The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Video Games 07.06.04

ANNOUNCER: Introducing first, from London, England… Misha!!
*This isn’t going to work, you know…
Shut up! We’ve got enough random clickthroughs from wrestling to justify it….
ANNOUNCER: And his tag-team partner, from…
*Don’t even bother trying. You’ll never convey the complexities of it
ANNOUNCER: ….Marvin!!!
*Is that done, then?
Yes. You can reactivate your audio receptors now.


Pro EvoLondon Soccer

News from Konami is that Pro Evolution Soccer 4 will be on show at the GameStars Live exhibition in London’s Excel arena, September 1st-5th. The show itself is the latest in a long line of London-based consumer-orientated games-shows, a history dating back to the early 90s with “Gamesmaster Live” and the “Future Entertainment Show”, and already has a considerable lineup of exhibitors, including Nintendo, Activision, EA Games, Nokia and Ubi Soft.

Misha: Ugh. Gamestars. Yet another disgrace to the name of gaming. And now they’re doing a SHOW?
Marvin: Indeed. At least we’ll be going to ECTS instead.
Misha: Where, if all goes to plan, we can see the game WITHOUT the Mindless Hype.
Marvin: It’ll still be hype, but if we lose the mindlessness, that’s good enough for me.


It’s a Mini adventure

Rumours from Nintendo suggest that the company will be releasing the next batch of Famicom Mini titles for GameBoy Advance in Japan on August 10. The titlese will retail for 2000 yen each, and the third volume will contain 10 classic games from the Famicom Disk System

Famicom Mini Vol. 21 Super Mario Bros. 2
Famicom Mini Vol. 22 Nazo no Murasame
Famicom Mini Vol. 23 Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Famicom Mini Vol. 24 Metroid
Famicom Mini Vol. 25 Palthena’s Mirror (Kid Icarus)
Famicom Mini Vol. 26 Shin Onigashima
Famicom Mini Vol. 27 Famicom Tantei Kurabu: Kieta Koukeisha
Famicom Mini Vol. 28 Famicom Tantei Kurabu II: Ushiro ni Tatsu Shoujo
Famicom MIni Vol. 29 Akumajou Dracula (Castlevania)
Famicom Mini Vol. 30 SD Gundam World: Gachapon Senshi Scramble Wars

Misha: So Marvin, how good is your Japanese?
Marvin: Good enough for me to have better things to do than translate for you…


N-Gage on tour

Nokia has just announced the daqtes for its latest UK promotional tour. Here’s a list of all the places that the roadshow’s going to visit.

Plymouth: Place deBrest, Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th July
Weymouth: Esplanade, Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th July
Bristol: The Podium, Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th July
Birmingham: The Bullring, Friday 16th, Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th July
Sheffield: Fargate, Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st July
Blackpool: Central Promenade, Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th July
Glasgow: George Square, Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th July
Brighton: Dalton’s Bastian, Friday 30th, Saturday 31st July and Sunday 1st August
Southend-on-Sea: Victoria Circus, Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th August
Oxford: Gloucester Green, Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th August
Bournemouth: The Square, Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th August

Highlights of the tour will be Crash Nitro Cart contests, with QDs given away as prizes, as well as the change to play some upcoming games.

Marvin: Another ill thought-out tour?
Misha: Probably. And the temptation to make Spinal Tap references is overwhelming


Paper Everything

In an inspired bit of promotional randomness, Nintendo is currently pluggin Paper Mario 2 by offering Origami Templates to make your own Famicom gear. Make a console, or cartridge, or both.

Marvin: Remember kids. Ask a grownup to help you. Scissors are dangerous, especially if you have the IQ of the average Gamezville reviewer


Taking the Sith

New shots of Knights Of The Old Republic II? Yes, please! They can be found here, courtesy of The Magic Box.

Misha: Ooooh! So shiny!! ShinyShinyShinyShinyShiny!!!!!
Marvin: Oh, great. He’s off into HappyGeek mode… There’ll be no stopping him now…


Mana, mana, mana, mana, shout…..

It seems that the Mana Tree is growing once again… Square Enix are currently recruiting people to work on their new project, another game in the Seiken Densetsu series (known in English as “the Mana series”). Very little is known about the game, except the nature of the recruitment would seem to point to the game being on a next-generation machine (current bets are PSP or DS, unless Microsoft can bribe SquEnix into making it an X-Box 2 exclusive).

Marvin: Wow! A SquareEnix game that’s not Final Fantasy!! Will wonders never cease?
Misha: And it’s another Seiken game. If it keeps up the standards set by the other games in the series, we’ve got another classic on our hands.


Time for something a bit different again… Since everybody else around here seems to be going sport-mad, now seems as good a time as any to jump on the badwagon. So let’s begin with Euro 2004… And let’s offer a huge round of applause to the Greeks.

80-1 tournament outsiders going on to win the competition? Oh yes. And don’t forget that, en route to that, they beat the host nation (Portugal) twice, the defending champions (France) once, and another very good, highly underrated side (the Czech Republic). Deserving winners… And it just goes to show the beauty of knockout competitions. In the English Premiership (as with so many leagues, in so many sports) the top places are dominated by a few teams with shedloads of cash, and nobody else has a hope. But running right next door to that, you have the FA cup, where teams from all the divisions can enter, compete, and maybe score an upset or two (which happens on a fairly regular basis). Many would say that the true mark of a great tournament is that it really is anybody’s game… And I’d be inclined to agree.

Respect for the Greek achievement has been tempered, however, by pundits who argue that the way the Greeks played is bad for football as a sport: It’s been described as a very “negative” style, which revolves around denying the other team oppotunities to score, and then poppping the odd goal or two in. It’s not the classic continential style of football (a swift, elegant passing game) and so people are deriding it. My thoughts? If something works, go with it. The way the Greeks play reminds me of the classic early 90s “Boring” Arsenal (score once, then shut up shop. With Adams, Keown, Seaman et al, ain’t nobody gonna find their way through that…) I recognise that a match in that style isn’t the most fun game to spectate, but I’d rather my team played “boring and victorious” than “fancy and defeated”.

A second thought: Am I the only person who gets utterly sick of tabloid sports reporting? It’s the sporting equivalent of an IGN review… No actual content, just sensationalism and rambling. Unlike IGN, however, the tabloid back pages have no compunctions about administering a good kicking to a poorly performing team, and it’s this that gets to me. Not because they’re slagging off the sportsmen/women, but because they do it ALL THE DAMN TIME. As a writer, I know there’s a line between constructive criticism and abuse; By and large, the tabloids go waaaaaaay over that line. Maybe it’s supposed to be their job… But press crucifixions do nobody any good. Especially since such journalists seem to hold a strange hypnotic power over the brainwashed masses, bending the readers to their own will…


Cory is trying some new things. And it’s GOOD. I’m surprised he’s never heard of Lionhead Studios, though… It’s Peter “Better than Sid Meier” Molyneux’s own company, and programmed (amongst other things) Black And White

AAAlex has all sorts of fun news. And it’s all for you!!!

All hail Bryan, Market Analyst par excellence. He’s exploding another Big Gaming Myth, and you owe it to yourelf to read it.

The thing is, Liquid, for all the money and people in the country, the US is lagging waaaaay behind Japan (and even the UK) in terms of mobile phone tech. So don’t be surprised you’ve not got any decent games yet…

AlucardTM is finally taking his break from columns. No, really, he is…

And now, the end is near….
*The end’s not NEAR. The end is HERE