: Ben's Week In Review: August 19

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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

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Comments (33 posts)

LimitedVertigo
Saturday, August 18, 2012 @ 9:22:15 PM
Reply

I'll admit when I'm wrong and it appears my original thoughts on Sleeping Dogs were incorrect. I plan on picking it up sometime in the fall.

As far as my gaming...ya...I haven't played games a while..damn you Summer!

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Killa Tequilla
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 1:25:38 AM

I guess i could steal your words and call it my own PGU. Or maybe you stole my words and called it your own PGU? How'd you do it - inception?

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frostface
Saturday, August 18, 2012 @ 9:33:38 PM
Reply

I'd like to see Mirrors Edge 2 on a next gen console but I believe there's more than enough power in this gen to give us that sequel. I guess I'm impatient and want it now.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, August 18, 2012 @ 9:34:28 PM
Reply

The quality of games may not go down with annualization but the quality of the story sure can. Anything that is done too often, like a soap opera, will become convoluted and less solid. Also it may be good to stay relevant but saturation is a problem too.

Mirror's Edge was fun when it worked, I'd give it another go.

I think I drifted away from Mass Effect 3 because I had just finished ME2 again. So whilst it rests I'm playing Batman: AA and Hyperdimension 2 for my cooky JRPG fix.

DOA5 next month people. I hope I can make some headway on this backlog before Dishonored in October.

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Yukian
Saturday, August 18, 2012 @ 9:56:13 PM

You're right World, look what happpened to Guitar Hero, Rock Band and Call of Duty... oh, scratch the latter, it's still alive somehow... lol

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Qubex
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 2:20:11 AM

You make some very valid points World... the quality of the story has the potential to suffer, but it really depends on the individuals involved. If you have a talented team, it can be pulled off year after year, but not every franchise will succeed...

Also, lets not forget that people could naturally tire of the story, its world and overall themes it propagates... really depends on a number of critical factors whether or not a franchise series can go on and on...

Personally I feel after a forth installment it starts to go wrong... like fungus in a petri dish...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 11:55:11 AM

I agree Qubex, things tend to fall apart around the number 4, either at or after.

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Yukian
Saturday, August 18, 2012 @ 9:52:20 PM
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I still think they should stick with making a game every 1.5 or 2 years 'cause no one could keep up... my wallet sure won't! :/

Mirror Edge needs a sequel before ending this gen because maybe next gen people won't remember it that well, seeing as how the sheeps forget quite rapidly awesome games...

PGU: Played Assassins Creed and ACII for the first time and I'll say this: day-amn I really was missing out on an awesome franchise! Now to order Brotherhood and Revelations to sharpen my blade for ACIII... :D

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Killa Tequilla
Saturday, August 18, 2012 @ 10:11:54 PM
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Okay... Is Ni No Kuni like pokemon ar not!!?? I need to know.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, August 18, 2012 @ 11:12:07 PM

I don't think there's enough detailed info about the monster system to know that yet. I know there's lots of magic in the battles. If it was like Pokemon would that be good or bad?

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Killa Tequilla
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 1:15:42 AM

That would be good and id totally buy it! If you look at the gameplay, it looks a lot like pokemon for some reason. But the evidence is inconclusive. Like i said before, I've never played games like Ni No Kuni before. It will be the first Japanase jrpg or rpg (what ever it is) that I'll ever play. For some reason, I thought the gentleman here at PSX had the answer. To me though, Ni No Kuni looks interesting.

Haven't you played this game before, world? I guess not huh?

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Wrote
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 3:53:35 AM

@Killa Tequilla

Ni No Kuni is like pokemon and isnt like pokemon, depends on what part of it your talking about. its like it in the sense there are several creatures similar to pokemon in it and that you fight with them (though not exclusively, your characters do fight). but it doesn't use the same mechanics as a pokemon game, for one its not turn based(although you can pause combat before picking attacks, its mostly real time battles) also I dont believe battles rely too much on type advantages(I.e. water against a fire type)..

The 2 games do share alot of similarities, but I think ni no kuni is closer to a traditional jrpg then a monster collecting one like pokemon or dragon quest monsters. im not sure how you acquire your 'familiars' but I bet its more like dqm in that you beat a monster and if it likes you it joins you, no throwing pokeballs.

though I dont have ni no kuni yet, ive been following it since before the ps3 one was out in japan, and I am a self proclaimed pokemaster, so I have decent credentials, hope I helped explain it a bit... and seriously ppl, spread the word, this thing needs sales, I want a sequel and the ds one to get a port or remake outside of japan.

~Wrote

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 11:59:25 AM

Wrote seems to know what he's talking about, except I read that it was essentially turn-based with some real-time running about in battle.

I don't import because I can't understand Japanese so I'm stuck waiting for the Western release like everybody else so I haven't played it but I've read some things on it. Maybe you'll just have to take a leap of faith or wait for Ben's review.

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Temjin001
Saturday, August 18, 2012 @ 10:44:43 PM
Reply

Im not certain if I like annualization of products like Assassin's Creed. I'm fine with multiplayer oriented games, like sports, MMORPGs, and online FPS games, because they're consumed and played differently than experience driven games. I don't like the idea of a single franchise gobbling up advertising space and public exposure over and over again each holiday season, with only a remixed version of the same game we played the prior year, with only subtle strides. I don't like this mentality of stagnating innovation and risk taking for milking a cash cow. David Cage has a Gamescon story posted over at Gamespot related to this. This may be a winning strategy for Activision and corporate cows, but one thing is for dang certain as far as my interests go,(lots o' money in my bank or not). I'm willing to lay down full price for a brand new MGS every 3-5 years, but I sure as heck wont pay over $20 for annualized release of a CoD or AC anytime soon. It's not about quality at this point. It's the stagnating feeling that I've done this before over and over again, and I'm just more interested in trying something I haven't felt or experienced as much before. I like 2 games from a franchise, 3 tops, for a standard console life cycle before holding off and moving onto bigger and better hardware that gives us a more vivid and realized reason to return to that brand of experience.
Really, even every 2 years is getting old. I love Halo. But man, how many Halo's do we need on 360? I don't see it any differnet for AC.

PGU: Ico and VF5 FS.

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R3ZR
Saturday, August 18, 2012 @ 11:59:29 PM
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Annualization, not sure if its good or bad imo. Personally AC is one of my fav franchises, although I do admit that they did add useless extras that weren't necessary, all just to make it different. But they kind of do have a point in keeping it in peoples minds and considering AC3 was in development since AC2, I personally don't mind because I know that AC3 is going to be a totally new and fresh experience. Still don't know about COD tho..it could use a break.

I would reallly like to see Mirrors Edge before next gen, but hey whenever.

PGU: Started playing Max Payne 3, about 50% done, its enjoyable..Darksiders 2 is still in its box along with Sleeping Dogs, hopefully if I get time in the next week or two I will be able to at least play one of them..

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Killa Tequilla
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 1:22:04 AM

Max Payne 3 reminded me of Man on Fire a lot. Actually it was Man on Fire that reminded me of Max Payne 3. Great movie, great game.

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frylock25
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 1:07:42 AM
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Ben will you be reviewing transformers fall of cybertron?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 10:00:05 AM

Probably.

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Killa Tequilla
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 1:20:28 AM
Reply

Anyone here waiting for august 28th? Great collections plus a psvita update! Great day to go out shopping. God of war saga anyone? Ratchet and clank? Or Journey collection? Anyone-anyone?

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Lawless SXE
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 1:43:04 AM

The Ratchet and Clank Collection is excellent quality. A really well done update, but I can't describe how much I envy you guys for getting the Sly 4 demo with your release of it...

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Lawless SXE
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 1:41:14 AM
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Only reason to support annualisation is because it forces costs down on the earlier titles. CoD is the only exception to this rule, with their prices remaining mid-range for years because of the incredible demand.

I wonder what the next generation could do for Mirror's Edge. I mean, it's not like the control mechanism is going to be startlingly different, and there's only so much that shiny graphics can do for a game. The foundation is there for a great franchise, just as it was there for the original Assassin's Creed, DICE has just not built on it yet.

Personal Update:
Finished Killzone 3. Not sure why almost everyone says that it wasn't as good as KZ2. Sure, the core gameplay was more standard, but I found it to be a more well rounded experience with a FAR better story, which elevates it in my opinion.
Popped Fallout 3 back in my PS3 earlier today and well... it's not as engaging as I remember. Maybe I just need to play it a bit more for it to regain the magic I originally felt that it had...

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 12:01:19 PM

CoD like never goes down in price, but AC sure does. I know there will be a crazy huge number of ACIII discs out there so all I have to do is wait a bit and it will be half price or less.

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Qubex
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 2:16:27 AM
Reply

Regarding M.Edge... "That's precisely the type of game that could really benefit from a big boost in power and technical capability."

Ben must say, after seeing the future of gaming in Sony exclusive titles such as "The Last of Us" and "Beyond", i would be confident that M.Edge on the Ps3 wouldn't disappoint. You can imagine what they could do with it if they wanted... But yes, on Next Generation hardware it could look that much better on higher resolutions especially if they retain those crisp clean lines...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Solid Fantasy
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 4:09:17 AM
Reply

I think "annualization" (chrome spell check says that wrong) can work if the franchise is big enough to support a large team that can work fast enough to get a lot of work done in a short period of time.

Some of the best games took a long time to complete, but then again those were often smaller groups.

PGU: Finished my MGS quest. I'm glad I can say I've played the original Metal Gear 1 + 2 now. Twisted Metal is awesome and I'm glad I bought it. The online needs some love and the connecting issues are not helping. Dose anyone else think Jaffe is sorta the Quentin Tarantino of the game industry?

In Euro land now. Looks like it's down to Portal 2 (if I can get it to work... PC gaming), BF3, minecraft, and everything on my PSP

Also, aside from other reasons I kinda want to get a Vita just for the sake of promoting specialization. Smart phones might have too much power right now.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 10:00:47 AM

That's because "annualization" isn't a word. :)

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Geobaldi
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 10:15:28 PM

According to Merriam-Webster, it is :)

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___________
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 4:27:24 AM
Reply

ironic how ubisoft points to the AC series as yearly releases not hurting games, especially when each AC title has had more than a year in development!
1 and 2 were in development for years, so was brotherhood the teams who did 2 and brotherhood were actually 2 different development teams.
than once 2 was out that team went to work on revelations and so on.
so each AC title has had more than 1 year in development, so how can you say yearly releases has not hurt the AC series?
technically it has not had yearly releases!
i dont like yearly releases if its from the same development team, there simply just is not enough time to make a game, especially a game like AC, in 12 months!
id much rather them release 1 game every 2 years that way they have more polish and am not rushed.
the longer the better obviously, but no less than 2 years in development!

id love to see ME2 on next gen systems, i just hope if DICE does do it they lay out the levels better!
i really hope they let faith carry a gun this time, make the tighter sections a little easier.
i REALLY hated the level towards the end where your in the back of a van and end up in a underground carpark.
theres cars parked on the left and right so you have to run down the middle right in front of the 100s of cops shooting you!
thats common sense!
theres 100 cops sitting here waiting to kill me so i know the smartest thing to do is just run straight past them!
GENIUS!
if they want to do a sequel they REALLY need to think out the level design better!
and this time add some more complex puzzles, allot of the platforming and puzzles were really basic and simple.
for once actually make people stop and use their brain for a change!
heaven forbid if a game actually lets us THINK for a change!

its a shame sleeping dogs is such a repetetive game because it actually is really beautiful and interesting!
i just wished for once we could have a game where the missions are not a repeat of the last 20!
i swear to god if im told to go find another gang member, do him a favor, and go beat up some goons im going to scream!
this gives the term repetitive gameplay a whole new extreme!
oh well hopefully that will change and get allot more interesting once you get some weapons.
the hand to hand combat is just so plain, and theres only so many times you can slam a guys head into a telephone booth before it starts to get old!


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Yukian
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 6:58:12 AM

Mr./Ms./Mrs. Blank, DAFUQ?

They still RELEASED the games on a yearly basis even though DEVELOPMENTS lasted more than a year and with different teams...

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___________
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 8:37:51 AM

face palm.
really?
sorry, but im not wasting anymore of my time!

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DazeOfWar
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 11:47:30 AM

A yearly release is something that comes out each year. The only AC that had a 2 year gap was from the first to the second. After that they were 1 year apart. That would count as yearly releases.

So with your theory COD wouldn't be considered a yearly release since it's 2 different teams doing it.

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Gone
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 9:48:45 AM
Reply

What happened to the PS3 Super Slim CECH-4001 announcement? There were some talks of a price drop and a 16GB Super Slim PS3 before GamesCom.

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DazeOfWar
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 11:40:27 AM
Reply

I think it would be better if they had at least a 2 year gap in between games. If the game is good enough people won't forget it. Just look at games like GOW, GTA, Halo, Zelda, Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell, MGS and a few others. You can see how people don't forget just by the excitement when a new one is announced. I think the reason why Max Payne have amazing sales is because it wasn't super huge like a lot of other games from back then. Twisted Metal on the other hand was pretty big but the new one had terrible online that just barely got patched and wasn't marketed well. Plus Sony pretty much tossed it to the side after it released.

PGU:

Vita: I just beat Gravity Rush last night. Great game but the ending was kind of a let down. Some things never got explained. Overall the game was fun and I still plan on trying to earn the platinum.

PS3: I've played a little of Darksiders II so far. I've beat the first 2 dungeons and one side dungeon. The game is a blast and I really love the deeper RPG elements. It's a must play for everybody.

I've also been playing the Jurassic Park game from Telltale. I've made it through the first 3 chapters and man this is probably the worst game I've played from them. I really noticed a lot of hiccups in the third chapter. I'm sure glad I got the game for free when I renewed by Plus membership last year.

PC: Just been playing a little of The Witcher. I did by the new Humble Bundle Android 3 bundle. I just have a hard time passing up the indie bundles. Get some cool games for cheap and as a bonus most of them usually come with the game soundtracks. That is one thing I've really been digging lately.

Keep up the great work Ben. The site is great like always.

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BikerSaint
Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 12:26:06 PM
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Ideally, I'd like to see each new game in a franchise about every 2 years, but no more than 3.

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