As much as I love the song "Smile Like You Mean It" by The Killers, I can't help but sing "Miiiichaaaael Cimiiinoooo" instead. I do not have any explanation for this. Somehow I discovered it fits and now it just happens. I liked Deer Hunter and that, but still.
Similarly, as much as I love talking about the DS, I can't help but sing about boring old regular games here today. Fortunately I do have an explanation for this: you'll all kill me if I write any more about it.
And, fortunately for all of us, though somewhat bizarrely, there's quite a lot of stuff to consider on other platforms as some publishers seemingly bet against the impact the DS will have in Europe. Sony seemed to know what was about to happen though, launching Gran Turismo 4 on Wednesday. Ow. Okay, we've covered that pretty substantially too.
Other areas of today's varied line-up, however, we have not. PC owners who can't be having this PlayStation 2 car simulation rubbish (it's not rubbish, but, oh, never mind) will probably be interested in GTR from Atari, which is even more of a simulation than GT4. Kristan emerged from his room last week having played it wondering what the hell had hit him. Although, realistically, not much had; it was more him hitting other things and lying in the sand traps muttering expletives under his breath that was the source of his consternation.
It's the sort of simmy sim that sims every single thing, and it is definitely not one for casual racers. A mate at the pub last night said it called to mind Grand Prix Legends, that most extreme and extraordinary of PC racing simulations, which I remember playing on a PC Gamer demo disk about 400 years ago back when my P120 with 16MB of RAM cut the edge so sharply that another friend camped in my house for a week playing Quake on Wireplay. Cornering in GP Legends was a black art. GTR plays to the same tune, and if that sounds appealing to you then you may just have found a nice way to lose a weekend (or 70).
Speaking of sims, the University expansion pack for The Sims 2 is out today. We're guessing that for sims fans attendance is compulsory.
Moving away from racing games and games that I can tenuously link to them, PS2 and Xbox fans have some slightly warped adventuring and some adventurous but slight shooting to consider respectively.
PS2 owners with a J-RPG fetish will enjoy Shadow Hearts: Covenant, we've little doubt, although there's some degree of hangover from the not-to-glorious olden days of turn-based RPGing to watch out for, including a slightly dodgy translation - complete with subtitles that often don't match what's being said.
And Xbox owners will almost certainly find Project: Snowblind to their liking, particularly as playing it online won't be as painful on Live, and those graphics that we thought were so glorious on the PS2 will be given more chance to shine on the less jagged Xbox hardware. That said, if you haven't got Republic Commando for Xbox yet you might want to consider that first.
Elsewhere on the release list there's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: BattleNexus, which has somehow managed to average a lower score than its hopeless predecessor according to GameRankings. There's also EA's FIFA Street, which fits in with the rest of EA's "Street" series by transferring the football to, you know, streets and letting go of some of the more traditional aspects of the game like, you know, gravity and stuff. Think NBA Jam for football. At least, that's what they want you to think; whether it's that good or not is something we'll look into sometime soon.
Frankly it's hard to believe that it can be better than SEGA Soccer Slam, mind, which is one of the besterest and most favouritest sports games I've ever bought. Even if everyone else hated it.
All of which increasingly provocative mumblings leaves us with Vivendi's Robots (NFI, I'm afraid, although 50 as an average across six versions doesn't exactly inspire confidence) and Legend of Kay (sequel to Legend of Nora, presumably. And apparently surprisingly good, despite its relative obscurity; so much so that we'll give it a look soon). Oh, and the Nintendo DS and 16 games.
In fact, if I can get away with one last comment on the DS, if I were buying my own today I would pick up Polarium, Mario 64, Wario Ware and Zoo Keeper, with Mr. DRILLER and Project Rub on-hand as backup. Polarium's on a hunch; the rest I know I love. I would then get evicted and roam the streets until I had 150 stars and animal pictures crawling up the inside of my eyelids.
Which probably isn't too far off the state I'll be in anyway when I come off work at the end of the day and get to sleep properly for the first time in a week - following a night of serious intoxication, switching zoo animals and screaming that SOMEBODY TOLD ME, naturally.
- PAL Releases
- FIFA Street (PS2, Xbox, Cube)
- Gallop Racer 2 (PS2)
- Gran Turismo 4 (PS2)
- GTR: FIA Racing Game (PC)
- Legend of Kay (PS2)
- Project: Snowblind (Xbox)
- Robots (PS2, Xbox, PC, GBA)
- Shadow Hearts: Covenant (PS2)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: BattleNexus (PS2, Xbox, Cube)
- The Sims 2 University (PC)
- Winnie The Pooh: Rumbly Tumbly (PS2, Cube, GBA)
- Special Bit I've Cordoned Off: Nintendo DS Euro launch line-up
- Asphalt Urban GT
- Mr. DRILLER: Drill Spirits
- Ping Pals
- Pokémon Dash
- Project Rub
- Rayman DS
- Retro Atari Classics
- Spider-Man 2
- Super Mario 64 DS
- The Urbz: Sims in the City
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour
- Wario Ware Touched!
- Zoo Keeper
- Key US Releases
- Not much it seems. It's all us baby.