These days, the industry just loves the first quarter. Mass Effect 2 for the PS3, LittleBigPlanet 2 and Dead Space 2 , all this month. Good God.

I don't know why I dislike Elder Scrolls, all right?!

I still remember first hearing about Morrowind . I was psyched . I just loved the idea and although I was at the tail end of my glorious PS1 RPG days, Elder Scrolls III was one of the reasons I got the Xbox. In fact, it was the reason (yes, over Halo ). But I will always remember putting it in, playing for hours, and never feeling…well, what I thought I would feel. It was hard to pinpoint, which is why I kept at it. I just thought, "well, it's different; you gotta get used to it." But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get past the following: it just felt bland. I know that sounds insane, considering the size and scope of such a production, but it's the only way I can describe it. The landscape, the story, the characters, the combat…it was all just so…bleh. And it's not even the atmosphere; I actually prefer that style to the anime presentation in most JRPGs.  So that's not it.

Then I tried again with Oblivion , but the same thing happened. And despite all this, I know I'll try again when Skyrim shows up. It's inevitable, especially after drinking in all the intriguing details . Something inside says, "WTF is wrong with you? This was designed with you in mind!" I've never tried to like something more and came away so unfulfilled. No, I don't get it. But that's the way it is.

PS3 exclusives tops in 2011…? I'll buy that

When analyst Jesse Divnich mentioned that the 2011 exclusive lineup for the PlayStation 3 might be among the best ever , I started to think about what the year offered. The list really is out of control but once again, it seems to me as if the PS3 exclusives will once again set the bar. People can call me biased if they wish, but I think the games speak for themselves. In 2008, nothing topped MGS4, and I also think LittleBigPlanet , Valkyria Chronicles and Resistance 2 contributed to putting Sony ahead of the pack. In 2009, it was all about Uncharted 2: Among Thieves , but we can't forget about Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time , Killzone 2 , inFamous , and Demon's Souls . In 2010, we had Heavy Rain , Gran Turismo 5 , God of War III , MAG , White Knight Chronicles and Yakuza 3 . 2011: Killzone 3 , Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception , inFamous 2 , Resistance 3 , LittleBigPlanet 2 , MotorStorm: Apocalypse …yeah, you see a quality trend, here.

Honestly, while Blu-Ray, reliability, and a free Network are pluses, PlayStation has always been about the games. Plain and simple.

Personal gaming update

I put over 43 hours into Brotherhood and did everything I wanted to do. Rome 100% renovated, all memories (even the optional ones) at 100%, all Treasures and Borgia Flags obtained, and I also had a personal goal of having an entire team of full Assassins, which was the last thing I did…takes longer than you think. I tried and hated that filthy load, Splinter Cell: Conviction , as most of you know, and I love to toy around with NBA Jam here and there. Currently, my big game is Fable III ; here are some thoughts, if anybody is interested-

I like it and I don't like it. While it does have many of the role-playing elements I crave, it's just yet another example of "RPG lite," believe it or not. I wasn't expecting this from such a series, especially after playing the original, but it happened. Now, I can only equip one spell at a time (oh yes, that's RPG like 'rolling eyes'), nothing I wear matters (i.e., your equipment/outfits have no bearing on your capabilities), and you have no stats. Seriously. Your weapons and spells get better the more you use them, and you gain a certain form of experience in the form of Guild Seals (which are then used to unlock ability chests), but that's about it in terms of battle-related RPG elements.

On the plus side, there are big areas to explore, towns, a cool traveling system, and of course, that patented "social" flair, where you have to try and forge relationships with NPCs (provided you want to be Good). You can go on dates, get married, have sex, have kids, get divorced, become someone's best friend, etc. It's all done by doing simple fetch-and-retrieve quests that would be mind-numbingly annoying if it weren't for the fast-travel option. I've already had a kid, but it's hardly as dynamic as it sounds. For instance, I can kiss a complete stranger directly in front of my husband (I picked the female heroine; not sure why), and it won't matter. It's all just random, really.  And by the way, the game chugs horribly sometimes; I haven't seen slow-down this bad in years.

The game is fun, but you know, it's like I said: the streamlining of gameplay and eradication of RPG depth for the sake of wider appeal. It fights like an action/adventure game and it's set in a role-playing theme. I like it…but it may very well be that Dragon Age and Elder Scrolls might be the last true RPGs in existence.

Subscribe
Notify of
109 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
frostface
frostface
9 years ago

I really wanted to get into Oblivion but couldn't and got rid of the game. But something keeps niggling at me to pick it up again, yet I know I'll feel the same but I really do want to love it. I'm just not sure it'll happen and why it's on my mind to replace it I don't quite get. So I may hold out for Skyrim instead.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I had the same thoughts on Oblivion when I rented it, it was super dull and lame. But after I bought it and put in some time I loved it, I guess the game just doesn't resonate with you Ben even after a bunch of time, but no harm no foul. Ya can't love em all right?

I'm having similar thoughts on Castlevania, it started cool, then I was like "Why am I playing this still?" but after about chapter 5 it really picks up and starts to go back in a "Castlevania-y" direction. I'm on chapter 9 now and it just keeps getting better and better.

I've decide to try Enslaved again on hard to see if it's better, and it is. I'm still upset that it is so damn short and that the story had potential for greatness, but that potential was squandered at every opportunity. I keep thinking, "what if this was PS3 exclusive?" Ironically, I'm positive it would have sold more than it being a multiplat. Not to mention having the ability to be longer and without the many hiccups and technical issues.

I kind of figured Fable III would be a pile after reading info on it. That series had promise in the first iteration, but they seem to be making it worse like most games this gen. I bet that one was rushed so 360 could have SOMEthing to put out there.

I just bought Prince of Persia (the cell shaded one not forgotten sands) for 9 bucks on ebay. Hope I like it.

Let's all pray Last Guardian arrives this year!


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 1/8/2011 10:03:18 PM

cLoudou
cLoudou
9 years ago

I couldn't get into Lords of Shadow even though I beat it. Felt kind of slow. The ending got me excited for the next installment though.

DazeOfWar
DazeOfWar
9 years ago

I enjoyed the hell out of the cell shaded PoP. I actually picked up again a month ago since I hadn't played it on the PS3. Figure I'll go through it this time and do everything. I think if you like the older PoP games you'll enjoy it. I also thought the story was cool too.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Yea it takes some time for Castlevania to get going(not nearly as much time as FFXIII) and it once it does, it never lets up. I'm going to go for the Platinum at some point. Maybe at the end of 2011. 🙂

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Jawknee did you unlock all the artwork? It's mesmerizing.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Yea, it's great. You can snap screen shots of them too using the XMB.

Qubex
Qubex
9 years ago

Jawk/World, what artwork is that?

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

Anyone else think that the second Titan fight in Castlevania was one of the coolest moments in gaming last year?

And I sustain the opinion that LoS gets better as it goes =)

Teddie9
Teddie9
9 years ago

oh most definitely, Enslaved's combat had a certain rhythm to it while on hard mode, kept you on your toes.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Qubex, its the artwork in Castlevania, you unlock some by playing and you can unlock the others for a very small price. It varies from character drawings to concept drawings, to the sweeping vistas that are a cornerstone in the game. It really is a whole different direction for Castlevania, thats a little bothersome because I was a SOtN fan as well, but you really do get thrilled about the new direction after you've been into it.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I should clarify, by price i dont mean money, but the stuff you use to buy upgrades.

Qubex
Qubex
9 years ago

OK World… there must be some spectacular artwork in that game. It is a game I must get for the collection… sometime during the course of this year.

I always had my eye on it… at the moment KZ3 is firmly in my sights 🙂

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

frylock25
frylock25
9 years ago

i cant wait for lbp2.

pgu: lots of mag. made oic a couple times. lots of gt5. i am up to 6 drivers. 2 are level 25 and 4 are around level 5 or 6. im gonna continue on this til i have them all up there.

bought xmen that was fun nostalgic times. had my kid play some kung fu live and she loved it. that was fun to watch her. bought sonic 4 and that is hard. harder than the old school ones are.

i found this really sweet face plate for my ps3. it has gt5 on it. makes it look custom.

i also scored resistance: fall of man for $7 and started playin through that again


Last edited by frylock25 on 1/8/2011 10:04:35 PM

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Did you have to take off the factory PS3 face plate to install the custom GT5 one? Or does it snap on right on top?

frylock25
frylock25
9 years ago

goes right over the top. snaps at all the corners and fits perfectly on it. its fairly thin so it looks like it is the actual ps3. think i will try to get a good pic and make it my avatar. those pics i sent you were horrible quality.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Are those for slims or fatties fryman?

frylock25
frylock25
9 years ago

its for the slim. makes it all shiney. which made it harder to get the pic that im about to put up as my avatar. there was also a white god of war 3 cover. i liked the black gt5 one better, but the gow3 one looked really sweet.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Whats with the fart jokes and STD's in Fable games? Silly games. I watched my friend play a great deal of Fable III. I don't get the appeal. Though those gnomes were pretty funny.

PGU: Still plugging away at GT5. I have over 296 cars and 8.5 million credits now. I'm at level 28 V-Spec and 19 B-Spec. I've also started a new game of Final Fantasy XII. I said last night in the other thread, I've only gotten past the first hour or so of the game and I'm already enjoying it more than Final Fantasy XIII. I also picked up Resistance 2 and The Sly Cooper Collection today to add to my back log. I never finished the first Resistance game but I read the synopsis and watched most of the cut scenes to get caught up on the story. 🙂 I got bored with the first game so I never finished it but I have heard a lot of great things about the second game and the third looks interesting enough to warrant a play through of the rest of the series.

frylock25
frylock25
9 years ago

man R2 co op was bad ass. i dont care what anyone says i really liked it. something about resistance graphics always felt a little cartoony to me but i never cared.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Yea the graphics I'm fine with. Not the best but still very cool. The second, from the video footage I have seen, seems to have a better sense of scale. Looks great. Can't wait.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Resistance 2 was the better production in my opinion, but it was a bit stripped down compared to the first. The first was pretty slow compared to R2. That game even had me playing online a bunch.

Shams
Shams
9 years ago

R1 is among the few split-screen sp coop experiences on the ps3, and was certainly my first. Fewer weapons than R2, but of course, the weapon wheel from R1 gave you more weapons to use at any one time. I missed the bubble gun, too.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

I have an older brother who loves PC RPG's. He played the Might & Magics, Baulder's Gates, Fall Outs, Elder Scrolls and seemingly countless others. We were pretty polar opposites growing up. I generally dug the action, racing, and fighting games and he was the strategy/RPG guy. If it wasn't wRPG's it was X-Com, Myth, Dungeon Keeper, C&C etc. Basically, because he was into these games I felt the influence to be into them. Similarly, I had buddies my age who all loved SNES/PSX Square jRPG's etc. Matt, Jeremy, and Chris would impart to me their thoughts and opinions about what series was the best and why one game was better than another. I listened and sort of acknowledged, but didn't really have an opinion of my own–I think that's why they liked talking to me about it. Once again, I felt compelled to like them. And for the one's I played, I did. I played FF6 (FFIII back then) before FF7 was even revealed and SNES was still what was awesome. But for as cool as they were, I couldn't quite call those games my favorites. They were interesting, well made, and entertaining but I always felt I was playing someone else's favorite. I just wanted to fight guys in the arcade on Tekken 3. Nowadays, I felt compelled to try and relive the PSX era of FF games and give the games the time and patience necessary to like them. And while, at times, I felt the stories and characters could be overly adolescent, I've come to actually enjoy playing them. I no longer feel like I'm playing someone else's favored game. Like, I feel almost naked not working on a RPG in some form, or another. It's strange, I think I just conditioned myself to want to like them like other people I knew liked them. And so after 150+ hours of playing FF on my PSP, I still wan't to play more. Now I look at this year's gaming lineup and I'm excited for games like Skyrim, Dragon's Age, and Deus Ex (I did already like Deus Ex 1 and 2) but now there's a certain deeper more compelling desire to play them.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

PGU: I've been playing KZ2 after being pepped up on all the KZ3 hype. The game is great and it's art design is superb. Anyone notice that while the game looks quite realistic, it's still highly stylized? WHile I have a hard time thinking of KZ2 as anything more than a 9.0 (HL2, Halo, and yes, even IW's MW's are my comparative standard bearers). KZ3 is looking to place itself closer to a 9.5+ range.. we'll see.

I beat SC: Conviction. For what it's worth the story get's pretty emotionally charged with some neat Hollywood style moments. And I thought Sam breaking into Third Echelon and destroying it was pretty awesome. While I came away disappointed with the gameplay changes, I did come away liking Sam and the story more.

I'm always working on ME2. I love it. I don't think I could ever review it because the game causes me to like it more than a game should.. I don't understand it. I know I'd be biased trying to critique it so I'm better off being a fan rather than think critically about it–I don't want to find reasons to not like it.
But some awesome missions are for "The Justicar," plus her loyalty mission. I also thought "Archangel" had a cool loyalty mission. And recruiting "The Assassin" was quite cool as well. I love it.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I'd say you were someone who had to "learn to love" RPGs.

In my experience at least, you typically are either born an RPG nut or you aren't. Not many people get converted, but you might be one of them.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Then I consider you the only two I've ever heard of. I couldn't get my COD friends to play an RPG to save their lives.

Teddie9
Teddie9
9 years ago

I was an action game fan only until my friend gave me ff4 advance for the GBA, then lent me P3, late to the party but I love them.

(Now I've played through FFVII, VIII, P4, Nocturne, Resonance of Fate, WKC, WRPGs..wish I could get Lost Odyssey, but 1 game doesn't warrant a 360)


Last edited by Teddie9 on 1/9/2011 1:23:45 PM

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

Another fun few months worth of reviews coming?

Oblivion was good, but the thing that I disliked about it was that it was so directionless. The main campaign didn't really grab me, and while I had some fun running about the countryside killing randoms and finding more quests, in the end it felt empty. That didn't stop me putting more than two hundred hours into over four different sve files though… I must have enjoyed something about it to be able to do that.

Ha! Anyone who says that anything can touch the PS3 exclusive line-up this year is deluding themselves. Although RE: Revelations for the 3DS sounds like it's going back to a focus more akin to the earlier games. Frightfest. Makes me want to hear more about REPSP. But no, the PS3 can sate almost any desire this year.

Personal Update:
Getting absolutely destroyed in Demon's Souls, and loving it. Although fighting through two black skeletons to get to Abjudicator, only to be killed in one hit was devastating. Also still grinding away at VC2, I'm in August now, so… getting there, and I'm about halfway through Middlemarch. The novel is awesome, but for some reason, I'm not really getting the inclination to read it while I'm at home. That still leaves about an hour and a half every weekday on the way to work, and the lunchbreaks. Actually, since I'm a bit sick of games at the moment, I might read that for the rest of the afternoon.
Peace.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

PGU

Taking a break from GT5 this week. I've been messing around with Valkyria Chronicles on the PSP – which is teh awesome. I upgraded my PS3's HDD to a 500GB from WD, a nice AV-25 which is a special version of their 500GB drive that's got 32MB of cache, uses less power and has a bunch of additional features designed to support use in applications that require long term reliability and high levels of data integrity. It's only a 5400 RPM drive, by it feels twice as fast as the 320GB Hitachi I removed. That Hitachi had also proven to be very vulnerable to corruption problems. If you are in the market for a good 500GB drive in a PS3, look at Western Digital's 500GB drives, specifically the AV-25 range.

Also replaced the video card in my PC, the PC is going on 6 years old now, it's a dual core P4, and the cheap card int eh system died. So I replaced it with a modern, and slightly less cheap one. The PC is a workhorse, and the card is awesome. Not quite a new leas of life, but definitely an improvement. The card is an Asus GT 430 with 1GB of RAM. It replaced an ancient and sucky 7300GS, so it's quite a step up.

Also upgraded the Internet this week, and now have 8 times the bandwidth. Thank goodness for Cable.

I've been rebuilding the PS3's installed games all week long, and put White Knight Chronicles in again. I love this game, not enough to guild level grind for months, but enough to get a few more guild ranks.

Also for some reason this week I was looking up classical music in my favorite RPGs and a couple of pieces from Xenosaga reminded me of why I love that game, so a replay is in order….

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Cable makes all the difference doesn't it? I had DSL for awhile and it blew chunks. Could rarely use the content I downloaded until the next day. And for some reason it wouldn't allow me to download anything over 2gb after so many months of heavy PSN use. It just wouldn't download. Would start but it would sit on 0%, 0kb status. Either Qwest cut me off(of course they said they didn't) or my modem was dated(which is was). Instead of trying to figure it out, I just switched to cable and haven't looked back. I pay a little more but it's worth it.

frylock25
frylock25
9 years ago

i fully agree with the cable being better. i love it. i could never stream hd content over dsl. i get like 18-21 mbps where i got 3 with dsl

tes37
tes37
9 years ago

Highlander, I saw some glasses-free 3D tv's mentioned while watching the news. Just in case you haven't heard, they're on the way soon. Holographic tv's are going to be a reality as well.


Last edited by tes37 on 1/8/2011 11:31:56 PM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

@tes,

Yeah, but did you read the "eyes-on" reviews of those glassesless TVs? They have very narrow viewing angles and small sweet spots where the 3D works, if you move your head, or tip it at an angle or anything like that, the illusion of 3D disappears.

I think the most promising tech in the medium/long term is the polarized lens tech because it's easy and inexpensive to manufacture the glasses, and not significantly more expensive to make the TVs. The tech will get better, and ultimately short of holographic display viewable from a range of angles without loss of 3D, it's the best there is right now.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Highlander, did you buy that WD HDD online? I am looking for another HDD but the only links I can find aren't the SATA 2.5's.

kraygen
kraygen
9 years ago

I have dsl and am close to a junction, so there's almost no degradation and I get 6mb download speeds.

I have a few friends with cable and my dsl works better than their cable.

I did a bunch of research and which one works better is more dependent on your circumstances than anything else. If you have old phone lines for instance that can really slow down your dsl.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

@Jawknee

Newegg was my supplier of choice.

@Kraygen we were barely hitting 2.5 Mbps, now we average neat 18Mbps. The DSL service level varies greatly by ISP, and Bellsouth/AT&T is very good at degrading service then offering better service for an additional charge.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Thanks Highlander. I wasn't able to find one on Newegg. They were all out and didn't know if they were going to restock anytime soon. I did however find the exact same one on Amazon from one of their sellers named Greentech. Scored it for $60! Now both my PS3's shall become mammoth data storage devices! 🙂

What's the best way to transfer my data from the 500gb HDD in my Slim to the new drive? I'm going to put the new drive in my slim and my old Seagate drive with less cache in my 60gb. Will the typical back up and restore in the PS3 System settings suffice?


Last edited by Jawknee on 1/9/2011 4:58:37 PM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Yeah, NewEgg had a decent price too, I think people are waking up to how good of a drive this one is, seems like they're selling out as fast as anyone can get them.

There's a data transfer utility that lets you move everything from a PS3 to a new PS3, so you could simply put the new drive in your other PS3 and swap identities – so to speak. Your best bet might be a USB drive for a backup, but that does take a long time. You can't simply clone the drive though. In my case my Hitachi was dying so I removed everything except my game saves and used the backup utility. With only game saves the backup and restore took less than 3 minutes. But then I had to re-download/re-install everything.


Last edited by TheHighlander on 1/9/2011 6:06:06 PM

kraygen
kraygen
9 years ago

yeah I hear ya, but here the best cable offered is 10mb and the problem with cable is the more ppl in your area using it the slower it is, and the cable company never puts out enough signal to keep you at 10mb.

So in the evening most of my friends only get like 1-3mb. I get just over 5mb all the time. I'd love to have faster, but here this is the best I can get.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

That might depend on one's opinion on what makes a true RPG.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Who said I preferred FFXIII?

I prefer the FF franchise on the whole – you know, it actually has a STORY and DIFFERENT mechanics every time – but I'm not enamored with FFXIII. I just get annoyed when people call it crap.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Yes, well, the "you create the story yourself" is the biggest cop-out in the history of games, IMO.

Translation- "Hey, we don't have to write a whole story OR create interesting characters…we'll just tell the player to do it and call it 'freedom!'"

…uh-huh. Never bought that for a second, especially when most of that "freedom" from a literary standpoint was an illusion.


Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 1/9/2011 12:58:44 AM

JDC80
JDC80
9 years ago

Personal gaming update:
I wished I hadn't put off doing everything in AC:Brotherhood before I had to sent it back to get "Mass Effect 2" from Gamefly. But I've been playing NBA 2K11 and NHL11 a lot since getting them for Christmas. Right now I'm playing RDR: Undead Nightmare saved a couple of towns, saved couple of town folks but I haven't shot Big Foot yet tho..
As for 2011: All I know I'm sending any game I currently have out two weeks ahead when any of these exclusives come out so I can get my chance to get it on day one when Gamefly makes them available.

frylock25
frylock25
9 years ago

japan has dlc for gt5

StangMan80
StangMan80
9 years ago

What?

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

What's the 'DLC' that they have?

frylock25
frylock25
9 years ago

its 3 cars for plus members. im pretty sure they were in the special editions of gt5. ill look when i get a chance. i tried to down load them and while i was able to they installed but do not work in my game. not sure why.

what i remember is one was a m3 and all 3 were chrome lined. ill kick myself when i figure out the other 2 but i know they were in the collectors edition.

dont believe me? go on the japan store.

Nickjcal
Nickjcal
9 years ago

I just rented Castelvania from Gamefly and the second level is really making me mad. Not because it's hard, but I just hate not being able to control the camera. Games like Fallout and Oblivion are fun for a certain time, but it wears of pretty quickly for me. Skyrim looks much more interesting… Right now I'm waiting for Dead Space 2. That Killzone 3 story trailer that just released sold me. Getting that day 1 no matter what 🙂

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I have a little advice, yeah the fixed camera in Castlevania is frustrating, but if you train yourself to not wonder what is happening off screen and assume that because it IS a fixed camera the developers want you looking in a certain direction to find your way then it gets a lot more tolerable while helping you locate the way to keep going.

Losing track of yourself in battles, possibly not seeing a grip point, and jumping into oblivion are things you just can't help though of course.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 1/9/2011 12:02:27 AM