Is It Possible To Have Too Many Great Games At Once?
It's a great question to ask, because an entirely negative answer doesn't really exist. However, it's always worth talking about, primarily because everyone seems to have a wide variety of opinions on the matter.
Perhaps you hadn't noticed, but between October and November, it's not necessarily about the number of games, but more specifically, about the number of quality games in the hopper. Most of you are well aware of the usual suspects, but just as a reminder- Bioshock, Dead Space, LittleBigPlanet (review coming very soon!), Saints Row 2 (ditto!), Fable II, MotorStorm: Pacific Rift, Fallout 3, Legendary, Gears of War 2, Call of Duty: World at War, Rock Band 2, Guitar Hero: World Tour, Resistance 2, SOCOM: Confrontation, etc, etc, etc. Now, I'm certain I missed several, but that's exactly the point- is there such a thing as too many great games in too short a time? I believe there are two sides to this argument. Here's the first side:
Yes, it is: The reason is interesting. Given all these great games, it's a guarantee that a few will be so fantastic as to stand out from the rest. But as most people can't afford to purchase a half-dozen games every time they visit GameStop, it's also a guarantee that they'll have to prioritize. Most everyone will have to pick a few, and that means only the best of the best get to go home with the individual. On the flip side, this logically means that many "great" games have to take a backseat to the "amazing" titles, thereby turning them into the "instantly under-appreciated." For example, what happens if Legendary turns out to be excellent, but not quite as awesome as Resistance 2 or Far Cry 2? Yep, a truly worthwhile game goes widely ignored, and it's just no good when this happens.
No, it's not: This is as straightforward as it gets: regardless of when they come out, the industry and gamers will always benefit from more great games. While it's true that some deserving titles will be overlooked, this doesn't mean we won't get around to them at some point. There are droughts during the year, and it's always fun to have games on the back burner. Not only will you always have something to play, but those aforementioned under-appreciated titles may be cheaper by the time you get to them. Furthermore, with such a goodly array of games out there, just about everyone should be able to find something that interests them. Even if you're not a FPS fan, you've still got LittleBigPlanet. Even if you're not an action/adventure fan, you've still got MotorStorm: Pacific Rift and Fallout 3. It's just win-win everywhere you look.
So the question is, which side are you on? ;)
10/19/2008 Ben Dutka