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