PSP GO GOES NOWHERE: Digital distribution is only now becoming a true alternative to brick-and-mortar sales. The costliest blow to the business model at this point would be if an industry giant built a new version of a flagship product around it while alienating both its customers (by eliminating compatibility with the previous version's library and monopolizing the "improved" model's storefront) and retailers (by cutting them out of the loop on game sales while expecting them to charge more for the "improved" model). On a related subject, guess what Sony did?
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS WII'S FLASHBACKS : NSMBWii is an important game, but not necessarily a fun one. The 8-bit era, which NSMBWii perfectly emulates, was a period of unmitigated torture interspersed with enough trips to the title screen to cause screen burn-in. This went double for multiplayer - two kids skilled enough to beat Battletoads' co-op might as well have been clones raised to kill by the NSA. Had true multiplayer Mario existed in the 1980s, a generation would have wiped itself from the face of the earth in 2-4 player groups. 20 years after we've gone home and gotten girlfriends and started careers and lived - actually lived - they want to drag us back into that? Go to hell, Nintendo.
GUITAR HERO/ROCK BAND'S SLUMP: The honeymoon is over. The thrill is gone. The idea has become the institution. We haven't quite hit the nadir of music games yet, but if trends continue and innovation is further sacrificed to make way for cheap cash-ins, the bottom will fall out sooner rather than later. At least Harmonix has the guts to ride this pony into the dirt on the back of a Lego Freddie Mercury in Lego Rock Band. Let's see the other guys top that - what's that? Guitar Hero: Van Halen? Well played, Neversoft.
DUKE NUKEM'S CONTINUING UNDEATH: Duke Nukem Forever's development cycle took on a life of its own in its 12-year span, one eclipsed only the sheer non-eventness of its long-overdue death in May. DNF's termination seemed to bring closure to the story...until Nukem's Facebook fan site (reportedly run by 3DRealms co-founder Scott Miller) posted a single screenshot of a project called "D-Day". The internet picked it up, with predictable results. "Always bet on Duke" seems to have a monkey's-paw caveat - "whether you like it or not."
ASSASSIN'S CREED II COULDA BEEN A CONTENDER: Assassin's Creed II is a monster of a game and a huge improvement in all aspects over its predecessor, but it will ultimately be hindered by that same comparison. In the long run, Assassin's Creed's greatest shortcoming may be the fact that it sets AC2 up as the sequel which the original should have been. If Assassin's Creed had only lived as a tech demo for the game which eventually became Assassin's Creed II, the series would be so much better for it.