So here we are, entering a period of financial turmoil and worrying about having enough money for our everyday expenses, while game publishers stubbornly prepare to uphold their age-old tradition of releasing so many games during Q4 that we could never afford them all. And yet they wonder why used-game sales are so popular…. Game-publisher accountants must be running Congress, too….
Anyway, with a new month (October) come new frustrations, so I’ve decided to start a column called Snarky Video Game Diary. Yep, it’s just what it sounds like: an educated game-related rant. Welcome to the first of who knows how many editions. If you have suggestions for future Snarky Video Game Diaries, drop me an email. Or, if you’d like to comment on any of these issues, swing by our forums and let your voice be heard. OK, here go the first few entries….
Hey, Microsoft, smooth move with that new red Xbox 360 Wireless Controller. Somebody on your product development team must be either metrosexual or worried about style. You know, since the controller coordinates perfectly with those red rings of death you’ve damn near patented. Truly, what moron said, “Red! That’s a great idea! Nobody will ever notice that it’s the one color gamers hate to have associated with our console”? Come on, guys. Yes, it coordinates with Gears of War 2. So does ketchup. I don’t exactly see you dishing out Limited-Edition plump-when-you-refurbish-them wieners with all the condiments your Microsoft Points can buy.
Now, Sony. Um, hello, Sony? I love beta programs and all, as do most gamers, but do you think maybe you could spend less time running multiplayer betas for things like Killzone 2 and Resistance 2 and instead spend a bit more time making sure an overhyped-at-this-point product called HOME comes out of beta? Just wondering….
So, Electronic Arts has just announced a Limited Edition version of Dead Space for Xbox 360. EA has also come out recently with an uber edition of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. 2K Games and Bethesda have released or are planning to release big Collectors Editions with multiple pack-ins for BioShock and Fallout 3. I don’t know about you guys, but I graduated from pewter dolly school when I was 16. If I even think about putting those things up in my office, I’m skewered. These things surely sell, or the companies wouldn’t create them in the first place, but for the love of all things capitalistic, who on Earth is buying them? And where do those things go? More to the point, if you were to visit somebody’s office and see a seven-inch ogre standing next to a leather-bound comic book, don’t you just want to laugh a little? Out loud, even?
Speaking of laugh, does anyone else wonder when Activision will unveil Guitar Hero: There’s Not Even a Guitar In It! Edition? “Rock Band” makes sense; you know, band and all. But “Guitar Hero” including a drum and mic? Last time I checked, “World Tour” wasn’t a synonym for “band.” No matter, it was probably a branding issue anyway. Gotta maintain that brand equity for investors, right? In this market, I suppose any little bit helps. Plus, the tie-dyed Limited Edition of Tambourine Hero wouldn’t have made it past focus testing. What do you bet Activision tries again in 2009, though? Jew’s Harp Hero, here we come!
I bet even Nintendo’s Cammie Dunaway is smiling at that one…. Wait a minute! That’s a great idea for a new Wii MotionPlus game. Here’s the concept: Put the Wii Remote to your mouth and pretend to be strumming the 1 and 2 buttons. Swing your head from side to side, blow into the Wiimote’s base, and … it doesn’t matter. The game’s song plays anyway! Brilliant! Casual gamers and kids will love it! Oh, Nintendo’s already doing that? Wii Music, you say? Sorry, my bad.
— Jonas Allen