**Editor’s Note: Ricky was too lazy to work on a post AGAIN, so we’re here filling in one more time**

Ubisoft has announced they actually have a finale set in for their Assassin Creed franchise, but freely admit they are on schedule to release one game every year so when exactly are we going to finally see how this things wraps up? They said it will continue at this pace until they completely exhaust themselves and the series is no longer profitable. Basically they have an ending in mind but will continue to push more titles, how many doors will they be able to close when all is said and done?

We had ambitious multi-game promises before, most notably Shenmue, which never even got to see the conclusion see the light of day. With ideas and innovation at a low and publishers seeing sequels as the easiest way to sell games, its becoming increasingly rare finding games that don’t feature a “To be continued…” type ending.

Which do you prefer? A single game with one epic story? A franchise in which it’s known the story will continue over several titles? Or franchises like Zelda where the core gameplay remains but very little is shared in terms of plot?

Friday, 1:26 pm – Albert

Oh man – I HOPE Gavin does not have Lysol wipes. You don’t want to clean off any good luck for gaming!

Dota watching? Intriguing. Not enough for me to watch it. But still. Intriguing.

Here’s this! The $1,000,000 Edition. Time to start saving those pennies.

Friday, 11:15 am – matt

lets all remember Gavin’s routine when playing the Wii-U next time you’re at his place. I hope Lysol wipes are your friend, and therefore, mine.

Friday, 9:02 am – Ricky

Yes, it’s true: The breadth of adult responsibilities can definitely take a chunk out of gaming time. We had that great conversation last week about how you negotiate time for gaming and make it jive with all of your other duties. It really is a balancing act, but frankly, so are most things in life.

I watched some more Dota2 yesterday. The match I really got into was LGD vs. Alliance – their first game of 3 was fantastic, so I plan to catch up on games 2 and 3 today. Dota2 streaming is fantastic: I watched a couple of matches on Twitch, and I also used the Steam client to watch the LGD/Alliance match. Valve has really done a great job building in a wide variety of streaming and viewing options for the game, which, contrary to what Nintendo would have you believe, must really be helping them grow the community around the game. Peak viewers in the client were almost 200,000 people, and I don’t believe that includes Twitch viewers.

This week, I get to attend someone else’s wedding! And I’ll be checking out the finals for The International. Hopefully I can get back into Dishonored and Last of Us at some point. What’re you playing this weekend?

Thursday, 6:50 pm – Gavin

My friends, my apologies for my absence this week.  I was hitting the windy city of Chicago, taking in the culture and spending a trillion hours on the road.  GOOGLE MAPS LIES.

What did I discover this week?  Whilst enjoying the Wii U, I found that I can stop playing on the couch, migrate to the bathroom, take a wicked dump, and continue playing.  I know a lot of people were looking forward to this feature, but I hadn’t taken advantage of it to that point.

I only have a moment to let you know that I’m alive.  I’ll contribute more next week.  I’m elbow-deep in repairing my dishwasher and I’m just about to head out to babysit an infant.  BEING A GROWN UP.  WHOOOOOOO.

Thursday, 9:11 am – Ricky

Man, I need to try out Pocket League 2. I’ll get on that this weekend for sure. If you’re looking for something else to play on your Android, a great little DS emulator was just released. It’s called DraStic, and while WE DO NOT CONDONE EMULATION… it is pretty cool to play some old school DS games.

Got a bit of gaming in last night with matt and a buddy of ours. I continue to dive into Forza Horizon – such a fun multiplayer title. I really do love these kinds of racing games, ones where there are real cars and real physics, but I don’t need to be a gearhead to figure it out. I’m hoping Drive Club on the PS4 is more like Forza Horizon than it is like Gran Turismo – I mean, Playstation already has Gran Turismo, so it makes sense. I also dipped into SSX and Trials Evolution, and we wrapped up with Golf: Tee It Up! as per usual.

I’ve also been watching a bunch of The International, the Dota2 tournament run by Valve. While I’m not a Dota player by any definition of the word, I still enjoy watching the live streams of the matches. The finals happen this Sunday, and I think friend-of-the-site Ash (an actual Dota fan) and I will head to the local pubstomp to catch it. Of course, watching all of these matches makes me want to play, and now that there’s a built-in tutorial…

Hey look, a rabbit hole!

Wednesday, 8:49 pm – Albert

Awesome info-graphic! I love those things.

I can definitely see both sides of the argument for franchises and new IP. Franchises are guaranteed sellers while new IP is risky. But with great risk comes great profit! I’m not really looking forward to the new AC4 but that is mainly because I am two games behind. I can never just jump into a series midway (whether it be TV, Movie, Games). I always want to make sure that I have all the background.

So what have I been playing? Pocket League Soccer 2! By — YOU GUESSED IT — KAIROSOFT! “Oh you so crazy Albert!” It’s an expansive version of PL1 but it is free with IAPs. Taking matt ‘s info-graphic into perspective you can tell that people do not like IAPs. They want to pay a little more for the full game. I couldn’t agree more. I had the same response when learning that Kairosoft was releasing this free and I dreaded finding out what the paywall was like. The actually IAP is not that bad. You can pay to get players earlier or buy some features (the ability to speed up play, or tilt you game) but nothing is too far fetched AND the important thing is that you can earn the purchasable item just by playing more.

Anybody have any other good Android games to recommend?

Tuesday, 9:11 am – Ricky

I wasn’t lazy, I swear! It was a holiday yesterday here in Ontario and I forgot to post… It’s a different kind of lazy, I guess.

Great topic indeed! The Backlog Challenge has taught me that there are more great games coming out every year than one (normal) person can play. As Tony Horton, P90X instructor and fitness dude, always says: Variety is the spice of life! With so many great games coming out, why would you want sequels and follow-ups? Just sample what’s on offer and dip in deeper with the experiences you really enjoy!

That said, people want sequels and follow-ups to fun games because they’re fun. Companies want them because money is good. If companies are willing to continue to provide fun experiences, either on a yearly or irregular basis, then people will give them their money. Franchise fatigue and burnout occur when a company fails to innovate or differentiate its series from others being offered. The newest installment of Call of Duty – Ghosts – is trending lower on pre-orders than Black Ops 2. Is it franchise fatigue? Is it the on-set of a new console generation, set to fragment groups of friends who game together? I’m not sure, but in my case, I was fatigued and ready to let go of the series after Black Ops 1.

I’m really looking forward to Assassin’s Creed 4. After playing the last two entries, I’m definitely more skeptical of the series than ever before, but I’m still hopeful that they can pull me back in. When you’ve played a series for as long as AC has been around, you feel invested in the franchise and its success. At this point, am I playing it because it’s fun? Or because I’ve always played AC games?

Again, I’m not sure, but I’ll be there for Splinter Cell in a few weeks, and I’ll be there for AC in October/November. Of course, I’ll also be checking out Ubisoft’s latest franchise, Watch Dogs, in November and usual golden child Grand Theft Auto 5 in in September. Old and new, continuation and one-off, can’t they all just live together harmoniously?

Tuesday, 7:00 am – matt

pretty cool new site presented by BlackBerry called Talk Mobile, a gathering place for leaders in the videogame industry to discuss mobile gaming. topics include its impact today compared to consoles, how to make mobile multi player gamin better and more! check out this neat pic and link for more stories:

gaming

Monday, 2:34 pm – Albert

It’s only Monday and it’s already been a long week.

Great topic this week – For me I believe Franchise and Single games have a very thin line to traverse. On one hand, a Franchise like Assassins Creed I believed to be amazing! AC1, AC2, AC: Brotherhood were all great to me… but then it started to come too often (every year) and the story moved very little. The ending to Brotherhood got me so hyped for the next iteration but it was a lot of hype for nothing. From what I hear the beginning on the next title did not even answer the cliffhanger to the previous and that to me is just poor planning and narrative. The way that the AC franchise is moving is more about putting out as many games as possible and does not worry about keeping the allure and narrative of the original idea. That being said, I think it’s overdone. I haven’t played AC since Brotherhood and there have been 2 more titles since then.

On the other hand, as matt has mentioned, The Last of Us was perfect for narrative and length. HOWEVER, I want more! But at the same time I believe that if they did a sequel it might ruin the franchise. It might be just better to finish the story and use the same gameplay elements in a different scenario instead of dragging the story on without a definitive end. I consider the AC franchise to be the video game series of How I Met Your Mother. Where you know there is an end but they take a fucking long time to get to it! By then you’ve lost half your audience and people just don’t care anymore. 

Of course, what type of PC gamer would I be if I didn’t mention Half Life? Nerds have been begging for HL3 but do we really want it? I’m not sure… It’s been too long and any game that comes out will not live to the expectations that we’ve set (Duke Nukem anyone?). Let’s not forget a little franchise called Star Wars. But i’ll let Ricky the expert on that particular subject elaborate if he wants. Point is (just my opinion): Get your damn game done in a reasonable fashion. Have an end in mind and don’t go longer than three. Have maybe a 2-3 year break in between. WHATEVER. But keep it within a reasonable time and wrap it up. So many franchises have terrible 3rd games. Need I mention Mass Effect? I have no opinion on the game but from what I hear you were promised your own game (via decisions) and those choices “mattered”. Ends up that was not the case.  But then you look at games in the Elder Scroll series which just seems to get better and better with age. Same goes with Fallout. Same with XCOM. They all have story but they have all taken quite a bit of time to create a great successor. I think my biggest gripe is yearly releases. Isn’t this the problem with the CODs of the world? Yearly releases pressure developers to just make a checklist and just make sure to get those boxes ticked. Somebody make sense of my rambling.

Rant over.

I have another question to my fellow Gamentarians: Why are we not playing this game? It’s like L4D2 and Heat! We love L4D2! DON’T WE?

Monday, 1:51 pm – matt

I personally hate finishing a game with a to be continued type ending. after just finishing the Last of Us, it was really refreshing to not only play such an in-depth narrative, but to know this was the story and I was going to see how it unfolded right here and now, not wait for installment 3 of the trilogy.

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