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The Top 7... New franchises that already feel old

Like Trauma Center, Cooking Mamais a good idea, but it boils down to roughly the same thing: a test of your DS stylus and Wiimote accuracy.

We can only take so much chopping and frying before we get bored and hungry and wish we had a real omelet.There might be hope in copycat gameslike Order Up!, which addedsome casual restaurant management elements, but don't count on it. Ignoring the possibility of some massive innovation,the cooking genre seems to have reached its peak already, and subsequent cooking games may be as appealing as four-day old leftover fish sticks.

The virtual pet concept is old. Nintendo did itexceptionally well (Nintendogs has sold a billion gazillion copies), but it's still so damnold.In Nintendo's defense, it isn't all their fault. Ubisoft's Petz series began assaulting us years before Nintendogs existed, and continues to peddle cuteness with what seem like monthly releases. But while we can mostly ignore the bargain bin Petz releases, Nintendogs is everywhere. It's the best selling Nintendo published DS game ever. It replaced real dogs on children's Christmas lists.It's even in our TVs. That kind of exposure can make anything feel old.

Guitar Hero started a revolution in the North American and European markets. Without Guitar Hero, Harmonix wouldn't have gone on to make Rock Band, Konami wouldn't be grasping at the market with Rock Revolution, and Nintendo wouldn'tdesperately be hyping Wii Music. But we're so over Guitar Hero.

Of course we're fond of the cultural phenomenon, but they're tossing out new editions andsmacking every demographic in the face so fast that we're starting to wonder ifthe franchise hasTony Hawk syndrome. Between 2007 and 2008,five portable (DS andcell phone)and five console versionsof Guitar Herohave been released or are planned. That'sten games in two years.Meanwhile, we jump at every opportunity torattle some Rock Band 2 drums.

In short, Guitar Hero is so 2006.

Sep 8, 2008

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Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer