We seem to swarmed with tons of demos lately for all the biggest titles coming out now or in the near future. Demos are considered key marketing tools and are almost expected these days of most titles. But should they be? demos are incomplete, early versions that offer a mere snapshot of the whole of the game. They distract from actually making the finished product better because it costs resources to make a workable demo.
Skyward Sword is an amazing game, but have you played the demo in stores? It's pretty terrible, you get thrown in with little to no explanation of how the game works, in scenarios where people who actually own the game have had hours to get familiar how the game works. The Final Fantasy XIII-2 demo isn't as bad but has a similar feel, throwing into a random part of a chapter with little idea of how everything works aside from the monster-catching feature which is introduced at the point.
Perhaps the biggest recent victim of the demo issue is Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, because people who have played the demo and people who have played the finished product seem to have played 2 drastically different games. The demo is buggy and seems like an uninspired WOW/Fable ripoff, and part of that is that was that you only got about 45 minutes to experience what is supposed to be an epic rpg with over a 100 hours of questing. Pretty much every preview (and the reviews that are just coming out now are backing this up) says it's a much better game than the demo implies.
So should demos stop altogether? I don't really think so, they can still be a powerful tool for getting buzz on a game, especially an under-the-radar title. But rpgs and adventure titles should probably never have them, and until people really get the idea that it's not necessarily representative of the finished product, they could do as much good as bad.
That's all for today, I'll hopefully get another post in this weekend, until then here is your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Red Lights