This Week: Lost Planet Dodges Holiday HellLost Planet—Xbox 360 Publisher: Capcom Developer: Capcom Release date: 1/12/06 The Xbox 360-exclusive Lost Planet represents a few interesting strategies for Capcom, such as the introduction of new IP, a new global focus and the decision to release the game post-Q4 in order to dodge the noise and hooplah of the holidays big launches. These strategies combined with what appears to be a solid game could make Lost Planet a strong seller for early 2007. There’s a common theme amongst the few game reviewers who have delivered their final verdicts on the game thus far: It’s a good game, but design-wise, it plays it safe. Consumer gaming site IGN gave Lost Planet an 8.5/10 “Great” score. According to the site, “Lost Planet is a great game that suffers from a few bad design decisions,” pointing out graphics that are just short of “truly amazing,” a few control issues and a “stumbling story.” Still, IGN sums up, “The bottom line, though, is that the game is a lot of fun and thats all that really matters, isnt it?” Future’s Official Xbox Magazine gave Lost Planet the cover and an 8/10: “Its straight out of 1989, and that makes it either archaic or retro-cool comfortable. With Capcoms steady attention to polish and presentation, Lost Planet falls into the latter category more often than not.” The UK’s Edge Magazine granted the title a positive 7/10, with the reviewer calling Lost Planet a polished game “of strong, simple virtues.” GamePro so far has been the most critical of the game, giving Lost Planet a 3/5: “…playing Lost Planet is like dating a supermodel with personality problems: Its great looking and has the potential for good times, but ultimately, its just not worth the trouble. So on a preliminary basis, critics dig the game (which was produced by Mega Man and Onimusha creator Keiji Inafune), but what about consumers? In December, Capcom announced that between the single and multiplayer demos, gamers had downloaded Lost Planet demos 1 million times (with over 300,000 logged into the multiplayer demo). Obviously, that’s not a sure-fire indication that consumers will be willing to buy the when it releases, but it shows that Lost Planet is at least on the audience’s radar in a significant way. The game is also faring well in popularity rankings on major websites. At IGN’s GameStats.com, it’s the third-most-trafficked game overall, outdone only by Halo 3 (#1) and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (#2). The game is gaining popularity on GameSpot, where it ranks as the 14th most popular title overall and fourth most popular for Xbox 360. 1UP ranks the game at number eight overall and fourth for Xbox 360. In addition, pre-orders for the title rank seventh on Amazon.com’s Xbox 360 game charts.