Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Yakuza

I'll freely admit that my love for Yakuza is a case of enthusiasm overwhelming my better judgment. I've read some lukewarm reviews of this game, and I can't really quibble with any of the points made. But my guard was let down completely. I loved it.

He speaks the truth

Wired's Clive Thompson posted a column yesterday about the difficulty of actually finishing games these days. He's dead-on in many ways. I have fond memories of playing RPGs for 10 hours at a stretch in college. In one semester alone, I powered through Final Fantasy III/6, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy X, and Chrono Trigger. I estimated that I spent about 125 hours on those games, all told.

Now? I don't remember the last time I finished a game. Well, sure, I finished Half-Life 2: Episode 1 and New Super Mario Bros., both of which took six hours or less. Maybe it's not a coincidence that I rated them so highly: I was able to have the full experience. Before that? Shadow of the Colossus, maybe (10 hours). And before that, Resident Evil 4 (~20 hours). They were good enough to keep me playing to the end, but still short enough that doing so didn't require sacrifices on my part. A game like Oblivion, on the other hand, is practically impossible to enjoy if you're working a full-time job and have a reasonably active social life. Hell, Oblivion practically is a job. And this isn't to impugn the people who are able to make time for longer games, obviously -- I would if I could. Just interesting to note that I'm no longer in the target demographic.

I'm going to finish Okami, though. You'd better believe that.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Screwed again!

I filed this fall games preview on August 28, well before the rumors of Super Paper Mario's move to the Wii got going. And, you know, if that happens, the central argument of the thing falls apart. Whoops.

I guess this isn't as bad as last year when Rockstar delayed Bully the day after that year's preview went to press.