There comes a time in the week to reflect on what got into my reporter's notebook but didn't turn into Kotaku blog posts. Shall we?
Shadow Complex's Apple Debut: On Tuesday, I met Donald and Laura Mustard, the developer and public relations rep couple who showed me the August-scheduled Xbox Live Arcade game Shadow Complex. A detail they told me that didn't make it into my coverage was that, before Epic purchased their home studio, Chair Entertainment, before Microsoft signed on to publish their game, they were meeting with people at Game Developers Conference 2008... showing a video of Shadow Complex running on one of their iPhones. That iPhone video was a hit, they remembered. Laura mentioned that Epic vice president Mark Rein proudly showed off the phone. He gets excited about what developers do with Unreal tech. But, no, the game never was programmed to actually be played on the iPhone.
Modern Warfare 2 Wii MIA: Call of Duty: World at War was a hit on the Wii last year, selling more than a million copies. At E3 last month I asked Nintendo president Reggie Fils-Aime whether the series was returning this year to the Wii, or if the then non-COD-named Modern Warfare 2 was going to have a Wii version. He said that that was a question for series publisher Activision. So this week, right as the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 naming news was breaking (not the best timing), I shot Kotaku's rep for all things Activision a note inquiring about whether COD or MW was going to have a Wii presence. The response was that Activision had no information to share. So... we wait.
Xcalibur Is Sleeping: At last night's XSeed event, where I played Half-Minute Hero, Sky Crawlers and demo versions of some other upcoming games, I noticed a guy sitting in a chair inputting a character name into part of the character customization screen of Wii role-playing game Valhalla Knights: Eldar Saga. I found this odd, because there doesn't seem to be a good reason to spend time inputting a name for your character in a copy of a game you can't take home. The name he was typing in was "Xcalibur." While he was doing this, Destructoid's Samit Sarkar was interviewing an XSeed official about the game. They were being serious, so I turned to Joystiq's Andrew Yoon to remark about the guy typing in the name. OK. Funny enough. We started to leave. Then I looked at the guy again. He was passed out. Wii in hand. Asleep. Samit's interview continued. I didn't play the game, but even the most amazing games don't exactly have the most rousing name-input screens. So don't blame Valhalla Knights for this one.
Horror Needs Quiet: Also at the XSeed event, I tried the Ju-On: The Grudge sort-of-game, which is labeled by its publisher as a "haunted house simulator." I used the Wii like a flashlight to slowly walk through a dark hospital corridor. I barely got a sense of how this game is supposed to feel, which is a problem for horror titles that might be better demoed in quiet places, not noisy second floors of Japanese restaurants. (Not that horror games are ever demoed in quiet places.) Excellent detail from the official fact sheet: "Unlike any other product on the Wii, this game forgoes slow-paced story elements to offer immediate gratification with scare after scare."
No Help To Nokia: I got a call from a guy from Nokia at some point this week to speak my mind about mobile games. Um, I'm no expert. People like iPhone games, I hear? Our readers are a little interested in mobile games but not hugely interested? I said that I needed to be convinced that there are games worth playing on today's phones in order to think people will be eager for more coverage. Maybe that's happening on the iPhone, but if it's happening on other phones, I'm unaware. It's a blind spot.
I think that's all that I didn't get to this week... other than the stuff I'm saving for next week. Have a good weekend, folks. Don't yell at Owen too much.