With the arrival of the next-gen consoles almost upon us, we thought it would be a good time to look back at some games from launches gone by. Or in other words, to have a laugh at some old rubbish. So here's Eurogamers guide to five terrible games from platform launches past.
But of course, they weren't all bad - coming soon, look out for our video of Five Amazing Launch Titles, plus Five Launch Titles You've Forgotten About That Were Quite Good Actually Come To Think Of It. We're also planning to do a six-hour video of Ken Kutaragi playing Fantavision while talking about the Emotion Engine and crying, but he won't return our texts.
Rare veteran George Andreas has left Microsoft to join Sony.
Every Sunday we present an article from our archive - giving you a chance to discover something for the first time, or maybe just to get reacquainted. This week, with the Conker-starring Project Spark finally releasing, we go back to Wes' interview with the man behind Rare's foul-mouthed mascot.
New images have emerged from an early version of Perfect Dark Zero slated for the Xbox.
Through a locked gate, down a winding path and by a still pond a few miles outside of the leafy village of Twycross, England, a bonsai tree stands. It was a gift given to Rare by Shigeru Miyamoto, the most famous game designer in the world, as a thank-you for the game developer's critical and commercial success in creating games for Nintendo, the most famous game maker in the world.
It's a CV packed with best-selling games spread out across a decade: Killer Instinct, GoldenEye, Perfect Dark, Kameo… we're talking, of course, about Rare.
Rare boss Scott Henson has explained why the Microsoft-owned UK developer is squarely focused on the Kinect Sports franchise and not hardcore genres such as first-person shooters.
The cancelled game that began as Perfect Dark 2 was to feature a very different Joanna Dark.
The image below, unearthed by unseen64.net, shows a more moody Dark than the one depicted in Perfect Dark and Perfect Dark Zero.
According to the site, Perfect Dark Core, what began as the true sequel to N64 first-person shooter Perfect Dark, featured a "more realistic atmosphere than its predecessors, with Joanna having a different and less feminine behaviour (smoking, flirting)".
Rare has told GamesIndustry.biz it has nothing to say about rumours that Perfect Dark 2 is in development for Xbox 360.
Microsoft's Peter Moore has paid tribute to Rare's recent product history, defending the Twycross-based developer against claims that its output has struggled to keep touch with the critical and commercial successes of its output prior to its acquisition by the Xbox platform holder.
Rare plans to release a second map pack for Perfect Dark Zero in the near future, having already stuffed a pair of the pack's maps into the new "Platinum Hits" re-release of the boxed game in the US.
It's been a week of near-things for followers of Xbox 360 Marketplace - with a promised dashboard update still not quite out and a map pack for Perfect Dark Zero that Microsoft US emailed about on Friday not quite there either.
Microsoft has released a new playable demo for Xbox 360 shooter Perfect Dark Zero.
Microsoft's released the first round of downloadable content for Perfect Dark Zero - although fans will have to wait a bit longer for those promised premium maps.
Concluding our coverage of Chart-Track's annual report, today Kristan picks his way through the PC market, the burgeoning Xbox 360 market, and any other markets he can find. He was round here the other day admiring fish and everything. Multi-Market Reed we used to call him. I'm not saying he's promiscuous though. He is, but I'm not saying that. All data (and trout) from Chart-Track's annual report. Used with permission. And in Fisherman's Pies.
The steady decline of the PC software market was in evidence once again in 2005, with the total market share (by value) of all PC software (including non-games packages from the likes of Norton) representing just 24.6 per cent. By contrast, back in 1999, this figure was a whopping 41 per cent, although the actual money spent by consumers has remained roughly unchanged since that time (£299.188m in 2005, versus £290.316m in 1999, when you were clearly a bit stingier). Compared to last year, sales are down from their all-time value peak of £310.856m, which is a curious statistic when you consider that the actual installed base of PCs across the country has never been higher, broadband penetration has been soaring and prices of PCs are at rock bottom.
Having made good on its promises of PGR3 and Kameo downloadable content, Microsoft's preparing to release a demo, some new multiplayer maps and some new bot personalities for Perfect Dark Zero.
Zen of gaming, indeed.
If Microsoft was hoping that Perfect Dark Zero was going to be one of the pillar launch titles to usher in the next generation in a blaze of glory, then it must be - deep down - pretty disappointed. Let's not beat around the bush. Microsoft wanted, needed, another Halo-sized launch title, but Perfect Dark Zero most definitely isn’t it.
The plain, unpalatable, inescapable truth is that Rare's latest shooter is worryingly far away from being a classic. Through gritted teeth you could admit that it's "a respectable, solid, mostly entertaining secret agent FPS". Being diplomatic you might well concede that it’s "a good genre offering" that "devoted FPS fans will enjoy", but that sounds so glib. In the context of a high-profile next generation blockbuster, such down-played compliments sound like insults.
Rare has revealed that it took a big risk with Perfect Dark Zero just so that we could all be sure of playing it on Xbox 360 launch day.
One of Rare's lead designers has revealed that forthcoming Xbox 360 shooter Perfect Dark Zero could work on the Revolution.
As you may know by now, Germany's videogames ratings board has published a list of all the Xbox 360 titles it's been testing recently - and notably, Perfect Dark Zero is nowhere to be seen.
Rare has revealed that forthcoming Xbox 360 title Perfect Dark Zero will not launch with a 50-player online mode as previously announced.
A new interview with the development team behind Perfect Dark Zero, Rare's forthcoming Xbox 360 title, has appeared on Xbox.com.
Some rather interesting stuff is revealed, including details of five of the weapons you'll get to play with - namely the phantom, laptop gun, RCP-90, shockwave rifle and psychosis pistol.
We're promised plenty of replay value, since Rare says it wants to "give players a compelling reason to play story mode again and again. Multiple ways to achieve goals on the levels enhances this.
Several reports have sprung up recently claiming that Perfect Dark Zero is due out on October 4th. Microsoft has officially declined to comment – pointing out that it "hasn't officially announced any released dates for Xbox 360 titles" – but a number of sources close to the publisher have described the suggestion as "nonsense".
Although Microsoft hasn't explicitly said so, it seems fair to infer that Perfect Dark Zero will be one of the Xbox 360's launch titles. We thought it would be anyway, but the matter seems more or less settled following this morning's official confirmation that the game will be on shelves in Europe "this Christmas" - which is as specific as the company's publicly been about the 360's release date.
Three new novels set in Rare's Perfect Dark universe are going to hit bookstores just before the release of Xbox 360 title Perfect Dark Zero.
Those who remember N64 shooter Perfect Dark with fondness may be interested to know that some new screenshots for the forthcoming Xbox 360 sequel, Perfect Dark Zero, have emerged on developer fansite Rare-Extreme.
Posted by a forum user, they are said to be grabs from the single-player game mode and feature some interesting-looking Metroid-style spiders. Hmm.
Rare has been careful to keep the game under wraps so far, but now the first few details are starting to emerge - including news that all the weapons will feature primary and secondary functions, and you’ll be able to hold up to four at a time.
Microsoft's Peter Moore has indicated in one of a number of promotional Xbox 360 videos doing the rounds that all three of the company's key UK first party titles, which he identifies as Project Gotham Racing 3 from Bizarre Creations and Kameo: Elements of Power and Perfect Dark Zero from Rare, will be part of the console's "launch portfolio".
That's not a cast-iron guarantee that they will launch alongside the console this "Holiday season" - mostly likely November/early December, even for Europe - but it's the clearest indication yet that all three are being positioned as key components of the Xbox 360 launch offering.
Project Gotham Racing 3 has yet to be officially unveiled by Microsoft - perhaps in an effort to avoid spoiling the European launch of Forza Motorsport on Xbox 1 today - but is almost certain to feature on Monday at the company's pre-E3 press conference.
That's the trouble with behind-closed-doors presentations. Someone's bound to talk about what they've seen, and if you're really unlucky they'll even go blathering about it all over the Internet.
Which is what's just happened to Rare after showing off Perfect Dark Zero for Xbox 360 at a top-secret event. Amongst the attendees were members of a clan called PMS, who failed to contain their excitement during an Xbox Live interview for Gamertagradio.com.
After waxing lyrical about the virtues of the new console ("Everyone's gonna bow down!" apparently), they revealed that the game will make use of an EyeToy-style camera which scans your body to create an in-game avatar for multiplayer matches.
More than four years since ace FPS Perfect Dark appeared on the N64, a few details of the latest instalment in the series have emerged.
Microsoft first announced the game, titled Perfect Dark Zero, back in 2002. Since then details and screenshots have been scarce, as in nowhere to be seen, though they did release some character renders of heroine Joanna in a fetching chrome and lycra combo.
Now rumour has it that the reason it's taking so long is cos the game is being saved for the Xbox 360. It's down as a launch day title, apparently, and should be on show at E3 next month.