Friday, March 13, 2009


I wrote this blog with pen and paper at work Wednesday afternoon, but was too busy playing (surprise!) MadWorld Wednesday night to post it. Then I went to the midnight release of RE5 last night, so... Yeah. But this post was written before I had played MadWorld.

Today marks the US release of PlatinumGames first release, MadWorld for the Nintendo Wii. It is imparative that MadWorld do well. Now, just to clarify "do well" does not mean "sell as many copies as Halo 3." No, "do well" means something more like "garner critical acclaim and sell a couple hundred thousand copies."

You see, there's alot riding on MadWorld. As the first release by Capcom expatriates PlatinumGames, it will set the bar for their future releases. It's also being published by Sega, and that gives them a chance to change their image in the eyes of many gamers.

Sega's decision at the beginning of the decade to cease hardware production and development and instead focus on developing software on all platforms came as a pleasant surprise to many, myself included. Now, I love my Dreamcast, and I was a diehard Genesis fanboy in my playground days (despite owning both a Genesis and a SNES), but let's face it; the DC wasn't exactly living up to expectations on the business end of things. The Saturn before it could best be described as an abject failure everywhere but Japan. Sega was far from their most profitable days.

So, they decided to publish games for every console. This was great news! We'd see Sonic, Virtua Fighter and all the great innovation we'd come to expect from Sega no matter what machine we owned! Well... two out of three ain't bad. We saw Sonic and Virtua Fighter and Sonic and Sonic and... oh, yeah there was that Sonic game. Sega's basically become a sequel factory, and even their few interesting less pimped out franchises have become mediocritized (see: Samba de Amigo on Wii).

Recently (to cope with the continual failures of Sonic Team, no doubt), Sega's began publishing for smaller developers, like PlatinumGames, with whom they inked a multi-game, multi-platform publishing deal. Platinum, and the other developers Sega's partnered with, could help turn the reputation of the House That Sonic Built around. You see, the average gamer (especially the average Wii gamer) doesn't know or care who PlatinumGames is. They just see that big blue SEGA logo on the box and know it's a Sega game.

The aformentioned "big blue SEGA"

As for Platinum, they're comprised of mostly ex-Clover Studios employees. In the minds of many hardcore gamers, that's some pedigree, but the truth is, their games got mixed reviews. (No matter how much I love GodHand, not everyone did.) Hopefully, MadWorld will start a trend of critical acclaim, so that gamers who do look beyond the big blue SEGA will know a game with the Platinum logo is one to check out.

Look for a MadWorld review coming soon!

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