The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Video Games 05.18.04

*It’s OK, you can come out now
You mean it’s finally finished?
No more E3 stuff?
Whew. It was starting to overwhelm me
*Just because you couldn’t go…
Neither could you…
*Yes, but I’m content to wait until ECTS. When you’ve lived as long as I have, you learn patience…
I’m patient. I just don’t want to wait for stuff.
Yes, indeed. Recovering from the E3 madness, I’m Misha, and this is Marvin. Let’s press on, shall we?


Time to hit some E3 stuff that slipped under the radar initially, and more besides….

Yet more Half-Life 2

Movies from E3, and Valve have come up with some great new clips of Half-Life 2. Including the new version of arguably the definitive mod *ever*, Counter-Strike. The movies can be seen here (hi-res), here (low-res) and here(Counter-Strike), thanks to

Current schedule is “Summer release”, and speculation at E3 was that the delays were less to do with last year’s Code Theft, but rather, connected to teething troubles with Steam, Valve’s funky-new online system.

Marvin: More delays? Oh dear, oh dear
Misha: Who cares?? It’s Half-Life. More to the point, it’s COUNTER-STRIKE, dammit!!!


Toony Hawk Skater?

Cunningly hidden amongst the mountains of stuff on the Atlus stand at E3 was this little gem, Go! Go! Hypergrind. Imagine Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, but with cartoon characters, and add a touch of Atlus magic, and you’re there. Certainly,. the graphics look pretty enough: it remains to be seen if one of ALucardTM‘s favourite codehouses can beat Neversoft at their own game. See the screenshots here

Misha: Y’know, we might finally get Alex1 to enjoy an Urban Sports game…

credit: 411Games

Iwata on Miyamoto

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has gone on record, effectively apologising for his co-worker, the Gaming DemiGod that is Shigeru Miyamoto. Iwata has explained that Miyamoto’s amazing talents have been ‘diluted’ by the workload he’s been forced to carry, which has kept him away from making games. As a result, Iwata has stated his intention to take on Miyamoto’s third-party liaison responsibilities, to allow Shigeru to focus entirely on making AAA games for all Nintendo systems.

Marvin: Well, you know they’re going all-out for the DS when they turn sound to The Shigster and say “Forget everything else. Just make us games”
Misha: Indeed. And it makes me happy to hear it. More Miyamoto games can never be a bad thing.


Even more on Sonic

Yep, E3 saw the highly-anticipated release of yet more screenshots of Sonic Advance 3. And of course, we at 411 have them for you right here. The simultaneous two-player mode seems to be very well-implemented, and there’s the usual mix of nature an technology in the levels that we’ve come to expect from the Sonic franchise

Marvin: All in all, it’s actually getting me excited. Which is nice.

credit: 411Games

Nintendo goes to Narnia

Current speculation suggest that the GameCube may well be getting a game based on C S Lewis’ classic book The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. For those who don’t know, the plot features four children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, who find a magic warndrobe that takes them into the magical world of Narnia. If that sounds cliched, it’s because LWW is one of the books that DEFINED the idea. At the time, it wasn’t cliched at all.

The game, due to be released by Disney Interactive, would tie in with the up-coming film version. More details as they become available.

Misha: Right. This one’s MINE. Nobody else in the Kliq loves Narnia like me. Both game and film had better be good, though, otherwise someone will be in trouble…


FF XII latest

Latest word from Square Enix has announced one of the characters in Final Fantasy XII. The chap goes by the name of Basch, a 36-year-old renegade general, who was branded a traitor when he killed the king (yep, that’ll generally do the job).

Also released are screenshots, which can be found here, thanks to The Magic Box, of the new Active Dimension Battle system, which allows characters to move position in combat.

Marvin: Well, well. SquareEnix are finally putting a change to the combat system, eh? Not before time…
Misha: It should actually be pointed out that positioning played a part in some of the special attacks in Chrono Trigger
Marvin: True. But actual positioning, that can be altered? That’s a nice touch. Especially if it leads to super-combo attacks, like in Chrono Trigger, or Crystal Chronicles.

credit: The Magic Box


Sadly, with the advent of RL stuff (not to mention the fact that uploading all these lovely pictures takes time), I’m all tapped for commentary this week. So, instead, I’m going to go for a Reader Survey, to find out what *you* want from this section in the future.

Recent commentaries have fallen into a few main categories. What I’d like to know is which of these you’d prefer myself, and Marvin, to focus on in Commentary terms.

Aspects of British Culture (TV, etc)
Commentaries on online phenomena (memes, blogging, etc)
Slightly more wide-ranging stuff, more directly related to gaming.

Unless there’s something specific that I’ve missed, which needs attention.

All thoughts to, please!


Cory has an E3 roundup, and a commentary on Penn and Teller. I *really* like what he’s got to say, butcause it’s true.

Bryan says his livejournal aspires to be like mine. Which is nice, since my commentary aspires to be like his. So we’re all-square.

Matt offers his insights into the events of E3 as they happened. Perceptive, he is, yes…

Guess what AlucardTM is talking about in his Countdown? Hint: It’s not Shining Force. There’s enough of that here

Can you guess what mood LiquidCross is in this week??

And of course, it’s 411’s Other Sci-Fi Fan, Eric S. You can find him on Black or over in Wrestling. Myself, I sincerely hope Enterprise gets cancelled. Trek needs to get rid of B&B, and take a nice long break. Let it return with the contemporary equivalent of TNG: That’s what the brand *really* needed, and Enterprise wasn’t it.

And so, it appears, that’s it for the immediate moment.
*So we’ll be off, then
Indeed. Take care, everyone
*And don’t die. Dying is bad