Look, I know it, you know it - there's no point me making any witty repartee here above the cut when you're probably all too busy playing some GTA V to care. So let's cut to the chase: It's GTA V Week here in Tuesday Game Room!
What have you been playing this week?
My progress in Final Fantasy XIV has hit a roadblock at attempting to beat Garuda, the final Primal. 40+ minute queue times suck as a DPS, but when you're in groups of people who don't know what they're doing, and you can't replace dropped party members, tensions get frayed really quickly... so I'm seeing those 40 minute queues a LOT. Which is frustrating, because up to this point it seems like the sharp increase in challenge with FFXIV's group content had actually fostered a great community of players who were willing to push through and make the victories all the more sweeter. As I head into the end game, that can-do sensibility is slowly being eaten away by typical MMO elitism, and I don't want that to happen. I like FFXIV too much to see it spoiled by these people!
Anyhoo, aside from MMOs this week, I almost caved and brought Rome Total War II, but I didn't! ... So instead I played Rome Total War. Hooray!
The benefit of playing ancient games on newer hardware is that it's fun to crank things up to max and go crazy. Like the above picture, which is the aftermath of a 2 hour long engagement between my force of roughly 3000 Legionaries against the combined might of four British armies... totalling about 14 thousand soldiers at the same level of experience/power as me. FUN! I love the Total War games, and Rome is still my favourite.
Oh, and duh, thanks to the magic of time zones I've put a few hours into GTA V already. So far, no cousins have asked me to go bowling: So this game is already one trillion times better than GTA IV.
There are pretty much two games of note out this week - one of them is obvious: Grand Theft Auto V is finally out after 5 long years of waiting. PC players will have to wait a little longer thanks to the lack of confirmation on a PC port, but 360 and PS3 players get started on the fun today.
Everyone else is avoiding GTA release week like the plague though - except for Nintendo, who don't give no shit about those damned kids with their GTAs, because they're not only releasing The Wonderful 101, but they're putting out the digital version of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, the Wii U port of the best 3D Zelda game in the franchise, this Friday in the US. Yes, I said it Ocarina fans. And I will fight you if you say otherwise.
And now, the News
Once again it's time for a few select picks from the last week of Gaming news, via Eurogamer:
- Ubisoft reveal Child of Light, a next gen 'JRPG-styled' game using the UbiArt engine - Holy SHIT, this game looks gorgeous. As weird as it is to see a western developer - the creative team behind Far Cry 3, no less - doing a Japanese RPG, I am so glad Ubisoft are beginning to branch out the use of their UbiArt engine beyond Rayman games. It's got the potential to create some stunningly beautiful games with a focus on art rather than the spangly new technicalities of the next generation.
- Criterion Studios stripped down to 15 members, rest of the team reform as Ghost UK - Whilst it's interesting to see what Criterion will do as a studio beyond racers, It's still depressing to see such a grand brand be reduced to this small remaining crew. Sad, but at least they didn't just give up the ghost all together (oh ho ho).
- Microsoft acquires Xbone.com domain - From the moment the Xbox One was revealed, Xbone was born as a derogatory term for just how much Microsoft dropped the ball with their new console. Last week, Major Nelson, Xbox's public mouthpiece, even called the term disrespectful. So it's kind of hilarious that they own the domain, even if it probably is just to cut off any chance of it being used to further mock the console as we head into the crucial marketing frenzy 2 months ahead of release.
- Blitz games, one of the longest running British development teams in history, has shut down - Man, not a great week for British Game Devs! Blitz is probably best known for the 90's cult classic Dizzy series, but they've not done much work of note recently, aside from work on bombs like Yoostar and Epic Mickey 2. Still, it's another long running giant of the industry gone, in a year that's already seen far too many good studios splinter. Mike Bithell wrote a great retrospective on why the passing of Blitz is something that should be remembered.
We'll be back this time next Tuesday for more gaming discussion, but for now, sound off in the comments with the games you've been playing, and what you're looking forward to this week - and don't forget to join us on Steam!