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?
This was a weird week, as a story I was chasing didn't quite come together. New facts contradicted old facts. It was a wash. Plus, I did an interview on Monday that I still haven't gotten to publishing and am facing a week next week that'll have me in the office for about a day and a half, spending the rest of it playing Sega's fall line-up and then attending Quakecon in Dallas.
Still, a few things fell through the cracks...
For The Hardcore: I ran a Red Steel 2 story yesterday, built around an interview with the game's creative director, Jason VandenBerghe. During the interview, I had to ask him about his expectations for his game, given the unspectacular sales performances of House of the Dead Overkill, MadWorld and some other games I described as games for "hardcore" gamers. It seemed like Red Steel 2 was aimed at the same players. VandenBerghe smiled and said, "I don't get into the 'Is-there-a-hardcore-gamer-audience-on-the-Wii?' question. There are gamers who have the Wii. And this game is for gamers."
Shopping Mama: This one goes back to last week, but pertains to a posting decision I made this week. I had visited a publicity firm's office in New York to play some of Majesco's games. That included Boy and his Blob, which I did preview. I was also shown Cooking Mama 3, the upcoming DS game in the popular cooking series. I've played the core cooking parts of the series before, using a DS stylus and a Wii remote to slice, dice, stir and all the rest. I was told that one of the new things Mama 3 has is shopping. But I didn't understand the shopping sequence I tried, nor did the PR folks showing me the game. They had just received the non-translated build from its Japanese developers. I used the stylus to direct Mama through a top-down view of a supermarket. The store was filled with people walking in set paths, up and down aisles. And there were tomatoes that I needed to lead Mama to. If she bumped into the people in the store, I had to play mini-games that had the same rapid pace of standard cooking moments in the series. Shake a rattle for a crying baby. Keep sandwiches from falling off a deli counter. That kind of stuff. If I walked Mama over to the tomatoes, I was a success. But why? What does it gain Mama? Certainly she doesn't have to now shop for any ingredients that she's going to use in a recipe? Flummoxed, I decided I couldn't write a full preview of the game.