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Tom's on the warpath again...

Buying games shouldn't be such a [fluffing] mission. I don't care that it's Friday morning and you haven't unpacked the games boxes yet and nobody usually comes in for the lesser stuff on Friday morning you slack minimum wage monkey. And, hang on, lesser stuff?! Get outside, find the box that has Beyond Good & Evil in it, and ring that [kitten] up! [Got my work cut out today -Moral Decency Ed] I've got forty quid in the palm of my hand, there's a line of angry mothers behind me and I want to buy the game! I'm going to buy that game!

Apparently buying games is something of a mission these days, because I'm sitting here, steam pouring out of my ears and bloodlust in my eyes, completely BG&E-less. I figured I couldn't lose, you know. I mean, I calculated that everyone's got to be out buying Broken Sword, EyeToy: Groove, Mario Kart or Lord of the Rings today. Or at work. Or the pub. Nobody would be stealing my most cherished and desired BG&E from me. Nobody. But then again I've never seen incompetence so singularly personified as I did in the eyes of the wretched pimply excuse for a sales assistant that I encountered this morning. Fortunately I saw that it said "Eugene" on his sales badge. Can't be too many of them working in videogame retail. Please clobber next one you see? Do it for me.

Hoo boy, glad I got that off my chest. Obviously it's painful for me having to buy any games as a lazy, freeloading professional layabout, but Ubisoft didn't get me a copy of BG&E this week (although they sent me the ECTS demo again, maddeningly). But hey, I can forgive them - their Christmas line-up includes BG&E and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, both of which have been on my "must get boxed copy of that the instant it comes out" list for a long time. I had a quick go on PoP the other day and it's so [fluffing] brilliant that I almost cried.

Enough of that though - there are over several other important releases this week, not least of which, as you've probably realised, is Mario Kart: Double Dash. We were quick off the mark with our review of this one [for once -collective groan], which you can read here, and I still think it's far better than the N64 version and much closer to the SNES original than I'd anticipated. Yes of course the AI cheats from time to time and it is a bit of a pain that they've stripped out the last-minute-banana-dodge, but if you come away from winning the 150cc Special Cup with anything less than a grin on your face you're probably reading the wrong website. It's got some fantastic tracks, it really has. It's also my favourite multiplayer game on the Cube since Smash Bros. Melee, although with a Japanese copy of Wario Ware sitting on top of my TV waiting patiently for a chance to strut its stuff, we'll have to see how long that lasts.

Still, if you'd rather ignore Mario Kart's charms and buy something else there are plenty of bankable treats in the shapes of Amped 2, which I've just gotten my hands on late this week, depressingly, the aforementioned and aforelustedafter Beyond Good & Evil (although on PS2 only, sadly), Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon, which Kristan will be picking apart early next week, the potentially cynical but surprisingly enjoyable EyeToy: Groove (the best game ever made in the space of four months?), and of course The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, reviewed today.

Also out today are Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (asked whether it was any good, Martin did an Alex Ferguson face and said "no", although it is pretty cheap), Dungeons & Dragons Heroes (Ronan's on the case, folks!), an Xbox port of Dynasty Warriors 4, Outlaw Volleyball, the surprisingly enticing Pokemon Pinball and Ubisoft's Uru: Ages Beyond Myst.

All of which is jolly nice, isn't it? Happy? Full? Right, I'm off to try and buy Beyond Good & Evil again. Wish me luck. If things work out, you'll be hearing about it from me on Monday.

  • Amped 2 (Xbox)
  • Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (Xbox)
  • Beyblade (GBA)
  • Beyond Good & Evil (PS2)
  • Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon (PS2, Xbox, PC)
  • Chaos Legion (PC)
  • Curse: The Eye of Isis (PS2, Xbox, PC)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai (Cube)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2 (PS2)
  • Dungeons & Dragons Heroes (Xbox)
  • Dynasty Warriors 4 (Xbox)
  • Euro Club Manager 03/04 (PC)
  • EyeToy: Groove (PS2)
  • Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (Cube)
  • Outlaw Volleyball (Xbox)
  • Pokemon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire (GBA)
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (GBA)
  • Spyro Adventure (GBA)
  • The Lords of the Rings: Return of the King (PS2, Cube, Xbox, PC, GBA)
  • Uru: Ages Beyond Myst (PC)
  • V-Rally 3 (PC)

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