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Kingdoms, Countries, Clubs, Factions and Cells.

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Image credit: Eurogamer

"He lives in a house, a very big house in the country," as Damon Albarn sang so forgettably a few years ago. We only bring it up because it could have been written about Donkey Kong (apart from the subsequent part about herbal baths), whose antics in one particular Country are so saleable that Nintendo is rounding on us for the third time today with the GBA release of the previously SNES and GBC-based platformer. As explained in our epic ramblings on the subject , it's just fun. It's well-made, derivative fun.

But praise be to your various Gods, because there is more than one GameCube game out this week, people! And one of them's a flipping RPG! Lost Kingdoms II is From Software's Activision-published follow-up to - surprisingly - Lost Kingdoms, a game with an interesting card-based real-time battle system but an adherence to stupid, sparsely populated random battle-packed levels. What we want from the sequel (which I am just pausing to rip the shrink wrap from), is less of that and more of the intricate and strategic battle system deck arrangement. It's sort of like Yu-Gi-Oh, except you actually care.

Also on the Cube today, we have Red Faction 2, a slightly above average FPS which had one of the most disproportionately exhaustive promotional campaigns in recent history, and Splinter Cell, a little-known "stealth action" game made in association with celebrated novelist Thomas Clancy.

The Xbox doesn't do too badly this week, but it doesn't do great. It only has [update] two games, the previously discussed (Red Faction 2) and one of them is rubbish (Dakar 2). Red Faction 2, it should be noted, is also out this week on the PC.

Actually, the PlayStation 2 does worst this week, picking up Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Operation Resurrection (or RTCWOR, pronounced "RTC War") and nothing else. RTCWOR is, according to publisher Activision, the same as RTCW Tides of War, but lacking the Xbox game's multiplayer component. Which means you should buy the cheaper PC version and some more memory instead.

  • Dakar 2 (Xbox)
  • Disney Sports Basketball (Cube, GBA)
  • Disney Sports Motocross (GBA)
  • Donkey Kong Country (GBA) - buy it from the EG Shop
  • Lost Kingdoms 2 (Cube)
  • Red Faction 2 (Xbox, Cube, PC)
  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Operation Resurrection (PS2)
  • Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (Cube, GBA)

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