The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Video Games 06.15.04

We’re ba-aaaack! Did you miss us?
*Of course they didn’t
Why not let THEM answer that?
*Can’t be bothered. The fact that I had to spend last week cheering you up means I reserve the right to be even more cynical this week
Well, I suppose you earned it…
Too damn right
Anyway. I’m Misha, he’s Marvin, and as the Reploid suggests things got a little out of whack last week.
*Hence no report.
Indeed. But we are returned! And now, on with the show!

News

Say you want a Revolution

Nintendo have announced the official working title for their Next-Gen console. The machine, formerly known as N5, will be known as Revolution, has been promised a 2005 showcase, probably at next year’s E3. President Satoru Iwata refused to give out too many details of the machine, for fear of idea-theft, but he did drop a few hints regarding the possibility for hookups to both TVs and computer monitors, as well as suggesting that “what is needed is not a next=generation machine, but a next-generation way of playing games”.

Additionally, Iwata went on record as saying that the thinks the “crisis” facing gaming in general is “too many sequels”. There is no word on the rumoured Mario Party 6, but it’s thought to be compatible with a new Nintendo peripheral, which will be a camera similar to the EyeToy

Marvin: And here we go again. More rumours and speculation… And there’s still at least a year before we get anything concrete, no doubt… Times like this, we need Bebito to sort out fact from fiction…

credit: gamesradar.co.uk

Code-thieves collared

According to reports, police in various locations around the world have made a number of arrests in connection with the theft and distribution of the stolen Half-Life 2 source code. Valve CEO Gabe Newell praised the efforts of the online community in making these arrest possible, saying “It was extraordinary to watch how quickly and how cleverly gamers were able to unravel what are traditionally unsolvable problems for law enforcement related to this kind of cyber-crime. It was very uplifting to see how the community rallied and tracked these people down. Everyone here at Valve is once again reminded of how much we owe to the gaming community.”

Misha: Well, Gabe likes us after all, it seems
Marvin: But not enough to actually RELEASE THE DAMN GAME, THOUGH!!!
Misha: TBQH, after all this crap, I’m far more interested in the release because it starts the 6-month countdown to the release of the new Vampire: The Masquerade game.

credit: gamesradar.co.uk

Thanks for the 1019

ninte3ndo have announced that their new-and-shiny Gamecube Memory Card 1019 has some issues with compatability with certain games. Read the Official Nintendo Statement here NOTE: one of the games concerned is Sonic Adventure 2: Battle

Misha: At least most of the games that 411 readers won’t own…

credit: cubed-3.co.uk

No Halo for GBA… Honest…

Developers Bungie continue to deny reports that they are planning to create a version of Halo for the GBA. In related news, speculation continues apace.

Misha: And there’ not much more to say really. So often, the more denials there are, the more people believe the speculation…
Marvin: The thing is, the original news came from IGN games…
Misha: Really? Oh, OK then. FALSE ALARM EVERYBODY!!! THERE IS NO GAME!!!

credit: spong.com

Commentary

“This week Oi ‘ave been mostly playing….”1

Tony Hawk’s Underground (GC)

A lot of people slated this game for trying to introduce too much new stuff (the driving, the walking, the missions). For myself, I think these add a whole new dimension to the game, and a good one at that. The story mode gives a sense of something “going on” in the game, it gives your character a motivation for doing what he’s doing. It’s classic tale of two friends who grew apart, and found themselves on opposite sides of an impassable ideological void. The driving could have been better, but it’s not terrible. And the walking missions… Again, a nice distraction, but the real power of the walk only comes when it’s inserted into combos. Mixing a Caveman with a manual, or hopping off your board mid-combo to get to a particularly juicy high rail, then being able to carry on with an extra multiplier to show for it? Oh yes. In the first two games, I was a huge fan of grinding to get my scores up. Nowadays, it’s manuals and flatland tricks for me…

Secret of Mana (SNES)

I love this game soooooooo much! Not a most complicated plot in the world, true… And yes, it IS very linear. But it doesn’t change the fact that the game remains one of the most beautiful things ever to grace the SNES (or, indeed, any other console). The quest, no matter how many times I play it, never gets boring… Even when OI know damn well what’s coming next, it only serves to increase the pleasure of seeing it all play out. It’s like re-reading a fine novel… You know what’s coming, and you’re looking forward to it.

Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance (GC)

A very shiny little ARPG indeed. Both it, and its sequel, got Mad Props from the Kliq here, and it’s not hard to see why. Taking a very Diablo-esque style, yet still keeping it real to D&D… Very nice. As a gamer and RPer, I can appreciate the game on two levels, and it shines on both. One issue, though: WHY does the sorceress start with Burning Hands?? EVERBODY knows that first-level mages ALWAYS take Magic Missile. It’s like an unwritten law of Arcane Magic Use in D&D. The only people who don’t use MM are specialists who took Evocation as a prohibited school. And they’re very silly for doing so. But anyway, back to the game… As I write, I’m just starting on Act II, and I can already feel the plot beginning to thicken. That Beholder was just *too* easy… There’s got to be something more… In short, I’m hooked. It took me a while to adjust to having MPs instead of the Spell Slots system from the PC games, but in reality, when you’re not in a big party, a wizard with spell slots is pretty useless (unless they’re a stupidly powerful one).

The moral of all this is? I really need to spend more time gaming….

1Those of you who’ve seen The Fast Show will get the reference. Those who don’t will soon realise what the topic is, and can wait until next week until I expound more fully on the greatness of the show.

Plugs

Bryan has been almost single-handedly keeping things rolling here. For this, he is to be SUPER-PLUGGED.Heredissects the business of Remakes, and here he has some Deep News Insight. As ever, it all reads like gospel

Matt was the other half of the Kliq’s Greatest Tag Team in the past week. He, like me, has been nostalgia-ing recently, so here he gives his thoughts, and here he gets FEEDBACK! And he’s got all sorts of funky newsbites for ya.

Cory has been to Hell and back. Welcome his return. Empathise with his pain. Then watch me blow him right back there once I can get my hands on a Live-enabled X-Box and the new Worms game…

AlucardTM has his REAL #1 RPG of all time up. Go read, if you’ve not already.

Eric S, like the Monkey from Weebl and Bob, is everywhere, so I lose track. But now he’s moving, so it’ll become slightly easier. In the meantime, I’m grabbing random links to his stuff and throwing them in here, hoping it looks planned. The only question I will ask is why he hasn’t pimped The Anti-Bush game yet.

There are reviews. Lots of them. They are worthy of reading time.

Whew, that’s another one wrapped and ready.
*Right. I’m off to bed
As am I. Hopefully, I’ll be able to sleep.