Archive for December, 2003

So many games…

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003

…and it’s holiday time – Perfect!

Now, I didn’t even know that there was a new *Prince of Persia* game in development until it had already been released, and I hadn’t suspected it would be as good as it is until Uncle Clive went off on one about it.

Turns out it’s every bit as groudbreaking as the original Domark game. There’s nothing in Prince of Persia: Sands of Time that hasn’t been done in another game already – one might say it was simply Tomb Raider with knobs on – a fair enough comment if you ignore the fact that the original Tomb Raider was a rip off of the acrobatic platform sensibilities of the original Prince of Persia in the first place. With tits, obviously.

The borrowing of game mechanics doesn’t stop there either. I’m seeing elements from /Mario 64/ , /Max Payne/ , /Blinx/ , /Buffy/ and /Soul Reaver/ in here. I’m hesitant to mention /Enter The Matrix/ , because quite frankly Shiny got it wrong and the /Max Payne/ Kung Fu mod does the job of slo-mo gunplay and fighting way better. The swordplay in PoP:SoT will even make /Soul Caliber/ fans feel at home – it really does cover that much ground.

At this time of year, my thoughts turn to the Game Boy. I have to spend a certain length of time away from my own house, so portable gaming is a valid option to combat withdrawal. After playing Tony Hawk’s 3 and Advance Wars to death last year, I thought I’d be really original and get *Tony Hawk’s Underground* and *Advance Wars 2*. TH:UG is the same as the other games. I knew it would be, and I love it. The only differences being the goals are activated by talking to people and the stat points are rather engineously upgraded by acheiving better tricks. Oh yes, and there’s an impressive MIDI version of Jurassic 5’s “A Day At The Races” in the menu screens, which just makes me want to listen to the proper version.

Advance Wars, I haven’t played yet, but I assume it’s going to be great, what with winning Handheld Game Of The Year a few weeks ago, and probably being just like the first one.

FINALLY – Eve Of Destruction. I downloaded this ages ago, but never go around to playing it online. It’s very good. One thing that annoyed me about Desert Combat (it’s the new Counter Strike!!!111oneoneone) was how easy it was to kill other people, and conversely to become killed yourself. It’s not their fault – the weapons are all new and shiny and I’m sure that’s what real combat of the desert variety is like. Vietnam (it’s the new WWII!!!!111oneoneone) seems a nice compromise – you get to keep the helicopters but it’s a little less of a no-holds barred rush with a big tank to win a map. Pity there aren’t any more servers in my ping range, however. The one server I could play on had too many people that either didn’t know what they were doing, or would team kill you for a plane without blinking. Twats.

This is where…

Sunday, December 7th, 2003

Quite frankly I’m suprised I’ve not seen anyone else make posters like these. Or perhaps the N-Gage is too much of an easy target. I did actually have the opportunity to play on one recently, and they’re really not that bad. Once you’ve gone through the hastle of loading a game into it and you’ve worked out how to start the thing, it’s just like playing a pocket sized Playstation One.

Unfortunately for Nokia, they apparently invested all their time in avoiding what Sega (and to a certain extent, Nintendo) did on their last hardware releases – getting some decent games for the line up, and overlooked the basic need of gamers – something you can pick up and play games on. Aside from the obvious embarassing hardware oversights, like the inability to change the game without taking it apart and the inability to take a call without looking like a knob, there’s really not much in the operating system for the phone that facilitates or even encourages game play. I consider myself /fairly/ technically minded, but I’m used to my Game Boy Advance. Once I’d gotten a game in it I was expecting it to either load up straight away or /at the most/ prompt it into starting by pressing a button. The MP3 playing functionality gets it’s own button, but playing MP3s isn’t the N-Gage’s primary or even secondary function, so why isn’t there a “launch game” button if this is primarily a games console and secondarily a phone? Confusing.

This is where…

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2003

As Computer and Videogames reports, the Golden Joystick awards – the UK’s Oscars for the gaming industry (God, that sounds wanky) – were held last Friday. Along with Battlefield 1942 rightfully picking up Best Online Game, I particularly liked the quote from David Yarnton, general manager of Nintendo UK on picking up the Hardware Of The Year award for the Game Boy Advance SP:

“It’s a great piece of machinery – you don’t have to pull out the battery to put in the game.”

I can imagine the representatives from Nokia at the event, N-Gage’s at the ready, planning the N-Gage SP…

I’ve got this great idea – how about we let them swap games out /without/ having to take the whole thing apart?!

What’s that? Occupies a different market share to Nintendo? Gotcha. We can occupy the “Didn’t really want to play any games on it anyway” gaming market. The Atari Jaguar did excellently there before.

I still can’t find any Cremosa Chupa Chups 🙁