Thursday, November 15, 2007

Zak and Wiki thoughts: Why isn't it selling?

It's the name.  And the look.  And the lack of marketing.

Look at the latter.  I only know about it because I follow the gaming media.

The game is sheer awesome.  I've been avoiding even looking at gaming faqs, because so much of the fun is going "OK, so I have an umbrella, and a shovel, and - oh, wait!  I got it!"

You fail, but every level can be restarted, and once you figure it out, you can blaze right through.

But - the marketing.  The name.  The look.  I keep comparing this game to Ico.  In Ico (and it's "sequel", "Shadow fo the Colossus", everything you needed so solve an area's puzzle was right there in the room with you.  You didn't have to go back and forth across the map to solve the puzzle.  But the look is very mature, very cool, and sold rather well.

I can't help but wonder what if Capcom didn't look at the Wii as "the kid and family friendly device", and designed Zak and Wiki with that in mind.  You could have the same story-line, without the cartoon cell shaded graphics and wacky cartoon physics.  The games play and mental puzzles are *far* above that of a child - perhaps a teenager and up, at least, so the childishness was really not needed.

Don't get me wrong - I like the look, and my children are enjoying playing it with me (well, I play, they point their Wiimotes on the screen and draw lines and shout suggestions that usually don't work - but I walk them through my thinking process).  But I can't help but wonder if the game wouldn't have sold more if it had, and God forgive me for saying this, a more "mature" look and feel.

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