Features// SPOnG's Review of 2007: January/February

Posted 28 Dec 2007 11:02 by
Well, 2007's just about up. I bloody well wish someone had told me.

That means, of course, that while the games industry puts its feet up on a great fat wad of cash, SPOnG's taking a look at the year gone by. The highs, the lows. The laughter, the tears. The moments our souls teetered on the brink of devastating horror, the involuntary ejaculations of nerdgasmic glee. You get the picture. So, as you warm your toes by the Yuletide fire, surrounded by the produce of what EA's called Murderer's Row, cast your eye over SPOnG's big fat review of the year.


"I’m seriously thinking about what is the future of entertainment via visual or audio or stimulation by good vibration. My DNA of creation is coming from like a ‘sensorama’ concept or games like ELIZA [an early therapist sim] and crazy, experimental games based on new science …so I’m always thinking what should we do, not only for amusement, but to expand our consciousness in different ways so … ‘trippy’… yeh, that is good."
Tetsuya Mizuguchi – Head of Q Entertainment - 19/01/2007
Mizuguchi on Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll

So, January happened. We all feeling a bit fat and a bit hungover. Basically, reeling from the frantic holiday season and the Wii console launch that had gone with it is what we were doing.

Tetsuya Mizuguchi
Tetsuya Mizuguchi
It was the DS, it turned out, that had made a platform holder the most well-to-do as we all scurried around like ants on speed the month before. An impressive 1.7 million DSes had been sold in Europe the previous December, we learned. That little gem of retail magic had helped make the DS the fastest European games machine to hit the 10 million sales mark in... well, ever. So, a good start to the year for Nintendo.

Having missed the Christmas 2006 launch window for the PS3 in Europe, Sony wasn't off to quite such a rockin' start. It did set itself up nicely, however, with it emerging that the PS3 would launch on March 23rd over here in Europe. At £425, no less.

Microsoft, it seemed, carried on as ever. The big kahoona over at the Xbox 360 manufacturer – Bill Gates himself - did take a moment of his time to take a decisive stab at the competition, however, dismissing Nintendo as a competitor and saying that Sony doesn't know what it's doing. Pleasant way to start a year, Bill.

Meanwhile, Oxford Street got descended upon by hordes of (slightly terrifying, in some cases) MMO fans, as World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade launched and showed us that dammit, you can launch a big game in January and still terrify the masses. Blizzard also managed to show us that a girl can wear a World of Warcraft t-shirt and still look tasty. Cause for alarm? Possibly...

SPOnG was also a bit delighted with our chat with he of Every Extend Extra and Lumines fame - Tetsuya Mizuguchi. You can find more gems about his "DNA of creation" here.

Jack Thompson - anti-games crusader
Jack Thompson - anti-games crusader
SPOnG's all-time favourite (yes, 'all-time', we'll stand by that) anti-games crusader managed to grab himself a headline or two, too. Charming Samaritan that he is, Jack Thompson elected to help the family of a missing gamer from Illinois over in America. Naturally, the lad had fallen victim to the evils of MMOs (watch yourself, ye hordes of Oxford Street). He went missing for a week or so and was found in the home of – you guessed it – a fellow gamer! Evil stuff, going to hang out with your mates and play games. Despicable.

Naturally, with it being a month of the year and stuff, some games came out. With it being the first month of the year, however, there weren't that many of note. Aside from the aforementioned Burning Crusade, we got WarioWare: Smooth Moves (reviewed here), Lost Planet: Extreme Condition (see what SPOnG thought here) and... not a lot else. It was January, though. What are you gonna do?
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