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Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

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What's New? (11th November)

Sorry I'm late. There was a, er, raccoon and, well...

With the possible exception of those biscuits that taste a bit like the dull, non-creamy bit of a bourbon but are actually meant to be the WHOLE biscuit, there are few things with a greater capacity to annoy me in life than the presence of the word "Honor" on the UK packaging of a computer game. This may account for why I'm so grumpy so much of the time.


Readers! An amazing thing has happened!

Sly 3: Honour Among Thieves.

I've seen the box. It actually says this.

Now if we could just do something about colon-dash titles, Soulcalibur, and Galling Acronyms Arranged As Annoying Headings (oh, and anything with an exclamation mark! Halfway through) then I can happily go about my business.

But onto the matter at hand.

Many games have been released today. Some of them are interesting and possibly things you should buy (Gun, Sly 3, The Movies), some are things that are quite good and possibly things you'll enjoy (The Matrix: Path of Neo, Lost in Blue), and some are things that I don't think we've been sent and I'm therefore instantly suspicious of (Crime Life: Gang Wars, S.L.A.I: Steel Lancer Arena International - grnnnrrrgh).

And, much as I'd love to sit here and witter on about all of them, I've got limited time, so I'll be brief.

The Matrix: brilliant, hugely entertaining hand-to-hand combat. Rubbish virtually everything else - particularly the use of film clips, which are presented entirely meaninglessly and out of order. The Wachowski brothers had lots of access to the game (to the extent that they're even in it) - I'm beginning to think this is a bad thing.

The Movies: ACTION!-packed, presumably. I actually having nothing useful to contribute about this as I haven't even seen it, let alone played it. I just wanted to do that rubbish joke.

Gun: Neversoft makes a game that isn't Tony Hawk's! And it's good! It's happened before - anyone remember Spider-Man on the PSX? Kristan says it's like True Crime in the Wild West. Expect four hundred sequels, including a period when it loses its way and turns into Blazing Saddles except with celebrity PRANKS.

Sly 3: Honour Among Thieves: Another Sly Raccoon game. Which is to say a good platform game that follows the generic trudge toward mini-games in a manner that Kristan still found very enjoyable.

Today also marks the release of Lost in Blue, a game in which you get to lead a girl with broken glasses around an island as long as you can eat 400 fish every quarter of an hour.

Things are more exciting over the water is yankland, where a third Fatal Frame (Project Zero) game doesn't emerge from the shadows but instead coaxes you into them and then forces you to take lots of pictures. Expect tortured souls, deadly tattoos, and other things that bear more relation to the game-world and less to bits I'm randomly collecting from the description I keep glancing at.

Finally, there's just enough room [THERE'S PLENTY OF SODDING ROOM YOU LAZY TIT - Ed] to point at the double release of Viewtiful Joe on DS and consoles over in foreignland and then point at Capcom's release schedule and snarl at the "Q1" stuck next to both names. Import them - that'll show 'em.

Or maybe don't. The scores aren't so great.

Oh, and if anybody knows where I can get hold of Guitar Hero in the UK without diverting my entire Christmas budget to the charter plane I'll need to get carry it back, please let me know. I'd dearly love to annoy my neighbours with it. YES I CAN HEAR YOU POUNDING ON THE FLOOR.

PAL Releases

  • Battleground Europe (PC)
  • Cold War (PC, Xbox)
  • Crime Life: Gang Wars (PC, PS2, Xbox)
  • Gun (PS2, Xbox)
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (PS2, Xbox, Cube, DS, PSP, GBA)
  • Legion Arena (PC)
  • Lost in Blue (DS)
  • Mario Superstar Baseball (Cube)
  • Sly 3: Honour Among Thieves (PS2)
  • S.L.A.I: Steel Lancer Arena International (PS2)
  • The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer (PS2, Xbox, PC, GBA)
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo (PS2, Xbox, PC)
  • The Movies (PC)
  • WWE SmackDown! Vs. RAW 2006 (PS2)
  • Zoo Tycoon (DS)

Key US Releases

  • Fatal Frame III: The Tormented (PS2)
  • Lord of the Rings: Tactics (PSP)
  • Mario Party 7 (Cube)
  • SOCOM US Navy SEALs: Fire Team Bravo (PSP)
  • Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble (DS)
  • Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble (PS2, Cube)