It's just another Saturday over here on the Internet, or is it? The Spike Video Game Awards air tonight and are sure to bring with it plenty of new surprises, though unfortunately no Neil Patrick Harris this year. But if you have some time before the show starts why not stay a little longer and read our thoughts on the latest video game news.
This week, the Game Rant crew will be talking about the teaser trailer for The Last of Us, video game crossovers, sequels, BioWare's games, and the rumored departure of Nintendo icon Miyamoto.
I think I am The Last of Us
Roughly a week ago, the world learned of a brand new PS3 exclusive titled The Last of Us. All we saw at first was a teaser plastered with live-action footage taken from real world events, and the reaction was mixed. Some people, like myself were ecstatic to find out more about this mystery game, yet there are many who didn't care just because they didn't see any gameplay, and I have to ask why is that? It's a teaser trailer, it's only meant to build up hype. And even then, I myself even more excited about what this game could turn out to be. There's obviously a strong narrative aspect in the trailer, and as a gamer, I love story heavy games.
I didn't need to see any gameplay to get hyped for The Last of Us - what the teaser showed off was more than enough for me to know that this game is going to be something I'll be interested in. And to the people that are still skeptical, what's the big deal in getting hyped? The Last of Us trailer played during the Spike VGAs where it was revealed that Naughty Dog is the developer behind it. Watch it to see if it meets your "trailer" criteria.
Stop the Hate:
In Game Rant's post about the Assassin's Creed: Revelations costume appearing in Final Fantasy XIII-2, many ranters got in a heated debate of console crossovers. And I say unto that, stop the hate. Who cares whether or not FFXIII crossed over to Xbox 360? Many pointed out that the Final Fantasy franchise was on Nintendo first anyway — a fact that many may have forgotten — but my point is, in the end, who cares?
At one time I may have cared about that, but in all honestly, don't we all win as gamers? Yes, it may be unfair for some titles to be locked in on one console (Uncharted only for PS3, Halo just for Xbox) and having to buy different systems for different games may be a drag, but who cares? That's what makes gaming so fun is the shared experience of trying something different and getting options. The point is to just enjoy what we are given!
Come on folks, can't we all just get along as a gaming community and relish in the fact that we are in the age now that we have the amazing games and systems that we have? Why be a consolist? Every console has their own fun and unique games and it's about time everyone should just embrace this fact and play. Just play.
We knew going in that last night's VGAs would bring with it many game and trailer reveals, but perhaps none more anticipated than BioWare’s new IP. Initially teased through a screenshot and a brief trailer, this title had a lot of mystery surrounding it, but also some theories that had it going either of two ways.
Now I’m not here to brag on whether or I predicted BioWare is working on another Command & Conquer or Mercenaries, I’m actually feeling pretty disappointed in BioWare regardless, especially considering they pulled a similar stunt last year. If you’ll remember, last year saw a similar situation — BioWare teasing a title that had us speculating around the clock — and what did it end up being? Mass Effect 3. A game we knew was happening no matter what.
And here we are again — speculating on a VGAs reveal that wasn't going to be a new IP. It seems like BioWare, and perhaps even the fans, have forgotten that they are more than just their current IPs, they’re the developer that can give you varied experiences like KOTOR and Jade Empire without even blinking. I’m not saying that Command & Conquer: Generals 2 doesn’t interest me, I just wish BioWare would roll out something truly new.
Miyamoto Had Not Left the Building...Yet
The recent releases of Mario Kart 7 and Skyward Sword, brought me back to that time when I was first exposed to video games, and made me realize how much of an impact Shigeru Miyamoto has on my life. So, when news first broke that Shigeru might be retiring, it brought a bit of sadness to my heart. That sadness quickly turned to joy when it was confirmed he wasn't leaving his current role at Nintendo. Even though Miyamoto won't be leaving soon, this doesn't mean measures shouldn't be put in place for his inevitable departure from the company.
Shigeru wishes to work on smaller projects, teaching younger developers what he knows. I can see his expertise working well with smaller downloadable titles for the 3DS and Wii U. Also if Nintendo we're more willing to work with the mobile market then this too can be an area he could excel at. Teaching newer developers what he knows, and has learned during his time in the industry will not only be of great value to those developers, but also the fans of his work.
One of the best parts of the Spike Video Game Awards was seeing Miyamoto on stage and this put to rest any remaining rumors about the legend's departure from Nintendo.
It's been a great couple months for gaming - with the arrival of several triple-A titles that broke franchise sales records and delivered satisfying experiences for fans - Uncharted 3, Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, and Assassin's Creed: Revelations. No doubt these titles offered great gameplay and exciting moments; however, it's hard not to feel (even as a fan of these games and their respective overarching franchises) that the rapid-succession of sequel development (annually in the case of Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty) has led to less experimentation in the industry. Instead, we're given increasingly "refined" experiences that don't break new gameplay ground - they're bigger and prettier, though not necessarily better. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, at times, was too big for its britches, leading to some frustrating moments in an overall exciting experience. While Assassin's Creed: Revelations ends with a great finale, Ubisoft trimmed down the overall length of the installment - and many previous game mechanics (such as dungeons, faction missions, etc) were more of an after-thought this round.
I'm by no means saying these games were disappointing or undeserving of their accolades, it's just that as studios grow in size (and, subsequently, are capable of churning out sequel after sequel), I hope that they take the necessary time to try new ideas, new IPs - so that we can become passionate about new franchises. Not to mention, treading some new ground will let our favorite franchises rest a bit, so that when the developers return to them, gamers will get another great installment in the favorite series - not just a by-the-numbers cash-in.