Regular readers are probably well aware of my Ben Folds obsession ("infatuation" would be the wrong word; he looks a bit too much like the Pepperami man, despite being my longstanding personal hero), but rarely before today have I felt so compelled to intone one of his compositions in this particular column.
"You can shine all alone,
But you still need your friends.
To remind you you're nothing,
Unless you're plugged in."
"Cause baby the truth is,
You need their approval.
To tell you you're cool,
Hey, but look how you pay for it..."
"Giiiiiive the people what they want!"
The song is called "Rockstar".
On an unrelated note, our review copies of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for PC and Xbox turned up around 5:30pm yesterday after a rather protracted battle to get hold of them pre-release. We appreciate the effort, chaps, but as a result of its late arrival there will be no review of either version up in that website today. Apologies.
Instead yours truly will be spending the weekend in Los Santos and neighbouring cities singing along to Mr Folds' cover of Bitches Ain't Sh*t whilst bouncing in at least four different senses of the word.
Oh, and we've heard that the Xbox graphical update isn't quite comparable to the update applied to the Xbox versions of GTA III and Vice City, but that's about all we can do for you. Lovely PC packaging though! And, given that Kristan spent an absolutely ludicrous amount of time playing the PS2 version, we can assume that it's probably quite good - and those of you who, like me, curtailed their efforts once they realised it wouldn't be long before it came out on a platform that could, you know, actually run it, might want to finally take note.
Other games, then. Boktai 2, which is so overdue that we'd forgotten it even existed, also isn't reviewed today, because Konami only had one copy and sent it to somebody else. Apparently it's "more of the same". Mind you, the novelty of being able to charge up weapons using the actual sun by playing it outside with its solar panel exposed is still quite nifty. And Hideo Kojima is another man I love, so his games are always destined to get a paragraph or so amongst this weekly procession of ridiculous ridicule.
The GBA also welcomes the release this week of Mario Party Advance and Megaman Battle Network 5. Mario Party is a series for which my anger knows no end, as many of you already know - if it were indeed a party, it would be three year-olds, pass-the-parcel, bowls of crisps and feeling sick about eating too much sugary cake, and by the end every child in attendance would have cried at least once.
Not like Monkey Ball then, which is more like the party I was at last night, although since there's no new Monkey Ball game out this week I'll spare you an attempt to tenuously link it to scoffing fish cakes, nachos and free beer, missing out on speed-dating due to being too slow (genius) and then watching the tail end of Quadrophenia on the arse-end of Ken Livingstone's office next to the Thames.
I should probably talk about Mario Party Advance though since there's sod all else out this week. 60 mini-games doesn't seem to be enough for most, who complain that there are better multiplayer games on the GBA already. It does play host to lots of reaction-based mini-games, the odd quaint little puzzle game and, our favourite, one about capturing rabbits. But it also costs more than twenty quid, and for that you could buy two superior GBA games discounted because nobody ever buys GBA games. Or a few games magazines where the jokes aren't rubbish.
Finally this week, gamers Stateside are encouraged to assault Europe (perhaps by beating it round the white cliffs with America's wang - or "Florida" for those of us who don't watch The Simpsons) by playing Medal of Honor: European Assault a week before it's released in Europe.
And, curiously, European Assault also reputedly keeps up the trend of Medal of Honor games with "Assault" in the title not being foul and atrocious, as well as sounding like a Daily Mail editorial strategy.
If that's true, we'll let you know. Otherwise expect some sort of cunning "European Insult" joke to appear on the site before we reconvene next Friday to see if I can rhyme anything with the word "Juiced".
- PAL Releases
- Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django (GBA)
- Conspiracy: Weapons of Mass Destruction (PC, PS2)
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PC, Xbox)
- Mario Party Advance (GBA)
- Megaman Battle Network 5 (GBA)
- Key US Releases
- Medal of Honor: European Assault (PS2, Xbox, Cube)
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