How to know your audience, and sell them a game they could well do without

newbattletoads

Battletoads (TBD)

It mightn’t exactly be best practice to analyse a product before it comes out, but that doesn’t stop the legions of fans out there writing things off, way before they ever come to pass. We all knew the Ricky Gervais episode of The Simpsons would be a disaster, for example. But we couldn’t know that before we watched it, right? Actually, we could, because it really isn’t that hard to read your audience and give them something they want – and not something you think they want. And this is where I, if I happened to run some godawful consultancy firm, would propose millions of job redundancies worldwide.

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I wish the Dark Queen would whip me every day

Battletoads

Battletoads (NES) (1993)

I always thought I’d fancy a bit of sado-masochism, whips and chains and all that. It sounds right up my alley, until I realised that you sort of have to get hurt or hurt other people yourself to get anything from it. I’m more of a delicate care bear, you know, and despite my famously rugged exterior I’m actually quite a softie. I’ve had handshakes where I thought I got rough treatment, and I’m the type of person to say “Sorry” when they bump right into me. If I see any kind of bruise coming up on my leg, I fret for days. This doesn’t make me a real man, I’m aware, but at least my skin stays nice and soft and unwhipped. Anyway, who wants to be tied-up when there’s yoga to be done?

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Impossible is a word, not a state of mind

 

Battletoads_in_Battlemaniacs_Logo

Battletoads in Battlemaniacs (1993)

The word ‘impossible’ has become regarded as such a dirty, negative word that simply entering it into Google Images throws up all kinds of “motivational” images that decry the word. Really? It’s a fine word: it puts a perfect stopper in any unreasonable request that should come your way. Nail the exam results you require while maintaining a dece social life and enough sleep? Impossible! Achieve that fine alcohol equilibrium of being fully confident yet fully in control? Impossible! Keep a hold of your sanity when people make the same ‘could of’, ‘loose’ and ‘you’re/your’ mistakes over and over again? Impossible! Yes, we should strive to better ourselves. And yes, we shouldn’t give up at the outset. But sometimes the odds are simply so insurmountable that you’re well entitled to give the ghastly task coming your way a quick up-and-down look before proudly declaring, “Nup!”

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