katamari damacy

de Blob [Video]

First Hour Review

de Blob CoverTim Schafer is funding a game through Kickstarter. That still blows my mind. It's been clear for some time that the existing publisher-developer model isn't ideal, and that the industry would move away from it in time, but I don't think anybody expected consumer-funding to hit the relative mainstream so soon. Of course, Schafer is one of the industry's few big names, and he specializes in an inexpensive, fan-favorite style that has been MIA for years. With that in mind, it's too early to say that the floodgates of fan-funding have been flung open. But maybe we can say that the publishers' dam has a nice new fracture in it.

THQ provides a great example of how a publisher's mismanagement can ruin a developer. Blue Tongue Entertainment was an Australian outfit that developed De Blob for Wii in 2008. The game had a modest budget and a modest advertising campaign; it was a modest success, selling just under a million copies on a console tailor-made for its target audience and lacking in competition at the time. Apparently the dollar signs blinded THQ to circumstances, and it funded a multiplatform sequel that, across four systems, didn't even meet half of the original's numbers. THQ is paying the price for such decisions, but Blue Tongue Entertainment felt the brunt of the blowback when the studio was dissolved and staff was cut.

So my De Blob first hour review and the blockbuster sales it will surely generate come far too late to save Blue Tongue Entertainment from THQ's misguided decisions. Better late than never, I suppose.

Katamari Damacy

First Hour Review

Katamari Damacy CoverKatamari Damacy is the quirky... ball rolling game released for the PlayStation 2 in 2004. In this highly original Namco game, the Prince is on a mission to restore the missing stars in the sky. To do this, he rolls up everyday household items into giant piles of junk (called Katamaris), and then his dad, the King of All Cosmos, creates stars out of them. You're probably thinking, "WTF?" and that would be entirely valid. This game doesn't hold back the weirdness at all. But sometimes I think gamers need games like this, too often we're thrust into much too serious worlds doing much too serious business.

I'm fascinated by games that are named with generally entirely original words. Though Katamari is a real word and Damacy is kind of a one-off, I applaud Namco for not changing it for the American release (and also for not changing the game's cover). Knowing the gaming industry, it probably would have been called something like Clumpy Souls. Anyways, let's get on with the review of just the first hour of Katamari Damacy.

Syndicate content