The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Video Games 05.04.04

Aha! It’s Tuesday again!
*And just when you thought it was safe to log on to 411
We’re back. With all the usual mirth and merriment you’ve come to know and love from us
*Well, love might be a bit strong. Disguised contempt might be a better way to describe it…
Well, anyway. for those who are new, I’m Misha
*and I’m Marvin
He’s a manic-depressive, time-displaced Reploid
*And he’s just a geek
*Oh, alright. He’s a “New Geek”
Thank you

Look, ma! News!

New FFXII trailer

Okay, it’s big, and it need the DivX 5.11 codec to run, but aif you’ve got broadband, click right here to see the new trailer for FF XII.

Misha: Hmmm. If it hadn’t been for Alex1’s brainwashing, I’d be impressed.
Marvin: It’s more of the same, isn’t it?
Misha: Yes. Which means the Bishounen fans will love it, Final Fantasy fans will love it, and Alex will get on the phone to the Enix half of the company and ask what the hell they’re thinking of, letting FF become the dominant franchise



Here’s the list of what Square Enix will be showing at E3. No real surprises as to what dominates…
Final Fantasy VII Advent Children (DVD)
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (GBA)
Final Fantasy XI: Chains of Promathia (PS2)
Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
Front Mission 4 (PS2)
Fullmetal Alchemist PS2)
Kingdom Hearts II (PS2)
Star Ocean: Till the End of Time (PS2)
Final Fantasy XI: Chains of Promathia (PC)
Beyond Crisis — Final Fantasy VII (mobile)
Brave Shot (mobile)
Dragon Quest (mobile)
Final Fantasy (mobile)

It’s not *entirely* clear what’s meant by Mobile content… It’s probably something Java-based.

Reports suggest, however, that there *is* more content to be annoucned.

Marvin: Let’s just hope to Zarquon that it’s not N-Gage games.
Misha:Indeed. Though I can hear the local drooling over Advent Children already…


Third time splitters

New pictures are now available (here courtesy of of Timesplitters 3, the new game from Free Radical. The screens aren’t especially informative, but at least they’re there

Marvin: Which is more than I can say for Halo 2 screenshots…

Hmm, you’d have thought there’d be more newsbites flying around, especially this close to E3
*Maybe the companies are saving them. Or maybe you’re just crap at finding news
Enough of that… I still have some spare EMP grenades…

Make like John Motson, and comment

Sometimes, in an industry, something very special occurs. It may only last for a brief while, but while it endures, it is a thing of beauty. In gaming, it might be a truly great game which is criminally ignored. In LAN gaming cafes, it’s The Playing Fields.

I first encountered the TPF staff at the Live 2000 consumer electronics event at Earl’s Court. They were demonstrating the wonders of LAN gaming with a load of machines, grouped into subsets of four, running Voyager: Elite Force. Myself and my friend Usman took one look, and because fixtures at the stand. Getting talking to the guys who were running it, we found out about The Playing Fields, and we started frequenting there.

A basement in a building on a side-road next to Tottenham Court Road might not sound like the most auspicious place to start a gaming revolution. But anyone who knows London knows that TCR is an electronic paradise. Almost every shop in the road is selling PCs, Hi-Fis, DVD players, TVs, all the good stuff. And the fact was, the basement was downstairs from the main office of legendary Tech-shop CEX The location was expensive, but good: I was working in Holborn at the time, which meant I could go there after work stupidly easily.

On the face of it, you’d think that one LAN cafe is much the same as any other. Lots of high-end machines, quality peripherals, a stable network and a stupidly fast internet connection are all you need, right? WRONG.

What TPF did was put a bar in. The entire place was licensed premises. This meant people could go buy themselves beer/alcopops/cocktails whenever they wanted. This not only did wonders for the atmosphere of the place, it also made an excellent handicapper for LAN games of Counter-Strike (Using an AWP gets a lot harder after 8 beers…)

Also, they made damn sure that the employee were real gamers, and very friendly. Even a total newbie could step through the doors, be welcomed, and given a crash-course in FPS (or whatever). Sure, they’d get beaten a few times, but in-house, the beatings were never personal. It was all part of the evolutionary process that a gamer’s skills must undergo.

Another thing they did was work hard to bring gaming into the mainstream. Everything from video-game launch parties and Cyberathlete Professional League qualifiers to women-only nights (with certain male regulars dressing up in drag to try and blag their way to the free bar), it was all done with a view to shaking of the “sad geek” gamer stereotype.

Tragically, TPF could not survive indefinitely. It eventually closed down. But though it is gone, it is not forgotten. The owner of Sheffield’s own Frag Cafe has mentioned to me that he borrowed a lot of ideas from TPF. It was a shining beacon of greatness in an otherwise-bland field.

Network-metaphors; plug in, log on.

Local Workgroup

Chuck is back! And lo there was much rejoicing in the Kliq!!

Bryan takes me back to the Old-School days of Magic: The Gathering, where you had a TRUE Mulligan option if your hand had no-land or all-land. Rules have changed, and for the better, but it’s not a REAL mulligan any more.

Little does Cory realise, given the weekend I’ve had, I’d have been perfectly happy for him to post late, giving me slack to do the same. But he’s here, well in-form, and berating Penn & Teller.

Liquid hasn’t calmed down. This time, he’s going off about “Director’s Cut Special Editions”

TM is over in reviews, for Shining Soul II. Me, I’m just excited because the Shining Force 1 remake is out over here. And you might want to invesitage his mailbag too.

Corporate Intranet

It depends which science, Eric. I’m doing Physics myself at the moment. And don’t forget, there’s more to Geek than Sci-Fi (I should know, I multi-class into all of them). If you still want to examine your Geek Score, let me know, and we’ll see how you do on the Student Nationals Pub Quiz

Yes, I do know about Settlers, Ron. It comes of having friends who regularly get together for board/card games evenings. Many hours have been spent on Ninja Burger and Kill Doctor Lucky…

I happened to stop by Comics, and saw Chris D writing about Green Lantern. I’m impressed, so he gets plugged.

And now, with a quickened casting of Mass Teleport Without Error, we’re out of here.
*Here we go again…
‘Bye all.