This topic goes hand in hand with the concept of reinvigorating series, something we talked about just last week. What I’m talking about here is where a game, something we know and love or something tiny and unknown, switches it’s format completely. I don’t mean something like Tekken switching from a Sony exclusive to a multi-platform title, it’s more along the lines of Sonic moving from a normal retail game to a episodic title with the release of Sonic 4.
Now of course I could go on and on about series in the vein of Sonic that have switched in a similar way (Bionic Commando: Rearmed springs to mind immediately), but there are two other groups that might be worth focusing on more. The first consists of games like Super Meat Boy and N+, which are both fantastic console titles but were also absolutely amazing Flash titles long before they ever made it onto the boxes under your TV.
Titles that make this move seem highly logical to me, in fact it’s a quick and simple way of testing what mechanics do and don’t work before you actually invest the money in debug units for consoles and the other costs attached even when developing for the downloadable service on consoles. On top of that you already have fans to take with you when you do move to a console, ensuring an early flurry of sales.
The second type is the increased crossover between handhelds and home consoles this generation. I mean a few short years ago it would be ludcicrous to consider games like Assassin’s Creed or God of War making the jump over to handhelds, but now it seems to be happening more and more regularly. Perhaps this is purely because of the increased capability of handheld consoles, but I think the ubiquity certainly helps.
Then of course you’ve got that odd market that you could consider a subset of handhelds in the form of smart phones, although perhaps it’s fairer to say the two are cousins. With Assassin’s Creed getting a title for Windows Phone 7 and games like FIFA and Need For Speed making the jump to a variety of mobile operating systems it seems that increasingly games that are already popular are widening their net into areas that few had considered a possibility before.
So what are your thoughts on this movement? Is more formats better? Do you like to see Flash games making it onto home consoles? Is it a bit odd having FIFA on your mobile phone?
Now to spring a surprise on you, there is an ulterior motive for selecting this topic today. We’ll be taking a break from these discussions over the Christmas break (don’t worry, we’ve got a whole heap of special content coming your way), and when we return we’ll be doing some reformatting of our own. Also make sure you keep your eye out for a special Christmas Discussion.