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THQ
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 11, 2004   |   Episode 18 (Show Archive)  

   
For years THQ was the laughing stock of the gaming press, constantly releasing piss-poor movie licensed games. Here we are years later and THQ is still doing the same thing, but instead of Home Alone and Wayne's World, it's Jimmy Neutron, the Punisher, and the Polar Express. You don't have to like the games, but you have to hand it to a company for basing nearly an entire business plan on fatally flawed licensed games. Thankfully I was looking forward to their website much more than the newest SpongeBob Squarepants game.

Look and Design: One of the themes of THQ's website seems to be blandness, an extremely generic look that gets the job done with little more. Between a licensing everything from Nicktoons to the WWE, THQ still manages to generate no excitement thanks to a boring layout and poor picture choices. They feature a large rotating banner that announces a the

"I once thought I had mono for an entire year, It turned out I was just really bored."
new games, but even that is hampered by a loading bar at the bottom that seems to be there for no reason what so ever. This isn't the worst looking site we've come across, but it doesn't appear as much time has been spent making it look as good as you'd expect.

Accessibility: Surfing THQ's website is fairly straight forward, with the systems on the left side and pictures allocated for new games and hot properties. All of this is pretty generic, nothing we haven't seen at least a dozen times already. That is, until you push any of the buttons on the top of the page. Instead of giving you a drop down menu, it actually shrinks the entire page and forces a new frame onto the page. I'm not saying it's not useful, but it certainly seems like they could have come up with a better way of going about this aspect of the site.

Without fail I always seem to find myself complaining about the company's lack of history, how we never seem to be able to search their old games or know anything about the early days. Well, in this case I don't think it's that big of a problem. Do you really want to know more about old THQ games like Home Alone, Wayne's World, or Evil Dead? Yeah, I didn't think so . it really just frees up a lot of room for new licenses like SpongeBob the Movie, the Incredibles, and Fairly Odd Parents.


Tetris isn't nearly as cool when it's surrounded by Disney characters!
Insider Information: Apparently THQ does not believe in news, because it's nowhere to be seen on this website. While a lot of companies spend next to no time on their news sections, obviously THQ couldn't spare any time at all. Not that they have a killer line-up of titles to announce, but with all these licenses you'd think there would be some comment of it on the page. On THQ's website they let the games speak for themselves, which either means the games suck or I'm going deaf.

Parting Thoughts: One of the first things I noticed on the THQ website was their poll, which asked viewers how long they have spent playing Tetris all at one time. Years ago I put in a good eight to ten hours in a row, all while working at a job (one where no customers came in). This really was the killer app for the GameBoy, and even now it's one of the best portable games. I always say that I cannot trust anybody who does not like Tetris; it really is one of the few examples of perfect game design. Sure it's not an action game, but then, how many games can you play the rest of your life and never master? The actual programming has no faults; it's a brilliant design that just about everybody can appreciate.

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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