Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Games for Girls

Game companies are finally starting to recognize the value in creating games for the fairer sex and girls are one of the fastest growing segments of "casual" gamers. Publishers are responding to women gamers with sensitivity and maturity. Let's take a look at what girls like to play.

Cooking Mama was created in Japan by Taito and published in the U.S. by Majesco. The latest version came out on the Wii. At a time when schools nationwide are cutting back on home economics, this series of mini games based on cooking recipes makes girls feel like they're good at SOMETHING after getting their asses handed to them in math and science.
Nintendogs has seen it's fair share of copycatz (Get it? Copycatz?) mostly from Ubisoft. I should correct myself. Ubisoft first started publishing the Petz series back in 1995. Eventually, they came to their senses and started publishing these games on the DS because chicks can't use computers. In any case, the virtual pet genre has been a big hit with the ladies. Nintendogs don't make a mess in your Coach purse like a shih tzu can.

My Housekeeping Diary for the Nintendo DS was #14 in the latest Japanese software charts. I think it's a brilliant idea to turn housekeeping into a game. I imagine a sequel for the Wii with a real Dustbuster attachment, allowing you to vacuum the carpet at the same time as you play. My wife could use a game like that.
Imagine: Babyz is only the most recent in a series of games for little women. It's either birth control or a child rearing sim. Take your pick. Give Ubisoft a hand for knowing what lady gamers want. Imagine: Babyz stands alongside groundbreaking titles Imagine: Fashion Designer and Master Chef.
Last, but certainly not least, is Wii Fit. I don't think I need to tell you how much a title like this will benefit female gamers. Not only will it inspire fatties to get off their asses, they'll think they're having fun while doing it. Thank you, Shigeru Miyamoto. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

I'd Hit That

Am I crazy or is ESRB boss-lady Patricia Vance a total MILF? I mean, I don't know if she's got kids or a husband, but I'm just saying, "I'd hit that." Anyone?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Prepaid Disappointment

Thanks for being so damn gullible. I'm talking to YOU, hardcore gamers. You spend your time online hyping a game years before it will ever see retail shelves. You buy crappy games you don't want in the first place (i.e. Crackdown) to get an invitation to debug a glitchy beta. The industry used to PAY people to do that kind of work. Then you plunk down $5 or more, often for the overpriced "Legendary Exclusive Limited Elite Collector's Edition". What's the collector's edition have that the regular edition doesn't? Besides a $95 price tag, it's got an art book filled with pictures that were leaked by the gaming mags a year and a half ago, a t-shirt to further help promote the game you just bought, and an action figure. How old are you?

Keep in mind, you haven't even played the finished game yet. If your disc wasn't scratched to hell, you spend the next 48 hours flaming Gamespot for only giving it a 9.5 out of 10. Let me ask you something. Will you change your behavior someday when years of anticipation are met with crushing disappointment? Or will you swiftly move on to the next much-hyped game?

A Date With Destiny

There have been some high profile games delayed as of late. Grand Theft Auto 4, Unreal Tournament 3, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, just to name a few. I could have predicted this a long time before the announced delays, but all the whining and crying on the blogosphere has made it obvious none of you know a thing about video game marketing.

There's little incentive for a game to make a deadline or a release date. It just makes it harder to raise awareness and create an unrealistic level of hype. Ideally, a game should only be released after it has appeared in playable form at TWO consecutive E3 Expos. If you must know, Will Wright put the finishing touches on Spore before the release of the PlayStation 3 almost a year ago. He's only put off the release this long to create nerfed versions for the Nintendo Wii and DS and translate them into Japanese. (You'll be able to use the Wiimote and stylus to create a four-assed-ostrich.)

Don't act so damn surprised when a heavily anticipated game gets pushed back creating even heavier anticipation. The press release is free advertising plastered across the headlines of every gaming blog on the internets. It keeps the game in the forefront with more previews, screenshots, rumors, and creator interviews in gaming mags. It's especially helpful for sales if the game is already available for pre-order.