3 of the Current Most Frustrating Developers

September 8th, 2007

A while back I wrote up an article about three recent positives in the gaming industry. I’ve decided to resurrect this theme with 3 of the Current Most Frustrating Developers. In the last 2 weeks I have noticed how tragically pathetic some of these developers have been. Here’s what I have noticed:

Cruis’n:: Midway

A few weeks ago when the Games Convention over in Leipzig was going on Midway tried to steal the thunder away from some of these highly anticipated titles at the show by showcasing new screens to the hotly anticipated Cruis’n game. What they showed amazed everyone, allow the screens to do it justice:

cruisin wii midway

cruisin wii midway

How I have compressed them actually makes them look slightly better, click here to see them in full view

Yes folks, these are actual screenshots from the game. If you thought that developers couldn’t make Wii titles look any worse than they currently do then think again. This tripe thankfully did not go unnoticed, when questioned about the appalling screenshots Midway apparently stated that they were focusing on the gameplay over the graphics. Yeah nice one, like we are gonna fall for that trick, Midway.

Just for my own amusement, here are some comparison shots between the new title and the arcade games:

crusin usa n64

crusin n64

Factor 5:: Lair

Here’s the thing, I don’t want to pay out Factor 5 because their anticipated title was a complete flop. Stuff like this happens all the time and it wouldn’t be fair of me to do so. What I am going to talk about is how they tried to soften the blow.

Factor 5’s Julian Eggebrecht(Director of Lair) recently spoke to IGN about how the game was cursed from the beginning. The excuses don’t end there though, I found the following quotes very amusing:

“That is exactly the kick of creating a first-year game: exploring the not-yet-finished hardware and growing the technology while the hardware is coming together. I think both Rogue Leader and Lair gave a good stab at poking into the depths of the systems for such early titles, and from that you have a second-generation growth opportunity that surpasses most developers that jump onto the bandwagon later.”

I love how he tries to relate Rogue Leader and Lair. Unfortunately for him Rouge Leader was an awesome title, made in a shorter time limit with technology that was much more advanced than the previous generation’s technology. If they were having problems with developing the title with unfinished hardware…infact why would he even make an excuse about that? He(or his team) decided to develop on incomplete hardware, so they can suffer the consequences.

lair ps3

“The Sixaxis motion control itself feels a lot more organic and free-form than the rigid controls of other flight games and does much better for casual players, as we saw in focus tests. It does seem to alienate some reviewers who are at the top of the hardcore crowd and seem to have a passionate hate for all things motion, be it Wii Sports with sometimes absurdly low scores for what might become the defining game of this generation, or Lair as their newest poster child of evil. It’s an unfortunate development that, if the players themselves listen too much to the motion-hatred message, will divide the gaming community. Our potential for growth as an art form for the mainstream is in the easier-to-access control schemes that might be less precise but a lot of fun.”

I love how he marvels over Wii Sports after some of his previous comments on the Wii. Its also great how he tries(once again) to pair his game with a game that actually got it right. I mean seriously, check out those absurdly low scores on Wii Sports. Just awful.

Boogie|| PS2 & DS

Boogie is EA’s latest cash cow for the Wii. After they pledge their dedication to being one of the best developers for the system I can’t help but be sorely disappointed by the lack of solid gameplay. I am even more frustrated that they are pursuing this franchise and bringing it to the PS2 and DS. The trailer for the DS version doesn’t actually look half bad but the same can be said for the Wii trailers.

YouTube Preview Image

I have been meaning to get this issue off my chest for a while but it only continued to build up over the few weeks that I have taken to write this post. Please express your frustration in a commentable form if you wish.

  • I gotta say a big “meh” to both Crusin and Boogie. I was actually hoping that Boogie could turn out to be a really great game but it’s a bit of a shame it didn’t get there.

    The same can be said for Lair but after listening to an interview with the developers on EGM Live I’m not sure I agree. In the interview they talked about how some people had problems with the controls of the game which most reviewers have stated as being one of the big problems with the game. They tested among lots of different people and found that alot of people who were new to games really picked them up well while the more experienced gamers didn’t. They beleived this game down to how traditional gamers play games, thier arms are usually static while they play so a game like Lair challenged the usual conventions of play for these gamers. I think it comes down people relearning how to play games since there are major differences between traditional games and motion controlled games.

  • I haven’t listened to the podcast yet. But I should probably do so.

    Hmmm perhaps Lair is a bit like Red Steel in a way(oh god, I’m almost as bad as Julian Eggebrecht) as some people just didn’t get the game. Although I personally loved it. I guess the difference here is that

    It still doesn’t excuse him from making some of the other excuses about the title.

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