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Games Entertainment

No Blockbuster Titles in 2005? 116

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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  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Cadallin ( 863437 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @11:47AM (#14285085)
    Yes, it was, but it was released by Nintendo, which, as the media keeps telling us is washed up, Utterly finished in the industry, no future, etc.

    Absolute garbage.

  • by Lisandro ( 799651 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @12:06PM (#14285201)
    Just wait for the Revolution; if anything, so the console fanboys shut up for once :) Hell, i don't even like consoles, and i'm really looking forward to it.
  • by Lisandro ( 799651 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @12:08PM (#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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 18, 2005 @12:21PM (#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.
  • Hey now! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mister_llah ( 891540 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @01:10PM (#14285608) Homepage Journal
    No blockbuster titles? Must all "blockbusters" by first person shooters?

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

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

    by muel ( 132794 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @01:22PM (#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...
  • by Malor ( 3658 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @02:55PM (#14286232) Journal
    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 has to be one of the best levels ever done in any game, period. And Velvetopia and Lungfishopolis were fantastic too. But, as a whole, I was so put off by the art that I ended up not enjoying the game as much as I felt I should. I must be shallow. :)

    Shadow of the Colossus was a lovely, lovely game. The control and lag issues were a little annoying, but workable, up until the final battle. I finished it, but I was about ready to throw my controller through the window.... I must have fallen down twenty times. SO frustrating. Overall, not quite as good as Ico, but one of the very few games you can truly call art. If it's not selling well, that's really a shame.

    Darwinia is on Steam now, hopefully it will get some wider exposure. My only real complaint about that one was that it felt like it should be longer.... but I suppose leaving us wanting more is better than us not finishing. :)

    At any rate, overall, I think 2005 was one of the best years yet for gaming. Maybe the sales figures weren't as high, but the number of genuinely memorable, well-designed games was probably higher than any other year so far. I'm looking forward to 2006.
  • by binaryspiral ( 784263 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @04:09PM (#14286664)
    Sadly, it's the same with games. The ones i've enjoyed more lately i've picked up on the discount bin.


    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 imagination and creativity is the reason games aren't successful. However, they'll blame everything from video store and online rentals, ebay, and piracy for their woes.

  • by PurpleBob ( 63566 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @04:43PM (#14286854)
    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, and all the really bad games from a few years ago aren't talked about anymore.

    I'm not saying you're wrong for preferring old stuff. You hear better music that way, because you're not listening to things that are only popular due to the random whims of pop culture. Do you think anyone will listen to "Hollaback Girl" in 2015?
  • by Lisandro ( 799651 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @05:00PM (#14286932)
    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 the like. The Strokes sound exactly the same as The Vines & co. Nu-metal bands are a dime a dozen and none of them is doing anything remotely interesting these days. Hip-hop? Hiphop has a lasting appeal of a couple of months, after all we get our next hit single that sounds just like the one before. Hell, even the "old" greats are releasing rather weak material - The Stones, U2, Audioslave (if they can be called old), etc.

        I don't know, maybe the next big thing is about to appear and shake the foundations a bit. In games too - i'm getting a bit tired of the same ole' FPS & MMORPG monopolizing the market. Or maybe i'm just getting old and grumpy :)

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!