I was browsing n4g and found this
juicy little story. It seems that Fumito Ueda, head of Team Ico, was disappointed by both Super Mario Galaxy
, both for not innovating enough. It's a good quote so hit the link and check out the full article. He might be acting a little prideful but I happen to agree with him--I thought Mario Galaxy was admittedly better than Sunshine but none of the concepts felt very fleshed out to me. The controls were mostly waggle and a lot of the levels had a very shallow tech-demo feeling, like they were made for the Wii Sports fans. Galaxy 2 looks like it has all the things the first game was supposed to have (Yoshi, emphasis on gravity, creative use of Wii controls) so better late than never.
My inbox will probably get pelted with angry emails from Cyril but I have to say I was also let down by GTA4. Sure it looked really pretty and had those euphoria physics but it felt really floaty and loose to me, and again the gameplay was the same old thing with a few novelties like the boring television. I wanted Rockstar to really push the concept of being a notorious criminal doing morally bankrupt things, but it was the "thug working his way up" shtick again. The cell phone made the city feel a little more alive but the dreary setting clashed with the juvenile humor on the radio stations, and I got tired of Niko whining about his miserable life without being able to do anything about it. As far as the GTA series goes Vice City is still my favorite.
I still enjoyed both Galaxy and GTA4 but I think Ueda has a point--both series are riding on reputation and fan enthusiasm at this point. Of course I could say something about him and taking five to six years to release a new game, but then I'd have to drag Valve into the picture and John would be mad at me too. In any case it's interesting to see one of the industry's younger hotshots throwing clipped yet constructive criticism at a few of its luminaries. I think more straight talk like this would encourage more innovation, something most big game properties need these days, especially Nintendo's.