Syphon Filter 3
Well, this is weird. The Euro PlayStation Store has skipped Syphon Filter 2 and gone straight to part 3. The US PlayStation Store, meanwhile, gets Syphon Filter 2 but no Syphon Filter 3. It's especially strange since this chapter picks up immediately after the second game. Nobody really plays these games for the gripping storylines, but it still leads to some confusion at the start (and obviously rather spoils the ending of Syphon Filter 2 as well). It's like jumping to Return of the Jedi and not bothering with The Empire Strikes Back.
Yes, I know I just compared Syphon Filter to the Star Wars trilogy. It was an accident.
So, we're back in Logan land. Gameplay is much as it was in the first game, although a lot of this game takes place in flashback. This allows levels to ping pong from the present day (well, 2001) to South Africa, Afghanistan and Central America. You also get a fairly decent deathmatch multiplayer mode. It's nothing terribly special, even in comparison to games of a similar vintage, but it's decent enough that you'll enjoy trying out each of the maps at least once.
Playing both Syphon Filter games back to back, I can't help thinking that maybe if the series had done more to capitalise on its potential rather than rehashing the same material over and over, the series might not have been so eclipsed by its stealthier peers. That's not to say that part 3 is a bad game, it's just not as good as it should have been. But when you can pick up two sizable and enjoyable PlayStation action-adventures for the same price as one SNES game on Wii Virtual Console, such minor quibbles seem rather pointless.
Everybody's Golf 2
Golf and cute aren't two words you often see in close proximity, but this hardy perennial of the Japanese gaming scene pulls it off with aplomb. At the risk of sounding like the world's laziest games reviewer, it's simply a well-executed golf game livened up by bobble-headed anime characters.
As the title suggests, this is a golf game with deliberately broad appeal so those hoping for Tiger Woods-level technical play will be disappointed. Those looking for a game where anyone can give the ball a decent wallop and enjoy some cleverly designed courses will be more than happy.
At the risk of sounding like a terrible old fart, I'd even go so far as to suggest that most gamers would probably enjoy this just as much as the fun-but-not-vastly-different Everybody's Golf 5, the PS3 version of which costs significantly more than a few quid. If you've been tempted to buy the latest full price version, download this first and then spend the difference on cakes. That's my advice.
Although time has not been kind to the oblong-limbed snowboarders of this pioneering snowboarding game, and while it was soon overshadowed by the superior SSX series and 1080 Snowboarding, it's still easy to see why it was once considered one of the stalwart game franchises of the PSone years.
There are five mountain courses of increasing difficulty - three available from the start, with two more to earn through mad skillz - and you have three targets to choose from on each run. Beating the course speed record is an obvious one, while a rudimentary Tony Hawk-style stunt system allows you to aim for trick points as well. For those who are, like, totally awesome you can combine the two and try to be both quick and nimble.
Unlike many of its peers, Cool Boarders is starting to show its ragged edges in 2008 but is still more than worth the asking price. It's better than the supposedly "next-gen" Feel Ski, that's for sure.
In our next update: Destruction Derby! Populous! Big trucks! Balls!