There may be quite a few names on the list this week, but we reckon it's still going to be a quiet few days at the tills, despite the Bank Holiday, unless by some miracle Microsoft manages to convince the buying public to splash out on a British-made wannabe-Jap RPG like Sudeki, or Headhunter: Redemption surprises us all and sneaks into enough homes to catch Chart-Track's attention.
As it turns out, both games are disappointingly average. Although there's hope for anybody who hasn't played a great deal of RPGs or third-person action games, or just has no real taste, the rest of us will probably discover that both games fail to stimulate any real excitement. Both are full of characters who do nothing to attract your empathy, both are built around stories that sound a bit worn on paper and then come across like one of a certain England striker's PVC-clad grannies of the night in the flesh, both have some nice visual ideas but fail to do anything particularly exciting with them (unless you find swimsuit/thong combinations on uppity-bitch princess-heroines in some way titillating), and both are just plain mundane in virtually every other respect. Headhunter, in particular, is like a book you've already read, but didn't find particularly enjoyable in the first place.
Sudeki is probably the better bet if you absolutely must invest in something this weekend, on account of the fact we quite enjoyed the combat, but there are lots of other things that drag it down - although you're bound to get plenty of laughs out of the NPC voice acting if you're camped around the TV with a couple of mates and a few beers. 'Camped' generally being the operative word. You won't need the hallucinogenic drugs though; most of the early sections were decorated by taping Crayola colouring sets to the outside of a hand grenade, pulling the pin and then running very fast in the opposite direction whilst scattering various Island of Dr. Moreau rejects around the countryside.
Forward-thinking US PS2-owning types, mind, will... Actually, the chances of there even being more than a handful of such people reading this right now are virtually nil, aren't they? Oh well. What we were going to bang on about was the US release of Viewtiful Joe on PS2, which we greeted with much excitement earlier this week. It's got Dante in it! He's really good! Etc! Still, far more encouraging for the rest of us is the news that Capcom Eurosoft plans to release the PS2 version at a budget Ł19.99 price point in Europe this October 22nd. Which means that other retailers are bound to have it down at around 15 bob if past history is anything to go by. Not bad going for a virtually timeless little hardcore action game that looks, sounds and plays better than anything else released in the same genre for yonks - and better than anything on this week's PAL release list for that matter.
Still, we suppose it makes sense to round things off a bit. The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes, eh? No idea. Sorry. Crusader Kings? That seems to be doing all right actually. It's an intricately detailed strategy game set in medieval Europe from the chaps behind Europa Universalis, it says 'ere, and even if that's not our bag, particularly, there has been some positive response to it - despite a few bug issues at launch. Might want to wait for a patch if that's your cup of war, but then if it is you probably already know exactly what you think of it. Ditto D-Day, which is an RTS from Monte Cristo Multimedia - distributed by our pals Digital Jesters here in the UK to commemorate the recent 60th anniversary of, surprisingly enough, D-Day.
What else? Fair Strike is or isn't out, depending on who you believe, or perhaps it came out in June? We don't really know. (Mumble mumble.) Then there are a pair of Game Boy Advance hopefuls in the shape of yet another Dragon Ball Z game with a silly name (seems to be getting slightly above-average ratings), and Ubisoft's adaptation of Disney's Home on the Range movie - the last 2D cinematic outing from the studio, apparently, although we've no idea what that means for the game, which is scoring slightly less than DBZ, for the record. Neigh-ha!
Boringly enough, that's your lot for this particular drizzly August 27th, but fear not, because next week heralds the release of a whole bunch of interesting prospects. Topping the list from our point of view is the PAL release of Animal Crossing on GameCube - a game so vastly overdue that we simply cannot think of words suitable enough to describe the wait [and which will remain overdue given that it's not actually coming out until the 24th. Damn release list cockups -Ed] - along with the budget-priced Wario Ware Cube multiplayer game. Then there's Shellshock: Nam '67 from Eidos and Dutch Killzone chaps Guerrilla Games, Acclaim's multi-platform underground racer Juiced, and a few Megaman handheld offerings from Capcom. Joy of joys. See you and your cagoules all next week. Bring money.
- PAL Releases
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Silver Earing (PC)
- Crusader Kings (PC)
- D-Day (PC)
- Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors (GBA)
- Fair Strike (PC)
- Headhunter: Redemption (PS2, Xbox)
- Home on the Range (GBA)
- Sudeki (Xbox)
- Key US Releases
- Viewtiful Joe (PS2)