To use an expression I picked up in Dublin this summer, there's going to be a lot of CRACK flying around this weekend! [Isn't that spelt 'craic'? -Ed] You can tell it's a good week for gamers because there are [counts] one, two, no, three, no, four GameCube games that are probably worth buying. If you include SSX 3 and Worms 3D, that is. But even if you don't, Billy Hatcher and F-Zero GX should be enough to tempt you out of your purple, Metroid-encrusted nest for one weekend.
I've picked up on the GameCube games this morning not because I'm some sort of rabid fanboy (although you probably think something else), but more to illustrate a point: there's a load of top, top quality games out this week. Let's do the list. Crimson Skies: High Road To Revenge on Xbox. You'll soon see that we think this is one of the best Xbox Live games in ages. Billy Hatcher isn't the best, but it's Sonic Team's best in ages. F-Zero GX is obviously utterly fantastic and supremely addictive. SSX 3 is the best SSX title yet, and so vastly improved it would be unfair to list just some of the brilliant things about it. Then there's Time Crisis 3, which is the best reason to own a light gun since, well, Time Crisis 2. Finally, we have Worms 3D, a game that most PC owners and former Amiga fans will probably just buy on instinct. Fortunately it's very good, too. And that's not even all. We haven't had a chance to check out Dog's Life, Massive Assault or Railroad Tycoon 3, but all three are interesting prospects.
Of course there are some disappointments in this week's stack, but for once they're relatively easy to ignore. Bionicle is a rubbish, Mayan-inspired platformer that's been on the receiving end of some of the most offensive reviews in ages, My Street is a pretty average albeit bearable set of mini-games for PS2 Online, Celebrity Deathmatch has been in development for ages and still didn't turn into anything palatable, and the less said about The Simpsons Hit & Run the better (although, ironically, the things said in Hit & Run are its best feature...
This week also heralds a sad/joyous moment for gamers, depending on which way you look at it, with the release of the seventh and, mercifully, final Sims expansion pack, Makin' Magic. We'll take a look at this at some point and maybe bring you a review, but to be honest, you all know full well whether you're going to buy it or not already, so why don't you just go do what you're going to do? It's the end of an era, but EA is feverishly plotting the next one as we speak, so try not to let your guard down.
And with that, we come to the end of October. Just one month left now until it all goes quiet again until mid-March...
- Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg (Cube)
- Bionicle (Cube, PC)
- Celebrity Deathmatch (PS2, Xbox, Cube, PC, Psone)
- Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge (Xbox)
- Dog's Life (PS2)
- F-Zero GX (Cube)
- Fame Academy (PS2, PC)
- Ford Racing 2 (PS2, Xbox, PC)
- Gadget Racers (PS2)
- Massive Assault (PC)
- Mega Man Zero 2 (GBA)
- My Street (PS2)
- Next Generation Tennis 2003 (Xbox)
- Railroad Tycoon 3 (PC)
- Sonic Pinball Party (GBA)
- Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (GBA)
- SSX 3 (PS2, Xbox, Cube)
- The Simpsons Hit & Run (PS2, Xbox, Cube)
- The Sims Makin' Magic (PC)
- Time Crisis 3 (PS2)
- Worms 3D (PS2, Xbox, Cube, PC)