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Streak of bad Xbox news


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I am a huge Xbox fanboy. But a lot of news in the last year, as well as perpetual problems that have simply not gotten better, has made me lose a little confidence in Microsoft's future in gaming. What I mean is, there was a time when I thought MS could do not wrong - that Xbox Next would cure cancer and create world peace. The list below is pecking away at my enthusiasm:

 

-Xbox Next with no harddrive (to save money)

-Rare not living up to expectations - impressions of all seen games are bad

-XSN sports games cancelled

-Ed Fries quits

-Munch Team let go

-Psychonauts let go

-Blinx, Voodoo Vince, and Tork are failed attempts at creating successful platformer franchises

-EA continues not to support XBlive

-Japan still not budging

-SquareEnix still not making games

 

To be fair, EA and Square might come around, Perfect Dark might be the bomb, MS might buy Visual Concepts and Nintendo, and Halo 2 might be more important that all of the above. But still, all of those things together, if they persist or ring true, might be symptomatic of mis-management in Microsoft's games division.

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There is always good with the bad. And some of the stuff you mentioned isnt really bad as some of the stuff like the games are still gonna be on xbox. Microsoft just isnt publishing it themselves. Other stuff only time can really tell

 

capt

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I contend that Rare has always been over rated. Goldeneye rocked but everything from Killer Instinct to their Donkey Kong games to the Banjo series were total rip offs of contemporary games. Rare copies good games to make average games but there is far too little innovation in that company to be worth what Microsoft paid.

 

I'm not concerned about the lack of a HD (I hate the HDD abbreviation!) in Xbox2. I'm quite sure Microsoft will offer a solution which will make up for its loss (though custom soundtracks may indeed be gone).

 

The XSN games sucked. Sure, Top Spin was innovative (for bringing depth to a genre previously occupied by arcade tennis) and Links wasn't bad until you compared it to a near perfect Tiger. Still, the basketball & football games were scary bad. I know there are a lot of Amped fans on this site so I'll withold by searing criticisms of that series.

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-Xbox Next with no harddrive (to save money)

 

Well, this doesn't affect the current hardware, so I'm not bothered.

 

-Rare not living up to expectations - impressions of all seen games are bad

 

When was the last really great Rare game; Goldeneye? Timesplitters 2 has fulfilled the promise there just fine for me.

 

-XSN sports games cancelled

 

Only the crap ones. Links 2 seems to still be underway, and the two other decent games, Top Spin and Amped aren't yearly series. Besides, even the cancelled ones have only been postponed 12 months, by which reckoning half the big FPS games people are anticipating have been far more cancelled than this.

 

-Ed Fries quits

 

So? While I'm sure he did a fine job, I've not yet got any indication that his replacement will be any worse.

 

-Munch Team let go

-Psychonauts let go

 

Maybe Microsoft didn't like the look of the games they were working on?

 

-Blinx, Voodoo Vince, and Tork are failed attempts at creating successful platformer franchises

 

As supposed to Ty The Tasmanian Tiger, Spyro The Dragon and Kao The Kangaroo, to name three random crap platformers from elsewhere. With a very small number of honorable exceptions (Prince Of Persia, the first Jak 'n' Daxter) don't expect Mario quality from anything other than Mario. Microsoft can see the value in a platformer franchise to broaden their market from late teens and older, but its a monumentally difficult thing to do.

 

-EA continues not to support XBlive

 

Yeah, well. When EA make a game I'd want to play online for a console, I'll get worried about this. As it stands, the only EA games I'd want to play online are on the PC anyway.

 

-Japan still not budging

 

Other than reducing the number of Japanese developers (and unfortunately, sales largely show that your average XBox owner couldn't care less about Japaense developed games anyway), why care what sales numbers do? The only possible other reason I can think of is to ensure there is a large enough online community, and that doesn't really matter when they are in a completely different timezone.

 

-SquareEnix still not making games

 

This is because Enix have never sold anything much outside Japan, and so relates to the above point. If you want to play Enix games, buy a Japanese PS2. Its the right tool for the job, frankly. And as for the Square half of the business, they've been Sony-exclusive for so long (barring Crystal Chronicles and handheld titles) that any fan of their games must have a PS2 anyway, surely?

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I contend that Rare has always been over rated.

 

This has my vote too.

 

I dunno, I think MicroSoft knows what they're doing, a lot more than I had originally thought, that's for sure. Or perhaps you guys are just all really good at selling X-Boxes :green:.

 

And I'd contend that while Square-Enix sells games in Japan, to be sure, they're another company that is sadly, sadly overrated in terms of quality. But I'll bite MY tongue to hold off my scathing criticisms of that company ;). The only innovative thing they've tried in ages was Crystal Chronicles (and I can't play that, so damn them :P).

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I've no time for Square-Enix games, but then I've no interest in what their direct competition do, either. Me whingeing that Final Fantasy N (where N lies between 1 and X-2) is too linear and slow would be unfair, rather like my unfair dismissal of the XSN range - they aren't aimed at me. I care nought for American sports (with the exception of Sega's exceptionally fun pick-up-n-play Dreamcast basketball games), so the cancellation didn't bother me even before everyone else pointed out that apparently they are poor examples of the genre.

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-Xbox Next with no harddrive (to save money)

 

It would also reduce piracy. There is also talk of of some newer flash ram technology...even if it is much smaller, it might be big enough for everything but custom soundtracks. I'll wager that the majority of non-modded XBoxes have over 90% of the space free on their hard drives. I'm reserving judgement on this until we have more details.

 

-XSN sports games cancelled

-Munch Team let go

-Psychonauts let go

 

Perhaps these budgets are being cut in order to fund a different, large investment (partnership or aquisition), the details of which are still private (or being negotiated).

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Links wasn't bad until you compared it to a near perfect Tiger.

 

I compared it (TW2004). Tiger was too easy, the putting interface blew, and I couldn't play foursomes online.

 

To me, Tiger Woods is a paper doll dress-up game compared to Links. The only thing I like about it is the large course selection.

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Honestly, has there been one company that lived entirely off of their creation of one game better than Rare? Goldeneye was just so good that eveyone thinks that Rare can still make that "perfect" game.

 

Ugh, and can we stop mentioning Microsoft purchasing Nintendo? :)

 

Glen

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Originally posted by gwhinwi@Apr 1 2004, 03:23 PM

Honestly, has there been one company that lived entirely off of their creation of one game better than Rare?

Yeah, I didn't like anything after the mighty Knight Lore either ;)

 

Seriously - while the likes of Banjo have dated, and Starfox Adventures was a massive letdown, I think its a bit harsh to accuse the Stampers of being one-hit-wonders.

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I don't know. I'm not much of a fanboy (although it's my console of choice), but most of the items in your list don't concern me.

 

-Xbox Next with no harddrive (to save money)

 

It remains to be seen whether this is true and, if so, what impact it will have.

 

-XSN sports games cancelled

-Munch Team let go

-Psychonauts let go

 

These all relate to MS as a publisher and not the Xbox as a platform.

 

As to Munch and Psychonauts, I'm not sure how these decisions matter. Are they considered AAA titles that the mainstream gaming public needed to see published by MS and not another publisher? XSN is on hold (not cancelled), and I'm not sure how the lack of a 2004 NFL Fever title, for example, will matter. Was this a big seller?

 

-Ed Fries quits

 

Not sure how this management change made a negative impact on the console.

 

-EA continues not to support XBlive

-Japan still not budging

-SquareEnix still not making games

 

I definitely agree that it would be great to have EA XBL support and acceptance in Japan and nice to have games from SquareEnix. But suddenly it doesn't look like a "streak" of bad Xbox news to me.

 

-j

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As supposed to Ty The Tasmanian Tiger, Spyro The Dragon and Kao The Kangaroo, to name three random crap platformers from elsewhere. With a very small number of honorable exceptions (Prince Of Persia, the first Jak 'n' Daxter) don't expect Mario quality from anything other than Mario. Microsoft can see the value in a platformer franchise to broaden their market from late teens and older, but its a monumentally difficult thing to do.

 

Meh. In my opinion, Ratchet & Clank (1 and 2), Sly Cooper, and both Jak n' Daxters are some of the best platformers EVER, including Mario. In fact, they smoked Mario Sunshine before breakfast.

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Originally posted by gwhinwi@Apr 1 2004, 09:23 AM

Honestly, has there been one company that lived entirely off of their creation of one game better than Rare? Goldeneye was just so good that eveyone thinks that Rare can still make that "perfect" game.

Blast Corps was a HELL of a fun game, which was developed by Rare. Also, their SNES stuff pushed the hardware, however good or bad it was. Perfect Dark was a great followup to Goldeneye. I think they deserve the credit. It's no different than recognition Valve gets for Half-Life.

 

Regarding the original concerns, I agree I don't like the lack of a HDD, but everything else is minor, IMHO. Mascots today don't have the "clout" they had back in the 16bit era... at least for the older gamer. Sure, they still sell, but I don't think it's vitally important.

 

I'm pretty confident Xbox's future is bright (not so confident in the big N).

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I've been less than excited by recent Xbox news (especially the HDD news), but I have no opinion regarding Sony, since there has been next to no news regarding the PS3. The PSP has me salivating though...

 

The decision to "hold" the XSN games is very good in my eyes. I'd rather that they take a year off & come back with some killer titles. NFL Fever had/has flaws, but is an amazing achievment for such a young series. Hopefully it can only get better.

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Since everyone's replies on this thread are predictably and appropriately individual retorts to each of my bullet points, let me clarify the following:

 

No one bullet point has me concerned. I agree with almost everything you have all said. It is the sum of all of these, the synergy if you will, that started to give me this feeling.

 

It just seems that the Xbox division is having an attitude shift of some sort. I don't yet know if it is good or bad for gaming.

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Originally posted by kfredericks@Apr 2 2004, 07:36 AM

No one bullet point has me concerned. I agree with almost everything you have all said. It is the sum of all of these, the synergy if you will, that started to give me this feeling.

I don't think I understand. You are saying that you see a trend (or have a feeling) if there are enough trivial, inconsequential or an unrelated factors?

 

-j

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But the metaphor doesn't work.

 

First, a fever, I believe, is critical to diagnosis. Without it, your other symptoms are just a catalog of the sort downers everyone has periodically.

 

Second, even if you could point to something and say "There, there is the fever in the Xbox woes list," what of it? If the symptoms point to the flu, this is hardly meningitis or malaria.

 

-j

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