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Which console had the best/worst launch games?


Asura
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Saw this in the "videogame confessions" thread:

I truly believe that the vita has had the most comprehensive, best overall quality launch of any console.

It made me think about past console launches, some of which naturally were better than others.

In my case, the launch I remember most fondly was the N64, and I think it's among the strongest ever, due to having Mario 64, WaveRace 64 and Mario64, among others. Mario 64 at the time was one of my favourite ever games, and the other two were very strong titles. Most consoles get 1 title that is extremely good (such as the Xbox with Halo) but very few get three high quality titles. Conversely, I remember being totally underwhelmed with the PS2's launch games; it's not like Driving Emotion Type-S was ever likely to become a classic - though at least it had Tekken Tag.

Which console do you feel had the strongest launch line-up? Which one do you feel had a poor one? I'd say it's also worth considering games within a console's "launch window", so the first few weeks of the machine's life - naturally though what is "launch window" and "first wave" is somewhat debatable, but that doesn't really matter.

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I think you were spot on with the PS2 launch lineup... Very weak. Conversely the Playstation release was great, Wipeout, Ridge Racer, Toshinden all showing off this new 3d graphics stuff... Amazing scenes!

Yeah true. The PS1 launch (in the UK at least) certainly made a splash. I was expecting a Saturn for Christmas and only got to play on a PS1 a week before Christmas day; I remember being blown away by Tekken. Fortunately Virtua Fighter and Daytona USA, with the soon-to-be-along Virtua Cop helped me not be disappointed with my decision.
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I'm not sure how many of the titles were there for launch, but the Dreamcast selection kept growing like mad in quality over a very short space of time. Amazing stuff.

Mario World and Mario 64 has to have both been just as big launch-wise and not just looking at the quality of the games themselves (otherwise I'd edge on the N64 as well, but no, 3 freaking games then nothing for a very long time, PLUS a price slash shortly after launch is not a good launch, even if you do have one of the best games ever made on it).

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I'm not sure how many of the titles were there for launch, but the Dreamcast selection kept growing like mad in quality over a very short space of time. Amazing stuff.

My fondest memory of the Dreamcast (and I'm in danger of sounding like Clippa here) is that all the games I saw in the launch window were 60fps - Shutoku Battle, Soul Calibur, VF3TB, Sonic Adventure, Sega Rally (even though its framerate was a little inconsistent)... I finally thought we were going to have 60fps as a standard. How wrong I was. :(

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The PS2 lineup totally underwhelmed me, then a friend got one and I played SSX, which blew my tiny mind. The graphics, physics and style melted my fucking eyes. But yeah, overall not so great.

You only need three good games to have one of the best launches ever, most have two if they're lucky.

So...

Top Ten Console Launches:

2 Good Games:

#10: PlayStation 2

SSX

Tekken Tag Tournament

#9: PlayStation

Ridge Racer

Wipeout

#8: Nintendo Entertainment System

Excitebike

Super Mario Bros.

#7: Game Boy

Tetris

Super Mario Land

#6: Nintendo 64

Pilotwings 64

Super Mario 64

3 Good Games:

#5: Sega Dreamcast

Power Stone

Sonic Adventure

Virtua Fighter 3tb

#4: SNES

Super Mario World

F-Zero

Pilotwings

5 Good Games:

#3: PlayStation Vita

Wipeout 2048

Uncharted: Golden Abyss

Everybody’s Golf: World Invitational

Rayman Origins

MotorStorm: RC

#2: Microsoft Xbox

Halo: Combat Evolved

Dead or Alive 3

Project Gotham Racing

Jet Set Radio Future

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2X/3

WINNER: 6 Good Games:

#1: Nintendo GameCube

Burnout

Crazy Taxi

Luigi's Mansion

Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader

Super Monkey Ball

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3

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I'd say only platform exclusives should count. Pointless otherwise. Doesn't matter if it was ported later, but needed to be exclusive at launch.

I disagree. The purpose of launch games is to try and convince you to buy a console; I don't think people will list titles as influencing them that they owned on other consoles. Take for example Burnout on Cube; it wasn't exclusive but if you include it, I'm assuming you didn't own it on other formats so it was new to you.

The PS2 lineup totally underwhelmed me, then a friend got one and I played SSX, which blew my tiny mind. The graphics, physics and style melted my fucking eyes. But yeah, overall not so great.

I know a lot of people who have said this. Personally I played a track and came away thinking "meh, 1080 was better". Then again, when it comes to snowboarding, I only ever liked 1080 and Amped 1&2.

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360 and PS3 were pretty weak, lists here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_360_launch#Titles, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation_3_launch#PAL_launch_titles

The only thing worth still playing on there is Condemned, really. I remember the opening months of the PS3 being pretty terrible too, it suffered from them falling right into that summer lull. 1UpYours used to read out new releases and there were several months where the only new PS3 games were like 4 kids movie tie-ins.

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Saw this in the "videogame confessions" thread:

It made me think about past console launches, some of which naturally were better than others.

In my case, the launch I remember most fondly was the N64, and I think it's among the strongest ever, due to having Mario 64, WaveRace 64 and Mario64, among others. Mario 64 at the time was one of my favourite ever games, and the other two were very strong titles. Most consoles get 1 title that is extremely good (such as the Xbox with Halo) but very few get three high quality titles. Conversely, I remember being totally underwhelmed with the PS2's launch games; it's not like Driving Emotion Type-S was ever likely to become a classic - though at least it had Tekken Tag.

Which console do you feel had the strongest launch line-up? Which one do you feel had a poor one? I'd say it's also worth considering games within a console's "launch window", so the first few weeks of the machine's life - naturally though what is "launch window" and "first wave" is somewhat debatable, but that doesn't really matter.

It also had Mario 64

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I disagree. The purpose of launch games is to try and convince you to buy a console; I don't think people will list titles as influencing them that they owned on other consoles. Take for example Burnout on Cube; it wasn't exclusive but if you include it, I'm assuming you didn't own it on other formats so it was new to you

Totally disagree. A great launch lineup should contain games tailored to the platform, for a start. They are adverts for the platform's unique abilities, not banged out on middleware.

Secondly, having the title available elsewhere dilutes its impact and stops it feeling individual. The main appeal in a new launch should be that you're buying into something special and, again, unique.

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I didn't think the 360 launch was that bad. PGR 3 lacked the depth and content of PGR 2 but looked amazing for the time. COD 2 was fantastic and Condemned was solid but, yeah, they were obviously banking on PDZ to be a Halo equivalent and we know how that turned out. There were a lot of average games and upscaled PS2 ports there just to cover every genre on the checklist. I think MS made a mistake launching Halo 2 a year earlier on the original Xbox, it should have been a 360 launch title with a proper ending.

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Condemned is my favourite launch game ever, I've still got it.

It convinced me that graphics and sound had evolved to a point where games could become the most frightening experience imaginable.

Hiding in that house in the orchard from the serial killer felt so real back in 2005. I played it in the dark with the window slightly open for a cold breeze and I was immersed in it.

I eagerly awaited the new batch of survival horrors and being scared witless and shitless.

With the exception of Alan Wake, I'm still waiting. One of the biggest failings of this Gen is the lack of pure horror titles.

OT:

Dreamcast launch for me. Sonic made my jaw drop, Speed Devils was awesome and even Worms actually looked as sharp as the PC version. Then Soul Calibur came out and it was just spectacular. I doubt we'll see such a leap in graphics again :(

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Surely Sonic Adventure shouldn't be there as a "good" launch game; it was a dreadful mess even back then. Hilariously so now, when you try to play it again on XBLA.

I'd say the best has to be from the N64, Playstation and SNES, because they all had games that genuinely amazed me in Mario 64/Pilotwings, Ridge Racer and Mario World/F-Zero. The others had games I really liked, but nothing that utterly blew my wee mind and felt like a totally new experience.

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Surely Sonic Adventure shouldn't be there as a "good" launch game; it was a dreadful mess even back then. Hilariously so now, when you try to play it again on XBLA.

Actually, I really liked it at the time. In retrospect it was a bit ropey, but it was high-res, 60fps, had real-time cutscenes, a pretty awesome J-cheese intro... Certainly before you got to play it, you'd be excused for thinking it was going to be really, really good - plus for Sega fans, the diehards from the Megadrive and Saturn days - we'd went a whole console life cycle without getting a proper 3D Sonic game.

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I don't think you can underestimate the impact of really shiny, sometimes mindblowing, graphics of some launch games. Having something to show off the power of your expensive new console goes a long way to paper over the gameplay cracks. I've been suckered into the eye candy illusion a few times, especially this generation when there was very little HD content to show off on a new HD TV at the start.

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On excitement levels and feeling like a new world of gaming, I'd say the SNES wins for me. From an Amiga to Mario World, Super R Type, F zero et al was just an explosion of amazingness. Instant console loading, the pad (shoulder buttons...a button to jump instead of up), Then follow them up with SF2 and Mario Kart, Super play magazine cataloguing the lot, maybe an age / era thing but wont ever be beaten for me.

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I'm resigned to the fact that it will always be the N64 games that I look back on most fondly, regardless of what gets released in the future. It was just at that time in my life I suppose where it had the capability of being so exciting in the build up and then delivering what is still for me the best game ever released. Second best was the PS1 for me, for similar reasons. Nothing's ever really as exciting or good when you can just buy whatever you want.

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Best launch line-up, arguably the Playstation. Not purely for the quality of the games, but because it took a new entrant in the market-place from zero to dominating the industry against already well established companies. Can't think of any other launch that's come close.

Then the PS2. The worst launch ever. Not only were there almost no decent games for a year (or two?), although looking back AC2, DW2, Fantavision and Timesplitters were pretty good, but there was the dreadful green-screen DVD cock-up and probably other things I can;t remember now. Wasn't until ZOE with its MGS2 demo and ICO that it revealed what it was capable of. And then ended up having the best line-up by miles.

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Yeah, I meant to say "Mario Kart 64".

Except Mario Kart wasn't there at launch. It was that rubbish Star Wars game. N64 was a mess of a launch which had everything pinned on Mario 64, as your memory seems to attest to ;)

I think the Xbox had the strongest launch. Halo, Dead or Alive 3, Rallisport, Jet Set Radio Future, PGR - All looked amazing, widescreen, 5.1 and (mostly) rock-solid framerates. Real quality stuff.

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