Good Idea, Bad Idea: Assassin’s Creed Edition

Assassin's Creed LogoFor those of you that have been coming here to crash for a while now (thank you!), you may have picked up on the fact that I have a sort of soft spot for the Assassin’s Creed franchise. For me, it’s something about how Ubisoft is able to weave actual history into a fictional narrative that really pulls me in. I mean, getting the chance to run around places of interest like Paris, Rome, Venice, and other major centers of history has always been a huge selling point for me.

For as much as the series has gotten right over the years, there’s been a few missteps as well. With that, I figured it would be kind of fun to look at each of the main titles in the franchise to see what I liked about them, and what kind of fell flat in my eyes. This will be a lot easier for some games than others, but here we go.

The list is pretty long considering it covers all the major games in the franchise, so make sure to hit the jump to see the complete list. Have a favorite memory from the Assasisn’s Creed series? Let me know in the comments below.

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Saturday Video Round Up: November 15 – 21

Sorry folks, no big conferences this week so we’re back to a normal rotation of videos. With many of the big AAA titles having been released already, it wouldn’t surprise me to see things slow down just a bit until we hit the end of the month. Still, don’t fear, there’s some great video related content waiting for you from this past week. So lets have a quick look at some of the items waiting for you below.

With most of the major releases now behind us for 2015, Ubisoft wants to make sure you didn’t forget that Rainbow Six Siege is still on the way. To aid their marketing cause, they’ve brought on Idris Elba to help convince you to pick up with game with a pair of videos.

Halo 5 grew this week with the first of many free DLC packs called the Battle of Light and Shadow. There’s a lot of content in there including Big Team Battle, new maps, new requisitions, and more so make sure to check out the trailer for the full rundown.

I’ve also got new videos for Rocket League, Game of Thrones, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and so much more after the break, so come check out this week’s batch of trailers!

The full list of videos await you after the jump…

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Quick Review Round Up: What Have I Been Playing?

I won’t lie, I don’t have nearly as much time as I once did. It’s the sad truth as I’m faced with many more adult responsibilities. As such, I’m just not able to cover each and every game in extensive detail. First world problems, am I right?

Still, I do play as many games as I can and while I may not get a chance to talk about each one, I wanted to take a moment to offer a few thoughts on some of the games I’ve been playing recently. I have been playing Assassin’s Creed Syndicate as well, but I’ve covered that in greater detail via another post, so if you want me thoughts on the Frye twins, have a look here. So here’s my quick review round up for you all.

If you’ve played any of the following games, let me know your thoughts down in the comments as well.

Halo 5: Guardians
Microsoft’s major release for 2015 sees Master Chief getting moved out of the way a bit for newcomer Jameson Locke. The gameplay is buttery smooth and it’s nice to be able to work alongside new Spartans like Olympia Vale, Fred, and even Buck (of ODST fame), but lets be honest here, Halo 5 is and was always set up to be the middle story in a three game arc. So for better or for worse, the story ends on a cliffhanger in order to set you up for the inevitable Halo 6. Disappointing, but I had a good time getting there even if the story didn’t always flow together so well. Multiplayer is pretty much as you’d expect, fast and skill based. Warzone is the new addition, essentially replacing Spartan Ops and Firefight from previous games. Pitting 24 players on a map filled with enemy AI as well, it’s a frantic and fun time which also provides a different experience from the traditional Arena modes. It’s not my go to game currently, but Halo 5 is a lot of fun.

Mega Man Legacy Collection
An absolutely faithful collection for fans of the original Mega Man games, you’re getting all 6 games in one package along side a challenge mode, and a museum featuring artwork, concept art, and a jukebox. It’s a solid collection and if you’re a Mega Man fan like me, you probably already own this. Personally, I would have loved to have the entire original series included here, but I realized that by using the term “Legacy” in the title, they intended to restrict the offering to only the original NES titles. Sorry Mega Man 7, 8, 9, and 10 fans.

Fallout 4
This is a game I plan to cover in more detail, I mean, this massive title deserves as much. At this time, I’m about 15 hours in and I feel like I’ve barely made a dent in it. While the story hasn’t really kicked in all that much outside of the main event during the tutorial level, that’s really not what the experience is about. The gameplay has everything players expect including a massive sprawling landscape to explore, a billion quests to finish, and now a greater focus on base building and crafting. Fallout 4 can be a bit obtuse with how to do things sometimes, but the core gameplay is rock solid and it’s a ton of fun exploring the wasteland. Plus, I’m a native New Englander, so seeing sights I’m familiar with in Boston (albiet with a Fallout-style makeover) is incredibly cool as well. More on this one later.

Mad Max
This one surprised me mainly because the reviews for it were kind of mixed. I had a great time in the world of Mad Max as Avalanche managed to really capture the look and feel of that world, trying to survive in a harsh environment. The gameplay was rock solid if not a little familiar. Essentially, as Max, you perform actions in the wasteland which reduces the threat there. These include things like taking down War Parties, eliminating the local stronghold, and simple stuff like knocking down weird statues. The car combat and driving segments feel great and is a definite highlight for me. It’s almost like Burnout meets Mad Max. If you’re looking for a solid game in between playing some of the bigger games this year, Mad Max is a great candidate.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Another massively expansive game, Kojima made sure to go out with a bang on this one. As someone who only has cursory knowledge and who has almost zero experience with the franchise, the biggest surprise for me was how much I really enjoy playing this game. Sure, the characters and plot lines don’t have a huge impact on me as someone who’s been with the franchise since the beginning, but it’s the gameplay that pulls you in and hooks you. The maps encourage you to play how you want to, with Snake having access to an absurd amount of gear and weapons. Plus, the fact you can call in a supply drop anytime you want means you can switch play styles on the fly. I will say though, using the Fulton system to extract people, gear, equipment, and anything else in order to build up your home base is massively addicting and a fantastic addition to the game. I’m really happy with my purchase in this game.

Super Mario Maker
The biggest thing that surprised me about this game is how much Nintendo lets go of, allowing players to really get creative. Nintendo has added so much content and unlockables that making levels is hilariously fun. There’s so much you can do as well that you’ll still be picking up new tricks for a while and the community is absolutely thriving so there’s a never ending supply of levels to explore as well. With new content and new ways to search for “official” Nintendo levels, Super Mario Maker looks to have a long life ahead of it. If you’re a WiiU owner, this is a game you have to own.

Gears of War Ultimate Edition
If you’re starving for Gears of War content, then The Coalition has you covered. Featuring technical updates, new engine enhancements, and a refined multiplayer experience, the Ultimate Edition is a great homage to an already great game. Seriously though, you may want to jump in on this game sooner or later because if you play before the end of the year, you get the rest of the Gears series for free thanks to the Xbox One backwards compatibility feature which just went live.

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The Startling Sales Truth Of Rise of the Tomb Raider

While we don’t have specific global numbers yet, things are not looking good for the current Xbox One exclusive, Rise of the Tomb Raider. Initial reports out of the United Kingdom indicate a poor launch day showing for Lara Croft’s second major outing since being rebooted a few years ago. According to sales data, Rise of the Tomb Raider sold less than 63,000 units at retail in the first 24 hours in the UK. Ouch.

Currently set as a timed Xbox One exclusive, Microsoft has done a considerable job marketing the game, making sure the public is well aware that the game exists. Not only that, review scores have been extremely good and word of mouth has been extremely strong from people who did pick up the game having nothing but good things to say it. Normally, all of this would have led to a massive showing at retail. The perfect storm if you will.

Rise of the Tomb Raider Snow

Sadly, none of that seems to have mattered in the end as the main stumbling block can be argued that the game was overshadowed by a 500lb gorilla called Fallout 4, which launched on the same day. While Fallout is a massive franchise in its own right, Microsoft believed that the two games were different enough to attract different consumers at launch. Technically that’s true, but it can be argued that the hype train for Fallout 4 has been approaching light speed ever since it’s announcement at E3 this year. With these dismal numbers out of the UK, it would appear that Microsoft was wrong in its belief.

There was probably no way to shift the release date for Tomb Raider either as Halo 5 launched just a few weeks before, then Call of Duty followed that. Two incredibly huge franchises as well. Not only that, the week after saw Star Wars Battlefront launching which is expected to pull massive numbers at retail. The following week is a major American holiday, then December arrives with Just Cause 3, and the window for the holiday rush starts to rapidly close. Microsoft clearly didn’t want to miss out on the typical holiday shopping rush including “Black Friday” by releasing the game in December. It was a tough situation to squeeze into, and they figured Fallout was different enough that Tomb Raider would have the best survival chance.

As an aside, I recently saw that a Senior producer at Sony out in the UK poked fun at Microsoft and the poor Tomb Raider showing in the UK. I’m sorry, but I find this behavior childish and unnecessary. While I enjoy playing games on all systems including the PS4, I have to admit, at least Microsoft actually had first party exclusives this time of year so I wouldn’t be so quick to talk smack, Sony. I’m starting to tire of these grade school antics, seriously. 

I can only speak for myself here, but from my angle, I only have a finite amount of income and time to devote to this hobby these days. As much as I’d like to purchase every new game that comes along, I just can’t. I do plan on getting Rise of the Tomb Raider, but I had to make a choice last week and I went with Fallout 4. Even if I had purchased both games (which I did consider for a time), Fallout 4 is so massive and consuming, it would have been hard to balance both games at the same time. Realistically, Rise would have just ended up sitting on my shelf anyway, so I didn’t see the point in buying it just to say I owned it. When I do get around to it, I want to make sure I have time to devote to it. From the looks of the limit sales data, many felt this way as well.

Rise of the Tomb Raider looks fantastic and I can’t wait to play it eventually, but for right now, I’m a one game type of guy. I didn’t want to repeat the mess I started years ago when I actually purchased three games at one time: Split/Second, Alan Wake, and Red Dead Redemption. What a day for gaming that was! Trying to split time between these three fantastic games was near impossible and it is a feat I never want to attempt again…

I can’t speak for everyone, but it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that many people felt this same way. Sure, the launch numbers may have been bad in the UK, but I’m predicting the numbers will continue to trend upwards especially as major holidays like Christmas approach. Not only that, Rise of the Tomb Raider is still coming to PC and PS4 players next year (PC gets it first), so things are not certainly over yet for Lara Croft. Plus, lets be optimistic and imagine that the US sales numbers are a little better for the game. It’s a long shot sure, but it never hurts to hope.

Have any of you picked this game up? Let me know your thoughts on it in the comments.

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Saturday Video Round Up: November 8 – 14

It’s been a packed few weeks which began two weeks ago with the Paris Games Show, followed up by Blizzcon last week. This week, Nintendo fired back with a new Direct, something they haven’t done in a while. While I do have some great non-Nintendo videos, it would be wise to anticipate a host of WiiU/3DS trailers as well. Here’s a quick look at only a fraction of what waits for you below the jump.

Nintendo shocked a lot of people by announcing that the incredibly popular Final Fantasy VII character, Cloud, is joining the Super Smash Bros roster as DLC. The character stays true to what people expect and even comes with a fancy looking Midgard level as well. Smash Bros fans should also be on the look out in December as Nintendo is planning another even centered around Smash Bros, presumably to announce even more DLC.

I’ve also got new videos for Rainbow Six: Siege, Mass Effect Andromeda, Star Fox Zero and so much more after the break, so come check out this week’s batch of trailers!

The full list of videos await you after the jump…

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Would You Rather: Fallout Edition

So in case you live under a rock, Fallout 4 released earlier this week and having only put two hours into the game at the time of this writing, I’m not quite ready to talk about my feelings just yet. I will say that if you’re a fan of Fallout 3 or New Vegas, then this one is absolutely a no brainer, go out right now and buy it. I’ll try to cobble my thoughts together next week once I’ve been able to dump more of my time into the game.


Since the game was announced a few months ago at E3, I’ve been hearing a lot of chatter over the game’s graphics. Much of the discussion has been around how the visuals in Fallout 4 are a little underwhelming, especially when compared to many recently released titles like Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and others. Sure, I can see some of that after playing the game, but honestly, I think it still looks great. It’s not the most visually stunning game, but Fallout 4 is certainly a step up from Skyrim and Fallout 3 any way you slice it.

With that said, it got me thinking a little bit about the future of the franchise. So I present a question to you, dear reader. A “would you rather” style question of sorts in regards to where Bethesda should take the franchise going forward. I’m curious to know your thoughts on the matter.

Would You Rather…

See the next Fallout game stick to what works?
This is basically the “If it ain’t broke” approach, which we all know works extremely well for this franchise. These games are massive sellers so it would be really easy for Bethesda to simply stick to what works. Essentially, they’d only need to make a few tweaks to the visuals and focus all of thier time and attention on the gameplay elements in this massive open world.


Instead, have Bethesda overhaul the engine so the graphics get a substantial boost along with character models and animations?
This would be the extreme option, one that I know some people would be in favor of. With choice two, Bethesda would instead completely overhaul the graphics engine, making the next Fallout game one of the best looking titles available and feature character models that are not only more detailed and lifelike, but have better animations and facial expressions.

Keep in mind, option two would also require that certain elements be scaled down, I mean, there’s only so much RAM to go around. At a cost for these shiny new graphics, the world may have to be a tad smaller and certain elements like the ability to pick up almost every thing you see would have to be scaled way back if not removed entirely. You could still have some items that players could pick up and interact with, sure, but the ability to pick up anything like plastic trays to coffee mugs, would have to be scaled back. Still, you’d get basically the same Fallout experience in terms of gameplay in a huge open world and tons of content, just not as much as the previous games. Hey, if CD Projekt RED can somehow mash 200 hours of content into Witcher 3 and make it that gorgeous, then Bethesda should be able to still make magic on a visual heavy Fallout as well.

So what do you think gang? Would you like to see future Fallout games stay on the path it’s on, or would you like to see Bethesda try something a little different? Let me know what you think in the comments.

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Saturday Video Round Up: November 2 – 7

With the Paris Games Show happening last week, this week’s Round Up has a tough act to follow. Unfortunately, there’s not as many videos as last week’s episode, but there’s still a lot of great video content for you. Lets have a quick look at only a fraction of what waits for you below the jump.

The biggest video this week arguably comes from Bethesda who is looking to cause hype to explode out of your eyes with the launch trailer for Fallout 4. This is the most story based content we’ve gotten since E3, so there’s a lot to digest before the game hits next week. Soak it in people, soak it in.

BlizzCon kicked off yesterday and as you could imagine, new trailers and news flooded the internet and I’ve collected as many as I could for your enjoyment. Everything from StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm and everything else under the Activision-Blizzard sun.

I’ve also got new videos for Planets vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, Star Wars Battlefront, Call of Duty: Black Ops III and so much more after the break, so come check out this week’s batch of trailers!

The full list of videos await you after the jump…

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