In response to "Epic Inspiration" from The Escapist Forum: This was unexpectedly pro-Epic Mickey.
I confess, Mickey has never interested me. He's like a rodent Gary-Su in many ways and I grudgingly accept his presence in the way one grudgingly accepts a government. Someone has to be in charge of things, and we could do worse than a serially-nice mouse with no testicles.
But having read this review, I'm actually interested in playing the game - mostly for this Disneyland world of forgotten characters. It would be spiffy if we could choose our main character - even more so if some characters had different access/events/reactions.
Having read these other comments, though, I think I might rent instead of buy.
"oh look it's modern focus group led micky... doing modern focus group led micky things..."
Oh please. One piece of news comes out saying that a biker didn't like Spector's Mickey and now everyone is villifying focus groups, as if Warren Spector, one of the last true visionaries of gaming, would just plop down his pants and say thank you sir may I have another every time a soccer mom dislikes the colour of his concept art. What probably actually happened is that Warren has the rare ability to not shut down any input that disagrees with his vision and instead looks for its validity. So instead of being a diva and putting out Daikatana, he changed his game to meet expectations, which is how a smart person does things.
If Epic Mickey has failed, it failed on its own terms, not because some focus group doomed it.
What's killing games is the single minded blindness that people who shout FOCUS GROUPS SAID STUFF I DISAGREE WITH THEREFORE THEY ARE EVIL BLAR because it's the same single minded blindness that leads people to think 'Well, people like Halo, so if I make a shooter exactly like Halo, people will like it! Only they also like Call of Duty so I should also make the character a space marine.' As long as you have some internal conviction that allows you to weight the merit of what you hear, listening to what people tell you has no downside whatsoever.
In response to "Breaking the Genre Contract" from The Escapist Forum: First, I disagree with your characterization of Pan's Labyrinth. While I agree that the ad is deceptive, first, the ad is full of men walking around in military uniforms, and as such strongly hints at a military plot element; second, the "dark fantasy" does appear and delivered 100% on my expectations (and those of a number of people I know); and third, I believe that it WAS a great movie.
I saw the trailer for this movie exactly once, then saw the movie the day it came out, so all the info I had came from the trailer. Except, very significantly, I had seen another movie by del Toro which was very similar in a lot of ways... but as mentioned, I have friends who know nothing of his work and also loved the movie.
On the other hand, the God of War promo piece that you so appreciate was IMO utter garbage because it omits the most critical element: actual gameplay. Aside from maybe 3 seconds at the end, the whole bloody trailer is cut scenes. Hell, based on that trailer GoW could be a rhythm game, or a FPS, or even a full-on JRPG - because it doesn't show us any gameplay! There could be constant engine slowdown, or serious clipping issues. You might fight an endless stream of enemies one-at-a-time ala Double Dragon or swarms that simultaneously mob you and rip you to pieces. It could have vicious, unforgiving platform sections with bad camera angles. The trailer tells you NOTHING - so OF COURSE it successfully delivers on it.