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No Blockbuster Titles in 2005?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the maybe-if-they-weren't-all-sequels dept.

Games 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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116 comments

Really? (5, Insightful)

diamondmagic (877411) | more than 8 years ago | (#14285001)

I hear Nintendogs [wikipedia.org] was a hit.

Re:Really? (3, Funny)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14285032)

It's such a hit they're already working on Nintendogs 2, Feral Version [uncyclopedia.org] .
Players buy their feral Nintendog at the beginning of the game, choosing from a variety of available breeds, then spend time with their new pet. They try time and time again to call their wild Nintendog to play with them, without success, and get a finger bitten in two when they try to give it a bath.

Re:Really? (1)

Spleener12 (587422) | more than 8 years ago | (#14285051)

Well, yeah, but it wasn't a hugely hyped million-seller like we had TOO GODDAMNED MANY of last year.

Re:Really? (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 8 years ago | (#14289788)

They've sold more than a million copies of Nintendogs in Europe alone.

Re:Really? (4, Interesting)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14285108)

The american press hates nintendo.

Its pretty obvious, really. Probably because they dont play with the feeding frenzy style.

Re:Really? (3, Insightful)

diamondmagic (877411) | more than 8 years ago | (#14285189)

Really? The DS is outselling the PSP about 3:1.

Re:Really? (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14288778)

I'm pretty sure he was suggesting the media doesn't accurately portray reality, not suggesting that what he said was true.

Re:Really? (1)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14288977)

Really. It's been confirmed by Netcraft.

Re:Really? (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14290590)

Cuz you can buy like 3 DS systems for the price of a PSP :)

We almost had one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14285046)

Elder Scrolls: Oblivion was supposed to come out this year.

But they moved it back because it was craptastic.

Suffering the same as RIAA and MPAA (4, Insightful)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Suffering the same as RIAA and MPAA (3, Interesting)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Suffering the same as RIAA and MPAA (2, Interesting)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14286664)

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 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.

h

Re:Suffering the same as RIAA and MPAA (1)

SvnLyrBrto (62138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14287913)

> 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 finally being smart enough to seek refuge in a friendly city wnen an enemy unit approaches, Civ 3 didn't offer any major improvements over number two.

cya,
john

Re:Suffering the same as RIAA and MPAA (1)

Miaowara_Tomokato (757775) | more than 8 years ago | (#14291396)

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.

Re:Suffering the same as RIAA and MPAA (2, Interesting)

PurpleBob (63566) | more than 8 years ago | (#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?

Re:Suffering the same as RIAA and MPAA (2, Interesting)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 8 years ago | (#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 :)

Re:Suffering the same as RIAA and MPAA (1)

Eneff (96967) | more than 8 years ago | (#14287312)

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? TAF isn't my favorite, though others love them. Check out the latest Bruce Springsteen. How about the new My Morning Jacket? LCD Soundsystem? Kayne West is putting out quality music in the Hip Hop genre.

Honestly, I'll place this decade as the best in music since the 1970s when all the gems are discovered.

Re:Suffering the same as RIAA and MPAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14287356)

Franz Ferdinand sounds like INXS? I'll have some of what you are smoking

Re:Suffering the same as RIAA and MPAA (1)

Eneff (96967) | more than 8 years ago | (#14288618)

It's closer to INXS than Coldplay, for sure.

and Franz Ferdinand is more influenced by INXS than similar artists. I mean, it's like Modest Mouse is influenced by Talking Heads, though they aren't similar per se.

Re:Suffering the same as RIAA and MPAA (1)

Grab (126025) | more than 8 years ago | (#14289760)

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 radio. I have to say I haven't heard any good new rock all year. The closest to "good" have been Robbie Williams and Charlotte Church, and both of them are the product of marketing rather than music. Last year, the most original new singer was KT Tunstall, and the rest of her stuff didn't match up to "Black horse and a cherry tree" so that was a blowout.

Grab.

Re:Suffering the same as RIAA and MPAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14287965)

Please don't confuse hip-hop with the commercial (c)RAP being played on radio today. There is great groundbreaking stuff out there in the underground hip hop world, and all it takes is a little effort to find it. One place to look is http://www.undergroundhiphop.com/ [undergroundhiphop.com]

Besides, those so called "Rap Artists" wouldn't actually know what hip hop is, seeing as how they never touched a can of spray paint, never breakdanced, never DJed or learned how to cut and scratch, nor have they ever battled (a few have like Eminem) or learned how to be a true Emcee and move a crowd. Todays "Artists" don't even produce their own music and rely on marketing and advertising to cover up their lack of talent.

Real Hip Hop is:
MF Doom
Psyche Origami
Collective Efforts
Minamina Goodsong
The Perceptionists
Atmosphere
Anybody on the Definitive Jux Label
J Dilla
Madlib, etc, etc

Re:Suffering the same as RIAA and MPAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14290656)

Real hip hop is the stuff only white kids listen to! I will remember this! Reminds me of the English music magazine which listed the two best hip-hop lyricists ever - Eminem and the Streets, of course.

try the DS (1)

rishistar (662278) | more than 8 years ago | (#14289986)

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] .

Re:Suffering the same as RIAA and MPAA (1)

Bobsledboy (836872) | more than 8 years ago | (#14290104)

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!

Re:Suffering the same as RIAA and MPAA (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14287108)

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 out there. Even it is selling badly, though.

These games will never sell as well as because the masses are stuck in their little FPS box. Either that, or they're all too busy playing WoW.

er (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14287132)

(there should have been a (insert generic fps here) after "as well as", but it got stripped, oops)

It's called "not releasing outside of PS2" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14290751)

Or, alternatively, "screw Nintendo fans at all costs."

I have no sympathy for any publisher that has snubbed Nintendo (and, to a lesser extent, Microsoft) the last couple generations. We're _not_ a microscopic market! We're crushing _everyone_ in handhelds and I'd wager at least 20% of consoles (though I have seen as high at 40%).

And, yet, a disproportionately large amount of titles, big and small, are for the PS2. Watch the advertising, it's always "AWESOME GAME NOW AVAILABLE FOR PS2!" with _maybe_ a tiny icon for the other systems by the legal print. Sometimes the XBox gets lucky enough to share (GTA), but have you EVER seen a game released on just PS2 and GameCube? Ultimately, we end up with either Nintendo exclusives, which are always excellent, and the most generic of the generic multiplatform movie licenses (in which case, everybody and their brother gets a port from Nintendo to PC to Jaguar to Wonderswan) that have sucked from the dawn of console gaming's 3rd age in 1985.

The excuses I hear are the same excuses people give when asked why they don't sell Macintosh software. "But Apple just takes our idea and pushes us out of the market!" Well, genius, if Nintendo wasn't the only company making games for the system, we never would've had Mario Baseball, Mario Strikers, Mario Kart, Mario Tennis, Mario Golf, etc. Those games, while good pick up and play fun, are a _direct_ result of there being so little support for real sports titles...and sports is a bright spot in the GC library. Don't be surprised if Nintendo does a whole lot of other genres (Duck Hunt 2 starring Mario, Mario Swordfighting Championship, Mario Monopoly, Mario and the 104th Airborne, etc) themselves on the Revolution because you assholes couldn't be bothered and hid behind your "the controller's weird" or "Nintendo steals our ideas" excuses.

Damnit, if 3rd parties would just SELL ME GAMES! That's all they have to do! I'm not going to buy a Playstation or an XBox and, guess what, I'm not the only one! So either make software available to us or shut up about your sales statistics.

Re:Suffering the same as RIAA and MPAA (1)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 8 years ago | (#14287545)

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.

Re:Suffering the same as RIAA and MPAA (1)

taeric (204033) | more than 8 years ago | (#14288794)

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.

Re:Suffering the same as RIAA and MPAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14287806)

Sequal? It's latest FPS? Spend less time gaming and more time with a dictionary.

Re:Suffering the same as RIAA and MPAA (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14289084)

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 the top 10 are all from long established franchises

Look at 2004 [about.com]

1 - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - PS2 - Take II Interactive
2 - Halo 2* - XBX - Microsoft
3 - Madden NFL 2005* - PS2 - Electronic Arts
4 - ESPN NFL 2K5 - PS2 - Take II Interactive
5 - Need For Speed: Underground 2 - PS2 - Electronic Arts
6 - Pokemon Fire Red W/ Adapter - GBA - Nintendo of America
7 - NBA Live 2005 - PS2 - Electronic Arts
8 - Spider-Man: The Movie 2 - PS2 - Activision
9 - Halo - XBX - Microsoft
10 - ESPN NFL 2K5 - XBX - Take II Interactive

and 2003 [about.com]

1 - MADDEN NFL 2004 - PS2 - ELECTRONIC ARTS
2 - POKEMON RUBY - GBA - NINTENDO OF AMERICA
3 - POKEMON SAPPHIRE - GBA - NINTENDO OF AMERICA
4 - NEED SPEED: UNDERGROUND - PS2 - ELECTRONIC ARTS
5 - ZELDA: THE WIND WAKER - GCN - NINTENDO OF AMERICA
6 - GRAND THEFT AUTO: VICE - PS2 - ROCKSTAR GAMES
7 - MARIO KART: DOUBLE - GCN - NINTENDO OF AMERICA
8 - TONY HAWK UNDERGROUND - PS2 - ACTIVISION
9 - ENTER THE MATRIX - PS2 - ATARI
10 - MEDAL HONOR RISING - PS2 - ELECTRONIC ARTS

Notice a Trend?

My money is spent much better elsewhere.

Big companies aren't targetting you (I'm assuming you are a hardcore gamer); they want the much larger casual audience, people who don't check out video game reviews, parents who ask the guy at the store what the "hot" game is, etc.
This is the main reason I gave up on consoles and stick with the PC market. Developers have more flexibility, and can make the huge block buster, or niche games for more hardcore gamers.

Re:Suffering the same as RIAA and MPAA (1)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14291205)

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. It's been a great year for gamers, especially on the DS, but also on the PSP and GBA. The killer app this year was portable gaming, not Halo 2. Does that make it any less significant?

I take it you have not played... (0, Offtopic)

Wisgary (799898) | more than 8 years ago | (#14285076)

Half-Life 2 on the Xbox!!!!!!!!!!!! teh GAME OF THE YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh wait

I had to modify this post repeatedly to get through the caps filter, and not even setting code as the text type let me get through it... what if I write code in COBOL you insensitive clods!?!?!

What can they expect? (4, Insightful)

thenetbox (809459) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:What can they expect? (2, Interesting)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:What can they expect? (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 8 years ago | (#14287031)

Shut up? You're in for a year of 'We told you so' from the nintendo fanboys once it comes out.

Call of Duty 2 (1)

Kazzahdrane (882423) | more than 8 years ago | (#14285272)

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 (3, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Same problem as the movie industry (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Same problem as the movie industry (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 8 years ago | (#14286256)

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.

Re:Same problem as the movie industry (1)

TheoB (859132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14286666)

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).

I'm trying to figure out... (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14285370)

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 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. Here's a hint for people reporting about Rockstar: If it says "Rockstar" but doesn't say "Rockstar North" you'd have better odds getting a hit/quality game if you just picked something randomly off the shelf. This is even more true if the game has a movie license associated with it.

Re:I'm trying to figure out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14285841)

minor nitpick - GTA Liberty City Stories was done by Rockstar Leeds and is an excellent game. If there were more PSPs about I'm sure it would take the hit mantle for the year.

RS Leeds were joined at the hip by Rockstar North through the whole process so...

Re:I'm trying to figure out... (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14290626)

Agreed, and also if you could hook up a real PS2 controller.

Trying to manipulate mario on the DS without an analog stick is painful enough. I can't imagine trying to pull off the fine art of driving on a d-pad.

Re:I'm trying to figure out... (1)

badasscat (563442) | more than 8 years ago | (#14286108)

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. The only non-"Rockstar" GTA was GTA1 on the PC. (The PS1 version was a Take 2 game, as were all subsequent versions.)

Guess I might as well also point out that these names are all just labels. Take 2 is the actual parent company. Rockstar Games operates out of the same office with the same people. Rockstar North is, like all of Rockstar's dev teams, elsewhere... but they all operate under the Take 2 umbrella.

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. Rockstar/Take 2 has owned DMA since 1996 or 1997. You can even still see all of Rockstar's GTA web sites linked from here [rockstargames.com] . The original GTA site is here [rockstargames.com] .

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 the world (which is what Take 2 is now).

Re:I'm trying to figure out... (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14287188)

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 the world

Take 2 is a publisher, not a developer. Just because they own the developers of their titles outright doesn't really change the relationship between developer and publisher all that much. Take 2 doesn't create anything. The development studio known originally as 'Rockstar games' generally produces trash. You can't say that reflects on Take 2 any more than you can determine the quality of a game because it's published by Eidos, Activision, or even Sony or Microsoft. All companies like that do is fund, package, and ship. You have to look one name down the credits list to see who determines the quality.

No Blockbusters maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14285394)

...But Batlle for Wesnoth 1.0 was released!

Too many publishers waiting until next-gen (1)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 8 years ago | (#14285401)

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.

it's been a great year for GAMING... (5, Insightful)

Malor (3658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14285431)

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. :-)

Re:it's been a great year for GAMING... (2, Insightful)

alphaseven (540122) | more than 8 years ago | (#14285897)

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 one of the best games ever but it's sales on the PS2 have only been so-so.

I think it's unfair to compare things to 2004 though, the end of that year was unusual in that so many high profile sequels came out around the same time, many because of delay. The complaint last year was that too many games were coming out and that some publishers where going to get hurt.

Re:it's been a great year for GAMING... (2, Interesting)

Malor (3658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14286232)

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.

Re:it's been a great year for GAMING... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14286406)

"I was about ready to throw my controller through the window.... I must have fallen down twenty times."

That's it? Wow, gamers today really are lightweights...

Re:it's been a great year for GAMING... (1)

eurenix (912380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14286886)

You have to consider how much more time falling once in today's games sets you back as opposed to something like Ninja Gaiden. On a good run through, all the levels are maybe two or three minutes long, where in today's games, a set back might set you back as much as ten minutes (Not counting the ones that seem to intentionally throw you back an hour for screwing up), which is much more time consuming and frustrating than games of yore. Disclaimer: I have not played Shadow of the Colossus, so this whole thing might be completely off-base.

Re:it's been a great year for GAMING... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14286997)

Indigo Prophecy is about the dullest game I've had the misfortune of playing :( I don't recommend it unless you like a story that feels completely rushed, and a spattering of non-challenging 'puzzles' interspersed with reactionary 'Simon Says' games - like Dragon's Lair, except that it tells you which directions to push.

Re:it's been a great year for GAMING... (2, Insightful)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 8 years ago | (#14287329)

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).

Re:it's been a great year for GAMING... (1)

Jarlsberg (643324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14289709)

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.

Re:it's been a great year for GAMING... (1)

wongn (777209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14286022)

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.

Re:it's been a great year for GAMING... (1)

wheany (460585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14286599)

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow.

Hey now! (3, Interesting)

mister_llah (891540) | more than 8 years ago | (#14285608)

No blockbuster titles? Must all "blockbusters" by first person shooters?

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

Hmph.

1985, 1995, 2005 (5, Interesting)

muel (132794) | more than 8 years ago | (#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...

Re:1985, 1995, 2005 (2, Funny)

dascandy (869781) | more than 8 years ago | (#14285862)

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? (3, Funny)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14285717)

I'd write a clever response, but I'm too busy playing Animal Crossing on my DS.

Re:Really? (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 8 years ago | (#14286275)

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? (2, Informative)

dsyu (203328) | more than 8 years ago | (#14285763)

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.

Re:What about RE4? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14286332)

The GC version only had moderate success - the PS2 version seems to be selling well from what I have seen but not anywhere near "blockbuster" status.

Well... (2, Insightful)

Sv-Manowar (772313) | more than 8 years ago | (#14285919)

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.

The 360's fault? (1)

TheoB (859132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14286627)

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 over a million in its first month in Japan, but it was mostly coupled with DVD purchases, not games).

With a combination of bundling in stores and an unusually high concentration of hardcore purchasers (because, really, who else would stand outside all night for one?), I would bet that the attach rate on these things is extremely high. But the PS2 has 100 million units out there: even if the 360 sold through 2 million in the first month (or an unheard-of 3) it's still a months away from being a significant percentage of sales in the industry.

Battlefield 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14286798)

It's the best game this year that I can think of. It wasn't a major hit like Halo 2 and Half Life 2 but it was still really good. It's sad when the biggest hits have 2 at the end of their name.

I agree (2, Insightful)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 8 years ago | (#14287021)

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.

I don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14288481)

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:2005_compute r_and_video_games [wikipedia.org]

There is a lack of blockbusters on the HL2 level, partly down to the fact that there are more consoles around at the moment, the audience is fragmented. But partly just no mega releases.
It doesn't worry me though - unusally, this year I have a serious backlog of games I want to play:

RE4 (waiting for a price drop)
Warioware Twisted
Warioware Touched
Mariokart DS
Advance Wars DS
Fire Emblem (a GBA and a GC release!)
F.E.A.R.
Geist
Pac-pix
There would be more here if I owned a PS2/PSP/Xbox.

Great games I've played recently:
Kirby's Canvas Curse
Meteos
Earth 2160
Killer 7
Gunstar Super Heroes
Battlefield 2 nearly deserves a place here - maybe the expansion?

Plus I'm *STILL* playing UT2004 on a regular basis. They just released another bonus pack.

Re:I don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14288653)

if you can find someone with warioware twisted, just borrow it for an afternoon. it shouldnt take you more than a few hours to beat/unlock the game. around here we can buy used games (funcoland for instance) and return them within a few days if they suck/complete quickly. having beaten ww and picked up many better ds games, i feel anything else would have been a better buy.
-e [diversionmary.com]

Plenty of good games, perhaps too many (1)

bVork (772426) | more than 8 years ago | (#14287046)

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: Path of Radiance

Multiplatform:
Indigo Prophecy
King Kong (I especially suggest the amazing-looking 360 version)
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones
Psychonauts
Resident Evil 4

PSP:
Lumines
Wipeout Pure

DS:
Animal Crossing: Wild World
Kirby: Canvas Curse
Mario Kart DS
Meteos
Trauma Center

Gameboy:
Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
WarioWare Twisted

Dreamcast:
Trizeal

I agree COMPLETELY (1)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 8 years ago | (#14287304)

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 anything but CoD2 and PGR3 doesn't mean this wasn't an excellent year for gaming.

Re:I agree COMPLETELY (1)

Joel from Sydney (828208) | more than 8 years ago | (#14287762)

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?

Re:I agree COMPLETELY (2, Insightful)

2008 (900939) | more than 8 years ago | (#14289042)

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.

Re:I agree COMPLETELY (1)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14292540)

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.

Re:I agree COMPLETELY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14293788)

While I agree that it's an awesome game, I'd like to point out that Resident Evil 4 came out last year.

The 360's Fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14287398)

The failure of the 360 has really left a bad taste in the gaming press right at the end of 2005.

2005 has been a fantastic year for games, and Sony and Nintendo are just a few weeks away from showing amazing next gen stuff.

Can we try a new genre, perhaps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14287642)

It's only gonna get worse.

Think we're seeing a lot of talent wasted on making the same old, same old FPSes right now?
Just wait. The depths of boredom and repetition will be explored.

ZZZZzzzz..

Need for Speed: Most Wanted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14288273)

I think Need for Speed: Most Wanted [damnednice.com] will be popular.

Not mentioned (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 8 years ago | (#14288435)

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 the revolutionary new Civ IV this year, also a definate cult blockbuster.

Games too short (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14288439)

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 replayability - it may as well be an interactive movie.

Given the hollywoodization of games these days, this is where the market is heading, yet games companies are still living and pricing like its the 1980s - except new games are double the price now than they were before.

Re:Games too short (1)

DanthemaninVA1 (750886) | more than 8 years ago | (#14288654)

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.

"Blockbuster" = Highly Anticipated Shooter Sequel? (1)

Mr_eX9 (800448) | more than 8 years ago | (#14288599)

Guild Wars, Shadow of the Colossus, RE4, etc. all get ignored because they're not mainstream enough?

Wake up, gaming press!

BF2 anyone? (1)

Mechanik (104328) | more than 8 years ago | (#14288646)

I'm not sure of your definition of blockbuster, but Battlefield 2 [ea.com] was a huge hit this year.

....uhhh (1)

jimfinity (849860) | more than 8 years ago | (#14289120)

i think everyone is still too busy playing world of warcraft

Sequels? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14289312)

Could it be the number of sequels? I haven't seen a game come out that doesn't have a "2" or a "III" in a while. Maybe that's why all the media industries are taking a pooper, because they rehash the same crap and then use computers to pick the next big "hit." Which one will never be able to do, because of the ever changing interests of 12 year olds.

The Warriors (1)

Madpony (935423) | more than 8 years ago | (#14289629)

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 is, people won't buy it if it's based on something that conjures negative associations. Though I get the feeling that The Warriors is probably a decent game based on a horrible movie. You know, as in the opposite of Star Wars Galaxies ;)

Re:The Warriors (1)

biovoid (785377) | more than 8 years ago | (#14289972)

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.

Fahrenheit / Indigo Prophecy (1)

Jarlsberg (643324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14289700)

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 after (or whatever it was called -- that uh-oh, here come the ice-movie), Independence Day, War of the worlds (damn sappy ending ruined the whole movie), etc.). It's not the size of the budget that matters - it's the quality.

Re:Fahrenheit / Indigo Prophecy (1)

Flyboy Connor (741764) | more than 8 years ago | (#14289762)

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.

Re:Fahrenheit / Indigo Prophecy (1)

Jarlsberg (643324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14289964)

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 three main characters are very well fleshed out. You also decide the outcome of most situations, meaning you have to make decisions regarding how you interact with other characters (you usually get a few options on what to say, and you have to think quickly -- you don't get a second chance and you can't just traverse the talk tree and try out every response like you could in the Lucasarts adventures). The characters have emotions, and you have to keep them from being too depressed, which admittedly, is a bit hard at times. It's very dark, very moody, and a very adult oriented adventure. It's definitely not for kids.

The actions parts is a bit strange at first, as you don't take direct control of your characters, but have to duplicate the movements on the screen via your two thumbsticks. While it's a rather odd way of interacting with your character, it's makes for some pretty intense action scenes. It's sometimes hard to see what your characters are actually doing, since you're concentrating so hard on doing it right, though, but it's never too much. At least, that's how I feel.

I would recommend it. Now, I have to admit I've been waiting for a good adventure game for several years, so this kind of hit home with me on that front, which may account for my extremely positive attitude of the game. That said, and being objective, it's a well produced, highly polished and very interesting game. It's certainly unlike anything else on the market. (A bit like Katamari and Shadow of the Colossus in that respect).

Re:Fahrenheit / Indigo Prophecy (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14290860)

### 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 sequences done right.

### 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 three main characters are very well fleshed out.

Yep, the end however feels rather rushes, two month worth of story get 'told' in a 5sec cutscene near the end, which is kind of annoying, since some important things happen in that time.

### The characters have emotions, and you have to keep them from being too depressed, which admittedly, is a bit hard at times. It's very dark, very moody, and a very adult oriented adventure.

The "depressed" thing however feels pretty anoying and pointless, since it neither influence the story nor very hard to keep it up, it only makes you "Game Over" if it reaches zero. In some situations its actually easier to keep it up, then to lower it, since succeeding action sequences lowers it, while failing it causes no penalty, it makes sense story wise, but gameplay wise its quite annoying.

### It's definitely not for kids.

It also has sex scenes that make 'hot coffee' look like cold cofee... got however cut in the US version ;)

I would recomment it as well, its not without fault and I can understand why some people might not like it, for me however it was one of the best games of the year.
The nice thing about the game is that you can't really get stuck like in normal adventure games, so the whole gameflow is extremly smooth. And while the 'puzzles' might not be hard, they ensure that the player has always something todo, you basically never end up watching a cutscene, since you are always keep busy, either by 'puzzeling' your way through a scene or by pressing the button combinations on the screen in an action sequense. In the end the game keeps you busy for pretty much exactly 7h of gameplay, its not much, but a second replay is worth it, not because the story can turn turn out totally different, since it can't, its all linear, but because there are plenty little details that one might have missed on a first play, its also interesting to do things differently so see how they turn out. It might not be for people who expect Myst-like puzzles, but for the rest who is open to new gameplay ideas its definitvly worth a try.

Re:Fahrenheit / Indigo Prophecy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14293922)

I dunno...to me Indigo Prophecy came off as a text adventure with purdy graphics and button-mashing. Some very starved adventure-lovers hailed it as the second coming, but I'm a bit wary. It seems like the game was made by film students who suddenly "discovered" the idea of interactive storytelling.

Or maybe I'm just pissed because some real idiots I know were very snooty about getting the "uncut" version of the game, blabbing on about how the United States is full of fascists and they were fighting for freedom of speech by importing it, only to find out that the cut material was a sex scene that had little to do with the plot. Oh noes! Teh man is censoring our pronz! Viva la r3sistanc3 omg!

What's that sound?... (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14290785)

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 periods between releases, and a few more issues that are a bit too length to discuss here.

The Nintendo Revolution is a console that I am embracing, and not out of any devotion to Nintendo, but instead out of my true love of games and gaming. I honestly feel that EVERY real gamer should be pouring out support of the Revolution, ESPECIALLY the Slashdot crowd. Sony and MS stand for everything we don't. Nintendo not only has already stated they will be working to gain small/indie developers but they have basically done every single thing that the /. crowd would want in a console. Innovation, value, openness, backwards compatability, low levels of DRM/restrictions, and solid technology.

Everyone are busy playing WoW (2)

jurgenaut (910416) | more than 8 years ago | (#14290939)

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?

Not enough patience (1)

Telepathetic Man (237975) | more than 8 years ago | (#14292476)

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.

PC Games aren't given enough credit (1)

Fried-Psitalon (929587) | more than 8 years ago | (#14293995)

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 clearance mission turned into a bloodbath. The problem is that consoles inherently DO NOT ENCOURAGE RISK. I own an X-Box, but you will never see a risky title from a small-fry publisher there. Here's why: Console games can't be purchased via the web and downloaded. (Stardock anyone?) Console games can't be patched, so you're going to see a lot less innovative risk out the door. Console games tend to be played by more casual gamers as a whole; casual gamers want to buy exactly what they expect, and want to be able to sit down and play a quick game. Extended material? Games that require strategic thought and planning beyond button mashing? Games with online communities? Never happen for your *average* console game. Want to see high quality games? Put down your joystick, brother. Pick up your keyboard.
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