Sega, PlatinumGames discover strange new formula for creating great 3rd party game on the Wii


Is this the beginning, or the end? Has Sega risen from the ashes of its hedgehog-on-human kissing scenes? Has PlatinumGames unlocked the much sought-after “mature third party game that works on the Wii?”

Who knows. All I know is that the mags and rags are gushing over MadWorld right now. The art style works. The violence connects. A third party game has clicked. It’s not the first, but this one, especially, had a pretty big wave of hype driving it forward.

Now, will it sell? 😉


  1. Has Sega risen from the ashes of its hedgehog-on-human kissing scenes?

    Michael Fahey, is that you?

    Jack, you should know that I have great respect for you. After all, it’s because of you that through this site, I learned about Malstrom and his articles. Like Malstrom, you don’t really subscribe to terms such as “hardcore” and “casual”.

    But before you go down the same road traveled by many a Kotaku editor (i.e. become an insufferable, pessimistic douchebag), let me ask you one question: Now, be honest: have you even played Sonic 360?
    Sonic doesn’t kiss a human. A human kisses Sonic, and it’s only to revive him from death/unconsciousness.

    Now, you’re the last person I ever expected to jump on the illogical Sonic hate bandwagon and mention this, because really, it is a very petty issue and the scene does not qualify as bestiality in any particular way. It’s something that could have happened in a Disney movie and people would have thought nothing of it. In fact, this has already happened before: in the Sonic the Hedgehog anime OAV (produced by Sonic Team, in 1994!) Princess Sera kissed Knuckles on the nose for saving her life. Just a few scenes earlier the same character was fawning over Sonic and how brave and handsome he is.
    But I’ve never heard of anyone who watched that movie and reacting to those scenes in the way people reacted to the scene of Elise kissing Sonic. Each time Kotaku mentions it, they exaggerate the truth a little more; now they’re saying Sonic made out with a human—which is as ridiculous as saying Snow White made out with the Prince.

    And ultimately, despite the trashing the series continues to receive, people still buy the games. I don’t know if you’ve actually played many of the recent titles, Jack, but if you haven’t I challenge you to play one of them, not looking to the past to see if it lives up to past Sonic games, but simply judging them by their own merit. I don’t know about you, but I grew up playing some really crappy NES games. And you know, simplistic and flawed as they may be, I still have fun with many of them. I don’t think many, if any of the recent Sonic titles are as flawed as, say, Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Adventure Island, but damn if I didn’t have fun playing Sonic and the Secret Rings, and I’m having a good bit fun with Sonic and the Black Knight, too. Just don’t expect another Sonic the Hedgehog 3 or Sonic Adventure 2, because those games were made by people who left Sonic Team long ago. So maybe Sonic isn’t what he used to be…but there’s no use bitching about it and saying the games aren’t fun when in fact people still buy them, and the Sonic fan community is as large as it’s ever been. SEGA is doing something right. Obviously there are quite a few people enjoying Sonic’s latest games! It’s not the end of the world just because these games don’t hold up to the standards held by games made by an entirely different Sonic Team nearly 20 years ago.

  2. The first thing that hits you is the graphics detail level. Every thing is textured really really well. Plus hardcore gamers needed this game type to come back.

    Seriously an impressive game with impressive design. They went all out on this game and it shows. Count in lots of frustrated gamers that have been laid off and you got your self a great stress re-leaver.

    Design wise and the bosses are down right beautiful. This shows why realism has been holding gaming back!

    I’m glad to see Platinum on the Wii. I think this game will sell, yet if platinum some how got say wu tang or some other big hip hop group on it things would have been really outrageous. Just imagine GTA with out rap and music stations?

    Yet hopefully the game sell really well.

    I have a question for Infendo readers though. If the music was not rap what would you rather have? List what you listen to I’m very curious and don’t be shy I am only wondering what audiences come here. Not every one like hip hop or rap, etc.

  3. gogo gadget sales!

  4. WOW Poochy I’ve never been a sonic fan but I have always been a fan of the art design and some of the older music, which I still play in my music line up. I’ve never really cared for the game play. Yet I see some thing similar happening. People that know they have not played a game claiming they have. I mean testing it out to fill out the check boxes is not like playing a game.

    I remember mario kart when I first got it. Man I was sliding all over the place and could barely play. I’m betting money that game would get very low reviews from many reviewers today, yet if it had HD graphics or realism certain things would be over looked and the graphics would pull the score up.

    Poochy you strike a nerve here. No because you mentioned Kotaku, which sucks and any one who goes there from the game industry should be fired, yes I said it! Games are not judged on their platform any more.

    Genesis games use to be judged on Genesis games and the same went for other systems. I mean really compared to the snes audio wise the genesis couldn’t even hope to compete. Yet their games still got good scores for audio.

    It’s like DS games are compared to PSP right? Nope no one even thinks about it. Yet the Wii is still looked down on along with other fanboy targets like say sonic. I love the art and seeing the stages, levels but It’s not my type of game I completely understand why. It’s game play opinion, and I loved the classic art design. 3d doesn’t impress me any more and I’m waiting on the next upgrade so 3d can match 2d’s level of art.

    Seriously Wii games are in competition with Wii games. HD games are in competition with HD games for the simple fact that they actually have the same games. The Wii’s power puts it in it’s own category, much like the GB, GBA, SNES, Neo-geo, etc.

    Casual gaming is not going to kill console gaming, PC like gamer are going to kill console gaming. There is a reason why epic can not get any one to play UT3. So much bad has been said about it by the PC community, the same happened to id and doom3. They are given the crown for having great tech but quickly have any praise of their art taken away. Yet rightfully so…… PC gamers are way more critical due to the cost of the system. That is a function of high end and some thing which does not support BS.

    All of those NES games that Poochy mention where fun because I didn’t care about justifying the high price of the equipment. More gamers skip games now just to save money. How many games can you get with $300 extra dollars? It’s even affecting the HD consoles. The hardcore and not a great target audience because they are hardcore. You need the people who are open minded and willing to play some thing new. The hardcore gamer now at least the ones online online want what they would make.

    From what I’ve seen they want more art than game. At least compared to what a traditional game would be. Some where they are almost trying to cross into the newer art movements found in real arts digital realm.

    I remember gaming being much more fun when it was not trying to take it self so seriously. You have more critics than fans in this industry now. Then on top of that most of the critics always act as if they could do better when they don’t even know what limits are set in front of the systems. Hype has spawned a lot of misinformation and fanboy fights have given that information relevance.

    These fights are promoted by sites like kotaku. They do nothing for gaming. They actually make things worst.

    Maybe it’s not kotaku but maybe it’s just internet culture. The circle is actually quite small. Then those few are echoed through out the internet in other blogs. It’s always good to be able to ban people but really a lot of good posters are banned to make room for yes men or shall I say echo men.

    I guess the only thing good that can come out of this is another dreamcast….. some is going to have to go down and the hardcore that love bickering will soon leave.

  5. @Poochy: I apologize. You have me. The last Sonic title I enjoyed was Sonic Rush on my DS. Hypocrisy exposed, and I promise to never again mention any meme currently or in the future-ly attached to Sonic.

    But you can’t seriously argue that there isn’t a certain stigma attached to Sonic/Sega titles these days, and that this very real stigma is not, if we’re being completely honest with ourselves, completely and solely attributable to the writers’ choice of words over at Kotaku?

  6. so i think this game has some great potential for sales, it just depends on the disposition of the market towards the “mature” content.

    this game is a mario game in gears-of-war-clothing. it’s easy to play, it has the motion mimicking controls that the wii crowd was drawn to the console for (waving arms > buttons for the wiiers), it has a clean and slightly cartoony aesthetic, and the focus is on DOING, not role playing (like a wiisports of beat-em-ups).

    further, the violence is practically funny in an itchy and scratchy way. i really like pachter’s recent fast food analogy, and this truly is a hamburger. maybe even a happy meal. it’s predictable, uncomplicated, and familiar in all the right places.

    this may propel its sales above conduit even, again depending on the disposition of the crowd to these games. i’m really not sure of that disposition. i can see some of the casual wii owners i know picking this up- the guys to have a laugh and the girls because it’s “in” and amusing. whereas they would pass on the conduit because the fps emphasis is less attractive.

    that’s my take on the mass appeal.

  7. I think the game will see sales just a tad bigger than No More Heroes, simply due to the fact there are more Wii owners now, and advertising for this game has been strong.

    I however, am going to rent it as it doesn’t seem there’s too much replay value.

  8. “Has PlatinumGames unlocked the much sought-after “mature third party game that works on the Wii?””

    Yeah, apparently they made a good game. It’s as simple as that. 😉

    Then again, it depends on what you mean by “works”. Because if you really mean “sales”, well, no one can control that. Great games sometimes just don’t sell (just ask Tim Shafer).

  9. “Yeah, apparently they made a good game. It’s as simple as that”

    I don’t doubt it. Sometimes I forget that my sarcasm or criticism of lazy, inaccurate Internet memes doesn’t translate into my writing as well as I’d like. No more blogging at work, I guess 🙂

  10. i hope it sells and sells a lot to motivate other 3rd party developers to get their butts in gear. it looks great and i can’t wait to get my grubby little hands on one. also i didn’t think jack was referring to bestiality when referring to sonic getting kissed by a human i thought he was poking fun at the lameness. someone takes things a little too seriously…

  11. that is so cool!

  12. @Poochy
    I will be damned if I cheer for some Sega fan on a Nintendo fan site, go back to kotaku.
    I NEVER liked Sonic series, yea, I said it. I had the Genesis before SNES because I still loved NES. And the only reason that I had Genesis is after I had been blown away by Contra: Hard Corps as a little kid. I had to beat that game, my ego driven me to beat that game. And I did it, that’s freaking right. I beat “that” game straight up, no cheat, US version, no guide. After that challenge, Sonic series felt like joke to me. They are too easy, I couldn’t have any fun playing it. Especially, the bosses. Remember this is right after I kept murdering huge robots that had multiple forms with 3 touch and you die lives, with limited continues.
    Now I am able to control an entire universe with a key board and a mouse in Sins of a Solar Empire, So, I don’t think simple slash and hack like MadWorld could satisfy what I am looking for in a game these days.

    Truth be told, I want to stay away from these kind of games, I know I sound like a tool, but I can’t help it, I don’t want wake up and feeling like a mad man anymore. Cheers to be a square and all that crap. And of course, Sega lost the war, remember it, , cry about it and beat it.

  13. I hope it sells well, but I for one will never buy it. Not my type of game. Or one that I want my five kids (all young) to try. When they get older and move out, all power to them.

    I am interested in keeping my platform of choice alive and vibrant. And that means all genres succeeding.

    So good luck to you, Madworld.

  14. I actually don’t believe this depends on the audience on the Wii. This game won’t sell for the very same reasons No More Heroes, Killer 7, and to a lesser extent Okami, Godhand and Viewtiful Joe didn’t sell. It’s not that the market for these games isn’t available on Wii. It’s that the market for these games simply doesn’t exist, as the release of Killer 7, Okami, Godhand and Viewtiful Joe on the PS2 all established.

    In the hyper/pisstake violence category there simply isn’t a market, even on Harcore consoles. I assume the reason is that gamers who like overthetop violence are largely without a sense of humor, and as such don’t ‘get’ parody and satire, and especially don’t get it if it doesn’t fit in their dual analogue FPS play style. The majority don’t see the obscure point (and it is a bit obscure). The rest of the populace are genuinely put off by the overthetopness of the violence.

    As for the Okamis, Viewtiful Joes, and to some extent Jet Set Radios of the world? Well, the core don’t like the abstract non-‘realism’ of the cell-shaded style, and the rest of the world don’t like dissociating abstract styles from ‘kid’-oriented gameplay – traditional franchise platformers, puzzle games and I guess party minigames. In fact this similarly applies to the recent failures of Viva Pinnate!, it’s sequel and Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts!

    As I say, I’m quite sure Madworld won’t sell, and no amount of “Internet Game Blog/Game Forum” minority hype is going to change that.

  15. @Elmer, well said and I agree; sadly. v.v

    Plus the time length of Madworld is going to offset a lot of people from buying the game.

  16. @ elmer

    gta4 has violence and humor. in fact, it has satire; just the radio in the game has more instances of satire than madworld will. gears of war is pretty over the top gory. prince of persia is cell shaded and generally regarded as core (even if apparently easy). also see: wind waker. general audiences are accustomed to abstract adult gameplay as well. south park, for instance.

    so i guess i’m not sure what you’re saying.

    also, i’d like to point out that a couple months ago some people wanted the best-of rankings to be based on pure popularity and sales, so i guess wiisports could sit at the top as best game ever or something.

    but, i’d say you’re making a case for using some evaluation criteria that is not shared by the masses. i agree with this approach.

  17. Well I don’t think it’s the top read article on ign for nothing…

    I gotta say I’m hella excited to see this game in my collection. It takes challenges and is just great guilty pleasure fun. It doesn’t apologize for taking chances and should prove to sell well.

  18. Fahey, get off the Sonic hate-wagon. It has no place here. It’s beating a dead horse. Sega is Sega. Sonic Team is Sonic Team. Give it a rest.

    Now, I think this game looks really cool but I’m afraid it might overshadow HotD: Overkill. That’s another really fantastic title. I think Sega has struck some gold here but they run a risk releasing the two titles so close together. I think Madworld could’ve waited until April.

    But yeah. I’m sure it will sell. Sega games sell loads on the Wii and not just their “childish” titles like Super Monkey Ball and Sonic that cater to a wide demographic. Did you know that the House of the Dead 2&3 Return is the single best selling House of the Dead video game and is close on its way to becoming a million seller? And it’s M-Rated!

  19. I’d counter your examples by citing that:

    GTA4 doesn’t contain extraordinary and unrealistic violence ala these games. While it is satirising the violent cultures it depicts, it’s not exactly satirising the violence itself. More over, I suspect a large portion of the audience it hit (adolescent males) actually didn’t get the joke. But I accept your point and perhaps offer that it’s the breakout exception that proves the rule.

    Gears of War ticks all of the traditional play style boxes, and revels in its violence in a most certainly non-parodious way. There’s nothing it does that Doesn’t appeal directly to the core, and so they accept it.

    Wind Waker was the epitome of the traditional franchise, and frankly saw a massive sales decline from the heights of Ocarina of Time (Majora’s Mask was quite late into the N64 lifecycle) which subsequently prompted Nintendo to go extra classical with Twilight Princess.

    The recent Prince of Persia (the cell shaded one NOT on the Wii) has reputedly been a commercial flop. I suppose I could also counter argue against myself that Viva Pinnate! was a commercial success, but that was largely because it was bundled, and not matched by its sequel.

    South Park certainly fits your bill, but then it is a TV show, not a game. I’m not saying the same acceptance couldn’t apply, and certainly it’s not like these games have sold zero, but I’d say by and large the data currently indicates otherwise. Perhaps it’s related to the interactive nature of games. The regular masses (not the crazed Xbox Live crowd) are willing to laugh at Kenny exploding, but not quite as willing to disembowel him themselves.

    I know that it’s far from a hard and fast rule, but I reckon if you make a weird cell/reductionist visual style game with impossible violence, then your chances are poorer than a hyper ‘realistic’ game with lots of ‘realistic’ violence. Mad World is that game. Its shouldn’t be the standard bearer for 3rd party Wii core sales potential.

    As for Wii sports, well, it’s done more to interest regular people in gaming than just about everything since Tetris. Id say this merits it some serious recognition. Maybe I agree it deserves that title.

  20. For a laugh, I propose a set of development laws for the Wii

    More Violence \= More Core Sales

    Cell Shading \= More Casual Sales

    Core Appeal + Casual Appeal \= Core + Casual Sales

  21. Personally, I never played the 360 Sonic. I don’t have anything except for Nintendo systems. I will save you the trouble of swearing me out…

    Shame on me!

    MadWorld looks like a good game. Graphically and…
    graphic-content-ly… Nintendo Power has listed a number of violent ways to murder people in this game.

    They all sound AWESOME!!!!!!!

  22. man- youve defined its category so narrowly that madworld is the only thing in it. no other game you cited even is in it.

    nfl blitz had basically the madworld violence and aesthetic in a football game. sold fine and was (is) a blast.

    wiisports… meh. if people were starving and then given a big mac, and now theyre all into big macs, i wouldn’t say that makes big macs better than steaks. ever.

  23. @ deepthought:

    What about Big Mac’s? That made no sense. Did you just compare Wii Sports to a crappy burger?

  24. yeah i did lite

    google “pachter mcdonalds”

    also, i like big macs. though big n tasty’s are better. (yeah yeah… that’s what she said. right)

  25. @elmer simply put dual analog and FPS is killing gaming.

    Madworld actualy comes down to nintendo marketing to the right people or sega marketing to the right people.

  26. @ RoyalRook:

    Contra Hard Corps? That brings back memories of 1994. Ah….1994.
    When Sonic & Knuckles, Donkey Kong Country, and Earthwork Jim all came out within a few months of each other.

    Shame you’ve failed at growing up since then.

  27. @ HDMaverick:

    I remember gaming being much more fun when it was not trying to take it self so seriously. You have more critics than fans in this industry now. Then on top of that most of the critics always act as if they could do better when they don’t even know what limits are set in front of the systems. Hype has spawned a lot of misinformation and fanboy fights have given that information relevance.

    These fights are promoted by sites like kotaku. They do nothing for gaming. They actually make things worst.


  28. @ poochy, hdmaverick

    guys, THIS site has done plenty towards fights and flames. Jack’s first article (1st one i noticed anyways) was to announce that gears of war wasnt as good as everyone says. on a nintendo site.

    that was pure bait/troll/flame-waiting-to-happen material that caused discord among this site’s staff AND was even picked up on Joystiq.

    as i’ve said before on this site- there was a time when nintendo fans just came here to enjoy their nitnendoness. not being number one, we were like cubs fans- our enjoyment hurt no one.

    but now tons of fans HERE have justified rubbing nintendo’s sales dominance in everyone’s face and letting everyone know how much better nintendo is.

    whether it’s kotaku or here, this is the wrong mentality. but don’t just point the finger at kotaku. there’s plenty of trolling that has been done here, even in official capacities.

  29. But Gears of War really isn’t as good as everyone says. In fact, it’s somewhat silly and 100% predictable (“kind of like your posts, right Jack? yuk yuk”).

    Its attempt at “expanding audiences” by throwing in a “love story” and more bromance than an MTV reality series was also rather pathetic, and is unfortunately indicative of how a large swath of “core” developers think they can grow their revenues these days.

    So I still stand by that opinion, even if other more passionate opinions or columns of mine have changed since then.

    This is a Nintendo blog, for Nintendo people. I agree. But as a former semi-hibernating news man, I’m constantly looking to put the company’s success in context, not regrugitate and commentate on press releases all the time. And as a blogger, that means I’m going to compare the company to the competition with as much smugness and snark as I am able. Doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the criticism, however. Far from it.

    Also, I don’t blame Kotaku for anything, for the record, and that’s not because I work for the same controlling company.

  30. @deepthought

    “as i’ve said before on this site- there was a time when nintendo fans just came here to enjoy their nitnendoness. not being number one, we were like cubs fans- our enjoyment hurt no one.”

    Well said! I’m a Cub fan as well as Nintendo fan. At this point, its hard to be passionate about either after Chicago’s playoff collapse last year, and Nintendo’s lack of games I’m personally interested in. Oh well, as long as I don’t have to wait 100 years for the next Mario I’ll be alright.

  31. @ deepthought:

    Yeah. She did say that. I don’t go to McDonald’s as much anymore. But apparently, the casual lazy gamer considers the Big Mac to be better then a steak, ’cause they think Wii Sports is the coolest thing.

    Wii Sports is a good game. Not totally awesome or freaking cool, but it’s enjoyable. It and the entire Wii Series (Sports, Play, Fit, Music) do a good job of showcasing the Wii’s abilities, and I think that’s what they’re meant for.

    Show of hands-er, typed words. Was Gears of War really good? I don’t have anything but Nintendo stuff, as recently established.

  32. I had a Big Mac yesterday for the first time in months. Damn, it sure was tasty.

    But then I felt crusty for the rest of the day.

  33. i had a great time with gears. it was a bit easy, but played through on coop with a friend and had great fun coordinating against the baddies. also, it looked sweet in hd, or even not in hd.

  34. Krusty Burgers ftw!

  35. Chicago ftw!