I think most of the games released this generation had some issue or another that kept them back from shining. Ninja Gaiden 3 definitely did not deliver in the gameplay department and suffered critically, which I think spilled over and negatively impacted its sales (I wouldn't play that game if you gave it to me for free, and I love the series). While Castlevania was great in my opinion, I know a lot of people who did not like the direction and thought it was too action oriented for them. Some do not intend to purchase the second game as a result. Darksiders' lack of commercial success baffles me to be honest. I thought that was a really good game, and I really hope there will be a third installment.
Well with respect to DmC, I think it is safe to say a lot of people are still opposed to the new direction, and that may be a serious contributing factor. Personally, I'm a fan, and I'm going to be open minded and give this game a shot. However, I noticed some performance hiccups in the demo for PS3 and after playing Enslaved which also runs on UE3 I decided to stave off my purchase and employ a wait and see approach. I got Enslaved when it was cheap, but I'm not paying $60 for a game with technical hiccups.
As for MGR ... there is still a lot of ambivalence and confusion concerning that game. I know some people who love the genre (hack and slash), but they do not follow game related news like more informed gamers. Many of them assumed it was just another stealth based action game in the vein of the solid series (and plenty of them dislike that kind of gameplay). When I told them it was h&S and it was being developed by Platinum games their opinions changed instantly. We'll have to see how that ones does, but I'm sure if more people realized what kind of game it is their interest would rise.
Do you think pre order incentives have any sort of (major) influence? I plan to get MGR, but the incentives were not good enough to get me to pre order. I think the Last of Us is a great example of how incentives should go. I pre ordered as soon as I saw the incentives.
Also, have you pre ordered any of those games you mentioned for this year? If not ... why not?
Playstation = The Beast from the East
Sony + Nintendo = WIN! PS3 + PSV + PS4 + Wii U + 3DS