Monday, Monday… it’s cold, rainy and miserable in Colorado today. In other words - a nice day for videogames!
- Activision, publisher of Guitar Hero 5 and the upcoming DJ Hero and Guitar Hero: Van Halen, doesn’t believe that the music game industry is oversaturated. In an appearance on CNBC (video at Kotaku), Guitar Hero honcho Daniel Rosensweig posited that “80 percent” of console-owning households don’t have a music/rhythm game yet, leaving the market wide open. While he may be right - and it’s worth pointing out that the Kurt Cobain/Courtney Love kerfuffle notwithstanding, Guitar Hero 5 is a very solid entry in the series - concern isn’t surrounding the oversaturation of the music game genre, it’s the oversaturation of Guitar Hero that’s become a very real problem. Look, Activision is giving away - for free - the yet-to-be-released Van Halen with purchases of Guitar Hero 5 this month. This generally means two things: 1) They know the game isn’t good, or 2) they know the game isn’t going to sell. Activision is in clear and present danger of strangling their golden goose; not because the games are of poor quality - they aren’t; as a matter of fact, they’re getting better - but simply due to consumer fatigue. Sometimes, less is more.
- While we’re on Activision, their upcoming racer Blur, which looks to be a welcome blend of Project Gotham Racing and Mario Kart - and also looks like it’ll be riotous fun online - is being pushed back to 2010, specifically so that online multiplayer element can be further refined. While it’s too bad we won’t be playing Blur until next year, there are a pair of top-notch racers that recently released (Dirt 2 and Need For Speed: Shift) and next month, Forza Motorsport 3’s expected to knock our collective socks off. So if Blur needs the time to get their unique spin on the genre right, so be it. Don’t cry for Activision either - in November, they have a little title that might help cover for Blur’s absence.
- On Tuesday, the latest title in the Halo saga lands on store shelves, as Halo 3: ODST arrives on the scene. This “expansion-plus” title revolves around a character other than the iconic Master Chief for the first time in a Halo game and includes some game modes new to the series. If, like me, you’re not sure it’s worth $60… is it worth $40? Because, essentially, that’s what it’ll cost you at Toys R Us if you pick it up tomorrow - the retailer is offering a $20 gift card and a special Halo ODST action figure with purchase.
- Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 made waves when it was discovered - no wait, “discovered” is the wrong term - when the game’s development and PR teams flaunted the fact that the digital brawler’s female characters’ breasts could be controlled by moving the Sixaxis controller on the PlayStation 3. Feel free to read that last sentence again, just in case you weren’t offended enough. Got it now? Because it gets worse. Apparently, this “feature” has become the main selling point of the game, witnessed by this YouTube video by user “TECMOPRTeam”. Now I know things are very different in Japan from a sexual-culture standpoint, but I still don’t really know what to say here, save this: It’s probably the single-most juvenile, ludicrous thing I’ve ever seen in this industry, and that’s saying a lot. I don’t offend easily, but as a man, I’m insulted by the assertion that we’re all so lascivious that we’d be taken in by such ridiculous iconography. I can’t even imagine what women would think - are there any that work at Tecmo? It’s just sad. Watch below, and realize that this is why this medium still can’t be taken seriously as an art form.