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Graphics do equal everything to the average consumer (stop bandying around the word casual like its an insult. It's stupid)
Fortunately the freaking menus which were designed "by a five year old" (stop trying hyperbole, it doesn't suit you), aren't on the back of the box or in the commercials. Average consumer doesn't see them until AFTER a purchase. They influence nothing. You think anybody popped in the disc and said, "oh my god! This menu is entirely functional and easy to navigate, but it's so bland! I will return the disc post haste! I will warn all my friends that these precariously serviceable menus are not to be navigated!"
the menus. It was the Parappa theme and it was the ugliest and most disgusting thing I have EVER had the misfortune to see. I have seen better aesthetics from a 5-year old.
Casuals were clearly turned off by this game once they saw these attrocious menus. They probably thought it was worse than a PSN game (if that's even possible) and couldn't understand why it was 60 bucks.
People are shallow. To most casual aka the majority graphics=everything. That's why a game with bad graphics in the history of history has NEVER sold well. And if a game doesn't sell well it's not worth playing.
The Sims 1 (yeah the original peice of junk game that had bad graphics even for the year 2000's standards) continues to be one of the highest grossing video games ever in fact it beats out modern warfare and comes close to the sales of Modern Warfare 2.