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Blog: Delayed reactions

Sorry that I didn’t post a blog last Friday. I, uh,… actually delayed it in honour of today’s topic – delays! LeggetronThis year has got to be the biggest in recent memory in terms of the number of delayed game titles. The following is a quick, non-exhaustive list of titles that were intended for launch sometime this year but have instead been pushed back to 2010:EyePet: My Virtual PetAlan WakeBlurDark VoidDante’s InfernoSplinter Cell: ConvictionAssassin’s Creed II (PC version)Bioshock 2Battlefield 1943 (PC version)Starcraft IIMafia IIRed Dead RedemptionHeavy RainModern Warfare 2… Just kidding! JUST KIDDING!Personally, I’m kinda happy that a number of these have been pushed back. Even with all the delays, I’m still struggling to keep up with all the titles I want to pick up. If the must-have titles are no longer coming out simultaneously in the lead-up to the Christmas rush, you don’t have to plonk down a significant amount of cash in one hit in order to pick them all up. Not to mention the frustrating problem of having too many awesome games to play at once and not nearly enough time to give each and every one the time it deserves.Similarly, I was reading a forum the other day when one of the posters made a really good point. For this particular forum-goer, money wasn’t an issue, and he was able to pony up the dough for multiple releases at once for the full recommended retail price. Trouble was, by the time he’d played through one or two of the games and made it to the next in his pile, those games could be readily found for significantly discounted prices owing either to retail sales or second-hand copies.It does suck, though, when a game you’ve been pining for gets knocked back by a few months. The only major disappointments for me out of the aforementioned bunch are Splinter Cell: Conviction and Bioshock 2. But if it’s going to result in a better game, then all power to the publishers in question. I want Bioshock 2 and Conviction to be epic, so I’m willing to wait if the alternative is to play a rushed and lacklustre experience.Splinter Cell: Conviction - originally due in 2007, now 2010. Better late than not great, right?Splinter Cell: Conviction is a great example of this. The first gameplay footage was unveiled in 2006, and as a huge Splinter Cell fan, I was underwhelmed by what I saw. Playing as a shaggy-haired, trench-coated version of the stealth operative Sam Fisher, Conviction appeared to ditch altogether all of the stealth elements that had become popular with fans of the series. Instead, the emphasis appeared to be on avoiding hostiles by blending into crowds, Assassin's Creed style, and combat no longer appeared to consist of hi-tech, Bond-esque gadgetry but rather uninspired close-quarters combat. It's nice to upset the apple cart every now and again, but based on the compelling attractions of previous entries in the franchise, this looked less than stellar.Fast forward to E3 2009, after a couple of development delays for Conviction had been announced, and we're met with a completely revamped and revitalised experience. Fisher has thankfully ditched the homeless get-up, and the action puts a unique spin on using the element of surprise with the use of its "mark and execute" system to tag multiple enemies and take them out in quick succession.I tried to get excited about the original vision for Splinter Cell: Conviction and the new gameplay opportunities that it may have presented. But I think that I, along with a great deal of Splinter Cell fans from around the globe, breathed a huge sigh of relief upon seeing the revised version at E3. The franchise was intriguing once more.Often, however, the delays are not in order to finish the games or give them the polish they deserve, but rather to better position the product strategically in the retail marketplace. For instance, an intelligent theory as to why so many games intended for release in the lead-up to the Christmas period have been delayed is that they would have gone head to head with arguably the most anticipated game of this year.Electronic Arts made this excuse earlier in the year for the release of The Godfather II, claiming that the game was delayed so that it didn’t compete head to head with other titles. They should have gone with the other excuse; the one about not rushing out an unpolished game. And they should have, you know, actually polished the game…Ironically, with the number of releases that are bowing out until next year, it looks like a lot of these titles might be going head to head with each other anyway…There’s a poll on the right related to delays (scroll up a little bit) – vote away!NOW PLAYING:Cursed Mountain – a survival-horror title for the Wii,! Cursed Mountain is set in the Himalayas and is based on authentic Tibetan folklore.

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