Opinion: Top five next-gen titles that I don't care about
As excited as I am about the imminent arrival of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, I still can't help but feel a bit of preemptive disappointment. I'm not talking about some kind of misplaced nostalgia for my Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3—although, there's definitely a bit of that. I'm talking about the games.
This year has been a spectacular year for videogames, and it's all happened in the death throes of the current console generation. Titles like Tomb Raider, Bioshock Infinite, The Last of Us, and Grand Theft Auto V all hit the market in 2013, and we can't forget yearly franchises like Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed.
Unfortunately, we don't really know when the industry will give us another year like 2013, because newly minted consoles are (almost) always plagued by one inescapable problem: launch lineups suck.
Sure, both systems have a few gems. Dead Rising 3 and Killzone Shadow Fall look wonderful, but every time I check out the launch lineups, I can't help but feel like my pre-order dollars were wasted. So, as a public service to the GameZone readers, and an excuse to complain for a few hundred words, here are five next-gen launch titles that you may want to avoid.
This game has the potential to be one of the most interesting pieces of software on the Xbox One. Still, let's be honest, mainstream gamers probably won't be scrambling to pick up a copy.
This is because it's not really a game at all. Team Dakota, the developer behind the title, calls Project Spark a "digital canvas." Its primarily geared toward players who are interested in creating their own game. And, as much as I want to believe that the world is filled with potential Project Spark players, the number of people who would rather create a game than play one is probably fairly small.
I would love to be proven wrong, though. But my pessimism is getting the best of me.
Ryse: Son of Rome
Like any good drug dealer, Microsoft has been pushing Ryse: Son of Rome since the Xbox One was announced in May. After all, nothing says "next-gen" like a game that's made up entirely of quick time events.
Sure, the graphics themselves are fairly impressive, but I got the chance to play Son of Rome at E3, and, like most people, I wasn't impressed. The controls were simplistic and poorly executed, and the game's interface was surprisingly disruptive.
When the Xbox One hits the market, I'll give Ryse: Son of Rome another chance. But unless Crytek, the game's developer, has made some major changes, I'll probably just keep playing Dead Rising 3. Considering that Son of Rome has been in development since 2010, I'm not crossing my fingers.
For some reason, every time a new console hits the market, developers feel the need to release a game that's actually an undercover tech demo. Anyone who's played Little Deviants or NintendoLand knows exactly what I'm talking about.
When Sony unveiled Knack, I remember thinking that the title looked like an extremely impressive tech demo but an extremely unimpressive game. With the review scores already starting to add up, it seems that my predictive powers are quite impressive.
Knack is a game that flexes the PS4's particle physics prowess by breaking the character into hundreds of tiny pieces and forcing the processor to track all of them in real time. Like I said, it's all very impressive, but if Minecraft has taught us anything, it's that gamers care less about processing power than they do about gameplay.
Angry Birds Star Wars
Sure, you could just whip out your cellphone and purchase a copy of Angry Birds Star Wars for 99 cents, but wouldn't you rather spend $49.99? Because that's what you'll pay on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
However, that extra 49 dollars will net you 20 exclusive levels, so it's probably worth the cost. Right?
I can't even describe the depressed look on my mother's face when I told her that Peggle 2 would be a timed exclusive on the Xbox One. "Why can't I play it on my cellphone?" she sobbed. "I'm sorry, mother. I don't understand it either," I responded.
Peggle is a genuinely addictive franchise, but most people play it as a workday destruction or treatment for boredom. It's a mixture of Breakout, Atari's 1976 classic, and Pachinko, a type of Japanese slot machine.
Peggle 2 isn't the kind of game typically associated with a long development time, but PopCap, the game's developer, recently announced that it won't be finished in time for the Xbox One launch.
I can barely contain my excitement.