October Wrap Up
“We don’t anticipate any supply issues this year.”Nintendo made a strong showing in October’s gaming news, firstly with the announcement of its replacement for the DS, the DSi. Sporting bigger screens, two cameras and an MP3 player the DSi will likely be in high demand but, if recent reports from Japan are correct, there’s no guarantee the supply will match it.With stock shortages seemingly being a staple of Nintendo’s sales strategy these days, it was no surprise to find that a website has been set up to help consumers find both the Wii and Wii Fit this Christmas. But UK retailer GAME seemed confident that stock levels would not be a problem this year, which is probably because it snapped up most of Sainsburys’ cheap sale stock. Nintendo supremo Reggie Fils-Aime was not so confident, sinking the hearts of beleaguered parents the world over .“This is a game we felt like we needed to do”October was also the month of the big sequel reveal, starting with Bungie’s announcement of Halo 3 Recon. Although, more of an expansion than a true sequel, Bungie assured gamers that Recon will be “our answer back to our fans” and “the game we felt like we needed to do.” However, the developer also dropped hints that its next major project, outside of Recon, may not be published by Microsoft. “In theory we do have every means to go out and find the right ecosystem, the right partners, to align with. So who knows what the future will bring us,” said Bungie’s Brian Jarrard.Eidos Montreal also thrilled and concerned PC gamers in equal measure with the news that it is developing another Deus Ex sequel. Following the divided reception to Invisible War, theirs is not an enviable position and whilst the promise of a “powerful, layered narrative” is welcome, news that Eidos aims to make the game more accessible to newcomers started the alarm bells ringing.Whilst some publishers were announcing new additions to popular franchises, others were cutting back. EA announced the cancellation of Tiberium, its upcoming FPS set in the Command and Conquer universe. Citing concerns about quality as the reason for axing Tiberium, EA told gamers the development team faced “fundamental design challenges from the start.” However, only days later an alleged member of the development team hit back at “bloated management”, asserting that “the real story of Tiberium’s fate was a project being led by these incompetent leaders.”“Once upon a time to work as a game journalist at a magazine (before online) you had to be so exalted a gamer that you deserved the right to tell gamers what to buy”Games fans had an expensive month in October, as a number of top notch titles hit the shelves. First of all FIFA ’09 won this year’s football war, with addictive single player modes and a “great innovation in multiplayer”. And there was more to follow, with Lionhead’s “masterclass in gaming freedom”, Fable II, EA’s survival-horror-in-space title Dead Space and the ludicrously OTT Saints Row 2. Far Cry 2 “redefined” the series and Bethesda’s long-awaited Fallout 3 gave us a “compelling vision of a terrifying future.” However, it was not all good news for October’s releases. LucasArts’ terrain-deforming FPS, Fracture, failed to make the earth move but it was Sega’s Golden Axe: Beast Rider that caused the most controversy. Despite the impressive artwork most viewed the game to be a “run of the mill re-hash” , apart from Play Online’s Dave Halverson. Incensed by the overwhelmingly negative reviews, Halverson threw out his toys, declaring the opinions of anyone who scored the game less than seven to be invalid. “Unbelievable; I shudder to think what’s coming next”, said Dave. Presumably more moaning.