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Nintendo brings more games to ECTS

Hitchin' a ride.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

After three years of increasingly eccentric trade show offerings, Nintendo's 2003 line-up is difficult to look upon without first considering the setting. Three years ago, it was a hot and steamy but ultimately enormous stand in the midst of Olympia, worth of E3 and filled with everything but the GameCube. Two years ago, they took over Westminster Central Hall, and last year they bussed us away for booze and baps at breakfast time, then had Charles Martinet - bless him - do stand-up for us in the absence of any exciting news.

This year, they're driving a truck filled with consoles up to the gates. No trade-only ECTS stand, and no PSEx-rivalling consumer Nintendo event - just a truck sitting by the entrance to Earls Court with various games in it.

Fortunately, they have at least now told us which games they will be. Along with the previously announced Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (which reports state will be in a finished condition), GameCube titles 1080 Avalanche, F-Zero GX, Pikmin 2, Pac-Man for Nintendo GameCube, Pokémon Box, Soul Calibur II and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords will be on display.

On the GBA, there will be Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Mario & Luigi, Pokémon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire and Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3.

As anybody who made the trip to LA two months ago will be well aware, these are games that were demonstrated inside the LA Convention Center. We imagine that along with Mario Kart, F-Zero GX (already released) will be in a finished state by then, as will pretty much all the GBA titles.

However there are some noteworthy absentees from this listing, like Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, which, while it has slipped until 2004, is still a huge name amongst gamers and all but stole the show on the Nintendo stand in Los Angeles - it was many critics' favourite title.

Also gone will be Kirby Air Ride, which has been released in Japan and seems to be doing quite poorly amongst reviewers, Wario World, which is out everywhere now having been finished for what seems like an eternity, and games like the newly announced ghost shooter, Geist, Kojima's Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes, and the third Rogue Squadron title, Rebel Strike.

Come to think of it, there's no sign of The Sims Bustin' Out either - despite all we were told about Nintendo's relationship with Maxis and EA during their press conference two months ago.

Although some of these games may make it onto the ECTS floor by themselves, it seems surprising given the popularity and stature of each that it hasn't hitched a ride with Nintendo.

But as we said, Nintendo's ECTS promotions are a little bit peculiar.

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