Given the state of the weather around here (it's hotter than the surface of the sun), it's perhaps a touch ironic that I spent the morning home from work assessing water damage with an insurance bloke. But evidently when it rains, it pours. And it's not just water. For some reason, June 20th has brought us not a drop, not a dollop, but a whole goddamn deluge of things it's probably worth spending money on. If they twist your particular teat, that is. Fortunately game shops have an overflow in the shape of the bargain bin to catch the bits that slip through the cracks. Unlike the flat above me...
Anyway, personal tragedy aside, this week heralds the release of the long sought after Brute Force on Xbox, and it's really very good! We had some problems getting acceptable framerates out of the System Link setup with four players, but that was mostly because we all hung around each other waiting for Kristan to eviscerate the swamp-dwelling lizardfolk he seems to adore so much so we could play on a different level. The single player, and for the most part the multiplayer, is highly enjoyable. Shame there's no Live support really.
This week the Xbox also welcomes Midnight Club II with open arms. The best PS2 Online game so far arrives on Xbox Live with much-needed voice support, so you can bellow things like "why the hell did you review this if you're so rubbish at it?" when Kristan takes a wrong turn for the fifteenth time while you plough through the finish line ahead of him in an inferior vehicle [are you just going to attack me all day? -Ed] [obviously, Mr. Glasto/San Francisco in one month -Tom].
However, Xbox fans may want to steer clear of Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix, which we didn't enjoy all that much on the PC. It might be better on the Xbox, of course, but as we haven't played it yet we're not really in a position to say.
On the other hand, we have played plenty of other things released this week, like Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution on the PS2, which is either the best excuse to buy a PS2 beat 'em up so far, or a colossal rip-off, depending on which way you look at it. We've also stuck more teeth than is healthy into Wario World, a short, sharp platform sensation from Ikaruga developer Treasure. If you absolutely must have something for your Cube this week, then get this. Or the Game Boy Player, which we also hold in quite high regard, even if no self-respecting actual Game Boy owner has any real reason to own one. Should be useful if you just want to play Golden Sun 1/2, Mario Kart and stuff without buying an SP though, although given the weather you might just as well buy an SP and do it on the beach, or next to the barbeque, eh?
And - rather like this consistently protracted news item - there's even more to come from this week's stock of crap. Fans of buying games on a Friday might also want to pay attention to Star Trek: Elite Force II on the PC. We'll be reviewing that early next week, but in the meantime we've heard mixed but mostly good things about it, and if you loved the first one it's probably worth taking the plunge. No lesbians in this one, sadly.
Meantime, GBA owners can console themselves with the release of Iridion 2 from Vivendi. We don't have any code for this because it's a GBA game, and nobody ever sends us these before release unless we beat them with a massive stick - so it's not specifically on account of Vivendi publishing it, conspiracy theorists.
Anyway, that's about it for this week. There are other things in the list below, as you can see, but we either don't know if they're any good or fear that we might offend somebody by jumping to the conclusion that they obviously won't be. One that we do reckon is bound to be good though is the PC port of Climax Brighton's MotoGP 2.
See you all next week for what looks to be a pretty packed release day. Just imagine all the things I'll rant on about then!
- Battlebots (GBA)
- Brute Force (Xbox) - buy it from the EG Shop
- Chaser (PC)
- Game Boy Player (Cube)
- Iridion 2 (GBA)
- Midnight Club II (Xbox) - buy it from the EG Shop (yes, really, this time)
- MotoGP: Ultimate Racing Technology 2 (PC)
- Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix (Xbox)
- Star Trek: Elite Force II (PC)
- Starsky & Hutch (PS2, Xbox, PC)
- Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution (PS2) - buy it from the EG Shop
- Wario World (Cube) - buy it from the EG Shop
Disclaimer: All of the above release data is verified against four online stores (Amazon, GAME, Gameplay and Play) as well as our latest release schedules and, where available, publisher extranets. If it's wrong, then quite honestly it really is someone else's fault, and if you complain then you will break out in boils. And then you will die.