Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Endless Days of Summer

It's like clockwork, really. Every summer I get bored with the games on my shelf. It happens every time. I've got three Colossi left to slay, but I'm not in the mood for mountain climbing. I've started a city in "Animal Crossing" ironically called Cali, but I don't feel like paying a visit. Thwart the zombie invasion in "RE 4"? Pass. Continue my comic mishaps through "Penny Arcade's Slick Precipice of Madness"? No.

Maybe I'm just a cynic, but I hate the games of summer.

But I might be alone on this one. Madden fans will rejoice in August, and some other releases in-between will surely rouse the gaming masses (Two Human, perhaps?).

It's times like these when sifting through the pile-o'-shame feels appropriate. And what do I spy on my shelf next to Persona 3? Kingdom Hearts 2, a game that scared the bejesus out of me in the Little Mermaid level, when Ariel burst into song. I loved the original Kingdom Hearts, but I quit playing after that. It just didn't seem worth it at the time.

After my fears subsided, I started thinking about the current crop of consoles and their battle for exclusives.

"Kingdom Hearts"
is a franchise that holds significant weight in the gaming business. The second installment of the Disney/Square Enix crossover sold very well two years ago. But after this E3, I wonder if Square is considering the amount of money that a cross platform Kingdom Hearts could earn? Picture it on Wii: This version would hold instant interest with Nintendo's new audience. A Disney game, cutesy characters, are irresistible and marketable, but simplified controls are a must. Making it mass market accessible could make it a massive success.

But what about PS3 and 360? Well picture this: whenever Final Fantasy XIII comes to retail (in 2012, lol). Square Enix will then likely look at the sales numbers. If the game sells better on 360 (and it very well should given the install base), what would stop the RPG titan from publishing the game across multiple platforms? This also falls in line with Microsoft's recent image shift to attract more attention from the Nintendo's audience. Microsoft has to realize the potential they have to wrestle yet another exclusive from Sony.

But Sony can't be foolish, either. Yes, they have closed their checkbooks and refuse to pay for exclusives, but look at the recent NPD. Sony outsold the 360 by a decisive margin, thanks in part to "Metal Gear Solid IV" - a great game that continues to stay exclusive, and demonstrate the retail power exclusives still maintain in the console space.

Enough with the Time Wizardry, I'll revisit "Kingdom Hearts 2" this week. 1UP FM is playing "Psychonaughts", and frankly I'm not interested. Hopefully, I can withstand the Little Mermaid level instead.

In the meantime, I'll post my final thoughts on "Shadow of the Colossus" on Friday.

Ha, looks like the genius at Square planned on the success of KH in the first game, afterall.

**Keep in mind that Square is already developing a PSP, and cell phone version of KH for release later this year. Nothing has officially been said on current console exclusivity in relation to KH III.**

No comments: