Monday, November 30, 2009
“Some smaller shops let their customers sleep in this morning and stayed open later. WFMZ’s Pam Cunningham shows us how small shops did without newspaper ads, early hours and blow out deals.
>> REPORTER: The day after Thanksgiving and in West Reading you can see Santa window shopping for his long list.
>> EDDIE DANIELS: Everybody was really happy and buying things and saying oh I got this for Christmas, shooo don’t tell anybody here can you put this behind the counter that’s kind of fun to see.
>> REPORTER: At Curious Consignments, Daniels says Santa’s helpers were busy and helping his bottom line even in what’s considered a weak economy.
>> DANIELS: You’d never think anything was different we had a very very good day, sales have been soft for November but today you’d never know it. I mean all day long steady flow of people not too crowded, it was a fast day.
>> REPORTER: And that’s what Black Friday is all about going from the red into the black, here on Penn Avenue these shop owners say by staying open late it’s better for business for everyone.
>> LEE UMBERGER: People walk up and down the Avenue to actually look at different shops, when more shops are open yeah we definitely see more traffic in the store.
>> REPORTER: Umberger’s store 1-up Collectibles has been open for just 4 weeks.
>> LEE UMBERGER: Sales today have actually been better than what I originally anticipated being that we’ve done very little advertising so I’ve been quite impressed by the number of people that have turned into sales.
>> REPORTER: The store next door is la retro gifts. The owner says the later hours help and provide a contrast.
>> HALLIE VANSZL: We mostly had people that enjoy shopping outside of the busy-ness of the big box stores so it’s been steady all day long.
>> REPORTER: And almost all the shops plan to stay open later Thursdays through Sundays until Santa delivers.
>> DANIELS: I think people are going to be freer spending now I really feel that at least from today’s sales it was great really had a good day.”
Monday, November 23, 2009
- Games based on movies suck.
- Most games based on comics suck.
The first has been a commonly-held belief since that ill-fated E.T. game doomed the Atari 2600, though it's one that's started to fall by the wayside in recent years. The ratio of good:suck is still heavily in favour of the suck though, so rent those tie-in games first!
The second belief isn't quite so entrenched, as comic-based games have generally not fared quite so poorly when compared to their movie-based counterpart. Without a firm 'must hit shelves by the movie premiere' date to hit, comic-based games can get that extra level of polish that movie tie-ins so often lack. They don't always get that level of polish, but that's more a matter of budgeting than a necessity of time.
Sure, there are some real stinkers on the comic-based side of things - Superman 64 should have flown into everyone's mind by this point, but if not it's probably because it failed to hit a ring on the flight in and had to start all over again - but relatively few compared to the parade of stinkers that movies have given us. For every Superman 64, there's a dozen Eragon-esque clunkers that nobody should play.
It seems like the best bet has been games based on movies based on comics. X-Men Origins: Wolverine, for example, or Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2. There are stinkers to be found there as well though - both Iron Man and X-Men both somehow avoided the benefits of that unique cross-pollination.
Still, it's obvious that there's business in the realm of comic-based games. These games continually do decent sales, even if of dubious quality. Just as movies have started to tap comics for big-budget projects in recent years (Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, Watchmen, Daredevil, Wolverine, the upcoming Thor and Deadpool movies, etc...) there's room for video games to do the same.
The benefits are obvious. There's none of the risk involved with a new intellectual property (IP), you're launching a product that people already know. A Captain America game, for example, would be an immediately recognizable property to millions of current and former fans of the comics - maybe even one or two who remember the horrible movies.
no need to create a world to set the game in, that's already done for you. Similarly there's no need to create a rogue's gallery of enemies - chances are there'll be years of fodder to select from. A game based on the Flash, for example, could draw from 69 years of development and an amazing selection of enemies. Hell, base a game on a classic storyline from the past and even the plot is laid out for you!
Want an example of how great a comic-based game can be? Check out Batman: Arkham Asylum. It's the perfect example, really. No movie tie-in requiring it to hit stands on a certain date, which allowed for a level of polish that you've never seen in a comic-based game before. The developers remain true to the IP, with the biggest complaint I could think of on that front coming during a communication between Batman and Oracle when he says "They have your father."
Sounds like nitpicking, huh? Well, it is, but I still don't think Batman - with the history he's got of his communications being compromised - would ever give away someone's identity like that.Let's see more comic-based games, guys! Thor, X-Men, Deadpool, JLA, The Authority, Invincible, Captain America, Hercules, Hulk, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Hellboy, The Tick, etc... The list is endless - just do it rig