Small packages are often better than they initially appear. Junihno, Kylie... er... Prince? This week's release list is another good example. Just four new games are lined up on the shelves this Friday by my reckoning (not counting Ubisoft's Gates of Discord EQ expansion, which was released yesterday), and with one exception they'll easily take you sailing through the weekend and have you partying like they're £19.99.
It's certainly a good week for PS2 owners, with Argonaut's I-Ninja and Capcom's Maximo Vs. Army of Zin both making it out. Capcom's Maximo sequel is probably the safer bet for most - with the difficulty curve levelled out a bit and the same engrossing must-get-everything mentality, it's one of the better options for kleptomaniacal PS2 owners, although there are some occasional camera issues to contend with. We've reviewed that of course, and Kristan even tracked down the game's producer Mark Rogers recently for a lengthy chat.
Meanwhile to some I-Ninja probably looks like a rather generic facsimile of every other 3D platformer on the PS2, but in actual fact it's an inspired blend of familiar elements, well paced and infused with enough humour to keep you interested even if you're replaying the same level two or three times in some cases. If you're undecided, have a glance over our review from last week. Unfortunately the game is only out on PS2 in Europe, despite Cube and Xbox versions making it out Stateside. Although curiously, on the GameCube front, Amazon claims otherwise. By their reckoning, it's out today! Well it isn't. "Usually dispatched when we've finished making it up." Check out the packshot if you fancy a chuckle.
Also out on the PS2 this week is Downhill Domination from Codemasters, although I don't think we've received a full review copy of that - just a demo - so I couldn't comment, but it's gone down very well in the States. If you like mountain bikes, you might want to give it a look.
Elsewhere unfortunately there's very little to report. Urban Freestyle Soccer is out on PS2 and Xbox, but I didn't think much of that, and I don't play EverQuest so wouldn't have a goddamn clue whether Gates of Discord is any good. Besides, it's one of those games you either know you're going to buy or never will, isn't it?
Anyway, that's about your lot for Friday the 13th. If you can avoid dying between now and next week, hopefully there'll be plenty more to discuss. Armed & Dangerous, Final Fantasy X-2, Gotcha Force, kill.switch, Pitfall, Prince of Persia - plenty to think about there. Me? I'm off to play some more Savage. Hopefully this time I can find out about the bunny-hopping/combat issue without someone voting me off. I do worry that that game is going to be hamstrung by free will.
Update! This item is famed for its pointless pursuit of continuity, but sadly today's instalment was noteworthy for one of its less fortunate recurring themes - missing out a key game. D'oh! As many people have pointed out, Castlevania: Lament of Innocence is also out today in Europe on PS2. All I can say is that I haven't seen a new Konami schedule in a while and that I'm sorry it slipped through the cracks. We'll bring you a review of it just as soon as possible.
- Castlevania: Lament of Innocence (PS2)
- Downhill Domination (PS2)
- EverQuest: Gates of Discord (PC)
- I-Ninja (PS2)
- Maximo Vs. Army of Zin (PS2)
- Urban Freestyle Soccer (PS2, Xbox)