Ben's Week In Review: August 19
Hope you were able to catch up on older games over the summer, because you basically don't get another break until...uh...April. And maybe not even then. ;)
Ubisoft is at least partly correct
I'm one of many who have spoken out against this "annualization" trend but after reading Ubisoft's comments on the matter, I'm starting to change my mind. In the first place, I'm not so sure we have abundant evidence to back up the theory that games that get released on an annual basis are declining in quality. You could take Assassin's Creed as a for-instance; last year's Revelations was a trifle disappointing but it was hardly mediocre, and Brotherhood was fantastic. ACIII will be another huge step. Plus, what they say about "keeping the brand in people's minds" is becoming more and more critical in this industry.
With everything so mainstream these days and everything moving so quickly, you really do need to keep franchises relevant. Twisted Metal and Max Payne 3 are two examples just in 2012 of titles that, had they released maybe three or four years ago, likely would've posted better sales. But the power of those franchise names had been dwindling. They didn't flop, certainly, but they didn't come close to AC-like or CoD-like sales, now did they? Annualization has worked.
I SO want Mirror's Edge to hit next-gen hardware
DICE claims that they love Mirror's Edge and the IP isn't dead. They've just been a little sidetracked lately with Battlefield and Medal of Honor. So wouldn't it be freakin' cool if ME2 debuted on the new consoles? That's precisely the type of game that could really benefit from a big boost in power and technical capability. I think the first one presented developers with a great foundation for the future; they just haven't built upon it yet. That first-person action view really worked surprisingly well for a first attempt but of course, there's so much more they could do.
If Mirror's Edge 2 hits the PlayStation 4 or Xbox 720, I'll definitely be excited about that. It's one of those games that deserved to get a sequel this generation but didn't, and I'm glad the developers still understand its relative popularity and potential.
Personal gaming update
I doubt anyone will be shocked to hear I'm playing both Darksiders II and Sleeping Dogs. Both are just so much fun, it's ridiculous. I honestly didn't expect to finish both; I thought maybe one or the other had an outside chance of grabbing my complete attention, but both did it. I can't remember the last time that happened in the same week. But that's okay, because outside of Rainbow Moon, I didn't have much to play, anyway. In September, I really only care about Dead or Alive 5 but I can wait if I have to, and I'm not as amped up about Borderlands 2 as some gamers.
I also maintain that the Vita kicked much ass at Gamescom. There are just so many good reasons to own that thing now, and I'm not even a handheld fan. The only hard part is going to be balancing the Vita reviews with the PS3 reviews this fall. 'sigh'
8/18/2012 Ben Dutka