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Majesco Games
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 05, 2004   |   Episode 12 (Show Archive)  

   
Say what you will about Nokia, but they have guts. They decided to throw their hat in the ring and release a high-priced portable without any quality launch titles and even less third party support. They made it hard to change games while making you look stupid while talking on the phone . all at the same time. Either this is one of the most daring companies on the planet, or they are simply insane!

Whatever you think of Nokia, you have to give them credit for trying. How are they supposed to know that Sony would announce a new handheld right before the launch of the N-Gage? How are they supposed to know that people would object to talking into a taco phone? Clearly Nokia was dealt a bad hand, and they're doing their best to turn lemons into lemonade. They're doing this with a whole batch of hot titles and a brand new version of their system that gives gamers what they wanted. But does any of this equal a good website?


BloodRayne is just one of the game characters to pose nude in Playboy!
Look and Design: Majesco has one of those websites that if it were cleaned up a little bit could really be something special. The actual layout is fine; I don't really have a problem with the placement of the links, even though I think some on the left (namely the catalog and support links) are a little cramped. The real problem with Majesco's site is that they've decided to make their graphic links as uninviting as possible. Take the Blood Rayne 2 picture, instead of showing the sexiness of the main character, they've opted to use a picture of a fat old guy on some kind of hospital equipment. The same goes for Advent Rising, which could have used some pretty pictures but got a close up of what looks like a battle in space (but I can't tell for sure because it's extremely difficult to make out). Keep in mind that the banners change as you reload, but none of the pictures are especially inviting. To make matter worse, these pictures are the largest things on the Majesco website, and immediately turn you off of their games.

Accessibility: When you have so many products to support it can be challenging to make a one-size fits all style website. Understanding this dilemma Majesco has wisely done away with the consistent look and opted for a "whatever looks good" approach. Their TV arcade section looks completely different than their BloodRayne 2 page. But then, neither of those pages looks anything like their site devoted entirely to promoting the Game Boy Advance Video player. Even though there is no consistency, you can't deny that each of the pages are useful with a fountain of information.

One minor thing to mention about Majesco's offshoot pages, it seems as though there are certain pages that do not want to take you back to the Majesco front page when you're done. I spent a good deal of time in the Advent Children page looking for a way back, but the site is cleverly designed to keep you there whether you like it or not. This wasn't a major problem, but I stumbled across it more than I'd like.


Oh Miss Cleo, where are you in our time of darkness and dispair? We need your healing powers!
Insider Information: After two great news sections in a row (with Nokia N-Gage and UbiSoft) it's hard to go back to the average site. Most of the sites of the last week and a half have featured news sections that ranged from bad to worse. Thankfully Majesco's page is not as bad as those, but nowhere near the quality we found on those A-grade websites. Still, Majesco's news section is well laid out and updated frequently.

Not only do they have a strong news section, but Majesco also has an awful lot of information about themselves on the page, much more than any other site we've looked at so far. Not only is there a business description and a history, but you can look up the names of all the management staff, get a hold of investor information, and more. They never cross the line of giving out too much information, but it is strange to see a company so eager to congratulate themselves.

To make everything even more interesting, Nokia's new site is all over the board. In one article you'll know about a WWE partnership, while in the very next article Nokia will be talking about donating N-Gage units to help the people beat the record for continuous gaming. The news is also littered with pictures and links to other things you might find interesting, making this one of the finest news sections we've reviewed (matching the greatness of Ubi's page).

Parting Thoughts: In Majesco's Hints and Tips section they recommend you call their "900" number if you get stuck on a boss or puzzle. Their hours are Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 am (eastern standard time) at a rate of $1.95 per minute. Assuming you were able to surf to the page and get this information, wouldn't it be just as easy (and a lot cheaper) to go hit up GameFAQs or any one of the other hint sites online? Who actually calls "900" numbers looking for help anymore? Besides, aren't all the "900" numbers taken up by sex chats and psychic friends? So many questions left unanswered after visiting Majesco's site, that can't be a good thing.

FINAL GRADE: B+

(Important Note: This review was written in 2004. As is the case with websites things tend to change and get moved around. We've decided to cover major companies who should have a presence on the web for many years to come, but the actual reviews of the layout may not be relevant for more than a month to a year. Having said that, we're hoping this article was still interesting, and if not, at least you go this extra little paragraph of explanation that you wouldn't normally get on the other websites.)
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