April is light in terms of high-profile reviews, but there are still a few significant releases…

I love Assassin's Creed, but…

There's no bigger fan than I. And I admit I had misplaced and erroneous reservations concerning last year's Brotherhood entry. That one came out only a year after ACII and it was great; it had everything I wanted plus more. But I also know they had already written the second part of Ezio's story heading into that production and of course, they already had the setting in place. If they're planning to turn this amazing franchise into an annual event, I'm just a little concerned that Ubisoft will be forced to sacrifice a little something. And even if they don't, I'm worried about Guillemot's comment – "something interesting for the brand." I don't know about you, but that statement implies a change. Look, that formula is awesome; don't change it.

If you want to give us a new historical setting and a new protagonist, fine (provided you don't skimp 'cuz you have to rush it out for every holiday season). But altering the winning formula that the fans fell in love with would be a colossal mistake…this has happened a lot this generation, and I'm concerned my precious AC will take the "faster and dumber" approach in due time. It's almost as if every franchise that wishes to be uber-popular has to get faster and dumber…

…and speaking of changing a winning formula…

Okay, this isn't quite the same thing because Resident Evil fans had issues with RE5; many say the tank controls have to go, and even the dedicated hardcore followers are looking for a significant mechanical upgrade in RE6. But even so, after watching the latest trailer for Operation Raccoon City , it becomes painfully obvious that the very core of this series has been erased for the sake of a "faster and dumber" spinoff. That isn't to say RE was only for intellectuals, but I'm sure you understand what I mean. The whole time I was writing that preview , I had a hard time accepting that it was a Resident Evil project. Slant Six doesn't do RE. They do third-person shooters, and that's what this game is .

Well, at least Capcom isn't trying to claim otherwise. The publisher said very clearly that this new iteration isn't a horror game , and they've also dropped hints that RE6 might once again be recognizable to the fans. There's nothing wrong with appealing to other types of gamers, so long as you don't alienate the ones you have……….Square-Enix.

Personal gaming update

I haven't yet finished Dragon Age II , primarily because I got hooked on my Champions of Norrath play-through. But DAII will indeed be finished in due time; I'm done with SOCOM 4 – you can find the review here – and while it's decent, it's really not my thing. However, Portal 2 is sitting right here and as soon as I'm done typing this, I'll start it. The game is embargoed until Tuesday, though, so don't expect a super early review tomorrow or Monday. ­čÖé I'm excited to give it a try; I never did play the first one and besides, I like something fresh.

Then I have to deal with Mortal Kombat , which might be cool. I do have to say, though, those insane Fatalities made me wince. Not much can make me turn away these days, but a few of those were just…nuts. I see NetherRealm is seeking a spot on the nightly news.

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