The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Video Games 06.22.04

It’s that time again
*Oh yes
You ready?
*Do I have a choice?
Not really
*I thought as much
Yes indeed. It’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Video Games
*With me, Marvin
And me, Misha
*Right, can we get down to business now?

News

DS vs PSP: Famitsu Face-Off

Famitsu, the Japanese games magazine and journalistic legend, recently polled a selection of games industry figureheads and other notables, in order to get a feel for how the Industry *really* views the two new up-coming handhelds

ROUND 1: Which console will sell most?
PSP = 102, DS = 137, Don’t Know = 111

ROUND 2: Which console will be cheapest?
PSP = 31, DS = 274, Don’t Know = 38

ROUND 3: Which console will be out first?
PSP = 98, DS = 152, Don’t Know = 101

ROUND 4: Which console will host the most interesting games?
PSP = 66, DS = 172, Don’t Know = 111

ROUND 5: Which design do you prefer?
PSP = 251, DS = 42, Don’t Know = 58

ROUND 6: Which console are you most likely to actually carry around with you?
PSP = 134, DS = 69, Don’t Know = 147

ROUND 7: Which console would you play on a train?
PSP = 140, DS = 91, Don’t Know = 119

ROUND 8: Which console the most marked you in term of presentation?
PSP = 104, DS = 89, Don’t Know = 154

ROUND 9: Which console has the most interesting functionalities?
PSP = 113, DS = 149, Don’t Know = 88

ROUND 10: Which console will have most all-new games?
PSP = 31, DS = 244, Don’t Know = 74

ROUND 11: Which will be the easiest to develop for?
PSP = 114, DS = 98, Don’t Know = 134

ROUND 12: Which console will be around longest?
PSP = 84, DS = 156, Don’t Know = 112

PSP wins five rounds with a total of 1269 votes.
DS is the winner with seven rounds and 1629 rounds.

Misha: Well, looks like DSD is marginally ahead.
Marvin: Indeed. PSP makes a very strong showing, though.
Misha: And to be fair, some of the categories are silly-votes.
Marvin: Agreed. PSP more likely to be carried around? With THAT sort of size??
Misha: Only if someone wants to indulge in weight-training as well as gaming.

credit: gamesradar.co.uk

Wario Ware comes to Europe

Nintendo have confirmed it: Wario Ware, Inc: Mega Party Game$ is to be given a European release on 3rd September. Expected retail price is 30 Euros, or £19.99

Misha: Nice price on that one, certainly.
Marvin: Who says we never get any decent games over here?

credit: www.nintendo-europe.com

I’ll see you on LIVE

X-Box Live Video Chat Kit update! The package will come with a camera, headset and software, and enable video conferecing over Live, supporting up to five people, along with features such as emoticons and voice masking. No word on whether the Live subscription will be included, nor was there any news on possible Western release dates.

Marvin: UGH. It’s bad enough when you have to hear people talking to you over Live. Why the hell would you want to be able to SEE them, too? Bad idea, I’m telling you…

credit: gamesradar.com and Bryan Berg

With a C to the M in a football sim…

Eidos has just opened a new website, with all sort of info on the next game in the hugely successful football (soccer) simulation series, Championship Manager. PRedictably, it’s to be found at ChampionshipManager.com, and has, FAQs, developer blogs, and all the latest news. If you’re a CM fan, it;s the place to go.

Misha: Well, Eidos seem to be going the whole hog with this one… Nice to see

credit: www.championshipmanager.com

ANOTHER new handheld?

According to reports, Nintendo’s David Gosen has confirmed that, as well as the DS, the company is developing a “true successor” to the GBA. The launch date is said to be scheduled for 2006, though depending on how the DS performs against the PSP, this could be delayed until as late as 2007.

Marvin: Alright, this is just silliness. Talking about a console that won’t be available for AT LEAST another two years? And doing to at the same time as trying to plug a new machine, due out very soon? Stupid, just stupid.
Misha: Maybe Bryan can find some marketing sense in it. because I sure as hell can’t.

credit: the-magicbox.com

C&C 3 confirmed

EA have confirmed that, while the screenshot that was doing the rounds the other day, was not actually a shot of the game, but rather a piece of concept art. Concept art for a game that is DEFINITELY in development. An Ea source was quoted as saying “The picture shows a Scrin Primal defending against a GDI attack on the Scrin base. Obviously, the Primal is winning”

Marvin: So, it’s confirmed. A new C&C
Misha: In all honesty, I prefer the Red Alert series to the “main” series. Still, new C&C is good.

credit: spong.com

Commentary

As promised last week, it’s time for one of my UKTV special-tributes. This week, we have The Fast Show.

As the brainchild of UK funnymen Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson, the concept is very simple. Mini-sketches, often lasting no more that 15-30 seconds, delivered one after the other. Quick-fire comedy in its purest form, the televisual equivalent of a string of one-liners. Sounds odd? Yes, it was. But it was new, and that got people interested. once they realised that, hey, this is a really good show, the word spread, and the rest was history.

The secret of the format was threefold. First, the fact that they were able to get some of the UK’s top comedy talent (Arabella Weir, Simon Day, and Caroline Aherne, to name but a few) to do walk-on parts (which was easy, because most of the sketches WERE effectively walk-on parts). Second, because the show was paced so fast, nobody ever had time to get bored. Don’t like this scene? That’s OK, wait a few seconds, and you’ll have something else. And thanks to the wonders of selective memory, people only ever remembered the best sketches/characters. The ones that worked became regulars, the ones that didn’t dropped away, and were never seen again.

The third, and most important, reason for the success was the characters themselves. Of course, character development was never going to b3e high on the agenda, but it didn’t need to be. You would see the characters, know roughly what was coming next, and prime your brain for enjoyment. Everybody from Ken and Kenneth, the smuttiest tailors in the world (who once had Johnny Depp turn up in their shop, as a confused American who wound up throughtly quizzed about his sex life), The Insecure Woman (“Does my bum look big in this? Should I have chosen the other colour?”), Louis Balfour (“Welcome to Jazz Club… NICE!”) and, of course, the Class-Crossed Lovers, Ted and Ralph (a touching love story about the deep, heartfelt feelings of a chronically shy Lord of the Manor for his down-to-earth groundskeeper – Only Whitehouse and Higson could have played out ). Yes, the characters are by-and-large caricatures. But they’re caricatures of things that people recognise, and that’s what makes them funny (witness Competitive Dad, who makes everything a competition with his two long-suffering sons, or Chris Jackson, the crafty cockney who’ll nick anything, but will give you fair warning first).

The biggest effect of The Fast Show can still be found today, in the sheer volume of memorable catchphrases generated by the show, and how they’ve wormed their way into the national subconscious. There’s a chain of menswear shops called “Suits You”, that will be forever reminding people of The Tailors. The number of times I’ve responded to a comment someone’s made with a Jazz Club aside-to-the-camera “Nice!!” is ridiculous. If you’re stuck for a metaphor, do as Swiss Toni does, and compare it to “making love to a beautiful woman”. And rest assured, you’ll never be as unfortonate as Unlucky Alf, the northern pensioner for whom nothing goes right. Ever.

Three series, a number of specials, plus a three-part “Last Ever”, was never going to be enough, but you have to respect Whitehouse and Higson for stopping before it got stale.

For more information, the Official BBC site is full of information and goodies.

Oh, and last week’s reference? It was talking about Jesse, a character on the show who regularly emerged from the shed where he lived to inform us about his dietary habits. Typical quite: “This week, Oi ‘ave been monstly eating… Raspberry Pop-Tarts”. So now you know.

Pluggin’ All Over The World

It’s all going Wong for Cory. And he has news on a NEW C64!!! Did I mention that the former occupants of our house left a VHS copy of the MST3K movie when they moved out?

AAAlex really is back, this time. You watch him… He’s back.

Bryan is ever-alert to analyse.

LiquidCross is happy, for once. It’s a rare occurence, so make sure you see it now.

*And look who it is. Couldn’t stay away, could you??

Review Selection – Meet the New Crew! Angeloni, Donahoe, and Ranger are all here.

Don’t be shocked about your Total Lack Of Shame, Eric… Anybody who reads you could have figured it out… Just label it as part of the gimmick, and get back to berating the Republicans!

*Is that really it?
Looks like it
*Well, we’d best be off then
I’d say so.