Welcome to the third edition of Replay, once again we look back at gaming week from 15 years ago. This time again with Peter Molyneux, but it’s also about a new medium and a well-known debate.
Check out the latest issue here: Molyneux’s beliefs and espionage in RPG form – The Gaming Week 15 years ago
The week of March 17-23, 2008
Most of you might still remember the not very long battle between Microsoft and Sony regarding the successor format to the DVD. It was then called HD DVD versus Blu-Ray. Well, the latter clearly asserted itself, Microsoft’s Chris Lewis called the Blu-Ray a “historical phenomenon” at the time. Still, he was certain people would switch to downloads “sooner than any of us think”.
Today it’s probably more streaming than downloading, but the home theater and series market has definitely changed. How about you? I now only buy the things I really want in my collection on disc.
Video game violence? This was not only an issue in Germany from time to time, but also in Great Britain. “It’s important to note that there is no conclusive evidence linking video games to real-life violence,” it said at the time of a potential game ban. “For us, it’s more about keeping unsuitable material away from children.”
The latter is of course not wrong. As for game-induced violence… Well, I don’t know anyone who plays games like that who isn’t basically a peaceful person. Which of course does not have to be universal. There is always someone who is susceptible to such (and other) things, who is influenced by them. But we can probably rule out that violence in games is bad per se.
At that time, however, the new Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii was on the road to success. 1.4 million sales within the first week, in the end it was around 13.3 million. No comparison to the latest installment for the Switch, which is currently around 30.4 million, but definitely a huge hit. Nintendo and Smash Bros, that just pulls.
And then we would be back with Peter Molyneux. At the time he said he would like to start a new syndicate. “I am sure that one day this opportunity will arise and I would love to do it,” he said at the time. Nothing has happened to this day, at least not with his involvement. And I’m assuming that nothing will come of this project. how do you see it? Should Syndicate be left alone or picked up again?
Elsewhere, Ubisoft took an important step in terms of its own portfolio and took over all rights to the Tom Clancy name. Since then, numerous, sometimes more, sometimes less successful games with the author’s name in the title have followed. There is no end in sight, but maybe it would be appropriate to focus on some old strengths? *cough* GRAW, Splinter Cell *cough*
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The tests of the week
Treasure Island put to the test. I wrote about it: “To get straight to the point: Treasure Island is not a new Monkey Island. It’s a pity, but it just lacks a lot more humor. Radon Labs’ Adventure – like Secret Files Tunguska – takes a more serious approach, although of course there are some entertaining spots here and there. Of course, that doesn’t make Treasure Island a bad game. Adventure fans will still get their money’s worth and will surely enjoy the virtual treasure hunt.”
Bomberman Land review. Martin wrote: “How do I rate something like this now? Battle mode is pretty much the same fun I’ve had there for so many years. In a social setting it rocks like day one and here you get one of the nicest variants. Stupidly is but not so outstandingly different that you couldn’t just grab Bomberman ’94 for the Virtual Console. Hardly less multiplayer fun for just a tenth of the price.”
Jumpers under test. I wrote: “What else is there to say about that? Once again a dirty adaptation of a cinema film that nobody has to have. Unless you want to increase your gamerscore, that works quite well with Jumper. But if someone for that just under 60 euros I think it’s questionable if you look at Jumper, the only hope left is that Brash Entertainment’s other film adaptations will be of better quality.
Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker review. Martin wrote: “And as nice as it all comes across: My hope that perhaps what is now the third Monsters game in the Dragon Quest Offspins reflects on its role-playing roots and offers a real plot in addition to the rock-solid, if anything but innovative, promotion of collecting instincts not fulfilled again. Genre fans will once again slaughter through the monster levels, you grab the critters like crazy, but in the end it’s all about nothing else than the joy of virtual possession of cute monsters.”
More articles of the week
Preview: War Leaders: Clash of Nations. “The release hovers over this ambitious project like a sword of Damocles. The current version was already much more stable, but Enigma still has to invest a little work to ensure untroubled gaming enjoyment. You don’t even produce a Total War competitor on the side, especially not with such a small team. Once all sources of error are eliminated, however, there is a good chance that War Leaders will become a really fun strategy epic.”
Preview: Demigod. “If John Comes succeeds in turning all his ideas and visions into reality, he could join the ranks of the developer elite with his first game. The popularity of the template shows how enthusiastic gamers are about this innovative blend of action role-playing games and real-time strategy. Especially in combination with the outstanding graphic style, a real gem could emerge that, with the help of alternative sales channels, becomes a real global success.”
Interview: Demigod. “Recipes for items are a hardcore game mechanic that come in various modifications. We want to simplify these systems. We want to have the same depth without reaching the same level of complexity. In doing so, we want to open the title to a larger audience .”
Preview: The Settlers: Rise of a Kingdom – Empire of the East. “One can only hope that the new features and the simplifications that come with them won’t be as destructive to the Orient as the main game was at the time. The vivid landscapes are certainly a welcome sight for the strategist’s eye, and the campaign promises some pleasantly varied hours with Saraya and the bitterly evil cult.”