Who doesn’t love nostalgia? We all have a place, a toy, a television show, or a movie that brings us back to our childhood. A time of innocence. A time when all that is wrong with the world goes away, and our love for life refreshes us.
So, when THQ announced a deal with toy maker Mattel Inc. my heart fluttered. Most of my favorite childhood toys were made by Mattel! Immediately, games started being developed in my mind.
I can play as He-Man in an open world environment! Battle Cat would be by my side as a companion as I fight the evil of Skeletor. Oh, the things they could do with this series.
Rock-em Sock-em Robots will be an XBLA game! 400 Microsoft Points can earn me a chance to play in ranked matches (ala the Fight Night series) and climb the leaderboard on my way to greatness.
OH OH! And Hot Wheels racing games can now be made! The potential customization that a game with that brand could bring would be limitless!
That’s when I stopped. I realized I had used a word that will kill my childhood memories. Potential. Developers generally don’t have a history of creating good games based on existing IP’s (intellectual properties). It took 28 years of my life for a good Batman game, and it wasn’t developed by THQ. Transformers: War for Cybertron was a good job with an existing IP, as well … guess what? Not THQ.
Now, I’m not saying that THQ exclusively releases crap. Heaven’s no. They’ve had their part in some great games: Darksiders, The UFC & WWE Series, Saints Row, and Metro 2033 are just a few.
But, I also need to call them to the floor on some games that are utterly horrible, or just so plain that they fail to garner any interest from gamers: Conan, Frontlines (I really didn’t like it), and endless games using childhood characters and/or movie ports.
So now I sit here and wonder: Will THQ do right by the countless number of gamers who spent their childhood in the sandbox playing race cars or fighting hordes of Skeletor’s henchmen? Will they finally make the stories we all created when we were 8 or 10 years old come to life?