Normally, I would be heading into this week with a boatload of excitement and anticipation…but I admit to being extraordinarily concerned about Final Fantasy XIII .

Just gimme Vice City 2. Seriously.

With all these huge games in the first quarter of the year – bizarre timing for so many, no? – I'd almost forgotten about an impending Grand Theft Auto announcement. Now, there are very few franchises that cause me to buy every last new installment on day one, but GTA has been one of them ever since GTAIII swept me away nearly a decade ago (can you believe it has been that long?). I'm just so psyched to hear that GTAV might get its official unveiling before E3 ; I loved GTAIV but for admittedly different reasons than I loved past entries, and I'm sure I'll love GTAV. My favorite is still Vice City just because I'm a big '80s buff, and I'd love to see a follow-up to Tommy Vercetti and Co. Wasn't that Scarface-like setting just plain awesome? And who doesn't want that soundtrack back? LOL I'm sure Rockstar is sticking with their more realistic format for the new one, but that's a good reason to go back to Vice City, right?

Think about it. Before, it was all arcadey and silly and while I know people miss that (it's one of the major complaints about GTAIV), I'd love to see a revamped Vice City with the new authentic focus. Besides, I think there's a lot more they could do with that story; I mean, you end up as king of the hill, basically, so why not start a new story where you have to defend your turf, or something? Just a thought.

Quantic Dream can stay open now

When David Cage said he was nervous about the review scores for Heavy Rain , and he also mentioned that everyone in the studio was watching their computers anxiously for the first round of reviews to come in, it drove the point home: review scores were absolutely everything for this game, for two big reasons. Firstly, it's a new IP; it's not an established franchise so nobody is buying it on name-brand recognition. Secondly, it's a very original, ambitious project that turns the industry on its head. Instead of flashy action and over-the-top effects, it's about emotion, human sensitivity, atmosphere and storytelling. It really was a recipe for disaster; if that game had raked in 5s and 6s, it could've meant curtains for Quantic Dream. Cage admits this himself as in that interview, he said the future of his studio essentially depended on those scores. I'm just glad that most critics rewarded the team for their splendid efforts and the early estimates put sales at about a half-million for the first week. That's great .

Hopefully, that number will continue to rise and other developers will take similar risks in the future, 'cuz this one paid off. This also proves that some games require widespread reviewer praise more than others. Madden and Call of Duty , for instance, likely don't need the help, anymore. For the most part, though, reviews in this industry have proven to be more important than in almost any other entertainment industry out there. That tells me gamers are smart consumers, and is also the reason why the vast majority of the best-rated games are also the best-selling titles ever.

Personal gaming update

First of all, just an FYI: Arnold has had God of War III for a few days now, and I know he's been playing the hell out of it. The embargo ends on Monday so that's just about when the review will go up. We are both going to review FFXIII; we're probably going to do two entirely separate reviews, too. As I said before, this is the week I usually look forward to the most in any generation: the launch of the first true FF of the era. FFVII for the PS1, FFX for the PS2 and FFXIII for the PS3…and yet, I'm really, really worried for the very first time ever. It's not the scores; if the game had been turn-based, it would've gotten 3s from idiot reviewers and that wouldn't have affected me in the slightest. It's the other things I'm reading about; the lack of towns and NPC interaction, extreme linearity, and the fact that Auto-Battle seems to be encouraged over manual choices. I'm sorry, but based on all the info I have, it really does seem like a casualty of twitch-gaming .

Now, I hate to add this, but… Okay, look: Square-Enix knew they would be making this for the 360 as well. Don't think they didn't know that until after the PS3 version was done, or something. That's crap; they knew well ahead of time. And for the past few years, all S-E has ever talked about is their desire to reach a larger audience; to expand westward. It's why they opened up their new studio in LA and why, I think , we're seeing a change in focus in their games. Look at the new Front Mission : a franchise that used to be entirely turn-based strategy and Evolved is now straight-up action. There are no 360s in Japan (there really aren't) and in order to make an FF 360 owners want, S-E might've thought they had to change up the focus to embrace the more shooter/action-oriented 360 audience. Whether they'd be right about that isn't the issue. They might've believed it.

It has been on my mind for a while now. What do you think?

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WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Sorry Ben but I don't think we will see Vice City ever again. I expect an all new spinoff with the sillier elements returning in the form of cheat codes.

I am way excited for FFXIII but also way worried too, if I don't like it I will buy a one way ticket to Japan and see if I can get my blade on board cuz somebody is goin' down (and I don't just mean the hot Japanese babes) ahem…

But things are gonna get full since I'm smack dab in the meat of Heavy Rain and White Knight Chronicles and savoring both experiences. Still plan to platinum Dante's Inferno too.

I'm glad Quantic will survive and I've been thinking, this may be the end of Cage's "personal trilogy" but that first Heavy Rain trophy "Thank you for supporting Interactive Drama" shows that they may juts plan to keep up with this new genre even if it isn't with his own personal vision and instead includes a bigger think tank of people. Just a thought.

Looking forward to GOWIII and especially your FFXIII reviews, DO try not to sync them please, just go with your guts and we will judge who is more in line with us personally.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

You're constantly playing Dante's Inferno, I'm surprised you've yet to reach Platinum yet. You wont be disappointed with FFXIII, come on we both know this!

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Can't help it man, I love that game and it takes awhile to max it out, get the 666 hit combo and whatnot. I know FFXIII won't bum me out or make me go "This game sucks" or do something stupid like sell it, but I'm worried that certain aspects might disappoint. (Towns, shops) For one I am really enjoying just wandering around the towns in WKC to pick up the treasure chests. Though either I'm doing something wrong or the Blackout damaged WKC because I only have the one trophy from ages ago when I killed 100 baddies and I'm in Greede right now.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 3/6/2010 10:43:04 PM

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

The trophies for WKC are pretty insane. Go to gamefaqs and look at the Trophy list, quite a few of them are pretty daunting. When I was at 60hrs into the game I only had 5trophies.

___________
___________
10 years ago

getting the 666 combo is really easy.
cant remember what circle its in but towards the end theres this open room where you have to turn a lever to move a platform across the room to jump onto.
its towards the end of the game.
instead of doing that just kill enemies, spam the cross and you will get the 666 trophy in no time.
i actually got up to 2565 hits than i got hit flew back too far and lost the combo 🙁
that plat is the easiest ive ever got, now im going for heavy rains plat, just 4 more endings and im done.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

I figured out the best way to get that combo was when there is no time limit during the trial where you have to stay up in the air for 8 seconds. I turned on the combo extender, the relic that keeps cross attacks from interuption, had 3 shots of whiskey, and went at it with the cross. 🙂

Will be my first plat because I don't attempt trophies unless they are easy. I'm in most games for the fun, not the achievement.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 3/7/2010 12:39:48 AM

Akuma_
Akuma_
10 years ago

I'm honestly kind of excited for XIII now.

I'm really anxious to play it, after some gameplay footage i seen recently, looks like i would enjoy the game, its just going to be hard to believe that its FF.

I agree with everything about twitch gamers, its so lame, i miss turn-based games terribly.

___________
___________
10 years ago

yea, whichever you find easier.
i only chose that part because in the trials once you kill the easier enemies the big daddies come waltzing in so it makes it harder.
but at the other spot its mainly those grunts you can instantly grab, so i found it much easier to make sure i did not get hit.

Qubex
Qubex
10 years ago

Ben, I too would like to play the next GTA… I haven't yet sampled these games, but I am looking forward to the next release to have an excuse to dive right in there. If you feel Vice City would be best, then I am with you on that one… let's just hope it plays well…

I just watched the FFXIII GameStop video review. I wanted to know if they would at least mention the differentials between the 360 and PS3…. cut a long story short… they said get the PS3 version 🙂

That is a great admission that not releasing it as an exclusive, and on "deserving" hardware, was the wrong strategy 🙂 I am sure xBots will not like to hear such things but it is the truth… so let the truth be known. Other than that it does look gorgeous, but its crimped and quite linear as expected… FF freaks will have issues with that… it's like a fine wine that has somewhat spoilt…

As I have said a few times before, QD deserve to "live", without Sony and Cage taking risks where would the video games industry go. I stand by my previous statements… Cage needs the next generation of console to truly shine… Now I wait to see if sales of HR past the 1 million units sold mark, that would be significant.

Going to continue hammering away at BFC2… and see if I can really get into it… I still feel now, I should have purchased MAG… too late 🙁

Q!

"speak to the droid"


Last edited by Qubex on 3/6/2010 10:22:32 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

The truth hurts.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

Ben,

I agree that SE made gameplay adjustments to the usual FF formula in order to reach a larger market (you're right about the lack of 360s in their native country). But I don't think it has much to do with the 360 in terms of hardware. It has to do with the entire gaming scene this generation.

You mentioned yesterday about twitch gaming and I agree that's becoming the norm now. While you can find quite a bit of those games on the 360 I think it has more to do with the 360 catering to what people want than people simply eating what the 360 is serving.

I'm actually becoming more optimistic about FFXIII as I read more reviews on the game. I look forward to reviews from you and Arnold. I think it's great that you're both spending the time to give us readers 2 different expert opinions. Just one of the reasons I love this site, you go above and beyond for your readers.


Last edited by LimitedVertigo on 3/6/2010 10:34:53 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Except of course in the case of Xboxers eating up anything named Halo.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

Every console has its money makers. Nintendo has Mario (honestly count how many games out there have Mario in the name), Sega has/had Sonic, and Sony..um..Sony used to have Crash?

Believe me, I can't stand the Halo series, and I used to be a supporter of Bungie when they were making Myth games.

Qubex
Qubex
10 years ago

Still boggles the mind that Crash was "discontinued"… why did they get rid of him.

My mouse is sitting on a Crash Bandi mouse pad 🙂

…and that is an original, from Naughty Dog… some 10 or more years ago…

It's the best mouse pad I have ever had!

Q!

"speak to the droid"

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

I definitely agree that it's more a symptom of the generation rather than the 360 hardware itself. But then again, I have to ask, "what if FFXIII had remained exclusive to the PS3?" Would we have seen the exact same result? It's hard to say, I guess.

But I always remain hopeful for my favorite RPG franchise. That's all I can say heading into the review.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

Q,

That's awesome you're still using your Crash mouse pad. I had to retire my StarCraft mouse pad a few years ago for a gaming pad but I still have it.

I think they went the wrong route with Crash. They made several great games than ND/Sony gave the keys to other publishers that with each new game in the series ruined it.

Qubex
Qubex
10 years ago

Yes indeed LV… it's the Crash Team Racing mouse mat with the original PS1 logo on it too… It is so well manufactured that it has not faded one bit… looks as new as the first day I got it from one of the big shows in London… (the shows' name eludes me at this moment).

Incredible!

Q!

"speak to the droid"

psxmax
psxmax
10 years ago

GTA: Italy

Allelujah00
Allelujah00
10 years ago

I want GTA based in London. I don't want Italy cause I'm afraid the surroundings might look to familiar to Assassin's Creed 2. Even though the time period will be extremely different I would like to see something I haven't seen before in games.

Also driving on the left side of the road would be fun. 😀

psxmax
psxmax
10 years ago

I guess you didn't play The Getaway on PS2, because that was base in London.

hehateme
hehateme
10 years ago

im renting this from gamefly…. this series has not been the same since 10 and 10×2

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

So ONE game in a series (FFXII) spanning over 20years has resulted in you losing enough faith in a series to rent the latest game in the series?

Irievibes
Irievibes
10 years ago

well , ima probably eithe buy it used, or rent it with the gamepass, since there are NO sidequests i dont need 80 hours with this FF right?

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

I've read that there are side quests. I've heard the world opens up and there is monster hunter galore at this point.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

I only have Vice City on Xbox1, was the PS2 version better? Cuz I just loaded it up and wow it looks like poop, maybe I'm just spoiled. Hated getting my tires popped all the time anyway.

With QD staying in business how about a massive Omikron remake? That game needs lots of help 🙂 Seriously though, once I'm down with HR I'm going to feel the need to finish Indigo because I just dig the interactive dramas now. (All 2 of them)


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 3/6/2010 10:46:17 PM

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

I have it for PS2 and PC. The PC version still look great with graphics maxed out (gotta love steam).

ViceCity had such a great soundtrack, I'd just go cruising simply for the music and to admire the scenery.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Guess I'm on the outs then, I didn't even like 80's music during the 80's.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

To me you are, I'd kick you out my car if you made such a blasphemous statement! George Michael is still KING.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

King of Bathroom Stalls maybe 😛

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
10 years ago

I'm with Limited on this…

How can you NOT love and adore 80s music?
I wasn't around for most of the 80s, but man nothing compares to the 80s in terms of music greatness….

inkme101
inkme101
10 years ago

@LV
you got that backwards. george michael is still a QUEEN! lol

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

HA!!

That was a good one Carlos, gotta admit you cracked a smile from me.

Natalisrubbish
Natalisrubbish
10 years ago

LOL @ This whole convo! Agree George Michael is a queen. (-:

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

The 80's had a few good moments, but I liked the 90's better.

Everybody loves to get Rick Rolld

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

I own every CD Ricky Pooh ever released. He has an amazing voice and he's quite the charmer.

You're aware the song you're referencing and a majority of his best hits were released in the 80s.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Hence the "moments," and I was really half joking.

kraygen
kraygen
10 years ago

We all have personal tastes but I'm sorry, the only thing worse than country music, is 80's music.

Man did you see that, I just put down 2 of the most popular music selections out there.

Hey, it's not for everyone.

Qubex
Qubex
10 years ago

Do you have enough space World, to keep that XbOx1 alive?

Q!

"speak to the droid"

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

I make space, but it gets crowded lemme tell ya. That's where I do my bulk of emulation though so I need it up and running.

Jed
Jed
10 years ago

@KRAYGEN

Man that is exactly how I feel. There were some songs I enjoyed in Vice City, but the majority of them were just as annoying as the music from GTA3.

I guess I'm glad that I dont remember much of the music from the first five years of my life.

556pineapple
556pineapple
10 years ago

Vice City 2 as a sequel? I'm not sure about that. But I would love to see them return to Vice City and redo it like they did with Liberty City. Only this time, they should make the missions less repetitive and give you more things to do when you beat the game. Those were my only major complaints about IV.

ceedot
ceedot
10 years ago

I agree, Vice City was the best GTA. San Andreas also had so much variety. I hated IV and it's gritty city and it was so boring. A conctrete jungle isn't fun. Bring back the beaches, bright colours and funky music.

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
10 years ago

Seriously about Front Mission going from tactic to action?
I never played but I watch others play it.

LittleBigMidget
LittleBigMidget
10 years ago

My PS3 just died. Why? WHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????????????

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

Why?

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
10 years ago

Dust…
Or just a sign that Slim is the only way to go (sadly)

Qubex
Qubex
10 years ago

I feel so so bad for you my friend… it is a shattering thing to have happen, your own personal earthquake…

Why indeed? I still have my original 60GB phatty… and so far so good… I treasure it and treat it like gold and is still working like a charm 🙂

Q!

"speak to the droid"


Last edited by Qubex on 3/6/2010 11:28:21 PM

Bugzbunny109
Bugzbunny109
10 years ago

Have you been feeding it it's daily 360's? Because you know that it eats those things up to keep running, right? lol sorry couldn't help it XD

SympoziumPawa
SympoziumPawa
10 years ago

Dargor WHY!!!

FullmetalX10
FullmetalX10
10 years ago

Ohw, dude, I'm very sorry for your loss.
My 60gig phat, is still up and running, hope it won't die on me soon, especially with gowIII coming.
restatement: I hope it won't die on me ever.
since I'm very careful with my electronics, I don't think it'll break before I've finished gow.