Thursday, September 04, 2008
Have you seen this man?
This week I've been toiling on the fall preview for The Phoenix. It's my annual look at the biggest and best videogame releases of the holiday season. The process isn't too scientific: I check out the release schedule on Gamestop.com, Gamespot.com, and Gametops.com*, make a note of what seems interesting, and then write a fluffy paragraph about each game. My choices are unfortunately based more on what's been marketed well, or what's a big sequel, than on any direct contact I've had with these titles.
What's been interesting about the 2008 edition is the total lack of any exciting new Wii games. That's not to say there won't be any good ones this season. Every year, some of the games I mention turn out to be duds, and it's easy to overlook something that'll be great. Last year's preview didn't even include Call of Duty 4! There's also the inevitable delay immediately after the preview goes to press. But some selections are no-brainers for a preview like this, and this year none of them are for Nintendo.
I've read that Nintendo seems to be bowing out of the preview business, preferring to launch games on short notice without the usual build-up of publicity and expectations. On one hand, that's refreshing. Not much is worse than previews written years in advance for a game that ends up disappointing. And it's not as though they need help convincing people to buy a Wii at this point. Still, to look on the holiday release schedule and see nothing for the best-selling system is unprecedented.
Sure, there's Wario Land: Shake It, which... I don't know. Are you psyched about Wario Land: Shake It? Or would that be an affirmative-action pick?
More to the point: Am I evincing a critical blind spot because I can't see anything but shooters and sequels as games worthy of previewing?
*One of these sites is not real.