The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Video Games 04.25.04

Hello, good morning/afternoon/evening, and welcome. You’ve made it through to another Tuesday, and that mean another helping of news, with me, Misha
*And me, Marvin
And now….
*Wait a minute
What??
*You’re just going to leave them like that?
What do you mean?
*I mean, that was the worst intro ever. The readers deserve more
Oh, C’MON! There’s only so many way to do an intro…
*That’s no excuse. Think of something better
How about this little dialogue?
*I suppose it’ll do…
Right, then. On with the show.

News

Eidos: down for 25 to Life

For all the Non-Americans out there, 25 to Life refers to the base sentence a court will hand down for a criminal convicted of First Degree Murder (aka Murder One). IT’s also the name of Eidos Interactive’s new third-person street-gang-themed shooter. Whilst comparisons with GTA will be inevitable, it looks from these shots that Eidos will be doing their best to differentiate their game from Rockstar’s trademark series with plenty of new options; notably, the option to play on BOTH sides of the law. Online play will be for up to 16 players simultaneously, and success against others will unlock new weapons and other features.

Marvin: Nice to see the police getting a fair chance for once. But it’s going to take a lot to make me forgive Eidos for publishing Tomb Raider..

credit: gamesradar.com

Eidos: up for a takeover?

In other Eidos news, the company continues to deny that it is in takeover talks. However, reports from a number of sources suggest that several big-name companies have expressed an interest in buying out the UK-based developer. Linked names include THQ, Electronic Arts, Ubi Soft and Activision. The reports come after Eidos confirmed that their plans for a second pressing of Hitman: contracts have been shelved after a significant drop in sales.

Misha: I don’t care who owns Eidos, quire frankly. All I care about is making sure we never have to put up with any Crimes Against Videogaming like TR any more…

credit: gamesradar.com

Forget Warcraft, try Warhammer

Eslewhere in videogameland, Chuck Platt was reportedly seen drooling like a starving alsatian after seeing these pictures of the new RTS game for PC based on Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 series of miniatures. Developed for THQ by their newly-acquired subsidiary Relic Entertainment (creators of the Homeworld series), the game promises to be true to the table-top system without being a “direct port”. Unit morale seems to have made it in, as have all the stylistic and tactical differences between the four playable raced we’ve been promised (Space Marines, Orks, Chaos and the Eldar) The game also promises support for two to six players (via LAN or the ‘Net).

Misha: My own GW experience is somewhat limited, I’ll admit…
Marvin: That’s OK. I know enough for both of us. And I can tell you that this is definitely a game to look out for
Misha: I can imagine. If anything would get Sheffield’s GW fanatics round for a LAN party, this would be the game

credit: gamesradar.com

Special Guest Star: Rumour Monkey

Swinging in at the last minute, we have random bit of hot gossip from the Ever-Legendary Rumour Monkey!
*Translation circuits online…
Rumour Monkey: Oook ook ook OOOOK
*He says that according to industry insiders, Rare’s reported involvement with the Nintendo DS may be a symptom of something more…
Rumour Monkey: OOOOOK ook oook oooook OOK
*Apparently, its looks as though the mighty Microsoft themselves will be developing for the DS!
Rumour Monkey: Ooooook OOK ooook.
*Microsoft declined to comment

Rumour Monkey’s Down-Lo Rating: 2/10

Marvin: Well, RM’s probably right with the rating (low means unlikely, remember…)
Misha: Still, it’d be a real coup for the DS and Ninty if it were true.
Marvin: It it would certainly give Sony something to think about… An alliance could serve both companies’ interests by destabilising the Sony dominance…
Misha: And it would also imply that Microsoft has no plans to release a handheld of its own in the foreseeable future

credit: Rumour Monkey/cubed-3.co.uk

Bringing the total to Four…

Another new screenshot of GTA: San Andreas. Find it here. It’s another shot of the game’s (probable) main character riding on a bike..

Misha: AGAIN with the slow information trickle? This is as bad as Halo 2.

credit: gamesradar.com

Commentary

Nope, nothing about DS versus PSP. It’s been done by everyone else, and everything I’d have said was put far better by everyone else. Something different.

A few days ago, I did something long overdue. I finally took the time to gather together all the right bits, and set up a fully-working SNES again. My all-time favourite console was restored to its full working glory! I could once again play all those classic games of yesteryear… And found myself, by and large, deeply unmoved.

Some games, I can understand. I have more than a few games that I picked up on a whim for £2/£3 and had no intention of playing more than once or twice in a blue moon. But when I looked at some of the AAA titles in my collection, I realised just how apathetic I’d become about them. Consider this: I plugged in Super Mario All-Stars, arguably the definitive Mario cartridge EVER, and managed about 20 seconds of play in SMB1 before I switched it off and went looking for something else to play.

It scared me.

A little voice in the back of my brain was like “You can’t do that!! It’s a Mario game!! It’s one of the cornerstones of videogaming as we know it!! You can’t just go ‘meh’ and walk away!! It’s against all laws of God and Man!!” But that’s exactly what I did.

So this got me wondering… Is there a point at which Nostalgia is not enough to make a game worth playing? Even a game that’s an indisputable all-time classic? Everybody gets bored of games sometimes; I’ll freely admit that over the past few years, I’ve found myself totally unable to get addicted to ANY game (not even Pokemon Colosseum), so it might just be me, but on the other hand, I could think of a goodly number of people off the top of my head who would probably say something similar.

Or is it possible that, sometimes, it’s too much nostalgia that makes the game unplayable? The game finds itself unable to live up the hype you built for it? One of the most crushing experiences a gamer can have is when they come back to a game they used to love, play it, and think “Why did I *ever* like this game??” or “I remember the game being *so* much better than this”. It’s iconoclastic: it’s like a little piece of your soul dies with the memories.

Don’t get me wrong: There are plenty of games that *DO* stand the test of time in the best way possible. But there’s a huge number that just don’t hold up.

But that’s just my thoughts. Other ideas, anyone?

First-Degree Pluggage

Alex Williams is back, and rocking the house. He makes some very pertinent points about technology, and why Sony may have gone overboard with regards to the PSP. I just hope he remembers he owes me Bonus KliqPoints left over from April 1st…

Cory goes off on one about baseball writers. But fails to mention Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves in his Great Costner Movies comment (admittedly, it’s only a good film thanks to the brilliance of Alan “Born to be Snape” Rickman, but it’s still a good film).

Yup. It’s AlucardTM And he’s going through the games at a rate of knots. #4 and #3 on the countdown are up… Can you feel the tension?

LiquidCross brings his own spin on the DS vs PSP debate.

Bryan is still analysing. How can he find so much good stuff to write about? You’ll have to ask him yourself!

And guess who we have? Iiiiiiiit’s Eric S! Not once, but TWICE!! Stop by and say hi; He could do with the cheering up. Even without trying I can think of TWO bits of news that will have conspired to make his week generally bad. The Enterprise thing will have ticked him off… Let’s just hope he’s got some of his favourite medications to hand when he hears the news about the 9th Doctor’s new companion.

*What, it’s over already?
Looks like it…
*Thank Zarqon for that. I need a drink
And I’ll join you
*We’re off to the pub
And if everything goes to plan, we’ll see you all next week