Notebook Dump: The Wrong Wii Question, Shopping MamaS

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.

That's all I left out this week, for better or worse. And now I'm off to get some Prototype into my weekend. And maybe some de Blob too. Yes, it's the time of year when I can catch up on neglected games. Have a good weekend everyone.