The Daily Five: Franchises That Need A Rest

January 17, 2014 | By | No Comments

Just like in sports, video game developers have those stars that always come through in the clutch. When the chips are down and the company is in desperate need of a good (financial) performance, this is the franchise player that can be counted on to perform. However, if that star is overused, it runs the risk of suffering from fatigue which can lead to a shortened career.

Today, we are discussing five such franchises that run the risk of being overused. These are franchises, while great, have become a little tiresome and need to spend some time on the bench to rejuvenate. While we cover PlayStation news and reviews exclusively here at Stealthy Box, we’re looking at franchises from all systems for this list, starting with…

Mario

MarioWorn

There are a lot of gamers that will see this entry as pure blasphemy. “How dare you besmirch the name of the franchise that made gaming what it is today?” While we still love Mario and think there are great games being put out (we called Super Mario 3D World one of our favorite platformers of 2013), it is hard to argue that Mario isn’t being overused.

How many Mario or Mario related titles have come out within the last few years? In just 2013, we had the following: Super Mario 3D World, Super Luigi U, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, Mario Party: Island Tour, Mario & Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Dr. Luigi, and Game & Wario. While you could argue that a lot of these aren’t traditional Mario games, that just goes to show how much the Mario franchise is being overused. Instead of working on new franchises or developing new entries for underused ones (Metroid and Star Fox, I’m looking at you), Nintendo has just used the Mario name for a quick cash-in.

We aren’t saying it’s time to retire Mario and hang his jersey from the rafters or anything. Just give the poor plumber a rest.

Assassin’s Creed

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How can we suggest giving the Assassin’s Creed franchise a rest after we called the latest entry, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, one of the best in the series? Because we want Assassin’s Creed to maintain that quality. Having annual entries in this historical/sci-fi action franchise really started to tire the franchise out. While some would argue that Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, which released one year after Assassin’s Creed II, proves that just isn’t true, would those people make the same arguments for Revelations or Assassin’s Creed III?

Revelations was met with a grunt of “Meh” by almost everyone that played it because it felt like a cash-in that added nothing to the story or mythos of the franchise. Then we have Assassin’s Creed III. Let’s just say there was a reason we called it a heartbreakingly bad game.

Ubisoft has suggested they may begin alternating yearly releases between Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs. This would be a good strategy to use. We’d hate to see Assassin’s Creed end with a whimper because Ubisoft went to the well one too many times.

God of War

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It really hurts to put this one on the list, but it has to be said: it’s time to give God of War a long rest. The once superb action franchise has had an amazing run. God of War and God of War II were two of the games that defined the PlayStation 2 as one of the greatest video game consoles of all time. God of War III, while not quite as great as the other two, was still an amazing hack-and-slash through the best parts of Greek mythology. The prequels Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta were two of the (admittedly) very few reasons to own a PSP.

The problem is that those games have now been re-released and rehashed several times over. God of War and God of War II both got HD upgrades for the PlayStation 3 (and soon enough on the Vita), as well as Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta. Then, we were given God of War: Ascension, one of the most unnecessary prequels in gaming history. There was no reason to release Ascension outside of a quick cash grab.

We would relish a new God of War, but we want Sony to take its time with this one. Give Sony Santa Monica the time to make an experience as epic as the originals instead of giving another afterthought like Ascension.

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