The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Video Games 04.27.04

And thankfully, normal service had now been resumed
*Speak for yourself… I’ve still got that whining voice reverberating around my skull
Hey, it could be worse… It could have been Twinkie from Buck Rogers in there
*If it were, I’d have deactivated myself. Guarantee it
Well, anyway. Shall we continue?
*Yes, let’s. Before anything else happens

News

Metroid Prime 2 screenshots

The screens are out there: Nintendo have released some shots of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. Very little info (other than the title, and the availability of a multiplayer option) is available, but reports suggest the new game will include for third-person action (similar to the Morph Ball sections in the first game), and well as a new enemry race, the Ing, for Samus to shoot. The screenshots can be seen here, courtesy of gamesradar.

Misha: Well, it’s official…
Marvin: I think we know what happens next…
BOTH: Droooooooooool……….

credit: gamesradar.com

Almost Confirmed: EA is going Live

Latest news on the Live front is that EA and Microsoft are as close as they’ve ever been to reaching the Deal Of a Lifetime to bring EA games onto X-Box Live. Reports are coming think and fast out of the company, with employees more than happy to stake their reputations on it (as are, it appears, various Wall Street institutions… I’ll stick to Bryan for my punditry, though, thanks…). Current info suggest EA *will* get the content control they’ve wanted, which includes the ability to set up their own leagues, ranking tables, and competitions.

Both companies are still denying that any deal has been brokered (but then again, they would, wouldn’t they?)

Marvin: And lo, didst X-Brick owners the world over rejoice mightily, for they could be assured of getting the same game… re-released… every year… with different players and a few tweaks…
Misha: Hey, I’m not a sports fan, but for the benefit of the rest of the Kliq, I really hope this goes aread.

credit: gamesradar.com

SNKombos on PS2

Coming this winter, from SNK, will be two verys special bundle games coming to the PS2. Not only wil there be a “King Of Fighters 2002/2003” double pack, but also a “Metal Slug 4 & 5” one. Both will retail at $39.99

Misha: Which would all be very nice if I HAD a US PS2… Though Steps May Be Taken to rectify the state of affairs…

credit: 1up.com

It’s all too Viewtiful

New shots are now available of the upcoming sequel to GameCube classic Viewtiful Joe. According to reports, as well as new VFX modes, the option to play as Joe’s girlfriend, Sylvia, will be available from the start. one report suggests a new VFX move known as “Replay”, which allows you to “capture” a section of game-time, and replay it, increasing the damage you deal, or the amount of health you regain from food. Of course, the trade-off is that any damage you take in Replay also gets increased. See the heavily Sylvia-influenced screens here, courtesy of gamesradar.com

Misha: The original was 411’s #1 reason to buy a GameCube. And the sequel looks even cooler. I WANT IT!!!

credit: gamesradar.com

PS2 @ E3: Lineup leak

And here, in all its glory, is what some of my Kliq bretheren will be seeing at E3, all on PS2. This comes on top of the already-confirmed titles such as Shellshock: Nam ’67.

The Getaway 2
Gran Turismo 4
Final Fantasy XII
Jak 3
Killzone
Metal Gear Solid 3
Ratchet and Clank 3
Arc the Lad
Athens Summer Olympics
Dark Cloud 3
ATV Offroad Fury 3
God of War
Formula 1 2004
Hot Shots Golf: Fore!
Rise of the Kisai
Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain
Sly Cooper 2: Band of Thieves
Siren
Area 51
Battlefield 1942
Burnout 3
Call of Duty: Their Finest Hour
Cold Fear
Cold Winter
Death By Degrees: Nina Williams
Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires
EA Sports line-up
Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone
Hitman Contracts
Mercenaries
Monster Hunter
Onimusha 3
Phantom Brave
Robotech Invasion
NHL Hockey 2005
MLB 2005
World Tour Soccer 2005
Silent Hill 4: The Room
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow
Spider-Man 2
The Warriors
Bujingai: The Forsaken City
Crimson Tears
Dead to Rights II
Driven to Destruction
Driv3r
Duel Masters
Forgotten Realms
Godzilla: Save the Earth
Mega Man Anniversary Collection
Mega Man X 8
Mega Man X Command Mission
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Shadow of Rome
Street Fighter Anniversary Collection
Terminator 3: The Redemption
Yu Yu Hakusho: Dark Tournament
Under the Skin
Viewtiful Joe
Viewtiful Joe 2
Way of the Samurai 2
Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner
Guilty Gear Isuka
Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
Destroy All Humans!
Shark Tale
Shrek 2
State of Emergency 2
Transformers

A mix of the new and the old. A lot of the games were already known about, though there are a few new games in there. more to the point, there’s something for everyone (SMT3:N for Alex1, Mega Man games for LQ, EA sports games for half the Kliq…)

Misha: Well, there’s lots of stuff there to be sure…
Marvin: But no sign of GTA: San Andreas
Misha: Which confirms earlier reports.They might be gearing up for a swerve…
Marvin: If it’s not there, though, Rockstar might launch it at ECTS instead
Misha: Which we’ll be at, all going well…
Marvin: Exactly

Misha: Good point. Let’s hope it isn’t

credit: e3.playstation.com

Commentary

What with Alex1 bringing Countdown Fever to 411 Games, I though I’d go ahead with a little Top-Ten of my own. As with everything, this is stictly opinion: If you think I’m wrong, let me know, and we’ll have a mailbag.

The Top 10 best weapons in Video-Gaming (in no particular order)

The “Force Module” : R-Type (and sequels)

Ah, yes. The classic shoot-em-up power-up. The indestructible module of power, that allows you to fire superweapons, and kills everything that touches it. The idea of being able to shoot the pod off, wedge it directly into an enemy boss’s weak spot, then hide while your magic powerup did its work killing the baddie: Fantastic! To say nothing of the funky wall-crawler lasers you could get with it… Over the years, the Module has changed, but its essence stays the same. So YAY for that.

Flamethrower : Contra III/Super Probotector

Before I flood of emails: Yes, there have benn many flamethrowers in many games. But for my money, the one in Contra was the best. It wasn’t necessarily the most powerful weapon, and its range was limited, but it looked the ultimate in cool. Especially when your character had TWO of them, and did the Fire-both-at-once Blazing Jump Of Superdeath. Very cool indeed. And the aqbility to concentrate its fire in one place so afficiently was not to be underestimated.

Cataclysm : Syndicate Wars

Your personal handheld Nuke. The size of an ordinary grenade, but guaran-damn-teed to blow the unholy hell out of ANYTHINg in its blast radius (including banks, conveniently: no more waiting in line). No self-respecting team of corporate cyborg infiltrators would be seen on a mission without at *least* one each… just in case.

BFG 9000 : Doom

One of the classic Big Guns. Arguably the trend-setter for them all. You fire it, it burns up your energy cells, and everything around you ceases to exist. Oh yes.

RCP-120 : Perfect Dark

Yes, it’s a machine gun. But it’s a BIG machine gun. With a 120 round magazine. And a cloaking device. You heard me right; if things are going bad, and you’ve got some spare ammo, just go invisible and run the hell away. The Jem Hadar?
Who are they??

MagiTek armour : Final Fantasy VI/III

Steampunk-style retro mobile suits, which are infused with magical powers. The very definition of cool. Here I am, wandering around in a huge great mecha, shooting you with missiles. then I turn round and zap you with a bolt spell from the same source. Awesome.

Super Sheep : Worms 2 (and sequels)

I’m fully aware of the sheer number of great weapons available in Worms. But there’s not enough enough space to credit the Concrete Donkey, Holy Hand-Grenade (not to be abbreviated to “HHG” when being spoken of, no matter WHAT some people may claim), French Nuclear Test and all the rest, so I settled for what’s probably the ultimate version of the Worms signature weapon. It is indeed a sheep. Packed with explosives. And it has superpowers, so you can manually fly it around the map to get it exactly where you want it. The ultimate luxury: no other weapons maps your precision to its accuracy so well.

Red Shells: Super Mario Kart (and sequels)

Homing missiles, indeed. Get your opponent in your sights, let rip one of these babies, and watch the squirm. Not infallible
(especially not in the original MK, where they’d vanish if they hit a wall), but so, so stylish. And now, they come in threes, which is just Broken And Wrong (but fun to use).

The Mana Sword : Sword of Mana (and sequels)

It’s a sword. But not just any sword. This is *the* sword. The ultimate sword *ever*. Every legend you ever heard of, about special swords? They were really talking about this one. to quite the intro from Secret Of Mana: “Excalibur, Herald, Masamune, Gigas, it has many names. But all point to one weapon: The Sword Of Mana”. It’s ever harder than the Master Sword.

The character’s limbs: Plok!!

I very much doubt anyone remembers this SNES game. If you do, you’ll join me in recalling its greatness. For those who need the explanation, your character is a small red… “something” (as far as I can recall, it’s never quite made clear exactly *what* he is), but he’s off on a quest, and his main weapon is to project his limbs at people. Not Dhalsim-style stretchiness: he physically throws his arms and legs at his enemies, and they return to him, boomerang-style. Yes, it’s odd. But it’s also very, very stylish.

Ahead, Plug Factor Nine

When Starscream’s Ghost ran off last week, he took the Pimp Section with him. So we’re going extra-special all-out this time round.

First off, an explaination about last week. There were actually, three references, not two, but I would have accepted any combination. “Perpendicular, not horizontal” is Red Dwarf, “One with your Inner Self” is a Babylon 5 reference (it’s how the Centauri refer to “passing out from excessive drinking”) and the footnoting-the-footnote
was a stylistic nod to Terry Pratchett. Sadly, nobody got any of the references… Credit will go, however, to Dave Felipe (who did his best, and came up a reference that works on more levels than he probably realises), and to Scott Granell who made a couple of salient points unrelated to the mini-quiz.

Of course, Eric S is colossally cynical, so he didn’t believe that my comments last week were a genuine compliment (albeit in a Marvinesqe backhanded way). He almost certainly knows more about Dr Who than me. But I’m sure I could out-geek him overall. Anyway, by way of consolation, he gets not double but triple-pimped this week. And a recommendation that he get onto his favourite P2P client to download some BBC satire (Have I Got News For You is good, provided you get it while Angus Deayton was still the host), because you don’t know how much fun European politics is until you’ve heard BBC comedians tearing it to shreds.

Bryan is getting into deep subjects. I had the advantage that there was no Bitch Phase with my last girlfriend, because she’d only just arrived in Sheffield, and I wound up introducing her to a lot of the people she hangs out with now (i.e the TrekSoc).

Cory is back from hiatus, and he’s got Chess on the brain (and not the dody musical written by ex-Abba members, either). And for the record, my own favoured openings tend to revolve around getting the knights out early to do some damage. Not that I’ve played for ages…

Plenty of Lee to make up for lost time. And don’t miss his “expectation vs enjoyment” commentary. Here are the words of a man who knows. Sadly, this looks like being his farewell column, which is all the more reason to treasure it as a thing of beauty.

Liquid is here again, and… On vacation? Nope. He’s just as angry as ever. And is turning up the heat on NetSpeak and HDD games.

Matt has a review up. And it’s a beauty. Remember how much I raved about Bebito absolutely ripping into Kirby’s Air Ride? Well, it’s the same sort of thing, delivered with classic Yeager flair. And his news report has finally emerged from the system

And speak of the Jackson, Bebito himself is in the house, and going retro-style with some Pitfall action.

The Chris has been by, and also left us some review to enjoy. NBA Ballers for PS2 and ESPN Major League Baseball on the ‘Box.

Last but by no means least, the ever-legendary ALucardTM has more of his Top 30 right here, with 12-10 and 9-7. Most of these games are ones that never even saw PAL release (Except for the GBA version of Shining Soul, but that’s a special case), but that’s what eBay is for :D for (when one has the money, of course)…

And that,
*As they say
Is that
*And we’re away
Hooray!