Picture of Martin Taylor

Martin Taylor

Designer

This is my public bio. There are many others like it, but this one is mine. My public bio is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my public bio is useless. Without my public bio, I am useless.

Commandos 3 patched

Fix those war wounds.

If there's one game this year that has given Yours Truly an utterly hellish ordeal in order to review it, then Commandos 3: Destination Berlin would be it. Reviewing it was an ordeal I wouldn't wish upon anyone, except… well, I did, because I said it was good. And it is! And to thank those of you who listened and then went out and put yourselves through the mill in order to get past the first couple of missions, Eidos has released a patch.

WayForward announces Shantae Advance

Shimmy shimmy shimmy, shake shake shake.

None of us here can belly dance; despite numerous intoxicated attempts to hone the art, the skill continues to evade us. Having said that, we're willing to bet Tom can do an amazing impression of the wobble thing Chunk does in The Goonies. We'll tell you someone who can belly dance though, and that's Shantae.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

If I could turn back time, I wouldn't jump into that spike trap.

"Hup! Careful... careful... no... NO! Phew. Hrng. Hup... careful... argh! Again." - Me, playing Prince of Persia on the Amiga in 1994.

New Battlefield Vietnam trailer

Are there surfboards in it?

EA has released a new trailer for DICE's forthcoming Battlefield Vietnam over at the official Battlefield site. To have a look for yourselves, just click on that picture of the strapping young chaps and their chopper there.

Invisible War goes gold

Plus: Warren Spector speaks out - 'Give us a chance will you?!'

The PC version of Deus Ex: Invisible War has now gone gold, meaning the game will make its previously announced US shelf date of December 3rd - we presume it's still on track for February over here (we can almost hear the torrent sites creaking under the strain).

Dungeon Siege expansion demo

Get excited and then buy it.

The original Dungeon Siege received a somewhat lacklustre reception on this site many moons ago, somewhat going against popular opinion of Gas Powered Games' action RPG. Still, with the forthcoming Legends of Aranna standalone expansion pack and Dungeon Siege II on the way next year, our faith could yet be restored.

Castlevania gets a frightful date

See if you can guess.

Those cunning tricksters over at Konami will be releasing Castlevania on the PS2 next February, on Friday 13th to be exact. Do you see what they've done there? The game has been created by Koji Igarashi and the team responsible for the other much-loved Castlevania games, with the series' PS2 debut forming a prelude to the previous titles.

New Firefighter F.D. 18 details

Konami gets hot under the collar.

In anticipation of the release of Firefighter F.D. 18 on the PS2, Konami Europe has released some details to go along with our gallery of screenshots. Players, as firefighter Dean McGregor, become involved in a mysterious outbreak of fires around the game's huge city setting. During each firefighting mission, an "intelligent" camera tracks players as they face chemical explosions, backdrafts and flashovers while attempting to rescue trapped survivors in locations that vary from towers blocks to a luxury cruiser. All this while getting involved in a "twisting plot" surrounding the mystery of the fire eruptions, and some "interaction" between McGregor and a TV reporter. Crikey! The game is due to hit the shelves in April 2004.

Acclaim claims a new Legend of Wrestling

"Join ussssssssss", they hissed.

Acclaim has added another face to the assembled mass of "Legends" for the third in its Legends of Wrestling series, details of which have been discussed previously right here. So who is this new face? None other than "one of wrestling most controversial and mysterious wrestlers", Jake 'The Snake' Roberts! Yes. "I have been lurking in the shadows waiting for the right time to resurface" said the man himself, images of whom can be viewed at the game's official site, as well as that Polaroid to our left in which he is assaulting several of my bandmates. 'Grrr', I expect he was saying there.

World Championship Snooker demo

Clack clack kerplunk.

Codemasters has released a demo of World Championship Snooker 2003, the PS2 version of which we reviewed in July where it pocketed a rather respectable 7/10. The 90MB demo will allow you to step into the shiny shoes of Ronnie O'Sullivan for a spot of snooker or pool in the Games Room, and have a pop at some of John Virgo's trickshottery. Smashing.

SpyHunter 2 speeds off to manufacturing

Alec is his name. Sects is his... surname.

SpyHunter 2 has gone gold! That's right, Xbox and PS2 owners will be soon be able to take Alec Sects and his super-sophisticated spy vehicle up against the new terrorist threat that is Nostra, across 16 levels in four regions - Russia, New Orleans, the Swiss Alps and Southeast Asia. Alec's G-8155 Interceptor is now capable of transforming into a four-wheel drive off-road vehicle, a snow mobile and a jet ski. Also joining Monsieur Sects is "a new mysterious, sexy female agent", brought in to "increase the intensity of SpyHunter 2's fast-paced action". Vroom vroom, Alec. We expect SpyHunter 2 to ship over this way just before Christmas.

We predict that ESPionage will get a new name

Weeeeell... not so much "predict" as "read it in this thing here".

Midway's ESPionage, a PS2 and Xbox action title built around "psi-operative" Nick Scryer and his psionic powers, has been subjected to a bit of a shake-up. Firstly, the title has been renamed Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy because, according to this huge GameSpot interview with producer Richard Eddy, "[ESPionage] did not get across the idea of psionic powers as well as we wanted". Fair enough. This follows a large slip from Q3 2003 to May 2004 in order to properly polish up areas the team weren't happy with, and the removal of the GameCube version from schedules altogether. We suggest taking a look at that interview if you're at all interested in the title, offering as it does a large amount of background info on the game's concept, and where the development of the title is currently heading.

Steam rises further

More updates, more regularly.

Valve has released yet another update to Steam which adds… well what a surprise, a whole heap of bug fixes. Users starting up their clients will automatically download the update of course, full details of which can be found over at the Steam site. Last week Valve stated that Steam will release regular updates like this every Wednesday evening - but what happens when they run out of bugs?!

The sun's always shining in Stalker

Well actually, no it isn't. As indicated by this here video.

For those of you after a spot more video-flavoured eye candy before you pack up for the day might be interested in a brand new Stalker: Oblivion Lost trailer, showing off more gorgeous in-game visuals including some creatures, weather effects, urban areas and a nice aerial swoop over a town. The actual purpose of the trailer seems to be to highlight the game engine's day and night cycles. And very pretty they are too. The three minute movie comes in both high and low quality formats, so you can decide which one you want over at Gamer's Hell.

New Deus Ex 2 footage

Not long now kids.

With just three weeks to go until Deus Ex: Invisible War reaches stores in the US, Ion Storm is understandably keen to keep us aware of its imminent arrival, willfully leaking out new content like a faulty valve. For those of you wishing to spoil it a bit for yourselves (we couldn't help it, it's our job unfortunately), there are six new gameplay videos available over at Gamer's Hell.The new footage (which appears to be captured from the Xbox version) shows off the new HUD quite effectively, as well as portraying a much stealthier side to the game than we've been seeing in recent trailers, and one that has much in common with the original thankfully. We were particularly excited about the new feature exhibited by Alex D - the game's protagonist - in the third video, but we wouldn't want to spoil it for you. Go on. Watch them. Join ussssssss.

Tron 2.0 updated

Mmmmm, deathmatch.

More upgrades for Tron 2.0 have arrived. This 19MB update brings deathmatch to the world of Tron in the guise of Derez and Team Derez, supporting up to 16 players on three new maps. Strangely, the official update will only install on Windows XP systems, but there is an unsupported update around that will work on all Windows operating systems. Nice work there chaps.

John Lewis shifting a winning combination

Xmas present idea alert!

TV on the blink? Keep having to swap cables around from your shiny DVD player over to the dusty old watermill powered VCR when the kids want to watch their My Little Pony videos or whatever? Just plain don't like having a whole bunch of kit all over the place with wires dangling out the back, across the floor and up your trouserleg? Well thankfully John Lewis could well have the answer to all these dilemmas and more (cheers otto) with this neat little bundle featuring not only a 21" Toshiba TV/DVD/VCR combination unit, but a free GameCube to boot! For £499! So get arm-twisting and perhaps you could bag yourself a pretty nifty Christmas present deal. For the kids, of course.

Revered pool-coding smarty man Archer Maclean is set to return to the PC and make a debut on consoles (GBA excluded) with his new pool project, Pool Paradise, developed with the team at Awesome Studios. Sounding like a cross between Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball and… well, pool, players travel to an island in the South Pacific to take part in an island pool tournament. Money earned in the tournament can then be spent on game aids and "bizarre items", or be used to unlock sub-games and secret island locations.

Railroad Tycoon 3 demo

Choo choo rocke... no that doesn't work.

Do you like trains? We mean a lot. We don't just mean in a way that makes you think "Yeah I like trains. Pretty useful, I'd say." We mean do you like them? Because if so, then there's a good chance you'd make an excellent Railroad Tycoon, wouldn't you agree? If so, then this story is for you. However, even if you don't really like trains all that much there's no reason you can't try your hand at being one. A Railroad Tycoon, that is. To see if you cut the mustard in the world of railroad management, why not grab a hold of this new 128MB Railroad Tycoon 3 demo, complete with two tutorials, a single scenario and a sandbox map? It certainly seems like the perfect opportunity to us. Choo!