This will be a shorter post than some of my recent epics and really serves to just give a quick update on some things.

Firstly, following yesterday’s post I recieved some criticism of the final point about using the mentality of “great sales = great game”. It was pointed out to me that this was a twisting of the original message. The correct message would have been to state that, had the games under discussion not been great games then they wouldn’t have sold like they did (we’re primarily talking about Halo here). Which, whilst an easier to swallow mentality is just as flawed as the sales=greatness one. A good game should sell well. However the suggestion that its quality is the driving factor for it’s sales is far too idealistic to be taken seriously – particularly of a game like Halo. This notion is further disproved when you look at the current game charts and see a game that’s scored very average reviews dominating the charts in the way that the Spiderman 3 game is. At the end of this week the poorly reviewed Pirates of the Carribbean 3 tie-in game will be released and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see it mimic Spiderman 3’s performance. We have Shrek 3 to look forward to next. A game like Halo benefits precisely from the same status as a film-tie in – it’s profile has been manufactured to be very high indeed. Far higher than the quality of its content. Halo 2 and, of course Halo 3, will sell because they’re called Halo more than anything else.

Quality should sell a product – but it doesn’t. It’s a factor but it’s not going to make a difference if the carefully calculated positioning of media, tie-ins, promotions, publicity, and sheer might that some companies wield. Sorry, but that’s a fact and examples are everywhere. Now, it’s nice when that works in your favour and you’re a Halo fan. But gamers will argue the exact same things when they feel a game they like isn’t getting sales it ‘deserves’ due to a game they don’t like dominating the charts. Remove your emotional attachment to the game and look objectively at the product, the market and the economics and you’ll see how it works. Choosing examples selectively isn’t really a watertight argument.

On a less controversial note I’d like to let regular readers of know that the site will soon be publishing it’s first guest-written piece. At this time I have absolutely no information to share with you as to the tone or content. All I can say is that I know the author very well and have always appreciated his input into topics we discuss. Look out for it!

Finally, the Ouendan 2 soundtrack is available to you via the files area. This isn’t an official soundtrack but a collection of all the individual songs that feature in the game (yes, there’s a difference between the two). I’m enjoying this soundtrack as much as the original and favour tracks 19 and 16 in particular. 16 is an especially good example of some absolutely batshit bonkers over-the-top j-pop-screaming. The game’s not bad either. Enjoy.

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