Why do publishers still flood the game market at Christmas?

November 11, 2008 by Josh · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Games 

I recently wrote an article for WalletPop.com about how to save money on video games this fall. It is especially pertinent because there are too many blockbuster titles to count releasing in the next month and a half. I understand why publishers used to feel the need to release close to the holidays; back when gamers were 15 years old and had a tiny bit of patience games made great gifts. However, now that the gaming age demographic is rising and people as a whole have forgotten what patience is the cramped release calendar makes less sense.

Honestly, most gamers I know purchase their own games on the release day and seldom ask for games as gifts no matter what the occasion since we all feel the need to beat the game before stumbling across the ending online. While I personally enjoy picking up some of the good games from the used rack in February, I know that I forget about at least one game that slipped out in the avalanche of games.

Unless your game’s target player is an 8 year old with mountains of patience and a long memory I see no reason to fight for the consumer’s dollar in November and leave the month of June barren in terms of new releases. For many developers releasing in November is akin to launching your indie movie the same day as Watchmen or The Dark Knight! In reality it isn’t a battle worth fighting.

I’ll be watching to see if this trend changes in the coming years; already Halo Wars slipped to an early 09 release which, I think will prove beneficial as more gamers will be in the market for a new game. What are your thoughts on the mountains of games released in November and early December? Do you like it or are you as overloaded as me?

Photo - Kevin Walter - Flickr

Gripshift Headed for XBLA in December

November 28, 2007 by Josh · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Games 

Gripshift formerly for the PSP and the PSN on the PS3 is set to release on Xbox Live Arcade next month. Gripshift is best described as a puzzle racer with a time component and guns! I had a lot of fun playing it back when I owned a PSP and has heard a rumor about this release a few months ago. I can’t wait for the release and I already have excess Microsoft Points set aside for the purchase. I am surprised by the many negative comments I have heard about Gripshift on both IGN and Xbox360Fanboy, I found the game both fun and challenging. Gripshift has enough easy levels to grab a casual player but gets extremely hard as you reach the upper echelons of the game. This will be a cool addition to our newly acquired second 360!

IGN - Gripshift for XBLA (via Xbox360fanboy)

Monopoly Used as Escape Tool in WWII

November 20, 2007 by Josh · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Games 

The Wall Street Journal had a great story today about the use of Monopoly to aid Prisoners of War in escaping during WWII. The British manufacturer of the game was approached and made a special edition of Monopoly with a red dot on the free parking which contained tools to aid in escape from German POW camps.

Along with the usual dog, top hat and and thimble, the sets had a metal file, compass, and silk maps of safe houses (silk, because it folds into small spaces and unfolds silently). Even better, real French, German and Italian currency was hidden underneath the game’s fake money. Departing allied soldiers and pilots were told that if they were captured they should look out for the special editions, identified by a red dot in the Free Parking space. Any sets remaining in the U.K. were destroyed after the war. Of the 35,000 prisoners of war who escaped German prison camps by the end of the war, “more than a few of those certainly owe their breakout to the classic board game,” says Mr. McMahon.

I think this is pretty cool! Growing up, escape novels were my reading crack! I still can’t get enough of escape novels whether they are WWII or Alcatraz these accounts and adventures captivated me.

Monopoly as a WWII Escape Tool - The Wall Street Journal

Assasin’s Creed Gameplay Videos

October 13, 2007 by Josh · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Games 

IGN has some great gameplay footage from the upcoming Ubisoft title Assassin’s Creed. It Looks spectacular. I hope they can strike a balance between the enemies who seem to only attack one at a time and realism. If my back is turned to 4 guys I would expect at least one of them to take a swing at me. There are several videos to check out and they are worth expanding to the higher resolution versions.

I can’t wait to pick this one up when it drops.

Fourth Quarter: How Much Will Gaming Cost You

October 4, 2007 by Josh · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Games 

Kotaku rounded up the “must have” games for the rest of the year and slapped a cold hard price on our gaming addiction.

The pricing breakdown by console :

Playstation 3 - $974.88

Wii - $239.95

Xbox 360 - $704.90

These lists comprise a broad group of games but it is apparent that this will be a costly holiday for many a gamer.

My holiday rundown includes many on the list and a few others.


Hopefully this year:

Super Mario Galaxy: $49.99
Super Smash Bros. Brawl: $49.99
Mercury Revolution: $29.99

Would like to have:

Mario and Sonic: $49.99

Xbox 360

Hopefully this year:

Call of Duty 4: $59.99
Skate: $59.99
Assassin’s Creed: $59.99
Rock Band Bundle: $169.99
And a few more

I think I will have to make some tough decisions to keep in budget!

Avoid All Pro Football 2k8

July 23, 2007 by Josh · 8 Comments
Filed under: Games, Rant, Reviews 

As much as it pains me to say this All Pro Football 2k8 need to go back to 2k Sports for finishing touches. I am a diehard 2k5 football fan and I cannot even fathom the sick individuals who think Madden 07 was a worthwhile game on any system but APF 2k8 falls short in all the wrong places. The kicking setup on the game has an incredibly high learning curve and is not very easy to use since it is often difficult to tell when the kicker’s foot is approaching the ball. This is key because due to the quarterback not throwing when you want him to on way too many occasions you will find yourself facing too many 4th and 3 situations. The running game works well and other than a few time when linebackers seemed to move with the speed of a wild hyena on crack, running is an enjoyable experience. Occasionally you can get a breakaway pass or run you are faced with what feels like “catchup mode” and the D is on you like ants on molasses. I really hope I can pick up 2k9 next year and be blown away. Unless Madden felt the heat from early 2k8 rumblings and kicked it into high gear this will be another rent for 2 weeks iteration of next gen football, which is really sad. I cna only hope with a year back under their belt 2k Sports will put out an amazing 2k9 and Peter Moore will get in to EA Sports, kick some asses into gear and put out a decent football came.

Can Anyone put out a “next gen” football game? It has been almost two years and I have yet to see one.

EGM: Spartan Helmets and Halo 3 Coverage

October 28, 2006 by Josh · 1 Comment
Filed under: Games 

EGM with 1up.com have been able to share some Halo 3 info. Halo 3 will come in 3 different packages; regular, collector’s, and Legendary. There is no price listed for legendary bundle but it should include the following.

Legendary Edition of Halo 3: A four-disc set, featuring a video of cut-scenes from the Halo games with DVD-style director’s commentary, among other extras like documentaries and and a look at the way Halo fans have extended the fiction, in addition to the actual game. Oh, and there’s a cat-head sized SPARTAN helmet that you’ll put over the four discs as a display piece. How much will this all cost? No one has a clue.

I am a sucker for schwag even if I have to pay for it so as long as the 4 disc legendary package comes in under $100 I’ll bring it home.

1up.com will also be featuring “3 weeks of Halo 3” in which they will be revealing new info regarding the single player, multiplayer and general gameplay items.

Featured in Electronic Gaming Monthly

April 24, 2006 by Josh · 1 Comment
Filed under: Games, Misc., Tech 

The Halo 2 Profanity Study that I completed in January of 2006 was published in the May issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly on Page 24.

Check out a scan:

More on the Halo 2 Profanity Study

If you need anyone to rant about violence in videogames being the scapegoat for violence in society contact me smithj AT gmail.com

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