Resident Evil: Revelations- Critically Acclaimed Disaster?
Capcom's survival horror adventure looks incredible. Whether or not the majority of 3DS owners can play or even buy it, though, remains to be seen.
A great review does not guarantee commercial success. It's more of a blessing, really, a heartfelt plea directed at the reader. We loved this game, and so will you.
With this in mind, we expect great things from Capcom's Resident Evil: Revelations, a brand new entry in the survival horror franchise, slated to arrive on 3DS January 27 in Europe, followed by a February 7 U.S. debut.
In fact, Games Master UK already awarded it an impressive 91 out of 100.
Other publications will likely follow suit, praising the game's incredible graphics (the best we've seen on 3DS), terrifying moments and story, which bridges the gap between Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5.
That doesn't mean, of course, the masses will care.
Let's face it, Capcom chose to take a huge risk bringing this game to 3DS. Although system sales have increased dramatically and Revelations has the makings of a killer app, there's no denying the spotty success of M-rated video games on Nintendo platforms.
Just look at the Wii. Sega's MadWorld, released in 2009, was well received by critics but stumbled out of the gate, with 66,000 copies sold within the first month on the shelf in North America; the game went on to sell a respectable 640,000 copies worldwide.
The House of the Dead: Overkill (also 2009), fared worse, managing just 45,000 copies in its first month, despite Sega insisting those numbers met its expectations; it went on to re-release the game on PlayStation 3 this fall.
Even industry folks are wary of publishing M-rated titles on Nintendo machines. Consider what Epic's Mark Rein told Destructoid about Wii in 2009.
"We don't make games for that platform because we don't see a market for the kinds of games we make. Let's be honest, M-rated games have been huge financial flops."
To that end, think about the number of M-rated DS games out there. Name five off the top of your head. Dementium: The Ward. Dementium II. What else is there? Ultimate Mortal Kombat?
Wouldn't DS players be more receptive to M-rated games? After all, Nintendo sold over 149 million DS systems.
Granted, MadWorld was a new intellectual property, while it's tough to gauge House of the Dead's overall popularity. Besides, this is Resident Evil, one of the biggest video game brands in history, with more than 45 million games sold as of March 2011. In theory, Revelations will help Nintendo sell more 3DS systems when it arrives next year.
At the same time, it's no secret Nintendo appeals largely to gamers who cannot play M-rated titles, so while we personally cannot wait for Revelations, and plan to enjoy it from beginning to end (perhaps more than once), there exists the possibility that it won't sell to its potential, largely because of the presumably younger 3DS demographic.
In this case, we desperately want to be wrong.