Tuesday, December 30, 2008


The saddest game story of 2008 is that of "Little Big Planet:" The great little title that inexplicably became annointed the savior of the struggling Playstation 3 and, when said struggles unsurprisingly continued, got counted as a "sales dissapointment." You can call this a post-mortem, but I'd prefer to think of it as a reflection.


phi-rstarter said...

congratulations, finally back to full form, and i'm loving it, i cannot get enough of your videos and i might just go out and buy LBP just because of your review.

also, the carachter vs'ing RYU in tatsunoku Vs Capcom i think is called Casshern, yeah, maybe...

awesome job man, keep it up.

Nintenlord said...

LBP failed because it relied on user generated content and that kind of games always fail because people buy games for the content. If customers have to make the content itself, they feel cheated. It would have sold poorly on any console.
Bob, could you please read Sean Malstroms articles before making another vid like this? Your lack of knowledge on how videogame business works kinda ruined both this and episode 11 for me. http://malstrom.50webs.com/
He is predicted Wii's success in late 2006 and exposed Nintendo's business strategy for everyone to see. He's also hated in hardcore circles.

Euler d'Moogle said...

Actually the clip shown has Ryu and Alex vs. Ken the Eagle and Jun the Swan.

Man, when I was a child, I worshipped Battle of the Planets. I loved SuperFriends, Spider-Man, etc, but Battle of the Planets was my favourite. Of course now I call it by it's proper name, Gatchaman, but I still get those warm fuzzies over that show that Transformer fans get over theirs, but without the part about Michael Bay peeing all over the franchise with boring stock characters and pointless explosions.

The Prodigy said...

A very poignant and entertaining video. It does suck that this game was mired in lack of sales amidst all the niches. You do have a valid point to that effect. I don't own a PS3, and I'm an avid Nintendo owner. But, I'm also well-rounded enough to want to see or play something innovative.

As for failure based on user-generated content, I don't know. I mean, Spore was chock full of that, and it sold handsomely when it came out. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't customization a key to games from the Tony Hawk and wrestling games where you can create your own, well, anything?

I'm not here to start some crazy rant where I get into a swearing match or something. I'm talking as a video gamer who has seen Nintendo's success and its trials during the Gamecube and N64 eras. I know that just as easily as Nintendo can thrive, it can struggle, as most big companies do. In hindsight, that's made me a little realistic about industry and Nintendo's place in it.

Now, I didn't fully agree with ya, Bob, on the 11th episode, but I understood where you came from. The gaming world can experience it, as do most things thriving on capitalism. Industries can collapse, like in 1983, with video games, which is proof that even the video game industry is not safe. You can say that there were different circumstances, but you can't erase the fact that video games, as a commodity, crashed and burned economically.

Lastly, let's look at Wii Music, which might very well be the only music/rhythm game where you can make your own music. I'm reading that it sold a million copies already worldwide, when it was supposed to be the weakest of the "Wii" games series. Hmmm....

It's all a very interesting situation. I just choose not to pick sides openly and make a console war out of it, only because, as a whole, the war doesn't even technically exist anymore.

Mr. I said...

Well, this was certainly a video that pays homage to the style of old...really made me think back on the Kirby Confession video, of high-quality games being ignored for their content due to scene. Obviously this is a different situation, but the little ring about Smash Bros at the end just got me in a nostalgic mood.

I got a PS3 for Christmas, though my logic was "Metal Gear Solid 4...oh, and a Blu-Ray player" out of sheer fanboyism...which is actually the first time that the inner fanboy in me hasn't disappointed itself. I spent a little time with LittleBigPlanet after the sheer "wow" factor of MGS4, and really, it had the makings of a great game. Fun little accessories, a likable and personality-filled playable character (well, okay, it's like making a Mii extra cuddly but bare with me), and a fun single-player mode with rewarding extras, plus the fact that it ties in with Sony's other blockbusters (MGS, God of War, and PSX-generation Final Fantasy) just gives it this adorable nostalgic ring. I even enjoyed it more than Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, which I thought I'd never say considering that Banjo is basically the character that made my childhood awesome...okay, so Kirby and DK helped, and Mario and Pikachu were must-haves, but you get the idea. Either way, this was really a great game with awesome customizable potential...

...and it's just so sad how it's ended up. Yeah, it's pretty tragic that the DS is basically the "everything goes here" console, considering the awkward feeling you get from a handheld dominating the market with anything besides Tetris and Pokemon (or is that just me? I've really migrated to the consoles...). But really, considering the catering done by the Big 3 at this point, it would take an act of God (or Kojima, since he's apparently the Voice of God) or something stunning like the Square-PhoEnix console being announced (we can all dream, can't we) to really shake and rattle the gaming industry. But really...it can happen.

Looking back at the happier times of Sega Vs Nintendo with Sony and Philips scraping for scraps to make their moves, realistically, it could've gone any way. Sony just capitalized on the main attractive features of Sega's console and took Square from Nintendo to make itself a giant, and Nintendo had just enough in the tank (*cough*Rare*cough*Mario*cough*) to get out of its hardest time. No one knew it would struggle for longer, no one knew that Sega would fail to produce great Sonic games and ultimately get blasted out of the market, and no one knew that Master Chief would rally his chosen Spartans to deliver an energy sword to a weakened Nintendo's gut and rip Rare right out of it.

This is why we play the games. And really, the video game industry alone has gone through an absolute roller coaster ride. Just because there isn't a solution at present doesn't mean that there won't be one in the future. I'm not disagreeing that LBP not being second behind MGS4 in sales isn't a travesty (it is and that's right where it deserves to be right now). However, even though Sackboy didn't make an industry-shifting splash, even though Sony and Microsoft don't look like they're going to budge from their founding userbases, and even though Nintendo is doing...um...something (seriously, are they ONLY releasing Remakes, Fire Emblem 1, and a few Cooking sims for Q1? Yes, Pokemon Platinum will be a remake, and a bad one of an undeserving game at that), there's always going to be some faint glimmer of hope out there for gaming as a whole.

Still, awesome video, thanks for taking the time for the 2% of us that matter...and then me and YouTube.

Nintenlord said...

@The Prodigy
Spore sold mostly based on hype. And there are people who consider Spore to be a casual game because it lacks content (even though lack of content has nothing to do with a games "casuality"). And the Tony Hawk and wrestling games do not rely on user generated content since those games already have content in them and user generated content is an extra.

As for Wii Music, it sold because Nintendo used proper marketing and the game is good. It just lacked the content that it needed to sell like the rest of the Wii *insert name* games. And again, people who have no idea what they are talking about labelled Wii music as a casual game.

The Prodigy said...

Tony Hawk and wrestling games rely on user-generated content to keep the replay value going, because, let's be honest, we all would like to virtually simulate what we can and can't do. In fact, if they did not give you the ability to, say, make your own types of tricks in Tony Hawk games after part 3, I doubt TH: UG would have sold any where as good as the first three.

As for Wii Music, I never said it wasn't going to be a good game. Every reviewer and their mom said that, primarily b/c they were comparing it to Rock Band and Guitar Hero, which ultimately sold much better on Wii than Wii Music, probably b/c they were out longer, or because of its content.

Lastly, I don't think you can use the whole "sold based on hype" argument for Spore, b/c that's why Halo 3 sold so much, as well as some of the 2008 games like MGS4 and GTA4. The only difference: MGS4 and GTA4 actually had some innovation, while Halo 3 was considered a creative disappointment compared to Halo 2, as well as other FP games out that year like COD:4, Mass Effect, Bioshock, and Portal. Compared to Spore, Halo 3 couldn't possibly have as much innovation to it as Spore would or did. Also, would you call No More Heroes a failure because its sales aren't in the millions, and yet it gets top billing for best Wii game of 2008 on some gaming sites, over Smash Brothers Brawl, which did sell millions, and is looked at a cheap sequel to Melee that sold on good graphics, rather solid gameplay, and well, hype? I speak to many Smash enthusiasts and they say it wasn't better than Melee, and yet, No More Heroes, despite low sales, is getting a sequel anyway.

Basically, you can call it a failure or a success, but you can't take away its creativity, which is something LBP has. I don't try to predicate a game's excellence based on sales, because if I did, then there would be a handful of games w/o creativity that should get top honors every year because their sales were great. No one should try to predicate something's success on sales. I mean, there are many Oscar-worthy films that never outsell the big money makers.

Still, it's a very unique world we live in when it comes to this type of subject matter. You can't please everyone, which kind of makes Sturgeon's Law true: 90% of everything is crap. And, if you look back at it, he has a point. Otherwise, why is it that only 10% of the movies that come out only get nominated for Movie of the Year?

Paul said...

Bob, WiiFit and Mario Kart Wii outsold Brawl.

I also think that cross platform games should be counted as combined sales, but that's really not important.

I only see LBP as a failure because of the hype. For the most part, imho, the PS3 doesn't sell because it's still priced too high. I mean, the 360 Arcade is only $50 more than the PS2!

Anyway, back to LBP. I don't think it's a flop. The game has sold over a million and a half as of now. Yes, there is a little bit of inflation here because they're bundling the game in with PS3's in Europe, but sales continue to be decent for the game. I understand the point of the video, but I think using LBP as an example might have been pulling the trigger a little too soon.

Mark said...

Nice work, as usual. It looks like everybody's comments on falling on the long-side, so i will keep mine brief.
I agree with your notion of LBP as "homeless" and I got to thinking - I think it actually would have been very successful on the wii. Wii owners clearly don't care about HD graphics (at least, not as a deal-breaker). Obviously, Nintendo's online isn't quite up to snuff, but imagine if sackboy had been replaced by Mario - it would sell amazingly well. would it be better than LBP? Probably not, but it would sell.

This was a downer, indeed.

Blake said...

Well done once again!

I think I said this in episode 5 but... I could definitely watch one of these every 3 weeks instead of once per month... if you're up for it that is.

zombie lord said...

Someone was talking about episode 11, how your video was miss informed. I can see why they think that, most economic circles: Soda, Publishing companies and yes Video game companies can not be monopolies.

You stated that Nintendo alone would be left standing, thus becoming a monopoly, impossible. This belief is incompleate.

The stagnation of video games will lead to pulling out of both Microsoft and Sony, this much is true. Nintendo will start taking no risk, they want money and they would litterly be the only game in town. But this would not be true forever.

Someone would take up arms and try for there own gamesystems, inovation would follow the stagnation and collapse. Truth be told many would take up the fight and many would be bought out, but not all, some would bring something new to the table something to make Nintendo quiver in fear.

I got a little melodramatic there but you get my point. It seems that every game generation can only support three consoles, seriously look for your self.

My hope, one of the companies that rises up is one that has already fallen. I want to see Nintendo fight Sega, them as friend is just disturbing.

Altorin said...

Hearing you mention about how Nintendo is currently plagued by a lack of third party quality control, it finally dawned on me how funny that is.

Nintendo was only able to survive the fate that befell Atari BECAUSE they had control over their third party games.

It just dawned on me that they are plighted by the same problem they helped fix 24 years ago.

You know this I'm sure, but it just got me thinking, and it might be worth some further thought.

Nintenlord said...

Nintendo's third party control is one of the reasons N64 had little 3rd party support. And Nintendo only surviving the NES days because of 3rd party control is laughable argument. They survived because NES introduced gaming to new audiences, mostly to kids, kinda like Wii is doing now. There are so many similarities between NES and Wii it's just plain ridiculous that people don't notice them.

L.B. Jeffries said...

I realize this isn't going to go over well with a lot of people but Kane & Lynch isn't a bad game. Other than a weird ducking system that is hardly game breaking, it successfully recreates the shoot-out scenes from HEAT while also cleverly borrowing from the plot.

It's particularly fun in co-op mode when Lynch's hallucinations actually factor into the game. Or how every time one of them goes down their psychological trauma haunts them and blocks out noise.

They had the balls to make a game about being a mentally disturbed psycho confronting all of the awful things he's done. No, you don't save the world. You don't help your daughter. You're a criminal robbing banks and shooting cops and they're very frank about that.

It just sucks that people rag on it as emblematic of being a bad game just because some dude got fired for not liking it.

Rena said...

Love your videos as always, and this is making me think I'm even more out of the loop for not hearing about LBP not doing that well. Really?

Also the cry of it depending on user content by Nintenlord too much baffles me. You have challenging story based content for 8 worlds with three levels each and around 3 mini games per world too, while yes the level building and enjoying others levels is part of the fun, that's not how I play the game most of the time. In fact it seems to me that like me, most people get their mileage out of playing levels together, either online or locally. I also know that about anyone I've played it with has loved it, hell my mother who isn't a gamer plays with us, and when I say she isn't a gamer I mean despite our try at anything, the only other things we can get her to play are the Tycoon games or Puzzle Fighting Turbo.

Anonymous said...

Well Bob, I know im late to the game on this video, but I must say, that was pretty interesting. There's no denying that LBP didn't do as well as it should have, and suffered some due to the massive influx of games coming out around the same time. Still, LBP is, in my eyes, proof that the once unthinkable idea of Console games with user created content, may not be so unthinkable after all. over all, Im still hoping LBP does good in the long run, as it deserves to get more attention.

I do have a question. What was that music you had going over the clip of Tatsunoku vs capcom. That sounded cool. I want that song.If anyone knows what it was, lemme know.

Great work bob, keep up the good work. Oh, and BTW, love your movie reviews on the escapist. Great work.

jordan said...

My theory?

Everyone hated the PS3.

People who had the 360 didn't play the PS3 because they were either fanboys, or just didn't see any good games. Likewise for the Wii users. The only people who actually got the PS3 were fanboys or people looking forward to MGS4; The PS3 was so expensive that many people were put off.

Also, the Handicap button for the word verification is creepy.

Ibusuki said...

I find it very interesting that you seem to accept console exclusives as a given, rather than the single thing which hurts the gamer/consumer the most in this day and age.

Just sayin'

apple said...