Sony Executive Was Hoping For Mediocrity With Knack, But Still Fell Short

You might have noticed we’ve had a lot of coverage on the PS4 launch this week. We’ve been excited with our new toys, jumping up and down on our bed and then tucking our new system in next to us as we go to sleep at night. We’ve got reviews for many of the big new games up already (with more to come) and one we should have up shortly is Knack. I know Knack enthusiasts, which are essentially made up of the family of the people that made up the game and maybe not even all of them unless they’re really supportive, are waiting eagerly for our review to go up. Fellow editor (and beard enthusiast) Geoff is covering the review and he hasn’t talked to me since I beat him out for best facial hair in the office. But nobody else liked it judging from its Metacritic score. And you know who else didn’t really like it? Sony honcho Shuhei Yoshida, who revealed his tepid expectations for the game in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz.

“The game wasn’t designed [to meet specific] review scores – I was hoping Knack could score in the mid 70s and last I checked it’s around 59-60, so I’m hoping it goes up.”

I was hoping it could score in the mid 70s isn’t something that makes me particularly excited about the product when it is said by the boss of the company that made it. It would be like if some father said about his kid, “Well, yeah he’s stupid, but he’s not F stupid. If he applies himself just right we really think he can get a C- average and someday work at the ditch digging company.” He does go on to explain himself a little better as to why he was expecting lower review scores.

“The game uses only three buttons to play, so it’s not the type of game reviewers would score high for the launch of a next-gen system. The game was targeted as what we call a second purchase; you know, people may purchase PS4 for Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed or Killzone, but if they also buy Knack, this is a game that you can play with your family or your significant other. It’s a message that as a platform we are not just trying to cater only to the hardcore, shooter audience – we are looking at all kinds of gamers – but Knack is a great game for core gamers as well because when you up the difficulty level it becomes a really tight, tense action brawler.”

Still, when the boss of a company comes out and hopes for a game to be received tepidly, you can’t really have high hopes for the quality of the final product. Maybe he’s right though. Maybe we just need to see more reviews come in. Or maybe they just need some key reviews.

I thought maybe we could help out Knack. I had no intention of playing it (too busy playing vastly superior launch titles), but maybe if we could dig through the other reviews we could find something to help Yoshida out. Luckily, being the nice guy I am, I went ahead and pulled quotes from some of the more positive reviews on the web right now. If Knack goes on to make boatloads of cash, I fully expect some royalties to be paid to Hardcore Gamer for this amazing advertising. Additionally, if our upcoming review goes on to give Knack the lift it needs, then shame on all these other reviewers that just don’t know a good thing when they see it and hate it.

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