New Games Plus: week of 10/28/08

This week, the real heavy hitters are coming out, just in time for Christmas. These games will sell out across the country, as grubby hands reach for them. Parents will buy them in droves.

And nobody here cares about any of them. There’s something I noticed during the three years I spent working at a GameStop that happens way more than most people care to talk about, and that’s the fact that budget games sell well and children’s licensed games sell even better. Sure, your Halos and your Grand Theft Autos sell millions and millions of copies, but I’m sure that the other games cost a helluva lot less to make.

These games are wildly successful for two main reasons; one, the names carry a lot of weight. When a kid wants the Ben 10 movie and the Ben 10 action figures and he was Ben 10 for Halloween, it’s not a hard leap to add in the Ben 10 video game as well. When a parent’s shopping for their child and they see a video game with a character they recognize, there’s a greater chance that this parent is going to purchase said item from recognizable franchise.

And then you have the bargain shoppers. The people who buy games based on price. In a landscape where the average game comes out at a whopping sixty dollars (and then collector’s and limited editions running upwards of a hundred and thirty dollars), a game that’s priced at thirty or forty looks way more attractive, or hell, even fifteen in the case of Playstation 2 games. In these trying economic times, a penny saved is a penny not lost to the stock market. People are freaking the hell out about this economy thing (and with good reason), but they’ll still make sure little Billy has his bull riding video game.
So what does this mean to you, the hardcore gamer? Not a damn thing. Maybe you’ll see TV Show King Party at Best Buy while you’re heading to grab LittleBigPlanet, or you’ll laugh at the bull rider on the cover of Out Of The Chute, but that’s the extent of these games imposing on your hardcore game time. Besides, I seriously doubt that any retailer outside of Wal-Mart is going to purchase more copies of the latest Dora the Explorer game than Fallout 3.

Without further ado, I present to you the video game releases for the week of October 28th, 2008, judged entirely on their covers.


Score International: Baja 1000: Wait, didn’t this game come out a few months ago? I could have sworn that I’ve seen those happy off road vehicles riding through the Baja before. Ohh wait, that was a different game with almost the same name. At least I’m not the only one who noticed.

Ben 10: Alien Force: Kid with a magical wristband is either projecting out an evil spirit or sucking it in. Either way, his two sidekicks don’t seem to mind.

Disney’s Think Fast : It took me approximately two seconds to see this and realize I never want to play it. Ever. Was that fast enough for you, Disney?

Dora the Explorer: Dora Saves the Snow Princess: It’s obvious from this picture that Dora clearly possesses some sort of mystical crystal that probably houses the souls of demons whom she will release upon Swiper to prevent him from swiping. Forget “Swiper no swiping”; Dora’s got the devil on her side.

Professional Bull Riding: Out of the Chute: I’m going to avoid the all-too-easy bestiality joke and just say “It’s a bull riding game.” sigh

TV Show King Party: I don’t even know how those words are divided. Is it supposed to be “TV Show King: Party” or maybe “TV Show: King Party”? Because a party of TV Show Kings is much different than a TV show about king parties.

11 thoughts on “New Games Plus: week of 10/28/08

  1. When you told me you were only going to cover the shovelware on one of the biggest release weeks of the year, I was like “damn, that’s ballsy”. And now you’ve done it. Kudos on your subversive wit! The commenters who always rush in to complain about the titles you’ve missed will probably all die of heart attacks.

  2. Wii Fit has outsold GTAIV. There’s something that warms my heart about that, even though I can articulate the fear that courses through a gamer’s veins about Nintendo’s successes – in the end, a lot of people like games as narrative experiences (even if, like most games that aren’t Valve’s, they’re pretty poor at integrating those stories into the actual game), and what Nintendo’s making money off is games in the more traditional sense – a set of rules with varying outcomes.

  3. I’m definitely getting TV Show King Party, I prefer disc releases to downloadables and the price isn’t bad. Saves some room in the fridge and it’s more fully featured. Wouldn’t mind if other WiiWare titles such as Helix and My Life as a King also took the retail route in their sequels / updates.

  4. Not that I’ve ever been a Dora the Explorer fan, but has it seemed lately like Dora has been co-opted into the traditional Barbie role? She’s gone from a fairly harmless “Teach kids about other cultures” to “Magic Snow Princess Fairy Dora with Light Up Sparkle Crystal Shoes”.
    It’s kind of funny. If Dora had a benevolent creator that only wanted to teach kids to respect different cultures, I have to imagine that s/he is beating their head against the nearest wall right now.

  5. That episode of Billy and Mandy with PANDora is seeming more and more appropriate these days.

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