Time for another edition of Random Encounters, where I share my thoughts on a variety of subjects that are currently on my mind:
1. I have no proof and only baseless Internet speculation, but I can’t help but wonder if Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag was originally a side-story like the Ezio trilogy and was rebranded as a numbered sequel in order to take people’s mind off the bitter disappointment that was Assassin’s Creed 3. It just seems odd that the AC 4 is in roughly the same time period and is a prequel, which means it might not even forward the Desmond story set in the future. We will have to wait and see, but if that is the case, it’s kind of disgusting, akin to Square Enix allegedly releasing Final Fantasy Versus XIII as Final Fantasy XV.
2. Being on the wrong end of the Simcity debacle is frustrating, though my experience hasn’t been as bad as most. I’ve been able to connect using European servers for the most part, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is a disaster and is the last thing we should be talking about during the week of a landmark game’s release. Simcity is a cross-over franchise that has mainstream appeal. I can only imagine what those people who seldom game thought when they were confronted with what is now a routine phenomena for the core gamers. It would be nice if the mainstream media would pick up on this and perhaps embarrass EA enough to ensure this kind of thing doesn’t happen again. But I’m not holding my breath.
3. I can’t wait to play Tomb Raider once I clear out Simcity and Ni No Kuni. I’ve never cared for the series, but the new take they have on the game is just what I needed to get invested. The graphics look stunning, especially on the PC, as Jeff has exclaimed to us in emails. I know some people are lamenting it for the same problem Far Cry 3 had regarding a normal person who suddenly becomes a killing machine, but honestly: it’s a game. Let someone freak out over the first person they kill and move on. Didn’t we all see Casino Royale? The second is much easier. Considerably. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJNPv5A_ZL4
4. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance might be the spark that ignites a new resurgence of Metal Gear games, perhaps without Hideo Kojima at the helm. We will have to wait and see how the sales are over time, but the reaction I am hearing is pretty positive. My take on the series is that they should expand the universe, leave Solid Snake out of it and focus on the other members of the cast. You can still do the prequels with Big Boss to scratch that Snake itch, but I wouldn’t mind seeing the series branch out into different genres. Hell, a hacking iOS game with Sunny might be a fun idea. You could have it act as a codex, so that every time you complete a hack, you unlock information about the MGS world and characters. Let’s get a new franchise and IP out of Kojima and let others play in that world. Even George Lucas is letting go. Why not Kojima?
5. My opinion on games journalism gets lower and lower every single week. With the BREAKING NEWS that Jason West left Respawn in May of LAST YEAR and Kotaku and others of its ilk treating it like a bombshell, I found myself shaking my head. With few exceptions, everything game sites tell you that they present as news is told to them in press releases or official statements from the companies involved. If these guys were really crackerjack reporters, we would have found out about Jason West’s departure within a month (and that is being generous) of it happening, not 10 months later. Babies were conceived and born in that time frame. I used to want to write for one of the big sites, but now, I am quite happy with our little corner of the Internet.
6. Finally, on a positive note, EA led a conference focusing on LGBT issues as relates to video games. People hate on EA quite a bit and with some justification. But things like this show that EA is not some evil, heartless entity. There are many aspects to a company, just as there are many aspects to a person. EA’s marketing is the devil. EA’s outreach on things like this is great and it should be lauded for it. Some people may not agree with this, but I think it is a good step towards making games more open to all peoples of the world. It just comes down to tolerance and thinking of others instead of a narrow demographic. Such things are only good for the industry. Also, Origin isn’t that bad. Stop whining.
That’s whats on my mind these days. What about you? Any rebuttals? Anything you want to bring up? The time is now.