: Ben's Week In Review: December 22

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Ben's Week In Review: December 22

Three more days to Christmas. Got all your shopping done?

Call me crazy, but I like the idea of two Assassin's Creed games in 2014

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the franchise taking a break. Admittedly, I was surprised at the level of polish and quality (and a special dose of freshness) that I found in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. That doesn't mean the series couldn't take a year off to revamp and retool, though, and I'd be supportive of that idea. That being said, I can see the appeal in producing two separate entries for the coming year. That's because the rumor says that one would be made specifically for next-gen platforms, while the other is being created exclusively for the PS3 and 360.

That's not a bad plan, especially because it means we'd get a fully focused installment for the new consoles. That entry could take full advantage of the extra power and capability the PS4 and Xbox One afford. It might also be interesting to see if the game for the "old" consoles turns out significantly different. The source in question said the IP may undergo a "massive re-scope," too, and that's a good sign. We could be looking at two distinctly different titles, both of which could serve to help infuse additional innovation into the franchise. This is one of those rare instances where I'd actually be in favor of more games in an established series.

If Sony keeps the new IPs coming, the PS4 wins

All things being equal, it's always the exclusive, cutting-edge software that sets the PlayStation brand apart. It has been that way since the brand's inception way back in 1995. The company obviously understands this, as evidenced by a recent relevant statement by SCE president Andrew House. It's games like inFamous: Second Son, The Order: 1886 and Uncharted 4 (among others) that will allow the PS4 to truly flourish. If it's cheaper than the Xbox One, then the software battle will ensue; Microsoft does have some exclusives planned, but there has yet to be a generation where MS beat PlayStation in the exclusive battle. It has never really been close, in my estimation. It all comes down to games you can only play on PS4, and there ought to be several masterpieces.

That's why it's so critical, as Sony says, to keep the fresh ideas rolling out. Despite the terrible launch, higher price tag, and several other significant hurdles, the PS3 ended up tied with the Xbox 360 in the worldwide tally (and definitely sold more in a shorter span of time; 7 years as opposed 8). Why? I think exclusive titles really helped. And as the PS4 has no such hurdles to clear, if that console once again wins the new IP battle, give the upcoming generation to Sony. That's what I say.

Personal gaming update

I know I said I'd go back to GTAV and Black Flag but Gran Turismo 6 just has me hooked. The Red Bull Challenges are open now and I already hate the kart races, but that's okay. I love the diverse events that are available; you can go from distinct Mission Races to fun yet oddly difficult Coffee Break events to full-on GT championships. I couldn't stand the Goodwood Festival just because of the tiny narrow track, but at least that's done. I've got Gold on all the licenses so far, which only tells me that they're a lot easier to get than they have been in the past. The Mission events, however, are much more difficult to land all Gold. Don't think I'm gonna bother to try.

I got into Rainbow Moon on the Vita for a while, but I had my fill when it was on the PS3. The game is still great and in my estimation, unfairly scored by most critics. I do like that I've had a few more reasons to pick up my Vita, though. :) It realy is a sweet machine.

12/21/2013 Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (24 posts)

Lawless SXE
Saturday, December 21, 2013 @ 10:34:49 PM

You're crazy :P
Nah, it is a pretty sound idea in giving each generation a chance to show what it's really capable of, as well as giving AC fans a cast-iron reason to make the jump to the PS4 or XBO. Still think that it wouldn't be such a smart move for Ubisoft financially speaking, but what do I know?

Personal Update:
Playing GT5, yes 5. Now up to level 10 in A-Spec and 7 in B-Spec. Gotta say that I really, really don't understand the point of B-Spec; I mean, I get how it would work with a companion device but telling your driver to go faster or slower, without ever really being able to note whether your commands are being followed isn't very interesting. Guess I'm only keeping at it and waiting until it "clicks". It's a great game though; love the way that you can really feel the difference in each and every car that you drive. It's easy to remember why I fell in love with it three years ago, and difficult to know why I've left it to sit for so long :)
Also been playing Lollipop Chainsaw this weekend. That game is proper weird. I'm not sure whether it's supposed to be taken seriously, as though Suda is trying to send a message with the vapidity of its characters and self-referential comments and the like, or whether it's firmly tongue-in-cheek and mock edgy... It's a pretty solid game, though it could definitely have used a bit more polish. Only makes it more charming. Looking forward to getting back to GTA V over the five days I get off work for Christmas :)
Other than that, I should finish A Clash of Kings tonight sometime and move on to A Storm of Swords. A Song of Ice and Fire is actually considerably better than I thought it would be, I must admit. Was expecting a lot more typical fantasy elements, but it is surprisingly grounded and realistic, though I feel that the villain characters are a bit one-note.

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Saturday, December 21, 2013 @ 11:05:46 PM

I think you're just supposed to laugh and enjoy the B-movie mockery when you play LPC. That's what I did.

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Saturday, December 21, 2013 @ 11:12:42 PM

Well I'm not an AC fan so my opinion means little but I think it's an okay idea. PS3 can get another samey spinoff for hardcore fans that buy every game and PS4 can get the big, retooled amazing next title.

I expect MS to keep trying to buy exclusive stuff, but that strategy is going to be harder and harder as PS4 gains the sales edge.

My PSP died and even though I rarely played it I'm pretty bummed about it. On PS3 I'm just popping around the JRPGs and slowly going through Dead Space 3.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 12:18:42 AM

replace the PSP with a Vita someday. Both PSP and PSX games look better on Vita.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 8:38:53 AM

Probably some day, it's hard to justify the purchase. I just don't know what I'd be getting it for.

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Saturday, December 21, 2013 @ 11:45:35 PM

If it weren't for Sony's exclusives, and japanese fighting and action game support, I'd likely only have a Nintendo console and be more of a PC gamer.

I think MS has nothing but an uphill battle from here on out until they do something to change their game plan.

PGU: Man, I've been all over the map in gaming. I've been plugging away at Xenogears. I have Billy in my party now and his haste equivalent ether ability makes Citan a powerhouse. I fought a boss where Citan got to go like 3 to 4x before the boss got a chance. Ripped the boss a new one.

So I decided to give Binary Domain another shot, only because Xenris and World seem to thinks it's the greatest in life. I fought a cool Spider boss. It reminded of a Halo style Scarab boss fight, but still cool. I admire the game's ambition. I like how shooting the robots is fun and they react dynamically to your bullet fire. While the game play itself seems better than Gears of War, it's hard not to accredit Gears with being the title that set the standard for all subsequent TPS-style games to model themselves after or use as a template to build from for this gen.
I have little doubt games like Mass Effect, Vanquish, and Uncharted looked to Gears for inspiration.
So I snagged Far Cry 3 off the Steam sale yesterday. Tried it for a little over an hour last night. Dang. It really pulls you in. Great acting. It's opened up enough to give me that oh-so-familiar sandbox/open world template of game play tropes. Not sure if this is good or bad, but when I start thinking of AC, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Far Cry, Infamous there's this growing familiarity from all of them that make me feel like I've done this all before, just with a new theme and setting. This feeling of looting and scavenging, exploring/wandering, accepting missions and side missions, while building up my character's abilities. I suppose I could take many games and boil them down that way. But when open world games feel pretty similar across genres and linear games don't feel so similar across genres it seems to say something. Uncharted ain't nothing like Heavy Rain, nor is Killzone 2 or 3 anything like God of War. But when I can say Far Cry 3 sorta feels like The Elderscrolls and so on and so forth it seems to suggest something to me.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 7:39:52 AM

You and I are the only ones who think MS is in more trouble than their numbers indicate. Call it a gut feeling but it just seems like, as you say, an uphill battle for them. Last I heard Xbox One is a big hit for the Christmas season; I just get this feeling that things are going to go harder on them soon. When Dreamcast hit it was the fastest seller and everyone was excited but without being a worldwide success it lost 3rd party support. Seems MS's money can only prop that thing up so long as a gaming console, maybe it will be fine as an American TV App machine though.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 9:15:42 AM

Same here. Right now we're still in the middle of the "I'm so excited about the next gen consoles!" stage, but once that dies down, by the middle of 2014 I think Microsoft will be seriously mulling over how much of a loss they're willing to take on cutting the price of that thing. I'm just seeing way too many dyed-in-the-wool Xbox fanboys switching to PS4.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 10:06:37 PM

Dreamcast ran into the streamroller that was the PS2 a year after it released. Not really comparable in terms of situations.

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Monday, December 23, 2013 @ 11:15:32 AM

the DC was definitely an anomaly. It had as much sales in one year's time as the Wii U and Vita combined has had. It didn't have to die as fast as it had, but SEGA was at odds with each other and they decided to catch the then current gen wave and re-allocate all software development resources to support the PS2, Xbox, and GC. They wanted to quickly become a third party powerhouse. Something that was originally wanted after the Saturn failed.

as for the XO. it seems pretty much out of the question for MS to gain any generational ground this gen. It'll be an uphill battle for them to beat themselves. MS's 360 sales are better than they other wise would have been because of a very cheap SKU that's been on the market for years now. The hottest third party titles are on Sony's platform and Sony's platform is undercutting the XO by a good margin (they'll always be able to do that unless MS changes it's product offering) and they look better. It's just a matter of time now.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 12/23/2013 11:16:33 AM

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Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 12:31:06 AM

It was a pain trying to catch up on all the posts. Had so much stuff to do this week. Running back and forth from La to Sanfrancisco and all that. I've barely gotten time to indulge in the video gamesness.

When I read that AC double featurette thing I wanted to facepalm. That poor studio needs a break, they should seriously be allowed to make something new. Not sure if anyone else noticed how the abstergo labs was oddly similar to the Ubisoft M one. The entire thing felt so tiring and I guarantee those guys are sick of making AC games. Each one isn't done lazyily so they really do deserve some R&R.

Decided I would spend the day playing one game for an hour to see which I feel like is my personal GOTY, and I think Metro has it. I don't know why I like that game so much. I guess I lovedthe performance, deep gameplay and somewhat challenging aspects of it. I liked the characters, the story of a non-threatenning alien race. Tons of stuff. I've also been replaying some bioshock infinite. I never did finish it, because I was waiting for a friend to get it too but meh. If I called the entire storyline before having played it I won't be too pleased. although so far the game is, to me, leagues better than the first one.

About Gran Turismo 6, I saw that post as well and I can sorta see what Ben was talking about. I did manage to buy an Aston Martin within the few 3 hours of playing, and that's after having bought several cheaper cars to play in the different events. Although when I was checking up on those Micro's I noticed that there is a 500$ Micro for some gold colored Mech. That's it. I guess I should be grateful consoles aven't been taken over by those types of micro's yet. Another one I saw was 100 grand for some virtual resort. Luxury of being a bachelor? Maybe.

Anyway, not even married and being forced to do things I really don't want to. Gotta see family members and all kinds of stuff in the next few days so I wanted to say Merry Christmas everyone. I gotta say, I'm pretty grateful for this site for having such a unique community of all types. No one is the same, everyone thinks what they want to. Its great. So Happy Holidays everyone and thank you Ben for the site, it's been an awesome year of reading stuff I normally don't pay attention too. I've gotten as many people as I can visiting the site to see what's up. Also, Happy New year everyone. To think we all died last year, but here we are. Doomsdays for the win! Most of us have been through 2 now.

Sorry about typos too, I kinda wanted to rush through this post on the only site I actively comment and stuff on. So yeah, have a good christmas everyone.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 10:15:41 AM

Merry Christmas to you too! Love this place, my friends, enemies, and frenemies here.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 2:47:53 AM

its great to see a next gen only AC being made, that way we dont have to worry about a last gen version holding the game back.
one thing i really hope we get rid of VERY quickly!
we already have far too many cross gen ports of games, thats enough.
i wish ubisoft would take a year off though, the series is really loosing what made it so gripping and engaging in the first place.
the first 4 games had such a sense of wonder and mystery to them, especially in the story and in the collectibles and little things.
there was so much story and history there for you to find it was incredible how much backstory you could uncover if you could be f*cked to look.
and thats what made the series stick, its sense of wonder.
then 3 came out, the grand finale, the conclusion to all the series leadups, and to say it went out with a whimper would be understatement of the century!
IV was the same, you first get to hack a computer, and oooooo heres a trailer explaining what happened to desmond and explaining the events of AC3.
wait a minute, that guy serving coffee he looks EXACTLY like shawn.
wait a minute the courier lady looks exactly like the IT chick who fixes your animus.
you finish the game, and she contacts you asking you to find out as much info as you can, hack all the PCs.
ok you do that thinking there will be some huge big reveal, but nope.
exactly why this series gone down the sh*tter, the first 4 games had so much information for you to dig up if you wanted to.
but now theres still the digging to do, but after you have done that digging, the rewards nothing but a pat on the back.
seriously, you tease us with those characters, with the trailer of desmond, and THATS IT!?
let me guess i have to wait till the next game to get the next tiny piece of the puzzle?
oh go shove it!
not only has the anualization of the franchise destroyed it because they dont have enough time to polish things to a T, and add the finite details.
but its also destroyed the franchise because instead of finishing by concluding the games story but leaving crumbs for the sequel, it now ends on such a frustrating abrupt cliffhanger.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 9:05:18 AM

Don't really care about Assassin's Creed. I played the second one which everybody says is so fantastic. I thought it was decent. Don't understand the hype over that franchise at all. The climbing/jumping mechanics were semi-broken and the characters/story were bland. I can't even remember what the combat consisted of. I may get part 4 just because I think the pirate stuff might be cool - when it shows up on a Steam sale for ten bucks.

I'm looking forward to the upcoming Sony exclusives of course. Hopefully we'll see some new IP's as that's what really gets me excited.

I'm still playing GT6. Need to drive another 4,500 miles and buy 40 more cars and the platinum is mine :) The nice part is that I've still got most of the International A and B events left to do. And my login bonus will hit 200% today. I'm also really looking forward to the new tracks they've promised to come out with, one-per-month as DLC. Hopefully we'll see some old favorites from GT4.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 10:15:15 AM

"semi-broken" explains the combat too. Can I give you a hug?

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Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 12:36:17 PM

You'll probably really like AC4. The Pirate stuff is a bonus. It's pretty great.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 10:07:12 PM

The only people who say the combat is "semi-broken" in AC quite frankly never learned it correctly. I'll never get hit in most contests and it flows perfectly, once you actually know what you're doing.

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Monday, December 23, 2013 @ 11:19:27 AM

I really wish AC's combat was re-engineered. It's something that has always plagued the franchise.

I also understand how it's system works just fine.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 9:48:10 AM

I think its a money grab myself for AC. The only way to get people to shift from console to console is to offer something. In as much as I am still playing on the PS3 even I know the games made for it will dwindle. The last breathe with be indie games.

I would prefer Ubisoft give the multiplayer fans their own game, separate, and give us single player fans one as well. On top of that separate the trophies as well. I don't focus on them but they do add incentive for replay if the game is worth it. But for me, not the multiplayer component to just get the platinum overall.

Assassins Creed has changed. That can be a good thing, but I prefer the original direction. AND... admittedly, not impressed with the new game unless the "visuals" are what you are looking for. Apparently most are. Ubisoft might profess to be "multicultural" in house, but their recent games are not reflecting it. What happened? Did they decide they have to go where its popular and not try something different?

I am sure they have... some surprises, but right now they have gotten predictable. Maybe thats just a sign of the times, but I would like to think there are some new or at least interesting ideas out there still.

Play ing Rain right now... if the power does not go off again. Dang freezing rain. Not too ironic there. Anyway, I can see the criticism about controls and direction of tasks. Still, atmospheric. Like to see where it ends.

Keep playing

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Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 10:16:44 AM

All of AC is a money grab, but I do give them credit for not stagnating as bad as CoD and other yearly games do.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 2:14:52 PM

True enough, but many series are going or have gone that way. Uncharted series got stale. I loved the first, second was okay but for me fell flat, third was reminiscent of the first and some good new characters, child sequence seemed unnecessary and the ending boss battle? (Excluding the very ending cutscene) was disappointing.

The industry seems to think it has to rush to get games out to be successful and quench the thirst of over demanding gamers. Whose fault? You judge.

Keep playing!

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Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 2:47:22 PM

I wouldn't say Uncharted is quite flat yet, even though 3 wasn't as good as 2 it did add things like vertical combat and better melee. Tomb Raider was a lot more fresh for me though, as much as I want an Uncharted 4 I'd have to see something special in it to get it soon on release.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 4:02:27 PM

Unless they just make for ps3 and ps4 then port to Xboxes, seems like a waste of studio time and talent. I get the making the best out of the two generations, but let's move upward and onward I say.

PGU: Going thru some more of the GTA side missions and finding ways to spend my moola. Also remembered that I needed to "finish" Skyrim's dlc. I'm 250+ hours in and still have to finish it. Loove that I just wrote that. Can't say that too many times in my life.

After that, I was thinking, ok, I can start actively looking for a ps4 (instead of just monitoring everyone's inventory.) Then I come home Friday and there's one sitting in my side of the closet with a card on it from my wife. I had to do a double take. Crazy. Great woman. I couldn't be more surprised that she thought to buy me one. (She actually bought me a ps3 at launch, but complained about it being $600 for the next 7 years! So you can understand my shock!) Just need to pull the trigger on that 1.5 TB HD for the upgrade and I'm ready to rock.

Stay Classy PSX...and see a certain Anchorman movie (if you've heard about it)

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Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 10:04:22 PM

yeah i'll agree with you ben for the most part but i'm just not sure what they have in mind for the two different AC games on the ps3 gen and then for the ps4 gen to see how much of a difference there really is between the two consoles

happy gaming =)

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