This week, I'm extremely excited to be able to pick up Eternal Sonata. The sad news is, I think Blue Dragon will end up collecting dust thanks to it. I've just recently got to Disc #3 in Blue Dragon and wonder if I'll get a chance to finish it.
It's not only Blue Dragon though. When I pick up Eternal Sonata on Tuesday or Wednesday, I'll have less than a solid week to put in some serious hours before the 25th hits. I'm sure there are a lot of us here on DToid who are generally excited that Halo 3 will be in our grubby mitts soon. But will other games suffer due to the release?
Checking the calendar of game releases, this is what is coming out next week for the 360:
Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights
Blazing Angels 2
I'd say not much really to compete with Eternal Sonata, but you have to wonder why they would ship what seems to be an excellent game a week before the release of the quintessential game for the Xbox 360. I've had this game on my radar for the last couple of months, but what I'm really concerned about is the lack of scheduling that these game companies seem to do.
Many of the gaming crowd can't afford to go out every week and pick up a game like most of us afford ourselves. This to me seems to be something that game companies would pick up on after a while, or am I wrong?
I would venture that if a game company who releases a JRPG a week before a FPS isn't insane, but maybe a bit brilliant. They are targeting an audience who might not be into the FPS genre, I'm sure Colette would agree, they are providing an alternative to the gamer who has to choose between getting Halo 3 and Eternal Sonata. I know that there have been times where the money that I have been saving literally begins to burn a hole into my pocket and I can't wait to pick up a new game.
With the amount of time many of us have been waiting to pick up Halo 3, maybe Namco Bandai Games are hoping that we just can't hold out for one week longer, and just want to STFUAJPG. Halo will always be there, shit, I can guarantee that it's going to be talked about for a long time (whether positive or negative, that has yet to be seen). But I'll tell you what you won't be hearing about for weeks and weeks on end...how good a game Eternal Sonata is. Whether you love or hate it (from the demo), personally I loved every minute of it. When you get to the one part of the town you're exploring the flower field is simply gorgeous.
Let me derail myself for a second, the reason we have genres is so we can neatly place games into categories and call it a day. Each genre has stereotypical items that you'd expect to see in each of its games, this much is true; such as in a FPS you expect to see the following things:
1. your gun
2. your ammo count
3. a health indicator
The same is true for JRPGs:
1. megalomaniacal people either trying to take over a kingdom or kidnapping someone
2. an inn in each town
3. being able to enter a person's house and rifle through shit
4. experience points and leveling up
We pay and get the same package time and time again with just new graphics and sounds, and maybe an occasional innovation. Bioshock is a damn innovative game, and so is the Metroid Prime series, but when you get down to brass tacks, they are essentially FPSs with just more innovation and ways of getting you immersed in their world.
The JRPG world is no different. The only thing that has changed over release after release is stories. Some may have different battle systems, but breaking it down, you're still fighting horde after horde of monsters to grind yourself up to that new level, or to get enough gold to buy something new for your character. They are all generally the same thing each time we play them
I guess what I'm trying to say is that if it were a Final Fantasy game coming out a week before Halo 3, I don't think I could tell you which one I'd end up getting. It probably just comes down to what kind of gameplay you prefer. I'm the lucky one here by being able to pick up both but I can remember a time not so long ago where that wasn't the case and I feel for you guys that have to make a decision...I really do.
So this week, will you be picking up Eternal Sonata for the long and involved story? Or, will you be waiting until next week to pick up Halo 3 for the multiplayer. All I can say is that it is definitely a great time to be a gamer. Thanks for reading.