Something a little different to kick off this week. But have no fear, fans of my pretentious pontificating, ‘different’ doesn’t mean that I wont be able to rant about it. November 3rd sees the release of the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller, a pointless pile of wank that allows you to reassign button inputs and pressure sensitivity… even though most games let you do that on their own menus anyway.
Billed as “a pro controller designed to take gaming to the next level”, the trailer below goes into all of the tedious little details, talking them up like they’re the second coming of Christ. I could take this apart at greater length, instead I’ll simply posit a couple of questions. In what possibly conceivable scenario will I ever want to switch the analog sticks around?!!! Have you ever been playing a game before and just thought to yourself ‘I don’t know why, but it would tickle me fucking pink if I could move with the right analog stick and look with the left one”? If your answer to that question was ‘yes’, then I hate you.
It’s also $149.99, which incidentally raises another important issue; if this is meant to substantially improve performance in any way, then doesn’t that price tag create an online multiplayer environment of the haves and have-nots? And if it isn’t meant to substantially improve anything, then why does it have that price tag in the first place?
I’m sorry you all had to see that. Anyway, onto some actual games. November the 5th sees the release of the latest Need for Speed title. Adopting the reboot tradition of avoiding subtitles, this latest incarnation signifies it’s radicalization and importance by naming itself as if it’s the first in the franchise. It does mark the franchises’ next gen debut to be fair, and with that comes all the obligatory new bells and whistles, as well as the expected fine tuning. The game also champions five different ways to play; Speed, Style, Crew, Build, and Outlaw. Each will reward different criteria, earning you points for an in-depth customization mechanic. The game is available on Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC.
And with the inevitability of the sun setting, November also brings us the latest Call of Duty. The franchise has had its ups and downs over the last few years, with even the most hardcore of fans starting to lose patience with the incessant repetition and laziness. What’s really needed by now is some kind of dramatic shake-up ala Assassin’s Creed Black Flag. Until then, we have Black Ops III. Continuing on in the same vein as last year’s Advanced Warfare, Black Ops III takes place in a dystopian future, with advanced robotics and James Bond ish gadgets, as well as a Titanfall esque wall-running gimmick. The game does support a co-op campaign, which does suggest that the linear level design may have been overhauled, and there’s the return of the much loved (for some reason) Zombie mode, but really, this looks like a case of same shit different day. Black Ops III is released on November 6th Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Last but (probably)not least, we have Persona 4: Dancing All Night. Second only to Final Fantasy, Persona is probably the most recognizable and mainstream contemporary JRPG. Following in what may be the most inexplicable trend in gaming, Persona has now been given a rhythm-action spin-off. I don’t know who keeps suggesting that the transition from JRPG to music/dance action is a smooth one, but apparently they keep making money ,so who am I to break it to them that the idea is mental? Actually, more so than with most games, this genre switch up is justified with Persona. For a start it’s already positively bonkers, and secondly, the franchise has roots in the dating simulator to a degree, so the addition of dancing kind of makes sense. Or at least, it makes as much sense as this kind of thing is ever going to. The game is available on PS Vita on the 6th.