The gaming industry has gotten bigger and better with each passing year, but sometimes they just don’t do things right. Whether it’s game play, story, pricing, or business practice, sometimes the industry needs a little friendly fire from the gamers to keep it in line.
Other times, developers look down their sight and fire off a well placed bullet right into our unexpected head. This is Josh & Cameron, and this is Headshots & Friendly Fire.
A Bit of Friendly Fire
Fear of Competition Delaying Games
Platinum Games and Sega decided that although Bayonetta is completely finished, they wanted to move back the release date from this fall, to next spring. They didn’t want to put their game up against Uncharted 2 and Modern Warfare 2, even though Bayonetta would be the only third-person action game released this fall. So instead, Sega would like to see their game go up against God of War 3 and Dante’s Inferno. Sega, you are an idiot. Alpha Protocol has also been moved from its fall release date, to the spring where it can compete with Mass Effect 2. You might remember Alpha Protocol as the RPG with character interactions and dialogue tress similar to…Mass Effect! What publisher is responsible for this? Oh, it’s Sega of course. Sega isn’t the only publisher pushing back its games, as London Studios has decided to push back the release of Eyepet to the spring. Now, I’m going to split the games releasing this fall into two categories. The first category contains games where you kill demons, shoot people in the face, and Ozzy curses a lot. The second category contains a game with a cute, fuzzy monkey. I can safely say that these two categories are mutually exclusive, and nobody is going to be in Gamestop puzzling what category to invest in. I would also like to take this time to predict that all three of these games will sell much worse without the holidays.
Enemies That Can Heal
This has been a problem at certain points in Demon’s Souls. You run up to an enemy, and exchange a few heavy blows back and forth, and then you roll back to a safe distance and the enemy takes the opportunity to completely heal himself. This causes what would normally be a short fight into a 5-minute stalemate. Allowing enemies to heal themselves just makes battles more tedious. It’s an unnecessary timer, so to speak. After you hit an enemy, you only have so much time to kill him, before he regains his health and you have to start the process all over again. In such a slow paced game where I’m encouraged to be cautious in how I fight an enemy, it’s very uncharacteristic of the game to expect me to be so aggressive and attack so quickly. This also happens in PvP matches, but then again, It would be really unfair to the other player if I could heal and he couldn’t, and most of the time the other player just runs at me like an idiot, so it really doesn’t matter anyways.
My What SKU’s you Have
At times it can be very hard to explain the differences in the SKU’s to non-gamers or potential purchasers of the product and it never helps when there are 4, 5 or 6 different SKU’s on the shelf at once. Back when the PS3 launched in 2006 you had the 20GB and 60GB, with different feature sets. Then came the drop of the 20 and the inclusion of the 80GB. Then the drop of the 60GB and here comes the 40GB. Are you still following me? After all that came a 160GB PS3, the dropping of the current 80GB and now the Slim at 120GB. That is 4 years worth of change after change where the most biggest change in most of the hardware was the HDD, which makes very little sense when the PS3 HDD can be upgraded with ease by the user. All this changing made it very hard to talk friends into buying a PS3 and exactly which PS3 they should buy because at times there were 4 or 5 different SKU’s on the market. Now i am sure there were changes under the hood that improved the system as they released it, but it got confusing after awhile even for people who follow Sony on a regular basis.
Developer’s Get to Name Calling
Competition is a great thing and studios should defintely be in this business to make the best product and one up the competition, but should developers really resort to name calling to do this? What ever happened to letting your product do the talking for you? This is a competitive business and I am sure developers at times let their emotions get the best of them but you should have some professional respect for your competition. Just because you two developers make similar games for rival consoles does not mean they cannot show each other respect and at times show praise for each others hard work and dedication. Often times however it feels like the Fight of the Fanboys spills over to the developers and that shouldn’t happen. Fanboys already have enough fuel for the fire without the developers help.