, the big ones make sense. Bioshock really was a fantastic game and worthy of any Game of the Year nomination, and from what I've heard from Arnold, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction are also worthy of GoY attention. Of course, I still don't get all the excitement over Mass Effect (see below), which is why I agree with the Bioshock selection all the more.

Now, we can't expect everyone to agree on everything, but for what I expected from Spike TV (something along the lines of "all hail Halo 3 !"), this is a fairly satisfactory gathering of great 2007 titles.

Has anybody noticed…?

This isn't related to any news from the past week, but I found myself thinking after reading those Spike TV awards… Notice, the PS3 really doesn't have much representation this year, and in a way, that's to be expected. But look at next year: provided the giant titles hit their 2008 release mark, we could be looking at Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots , Killzone 2 , Final Fantasy XIII , God of War III and Gran Turismo 5 all in the same year and all exclusive to the PS3! Let's not forget that many of the other major releases planned ( Grand Theft Auto IV , Devil May Cry 4 , etc.) will also be on Sony's new system, so I'm expecting a very different-looking list of GoY nominees next year. I'm almost wondering if there are too many awesome games scheduled for 2008, but…that can't be possible, can it? And as I'm looking at this, I realize that no entry in the Halo or Mass Effect series can make it next year, and of course, Bioshock is already here. So what huge games are we expecting from the Microsoft and Nintendo camps? Am I just missing them, or are they nowhere near as big as the aforementioned PS3 exclusives?

I'm just saying, we could be looking at a seriously massive year for Sony in 2008.

Jaffe's GoW visions carrying over?

So it seems David Jaffe would just love to be part of the God of War III development process, and in fact, he left some notes behind when he departed to start up Eat Sleep Play. Now, he didn't really go into detail about these notes; how in-depth they are, if they include storyline or gameplay details, etc. But hey, Jaffe is the guy who helped to create this amazing series in the first place, so if the Santa Monica team has these notes, here's our advice: use them . We really do believe the third entry will be just as incredible – if not more so – than the last two, but there's no reason to ignore the brainstorming of your former leader. I'd sure like to get a glimpse of those notes, though, wouldn't you? Any early look at God of War III would be most appreciated, especially because the first two titles were some of the finest gaming experiences I've ever had. What they did with the PS2 was astounding…can you imagine what they might be able to do with the PS3? The thought alone is enough to make me start drooling! I'd also like to know if this game really is coming in 2008…

I'll start looking for a confirmation ASAP, and if I hear anything, you'll be the first to know, loyal readers. 🙂

Personal gaming update

Okay, I confess: there must be something wrong with me. I've been looking forward to Mass Effect all damn year, so I was psyched as hell to start it up a few days ago. I've already played some pretty amazing titles in 2007, but I figured this one would rocket to the top of my "favorites" list very quickly. I'm an RPG gamer at heart, after all. However, and I know this is going to sound like borderline sacrilege- I just don't like it. The characters and story are fantastic, but no matter how hard I try, I just can't get into the gameplay. I find it slow, clunky, and ultimately, pretty darn boring. I hate to say this and maybe I'm really missing something, here, but that's the way it is. And after trying multiple times to engage myself in this supposedly fantastic game, I've given up. I know those of you who don't know me will just say, "oh, he writes for PSXE so of course he doesn't like a 360 game." Yeah, not true at all. As I said before, I can agree with the Bioshock Game of the Year award (LOVED that game), and I did have plenty of fun with Halo 3 . But Mass Effect …I guess I just don't get it.

There are plenty of games I want for Christmas and I've listed them all before, but for now, I'm just going to focus on reviewing games and making sure the site is up-to-date in that area. And in the little downtime I have, I'll play the new game of Final Fantasy Tactics I just started. Yes, it's a sickness.

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