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Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

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This And That: Wednesday News Roundup

SWAT4 single-player demo, Mizuguchi's Meteos DS finished (with video to celebrate), Naruto for DS too, Creature Conflict heading to Xbox, Puyo Pop Fever GBA dated.

Vivendi's released a playable single-player demo of Irrational Games' SWAT 4, which looked mighty fine when we saw it running recently. It even lets you choose between a simplified interface and the original SWAT 3 approach, ya know. This single-player demo features one hostage-rescue situation set at the Victory Imports Auto Centre, and allows you to create variations on it using the Quick Mission Maker. You can find the demo here.

Tetsuya Mizuguchi (Rez, Space Channel 5, etc) and Masahiro Sakurai (Kirby)'s Nintendo DS puzzle game Meteos is finished and will be out in Japan on 10th March. And in our handhelds within a few days of that, we'd imagine. The latest from Q Entertainment, Meteos involves returning falling meteor blocks to the sky and looks like exactly the sort of divisive puzzle genius that Lumines was to the PSP. Hence our pre-order. We had no luck getting this to work the other day or we would have linked it sooner, but you can find a video of the game in action here.

Meanwhile, Japanese magazine Shonen Jump is reporting that Tomy's Naruto series will be coming to the DS on 21st April. Naruto: Saikyou Ninja Daikesshuu 3 brings the previously manga'd and anime'd life of orphan Uzumaki Naruto to the DS for the first time, and the game will apparently be a side-scrolling affair where players control Naruto and his friends - with screenshots suggesting that the top screen will be used to play, while the bottom will display portraits of characters and activate attacks.

Cenega Publishing's first Xbox game will be a port of PC Worms rip-off Creature Conflict: The Clan Wars, the Czech publisher announced yesterday. It's expected to be released simultaneously with its PC counterpart - which is a bit odd, because we could've sworn said counterpart came out in the UK on 4th February. Still. "We are delighted to be a part of the exclusive publishing club for the Xbox console," Cenega CEO Slavomir Pavlicek remarked. "We anticipate that our games will find a legion of new fans among Xbox owners," he added. Perhaps the next game will anyway. Creature Conflict has been panned in the reviews we've read for trying to be Worms on planet-shaped playing areas. With other animals. And not doing it particularly well. You could find out for yourself, to a certain extent, by having a look at the currently available movies and trailers. In addition to the single-player modes, the Xbox version will also support eight players over Live.

In other porty news, the Game Boy Advance version of Puyo Pop Fever will be released on 25th March over here. And, apart from some missing graphical frills, will almost certainly be indiscernible from its console origins, which were only lightly adapted versions of classic Puyo Pop anyway. Second "Still" of the day: it is a fantastic puzzle game anyway, however often we're told to buy it.