Fact or Fiction 11/19/2004

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posted 11/19/2004 by The GN Staff
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Welcome to our latest edition of Fact or Faction. Today we have five more topics that Charlie Sinhanseni, Charles Husemann, and John Yan discuss. And let's get started with...

1) On Halo 2’s release, we’ll see a good increase in Xbox sales.

Charlie Sinhaseni: Fiction. If anything will increase the Xbox sales this holiday season, it’s the new bundle deal that Microsoft is offering. Everyone who bought the system to play HALO 2 has probably already owned the system for quite some time now. Fanboys are adamant about their systems and there’s a good chance that the PS2 fanboys are waiting for Kill Zone as opposed to jumping on the HALO 2 bandwagon.

Charles Husemann: Fiction. There will be a modest bump in sales but most people who are already hyped about the game probably own an Xbox. I do think there will probably be a big spike in Xbox Live subscriptions so people can take advantage of all of the cool Xbox Live 3.0 features.

John Yan: Fiction. I'm going to say fiction on this one just because of the age of the Xbox. I think that games that sell consoles usually happen in the beginning of the console's life cycle. If there's anything that will increase sales is a price decrease or some sort of great bundle.


2) Sony’s release of the slim down PS2 is too little too late.

Charlie Sinhaseni: Fiction. Sony released the PSOne around the time that the PS2 was released. This is a preemptive strike of some sorts in which Sony wants to corner the market before it becomes viable for its contenders. I still haven’t had enough hands-on time with the unit to see how viable it is as a portable console; we’ll have to wait and see how long it takes for 3rd party manufacturers to produce portable screens.

Charles Husemann: Fiction. It's not too little too late, it's a new form factor for Sony Fanboys to pickup as well as a something to keep the PS2 in the news and on the store shelves. The questionable move is why they developed something that's incompatible with a lot of the existing accessories (double-tap and the hard drive).

John Yan: Fact Again, the age of the console just seems to put the slimmed down PS2 as being a year or two too late for me. I can see some people perhaps trading their older models for the slimmed down one because it fits a lot nicer in entertainment centers and also just going for the cool factor. Although the PSOne did survive a while with the PS2 out. The same might happen when the PS3 is finally released.

3) Sony’s decision to not include online play in Gran Turismo 4 will hurt them.

Charlie Sinhaseni: Fiction. Aside from Burnout 3 and Project Gotham 2, there aren’t that many racing games burning up the online scene. And the difference between GT4 and the previous titles is that in-depth single-player aspect in which you purchase and tune vehicles. People will buy the game to play it for that aspect alone. Whether or not the game is online is moot in my eyes.

Charles Husemann: Fact. No online play? In a signature racing game? In 2004? What’s the point of having a killer racing game if you can’t race people over the Internet? When did the Nintendo people start working for Sony? I don’t think it will hurt sales much but it certainly impacts the reputation of the developer.

John Yan: Fiction. The title's still going to sell like hotcakes on reputation alone. Sure, online play would've been killer but I think most people won't miss it at all. People expect a top of the line racing experience in Gran Turismo 4 and whether it has online play or not won't hurt them.


4) Midway needs to go back to what made Mortal Kombat fun and that’s to remove the dial-a-combo system and to implement a more free-flowing fighting system.

Charlie Sinhaseni: Fact. I like the new Mortal Kombat but all of the peripheral elements caused Midway to lose sight of its objective; and that’s to produce the most addictive and compelling Arcade fighting game on the market. In Deception the actual fighting takes a back seat to a cavalcade of other features. The game feels too much like Killer Instinct; I’m tired of these massive combos. Then again I’m a throwback to the old 2D fighter days so perhaps my age is just showing.

Charles Husemann: Fiction. The genre has changed since the game first came out and the series has adapted to that change. Do I miss the old system? Hell yeah but it’s just a sign of the times. Hopefully they will include a non-combo centric mode for the next version of the game but I’m not holding my breath.

John Yan: Fact. While reading various forums and polls, the one game in the series that constantly won out as a fan favorite was Mortal Kombat 2. And why did they love it? One of the major reasons WAS that there weren't any pre-programmed combos. I do think that the combo system belongs in some games such as Killer Instinct, but seeing it in Mortal Kombat 3 and beyond really kills me. It's just not nearly as fun having combos that are a macro away from being pulled off by a novice over finding combos when you become skillful with a character. I've been playing fighters since Street Fighter 2 and Virtua Fighter and it's rough to see the series evolve into the dial-a-combo system.

5) EA’s is just phoning it in on their sports titles and are just getting by through reputation.

Charlie Sinhaseni: Fact. It’s a well-known fact that SEGA and Visual Concepts have had the best sports titles for a number of years running. Too bad it was only until the company decided to bump down its price point to $19.99 that anyone started to notice. EA still has some stellar franchises but that’s only because it lacks real competion. I love Tiger Woods but there are no real competitors to the throne, same goes for NASCAR Thunder. EA had better watch out because its three main franchises (NHL, Madden, NBA) are inferior to their SEGA counterparts. The company will only be able to succeed on name value alone, it’s only a matter of time before the gaming world takes notice and decides to move along.

Charles Husemann: Fact. While EA introduces a few cool new features every year there’s really not enough new content to justify $50 each year. What’s going to be new in NBA Live 2007? You have to help your players beat a murder rap? Do people really like micro-managing their teams this much?

John Yan: Fact. It just seems that EA doesn't put much effort into their new titles anymore since they can sell them on reputation alone. NCAA Football 2004 was a big disappointment to me and I haven't touched it much since the first week of release. This coming from a guy who would play 5+ seasons minimum. Sega's titles just took my attention away with great gameplay, features, graphics, and a very cheap price. They did football and basketball right while EA has not gotten NBA games correct in a long time. I'm glad to see they finally put in Xbox Live support, but other than a few little tweaks here and there, their games seem to have become stagnant.