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Games Entertainment

No Blockbuster Titles in 2005? 116

Posted by Zonk
from the maybe-if-they-weren't-all-sequels dept.
The NYT is reporting that, unlike last year with likes of Half-Life 2 and Halo 2, 2005 has been curiously devoid of gaming hits. "With the introduction of a brand-new console, the Xbox 360, millions of players are supposed to be raving about the new machine and buying tons of new games to play on it. None of those things are happening. Sales are down relative to the holiday season last year, and major publishers are getting hammered on Wall Street. And so there is a lot of angst out there in the video game industry."
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No Blockbuster Titles in 2005?

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  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by diamondmagic (877411) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @10:31AM (#14285001) Homepage
    I hear Nintendogs [wikipedia.org] was a hit.
  • by binaryspiral (784263) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @10:45AM (#14285068)
    No original ideas... sequal after sequal, rehash of the same game ten different ways. How many ways can you fight WWII or demons on mars?

    No matter how much EA spends on promoting it's latest FPS - it's just like the original with extra antialiasing. Woopittie doo. My money is spent much better elsewhere.

    • by Lisandro (799651) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @11:08AM (#14285214)
      No matter how much EA spends on promoting it's latest FPS - it's just like the original with extra antialiasing. Woopittie doo. My money is spent much better elsewhere.

          My music purchases lately, except for a few notable exceptions, are all of artists from the 80s/90s. Not that it was a particularly magic period in music history by any strecth (even though i'm quite fond of grunge), but atleast composing and playing your own tunes was still marketeable. People took risks. Nowadays, i listen to radio, and in a same genre i have a hard time telling one band from another.

          Sadly, it's the same with games. The ones i've enjoyed more lately i've picked up on the discount bin.
      • Sadly, it's the same with games. The ones i've enjoyed more lately i've picked up on the discount bin.

        Yes!

        I gleefully picked up Civ4, only to my dismay--- it was unstable, hoggish, and not that much more improved over Civ3...

        So on my latest trip to Staples... I found some gems in the $9 bin... RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 (w/all expansions), Midtown Madness, Civ3(!!), and a couple of kids games my daughter is still having a blast with.

        I forgot how much fun these games were... and still are. The lack of imaginati
        • > I gleefully picked up Civ4, only to my dismay--- it was unstable, hoggish, and
          > not that much more improved over Civ3...

          Hell.... the only reason I upped to Civ 3 in the first place is that I moved, and some of my game CD, including Civ 2, got misplaced and are probably sitting buried in a box in storage somewhere.

          I'd have eventually upgraded anyway, just because it's become annoying to have to start Classic, when there's a native OS X version out there. But, other than that, and your worker units f
        • You'll want to check out a fan-released fix that remedies many of the memory issues in Civ IV. Google for 'Harkonnen Civ 4 patch'. Instead of crashing every 5-20 minutes, Civ IV now runs smoothly and is fairly stable. And if you can upgrade to a gig of RAM, do so.
      • In the 90s you would have complained about 90s music in the same way, and only listened to 80s music.

        It's not something inherently wrong with popular musiic right now. What's going on is this: music gets filtered over time, and the songs that still get played after 10 years are the ones that are interesting, unique, and have long-lasting popularity.

        You're seeing the same thing with games. You can find good old games more easily than good new games, because you've had the time to find out that they're good,
        • I think it's actually worse now, in music atleast. The "filter" effect is true, and specially true with games. There was a lot of crap released in games back then, along with the ocassional gems. It's just that we had more gems back then than we do now, i feel.

          As for music, it's even worse. Take grunge, for example: you had 5 or 6 excellent bands in the genre that made some real good music in the period. Today? I'm hard pressed to tell apart tunes from Coldplay, Franz Ferdinand, Travis and th
          • As for music, it's even worse.

            Then stop listnening to the stuff from the radio. :)

            I'm hard pressed to tell apart tunes from Coldplay, Franz Ferdinand, Travis and the like.

            Franz Ferdinand sounds like Travis? Wow. Nor did I ever think of Travis as anything close to grunge. FF has much more in common with INXS.

            Besides, it's hard to blame FF and the Killers for having fifteen bands signed that sounded just like them. (I'm still not sure how The Bravery ever got a record contract.)

            So how about The Arcade Fire?
            • Yeah, FF don't sound a bit like Travis & co. However, nor do they sound like anyone with talent... In particular, they don't sound at all like INXS. If I had to pick someone they sounded like, it'd be one of the 70s wannabe punk bands who thought shouting down a mic made them the Sex Pistols.

              About 2-3 times a week, I do a 75-minute commute. I listen to the radio during that time (either Radio 1 or Radio 2, cos I'm in the UK). Rest of the time, I've got a 10-minute commute when I listen to local rad
          • There was a lot of crap released in games back then, along with the ocassional gems. It's just that we had more gems back then than we do now, i feel.

            Hmm. Part if the issue is that as more genres become standard, people really _do_ want updated games in those genres. Wolfenstein 3D was great, but you really do want to have Doom, Halo, etc come along--even though they're not innovative, at the end of the day it's a great concept and keeping it updated is worthwile. I LOVE the fact that I can get Gran Turi
            • And I really wish I could get a modern update of X-Com UFO defense (or another great turn-based strategy+tactics game), Autoduel, or Starflight.

              Man, that's two of us. I've waiting for a new X-COM game as much as the sequel for System Shock 2. That, and new Lucasarts games (the regretably canned sequels for Sam & Max, Full Throttle and Grim Fandango would be nice to have).

              As for updating the concept, of course i'm all for it. I think you are underrating Doom - i loved, LOVED
              • Three of us. I tried playing X-COM again recently, but on these newfangled machines, the sound doesn't work and time flies much too fast (because the game clock is tied to the CPU speed, and today's CPUs are a good twenty times faster than what the designers envisioned). I found Dosbox [sourceforge.net] a few days ago. It works great for the original Dark Forces (which also had several issues running natively); gonna try it with X-COM soon.
      • This is the first time I've bought a Nintendo console in any shape or form, but it has brought a smile to my face with the feeling of frontier games - trying out the waters with new ideas (though some of the best games also are quite 'traditional'). My fave though is a Japanese import [ntsc-uk.com].
        • You know, i might actually get one. Of all consoles of the, say, last 5 years, the DS and the Revolution are the only things that interested me, being a PC person. They're still kinda expensive down here (Argentina), but i might get one once they drop the price.
      • There's still fantastic music being made, just not on major labels.
        I recommend these websites:
        http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/ [pitchforkmedia.com]
        http://tinymixtapes.com/ [tinymixtapes.com]
        http://www.epitonic.com/ [epitonic.com]
        And to a lesser degree, http://www.allmusic.com/ [allmusic.com].

        If you can't find new music you like, you aren't trying hard enough!
      • Not that it was a particularly magic period in music history by any strecth (even though i'm quite fond of grunge), but atleast composing and playing your own tunes was still marketeable. People took risks. Nowadays, i listen to radio, and in a same genre i have a hard time telling one band from another.

        It could be just you getting old. You might be jaded or burnt-out, or in a nicer turn of speech your tastes have become more refined.

        You could be lazy about finding new music, you expect music you like to b
    • Much like music, there ARE a lot of original ideas, it's just that nobody buys them.

      Witness Katamari Damacy - incredibly fun game, but nobody has heard of it. Shadow of the Colossus is amazing. Guitar Hero is great to play with a bunch of friends. I thought Psychonauts was the best game I've played in YEARS, but it sold horribly.

      Hell, even the classics can be fun if they're done well enough. Dragon Quest's gameplay hasn't really changed since the beginning of the series, but DQ8 is one of the best RPGs
    • You mean like Half-Life 2, Halo 2, Doom 3, GTA: SA.
      Almost all the huge hits from last year were just what you said. As much as it sucks, thats exactly what sells.
      • As true as this is, people never seem to understand it. There is a very real reason why Nintendo will put Mario on almost anything they do. It helps things sell. Period.

        Even in original ideas, some link to something before helps. Witness Shadow of the Collosus. Generally considered orginal. Never mentioned without Mentioning Ico.
      • You mean like Half-Life 2, Halo 2, Doom 3, GTA: SA.
        Almost all the huge hits from last year were just what you said. As much as it sucks, thats exactly what sells.


        Funny... I didn't buy any of those games. Hrmph.

        Guess I'm not the market-sheep the video game industry is hoping to shave this year.

    • No original ideas... sequal after sequal, rehash of the same game ten different ways. How many ways can you fight WWII or demons on mars?

      Original ideas typically don't sell better than established franchises.

      "According to data from the NPD Group, a market research firm, the only games released this year to make the Top 10 list through last month have been the new Madden football game and Gran Turismo 4 for PlayStation 2 and Pokemon Emerald for the Game Boy Advance"

      Only 3 games of 2005 that broke into th
    • Not to be a dick about it, but "sequel", not "sequal" ...

      Anyhow, on the whole, I agree with you. There were several titles this year, though, that weren't break-out hits, but were still kinda unique and/or successful. RE4 stands out in my mind, but there's also Nintendogs, Meteos, Mercury, Lumines, GT4, Katamari Damacy 2, Mario Strikers, Burnout Revenge, Ouenden, etc ....

      I think the problem with the article is that it's placing too much weight on the commercial success of the game, not the quality.
  • by thenetbox (809459) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @10:52AM (#14285112)
    Though i'm not sure that there weren't ANY blockbuster games but it sure feels like it. This is what happens when large gaming companies discourage original ideas and only go with the bigger guns + more polygon count game design route.

    Original ideas are risky but now it seems that lack of original ideas is riskier.
  • I picked this up the other week for £20 and I must say I'm really enjoying it. However, it is of course a sequal and does boast "nice graphics". Good game though, it'd be shame if people avoided it just because they thought it was another sequal that was just the same with a higher polygon count. It should be noted that ever since I saw Indiana Jones as a kid I do have an irrational love of killing Nazis, so that may have improved the game slightly in my eyes.
    • Re:Call of Duty 2 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by badasscat (563442) <basscadet75@y a h o o . c om> on Sunday December 18, 2005 @01:23PM (#14286020)
      I picked this up the other week for £20 and I must say I'm really enjoying it. However, it is of course a sequal and does boast "nice graphics". Good game though, it'd be shame if people avoided it just because they thought it was another sequal that was just the same with a higher polygon count.

      First of all, it's "sequel" - I don't think I've seen a single person spell that word correctly in this thread yet. (And it's become sort of a plague in any game-related thread on /.)

      Anyway, I think the bottom line is CoD2 is just another WWII FPS with better graphics. However good it may be (and I'm sure it is), it is at best an incremental upgrade from the previous game, and from other games in the genre.

      I think one of the problems is that the sequelitis that's plagued the industry for the past decade or so has had this really bad side effect of both driving away casual gamers who are more open to new things, while at the same time hardening the expectations of those buyers that remain as far as what a developer can do within a specific genre. So now the very people that publishers count on to buy these new sequels pretty much demand that they be just like the last game only incrementally better, which ensures a built-in audience but at the same time also attracts basically zero new buyers. Because if you didn't like the last game enough to buy it, why would you like the new one if it's pretty much the same thing?

      This is at least in part responsible for the drop in game sales this year. Obviously, there are a lot of other factors involved - people saving up for new systems, developers moving their top dev teams to new platforms, etc. But just knowing my own personal habits as someone who used to spend thousands of dollars on games a year (I'm 33, I have disposable income), and knowing both the feelings of friends in the same boat as me along with what I read in various places on the net, I have to believe that there are a lot of people out there who are just dissatisfied with what they see as a boring, uninspired, utterly derivative crop of current games. We want something new, not the same thing as before but with better graphics.

      Bottom line is sequels can draw on their built-in audience (that's the whole point) but they do nothing to expand the market or draw in new gamers. If all that you've got available on the market are sequels (as is pretty much the case right now), then the prospects for industry growth are basically nil.
      • This is at least in part responsible for the drop in game sales this year. Obviously, there are a lot of other factors involved - people saving up for new systems, developers moving their top dev teams to new platforms, etc. But just knowing my own personal habits as someone who used to spend thousands of dollars on games a year (I'm 33, I have disposable income), and knowing both the feelings of friends in the same boat as me along with what I read in various places on the net, I have to believe that there
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 18, 2005 @11:21AM (#14285283)
    Ask yourself this question:

    How many movies/games that were released in the past year were unique in either substance or presentation?

    Then ask yourself:

    How many movies/games that were released in the past year were copies/clones of another popular franchise?

    The fact is that, although you can probably name quite a few for the first question (Nintendogs, Katamari for games) the majority of movies/games falls into the second category; in paticular the Big-Budget, expected to be Blockbuster, movies/games. Quake 4 offered absolutely nothing in the way of presentation or product that hadn't been done several times before, is it a surprise that it wasn't a 'must-have' title for anyone? On the other Hand Nintendo's Kirby's Canvas Curse, Nintendogs, and Brain Training (to mention a handful of the unique games on the DS) all became popular where they were released because people hadn't played anything like them before.
    • You need to ask yourself how many people bought Half-life 2, Halo 2, and GTA:SA. Even a sequel can be great; it just has to not suck.

      This just happened to be a year when nothing that captured everyone's attention was released. Not even the DS games you mentioned. They sound fun, and the two-screen idea is interesting, but I personally hate playing portables, so I didn't buy them.
    • Katamari Damacy released last year. [wikipedia.org] Or maybe you're talking about the sequel? ;-)

      You can use my old standby, "Psychonauts." TFA uses "The Warriors" which seems fair: you can't really be criticized for riding the coattails of a license nobody's heard of (or, apparently, cares about).

  • Is it a bias for outrageous hype, or for first person shooters?

    Why would you mention two games that, when their total sales are added up don't reach the total sales of the biggest "blockbuster game" of last year (GTA: San Andreas) in a summary of a story about blockbuster games?

    As for the article, well... I think an award should go the the Rockstar Games marketing department, who were obviously the ones behind the DMA Design buyout. Rockstar was well on their way to being notorious for the rock bottom low q
    • As for the article, well... I think an award should go the the Rockstar Games marketing department, who were obviously the ones behind the DMA Design buyout. Rockstar was well on their way to being notorious for the rock bottom low quality of their games after the PS2 launch, and having DMA Design become Rockstar North has associated an expectation of quality with the Rockstar name.

      Just FYI, Take 2 owned DMA Design well before they became Rockstar North. The Rockstar North thing was just a name change. Th
      • Thought I should clear that up since you seem to be under the impression that DMA was bought out some time after the PS2 launch.

        Nope, that's why I gave credit to the marketing department. The change was entierly prevent continued slide of Rockstar's reputation.

        I do agree that Take 2's reputation was not all that great for a while, though it's a fairly young company and reputations do take time to build. You're not going to start a company from scratch and instantly be one of the top publishers/developers in
  • IMO, too many publishers are waiting for next-gen, or are putting out "placeholder" games to keep the franchises alive until the next-gen is available. Look at "Jak X" or "Ratchet: Deadlocked" as excellent examples of placeholders.

    Of course sales will be down, because there aren't any new & fresh games out there that garner any attention. Or at least, very few. "Nintendogs" is about the only breakaway hit for 2005.

  • by Malor (3658) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @11:47AM (#14285431) Journal
    Just not for BLOCKBUSTERS.

    Great games I can think of offhand:

    Guitar Hero
    Darwinia
    Civ 4
    Space Rangers 2 (starforced, sadly)
    We Love Katamari

    Very good games:

    The Movies
    Warhammer 40k: Winter Assault (this is a sequel, so maybe it doesn't count, but I really like this game)
    T2X (amateur mod for Thief 2, surprisingly good, although a bit uneven)
    Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney (DS title)

    I'm sure there are more, but my memory fails me right now. I was just thinking yesterday that there have been an awful lot of great games this year, but usually from unexpected directions... all of the big publisher games have been pretty mediocre. The EA method (Let's Ship Yet Another Sequel To Something That Sold Big Last Year) is failing... nobody is generating new game ideas.... new property, as it were. They're all focused on exploiting what they have instead of making things that are genuinely different or fun.

    Because they haven't been investing in new gameplay ideas, they're running low, and people aren't buying as many games. This isn't really rocket science.

    EA would have been far better off, instead of coughing up huge money for that exclusive NFL license, in investing that money in about fifty small game developers. 45 of them would have failed spectacularly, 4 would have done well, and 1 would have been a megahit for the next generation of sequel exploitation. Instead, they paid way too much for a license that will ensure that their football team sits around collecting paychecks without actually having to work very hard, since they have no competition.

    It's interesting that of all the big players, only Nintendo seems genuinely committed to doing new stuff. I just recently picked up a DS and Phoenix Wright, and I've been very pleased with it... I didn't realize a touch screen would be fun, but in fact it's very natural and a great gaming idea. That's why, I suspect, they're professionals, and I'm not. :-)
    • I'm sure there are more, but my memory fails me right now.

      F.E.A.R., Psychonauts, and my favourite game of this year (and the best game I've ever played, despite some framerate issues) Shadow of the Colossus. God of War was fun, and there were some really interesting games with some gameplay issues such as Indigo Prophecy, Killer 7 and Facade. Sort of sad how people complain about unoriginal sequels but when something new comes around it doesn't become a hit. And a lot of people are calling Resident Evil 4

      • I KNEW I was forgetting some stuff... thanks for the reminders.

        I haven't bothered with FEAR... with 10-12 hours of gameplay, I'll wait for the bargain bin on that one. Psychonauts was good, but I found the art style kind of repulsive. I really wanted to love that game, because I so loved Grim Fandango, but I never really got past the very unappealing characters. It was obviously done with great skill, I just didn't like it. Some parts of it, though, were incredibly good. I think the Milkman Conspiracy
      • Resident Evil 4's sales on the PS2 have been so-so because it was already out on GameCube for 6 months and it sold excellent on there. RE4 is one of the best games ever, having played through it myself on GC and having tried the PS2 version, but the GC version beats the PS2 version any day (the control just feels right on GC, it feels like a port on PS2).
      • As a huge fan of Indigo Prophecy, I urge anyone to buy it and check it out. It really deserves to do well. Those gameplay issues you're talking about -- I dunno -- at least they're original. The way those action sequences are played takes some getting used to, but at least it's something different from the predetermined path other games makes you take.
    • Agree with parent, esp. with regard to Darwinia. The Movies is also being touted as quite good; and did Guild Wars come out this year? Most importantly, Shadow Of The Colossus was released this year - so it was a good year for gaming; albeit not for the gamers who look only for more shallow and typical games.
    • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow.
  • Hey now! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mister_llah (891540) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @12:10PM (#14285608) Homepage Journal
    No blockbuster titles? Must all "blockbusters" by first person shooters?

    In my opinion, Civilization 4 is quite a blockbuster release!

    Hmph.
  • 1985, 1995, 2005 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by muel (132794) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @12:22PM (#14285678)
    Each *5 year for the past three decades of gaming has been known for being relatively slow and stale. Also, each *6 year has been big stuff; coincidentally, Nintendo has had a hand in the last two *6 years. It wasn't until '86 that Super Mario Brothers revitalized gaming in the USA; in '96, Super Mario 64 set the 3D gaming generation on fire. Both of those games changed the way people played games for the next decade--d-pad in the '80s, analog control in the '90s.

    Interestingly enough, 2006 is the launch year for the Revolution...
    • Microsoft is for those years:

      1985 - Release of Windows 1.0, after a long period of waiting.
      1995 - Release of Windows '95, after a long period of waiting.
      2005 - Well... We're still waiting after all...
  • Really? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Guppy06 (410832) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @12:28PM (#14285717)
    I'd write a clever response, but I'm too busy playing Animal Crossing on my DS.
    • I'd write a clever add-on to your response, but I'm too busy playing Morrowind, since there's nothing good on the shelves for PC gamers.
  • What about RE4? (Score:2, Informative)

    by dsyu (203328)
    A 2005 title (early 2005, I suppose, but still) with high production values and more fun (IMHO) than Halo. I guess it wasn't a huge seller, however. Pity.
  • Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sv-Manowar (772313) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @01:03PM (#14285919) Homepage Journal
    It seems like a lot of the huge game developers now take many years to make their games, and due to the decline in the market and the cost of making games a lot of the smaller companies are going for consoles or just not huge blockbuster games. It's sort of like the film market, where there can be quite a lull for a while before many different studios release their brand new biggest titles that have taken tons of development time.
    • It seems like a lot of the huge game developers now take many years to make their games

      There's some insight here. Rockstar probably can't make a new GTA every year and have it meet expectations to always improve on the previous ones, they might as well take this year off and gear up for the next console generation (yeah they did The Warriors and the PSP GTA game, but I'm sure both of those together were a lot less effort than say San Andreas). Half-Life 2 took more than five years to come out. It's to be
  • Microsoft's inability to produce reasonable quantities of the 360 has clearly had a ripple effect across the industry because most consumers, naturally, aren't going to buy 360 software, even great games like Call of Duty 2, until they can buy the actual console.

    It seems a little disingenuous to blame a new console for a lack of new hit games. Even in the best-supplied launches, there's never enough consoles on shelves to push through a million units of any game before Christmas (the PS2 sold a little ove

  • I agree (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Headcase88 (828620)
    I've noted to myself several times that 2005 has been a bad year for games. Everyone will have different tastes, but the only two that really held my attention were Super Mario Strikers and Guitar Hero. Regardless of tastes, though, there couldn't have been too many games that any one person could really fall in love with.

    Reference Gamespot's platform picks [gamespot.com] and see how many you liked. Of course Strikers didn't even make a blip on their radar, which I'm disappointed in.
  • There were plenty of excellent games this year. Maybe the profits are down because the sales are distributed throughout the large amount of fantastic games, rather than 2004's handful of great games in a sea of crap. 2005 was one of the best years for gaming I've ever seen. Take a look at all of these superb titles:

    PS2:
    Dragon Quest 8
    God Of War
    Guitar Hero
    Mushihimesama
    Shadow of the Colossus
    We (Heart) Katamari

    Xbox:
    Forza Motorsport
    Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath

    GameCube:
    Battalion Wars
    Fire Emblem: Pat
  • Yeah, there was NOTHING this year.. *ahem*

    RESIDENT EVIL 4, Gran Turismo 4, God of War, FEAR, Battlefield 2, Quake 4, Guild Wars, San Andreas for PC/Xbox, Ninja Gaiden Black, Far Cry Instincts, Burnout Revenge, Shadow of the Colossus, We Love Katamari, Brothers in Arms, Civilization IV, Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil...

    Maybe those aren't all BLOCKBUSTER hits but they're all at least excellent or highly anticipated games, and I'd say RE4 and GT4 at least are blockbuster. Just because the Xbox 360 doesn't have a

    • Yeah, but eleven of the sixteen games you mentioned are sequels, which was kind of the point of TFA. Sure, they might be good games in their own right (and most of them are), but a lot of them were criticised for being too similar to their predecessors. Particularly Gran Turismo 4, Quake 4, and Burnout Revenge.

      How many of the games you listed are truly innovative, or do something that we haven't seen before?
      • by 2008 (900939)
        Actually TFA in this case isn't complaining about sequels. It's saying there are no blockbusters, unlike Half-life 2, Halo 2 and GTA:SA from last year. All of which were sequels. A good game which is a sequel to a good game is quite likely to be a blockbuster.

        Besides, 2005 has seen a lot of new and interesting games released. Many of them are on the DS, so you may have missed them. None of them were really blockbusters - new and interesting doesn't sell that well.
      • Gran Turismo 4 may have been very similar to its predecessor, but the predecessor scored perfect 10's in almost every magazine. I fail to see why that's necessarily a bad thing for GT4 but great for Madden every year.
  • I didn't see any mentions of these reasonably high quality games:

    F.E.A.R. (better AI than Half-Life 2 for sure)
    NFS:MW

    Now they may not be blockbusters, and they might not be revolutionary, but in terms of evolution they are extremely good examples of their respective breeds. Both games push my system very hard, and not because of poor coding but because of brilliant graphics capabilities.

    Guild Wars did constitute a blockbuster game and was released this year I believe.

    Also, as people have mentioned, we had
  • Most games offer really little in the way of long term staying power - and for the price they ask, and for the graphics they get - you're all much better off going to rent a DVD movie.

    If games were priced as much as DVDs, things would be different, but as it stands - most of the games coming out are sequels, can be finished very quickly HENCE most people would rather either rent the games or pirate them - JUST LIKE DVD or movie rentals. As long as a game is very linear, and offers ZERO is the way of replay
    • You didn't notice that movies have a different release model than games, did you? Movies come out several times: theaters, rentals, DVD releases, syndication on television. Games come out once, and so they have to cost more if the people that produce them are going to make money. You also forgot about inflation. Prices on things go up nominally over time. If you do the chain weight of the cost of a game today in 1980 dollars, the prices are probably closer than you think.
  • Guild Wars, Shadow of the Colossus, RE4, etc. all get ignored because they're not mainstream enough?

    Wake up, gaming press!
  • I'm not sure of your definition of blockbuster, but Battlefield 2 [ea.com] was a huge hit this year.
  • i think everyone is still too busy playing world of warcraft
  • Could it be that The Warriors game isn't selling well because it's based on one of the cheesiest movies ever created? I know that the movie is a cult hit, but it really freaking sucks. I like to watch it now and then to get a good laugh in, but other than that it bores the crap out of me. I love GTA, I had a great time with San Andreas, but I can't bring myself close to buying The Warriors game because that "franchise" feels like bane to me. Big mistake, Rockstar. It doesn't matter how good a game i
    • It is a decent game. To say it's merely a beat-em-up would be unfair, but I guess it is just a beat-em-up. A really good one though.
  • Dunno about blockbuster, but Fahrenheit (or Indigo Prophecy to you yanks) is the best game I've bought this year, and is one of the best adventure games I've ever played (and I've been playing adventure games since before they were started doing graphics). Civ 4 was also very good, and so was F.E.A.R. The new Prince of Persia is supposed to be very good too, although I've yet to play it.

    Who cares about blockbuster games anyway? Take blockbuster movies - how many of those are worth watching (hint: the day

    • Fahrenheit (or Indigo Prophecy to you yanks) is the best game I've bought this year, and is one of the best adventure games I've ever played.

      Is this really good? I skipped it because as soon as I read the words "paranormal thriller" I start retching.

      • I can honestly say it is. It's an adventure - a real one at that, not the action-adventure kind we've been served ever since Sierra went down and Lucasarts stopped doing (good) adventures.

        It's a mystery adventure, and it's got paranormal stuff in it, but it's of the occult variety, not the "The Ring"-kind of paranormal stuff that's been so popular of late.

        You play the part of the one being possessed, and the two detectives who chase him. The story is extremely rich and unfolds at a great pace, and the t
        • ### I can honestly say it is. It's an adventure - a real one at that, not the action-adventure kind we've been served ever since Sierra went down and Lucasarts stopped doing (good) adventures.

          Well, thats not really true, its neither a classic adventure (no real puzzles, no inventory) nor some action-adventure (no dungeons, no monsters to squish, etc. but plenty of action), its mostly something quite different, 'interactive movie' is probally the most acurat name. Its kind of an like adventure with action se
          • I think you raise some good points, though I would argue this:

            Well, thats not really true, its neither a classic adventure (no real puzzles, no inventory) nor some action-adventure (no dungeons, no monsters to squish, etc. but plenty of action), its mostly something quite different, 'interactive movie' is probally the most acurat name. Its kind of an like adventure with action sequences done right.

            An inventory does not an adventure make, and there are quite a few puzzles, however easy. The important thing

            • ### The important thing is that you can pick up items from your surrounding and use them to further the plot.

              Yep, and that is really one of the nicest aspects of the game, its not just those items that are relevant for puzzle solving which you can interact with like in most normal adventures, but also tons of 'useless' items you can use, you can get a drink, wash your hands, use the toilet, switch on the tv, the radio, read mail, watch in a mirror, close the window, etc. While some of these stuff fills your
  • Could it be the sound of a crash? This is not meant to be inflamatory or anything, just my humble opinion. I know a few of us journalists have been predicting the next videogame crash, and I have been one of them that has been pretty vocal about it. I see the PS3 and the 360 completely failing over the lifespan of the product. A number of factors contribute to it, such as low number of releases over the system's life due to costs and timeframes, very limited spectrum of titles across genre's, long dry perio
  • Heck, I haven't been able to play Civ4/AoE3/FEAR/BF2 at all. World of warcraft satisfies my need for games, and continues to do so. Why buy another one?
  • Do you really think a gamer has the patience to wait in a line that goes around the block?

    Of course not, they'll go somewhere else to buy the game they want. A blockbuster by the generic definition is a line up that goes all the way around the block that a given store sits upon.

    With all the big box stores that a person might purchase a game at... Those are big blocks.

  • Y'know, there IS life outside the consoles. Doom 3 wasn't terribly impressive, but if you're into turn-based action (which, sadly, fewer are these days) Civ 4 was outstanding. There's a little known series called UFO: Aftermath and Aftershock - Aftermath was an unfinished product, but I'm still loving Aftershock; it's the new sequel. The content seems to go on forever. After two weeks of casually playing it, a new opponent race/hurdle just now appeared. I was shocked - my usual run-of-the-mill enemy clear
    • The Xbox can download games via Xbox Live Arcade. The Nintendo Revolution will also have a game download service. I would like to see some independent games on consoles, though. I can think of quite a few online Flash games, and small downloadale games that would be good on the DS. I'd love to have http://silverspaceship.com/chromatron/ [silverspaceship.com] on the DS. Of course, the DS doesn't have a lot of built in flash memory like the Revolution will.... hopefully the next Gameboy will have some built in memory.

The use of anthropomorphic terminology when dealing with computing systems is a symptom of professional immaturity. -- Edsger Dijkstra

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