As you know, one of the most difficult things about being a games journalist is spending the vast amounts of money we save by not having to pay for our games. This is why many of us drive Ferraris, romance supermodels, sip Cristal champagne from the eye-sockets of the Venus de Milo and use gold-plated Shetland ponies as coffee tables.
Lies of course. None of us has any money, often because we continue to buy games whenever it's possible to own them two or three weeks early or something economically suicidal like that. I only mention it this morning because it's a useful link to another lie: the one on the front-page Alt Text about this being a "PSP-free zone". The truth? There's a list of games on the bottom of the page, and you should consider buying at least one of Ridge Racer, WipEout Pure, Mercury, Lumines and Virtua Tennis.
With that out of the way, I've room to talk lots about the relatively encouraging crop of new releases sprouting vegetable-puntastically out of the seemingly arid plains of early September. For a start, Dungeon Siege II (PC) is finally released today after, you know, development. Stuff. It's about slashing things in dungeons and is thought to be largely entertaining by those people at Eurogamer who've been sent review copies (hint), with more pets (lap-dragons!) and wave upon wave of nastymen to scythe through, as well as an improved questing system and a clever shiny-thing-based reward system. Very cleaver in fact.
Another game I've enjoyed reading about this morning is Delta Force - Black Hawk Down (PS2, Xbox). Apparently it's a bit pants - dodgy visuals, can't-tell-who-anyone-is first-person shooter, wind-up-toy AI and spawn-miles-away online play - but having read around about it I'm now keen to play it and experience its commendable "ambient objects", and some of its other multiplayer surprises like underground tunnels. I am often surprised by underground tunnels. I'll be sitting there, minding my own business, when all of a sudden I'll be set upon by two or three heavily armed underground tunnels! Yesterday evening I was walking to the bathroom when the cloakroom door flew open and out sprang none other than EUROTUNNEL, my arch-nemesis. I was so surprised I nearly tripped over my gold-plated Shetland pony and stabbed myself in the eye with Kate Moss.
Meanwhile, in reality, today also sees the launch of MotoGP: Ultimate Racing Championship 3 (PC, Xbox). When I first encountered MotoGP, I enjoyed it. I found this so surprising that I sat upright in a state of panic I haven't experienced since the Golden Gate Bridge tapped me on the shoulder, punched Naomi Campbell in the crotch and stole my Ferrari. There was something extraordinarily intense about the way your vision changed as you hunched over the bike and sped up a straight toward a turn - cornering was like being snapped out of a dream and realising you were fighting the Dartford Tunnel for the future of humanity. Or something. In any event, MotoGP 3 has met with a warm reception. (Hardly a surprise in this weather.)
In the opinion of many, it's a neat refinement, cutting away a lot of the extraneous fluff and focusing on hardcore man-on-a-bike MotoGP stuff, including multiplayer - one of the things it's best known for. The question will be whether you need another version of the same game, of course - one thing that might entice you is the new set of Extreme courses, which take you out into the country, down dirty roads and presumably through some scary tu[stop that - Ed].
All of which leaves us with Earth 2160 (PC), a real-time strategy game that Kieron found so uninspiring he forgot how to write (actually, there are probably people out there who'll buy it for that), which can be fun if you pretend all the names are different. Give them codenames or something. So the boring old Aliens can be the Terrawangs! And the ED, UCS and LC can be the Electric Death, the Untimely Comet Surprises and the Lightning Compost-heaps. Then it'll be a bit like Major League Soccer, or the inside of my head. [You can see why the tunnels are after him. - Ed] So then, it might not be elegantly named and it might not be the most logical mix of everything-they-could-think-of, but it's certainly a strategy game that you can buy today.
Finally, there's just enough room [note to readers: Tom doesn't actually have a word limit for What's New; he just gets hungry and decides it's time for lunch. - Ed] to question whether Aquanox - The Angel's Tears (PS2, Xbox) is actually a game or just some sort of dodgy biblical porn [it's an underwater shoot-'em-up of dubious value - Ed], and to remind you all to come back next week when I'll make better jokes and have some new and exciting games to write about. Like MADDEN.
- Aquanox - The Angel's Tears (PS2, Xbox)
- Brave: The Search for Spirit Dancer (PS2)
- Delta Force - Black Hawk Down (PS2, Xbox)
- Digimon World 4 (PS2)
- Dungeon Siege II (PC)
- Earth 2160 (PC)
- MotoGP: Ultimate Racing Championship 3 (PC, Xbox)
PSP Launch Titles
- Ape Academy
- Archer Maclean's Mercury
- Colin McRae Rally 2005
- Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower
- Dynasty Warriors
- Everybody's Golf
- F1 Grand Prix
- Fired Up
- MediEvil: Resurrection
- Metal Gear Acid
- Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition
- NBA Street: Showdown
- Need For Speed Underground Rivals
- Ridge Racer
- Smart Bomb
- Spider-Man 2
- TOCA Race Driver 2
- Tony Hawk's Underground 2 Remix
- Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade
- Virtua Tennis World Tour
- WipEout Pure
- World Snooker Challenge
- World Tour Soccer: Challenge Edition
Key US Releases
- Beat Down: Fists of Vengeance (PS2, Xbox)