WARNING - Repetitive Motion Injuries
The Nintendo GameCube has to be one of the poorest wee souls of gaming. Despite hosting some of the best games seen on any system, I imagine that by now anyone with a GameCube has relegated it to doorstop status, with only the mildest of worries about an unstopped door swinging in the wind when The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is released. With even the Dreamcast somehow scraping a steady stream of high quality, largely exclusive shoot-'em-up titles in Japan over four years since the end of it's production, it's depressing to see nothing but a dribble of off cuts from multi-platform franchises lining the release schedule for the GameCube.
Viewed through one lens of the great telescope of personal truth, the Mario series is the shining star of the games industry; a cherished intellectual property that Nintendo isn't afraid to have fun with. As comfortable expanded and re-imagined in the joyful Mario & Luigi titles as it is as disposable family entertainment in Mario Party, the Mario series will always be a vital and magical part of gaming.
Resident Evil 4 is an absolutely stonking game. In fact, it's so good that I found myself rummaging through old magazines such as Zzap64! just to find words like 'stonking' to describe just how joyful it is. What makes this even more amazing is that Resident Evil 4 is a very subtle refinement of the Resident Evil series. The same slow, awkward movement, relentless waves of single-minded foes, and puzzles, evolved to include a new claustrophobic third-person camera and a glorious aiming system.
Ah, the Bust-A-Move series. Also known as Puzzle Bobble in Japan, or by Japanophiles who call Pro Evolution Soccer 'Winning Eleven', or something, the appearance of the series on the Nintendo DS was merely a matter of time, with the series having appeared on practically every system other than, um, the ZX81 or the Gizmondo. It's likely that if you've ever played a videogame system, or maybe even just seen one from your car window while driving past a branch of Dixons, that you probably know all about the mechanics of playing Bust-A-Move.
Gauntlet and I have a bit of history together.
The first thing I remember is waking up in the back of a warm taxi cab, speeding through the driving rain. The driver, a frog, introduces himself as the Kapp'n, and asks me a variety of questions to find out who I am - secretly it helps me ascertain that very thing myself. It turns out my name is Mathew. I'm heading to the town of NewGenki, a small town populated by animals, and I have no money to pay the fare. Despite that fact, he drops me off cheerfully.
I hate aliens.