Last big week of the year?
It may surprise those of you with real jobs to learn that even us gamey folk occasionally get a bit down in the dumps about things, and curse at the very prospect of having to get on with work. But, as recent studies show, Friday is a universal occurrence, and when networks randomly stop working overnight, your head itches, there's nothing to eat or drink in the house, and the outside world drops about fifty degrees by the time you step foot on the mounds of rotting leaves... everyone has this tendency to throw their arms up and say "[fluff] it". Even square brackets feel like a stretch!
But hey, within about four hours and fifty-two-and-a-half minutes, it'll be the end of work for the week and we'll all be able to lie back and just not think or do anything for a few days. Ah bliss. Or, of course, we could pop out this lunchtime and pick up one of this week's new releases and spend the weekend enjoying that. Cor, eh? I wonder which games are out this week!
To be honest though, it's a week for ports more than anything, with PC owners scooping overdue conversions of the magnificent Beyond Good & Evil, the equally or perhaps even more fantastic Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and of course the long overdue Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
Joining them on the PC will be Lords of EverQuest, presumably the answer to "Would EverQuest ever work as a real-time strategy game?", and Lock On: Air Combat Simulation. I have know idea what that's like, but a couple of flight sim playing friends of mine have told me it's better than perhaps you'd think. Casual fans of flying and shooting might want to look back a week to Larry Holland's Secret Weapons Over Normandy, however, also available on the PC (and PS2/Xbox).
The consoles do pretty well this week too, with the PS2 hoping to make amends for its rather lacklustre showing the other day. Ghosthunter's new, although we're hearing mixed things (you can avoid a potential disappointment by winning it for nothing here, and we'll have a review next week), and Max Payne 2 also appears, but the more interesting additions for this writer are Capcom's peculiar Gregory Horror Show and Vivendi's Metal Arms: Glitch In The System. Granted, I haven't played the latter, but for a VU game with no hype to even reach the lips (let alone the fingers) of any of my fellow hacks is quite something. Whether the game is or not remains to be seen, but if you get a chance to try it out, do.
Elsewhere the Xbox also celebrates a couple of new additions in the shapes of Counter-Strike (which is irrepressibly entertaining despite being a cheap and cheerful port), Max Payne 2 and Metal Arms. However the Cube does significantly worse, with Max Payne 2 going nowhere near the platform and only Mario Party 5 to hold up as a new and interesting release - which surely can't be enough to sustain the console's resurgence of sales given how boring and uninspired the other ones were.
- Agassi: Tennis Generation (PS2)
- Batman: The Rise of Sin Tzu (Cube)
- Beyond Good & Evil (PC)
- Counter-Strike (Xbox)
- Ghosthunter (PS2)
- Gregory Horror Show (PS2)
- Lock On: Air Combat Simulation (PC)
- Lords of EverQuest (PC)
- Mario Party 5 (Cube)
- Max Payne 2: The Fall Of Max Payne (PS2, Xbox)
- Metal Arms: Glitch In The System (PS2, Xbox, Cube)
- Mission: Impossible - Operation Surma (PS2, Xbox, Cube, GBA)
- Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark (PC)
- Premier Manager 2003-2004 (PC)
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (PC)
- Savage Skies (Xbox)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (PC)
- SWAT: Global Strike Team (PS2, Xbox)
- Total Club Manager 2004 (Xbox)