Get your mother something nice. If she's under 30, get her me.
Although Nintendo fans will have to wait until next week (Nintendo DS launch) or the week after (Resident Evil 4) to find something to huddle up with next to the radiator, the rest of us have plenty of options to help us forget Mother's Day - and with a minimum of fallout! After all, we've got snow ("It's too dangerous to drive, dear; you stay home"), Interflora (Click, click, sorted) along with a pile of games (and Natalie Denning standing in the queue next to us shivering). Mother Nature favours the geek this week. The sweater-wearing geek, anyway.
Indeed, it's a staggeringly good week for PlayStation 2 owners, this. Even if you manage to rip through Metal Gear Solid 3 within a few short days, next Wednesday sees the release of Gran Turismo 4, which has swallowed up this writer's entire week. Mostly the nights, actually - as Kristan "It's 11:30. Volume." Reed will attest. And there's also the appropriately named Project: Snowblind to slip-slide your slushy path back from the shops with, a review of which should be up later on. The Xbox version is due out next Friday, with PC following a week later still.
Naturally we're not going to say anything else about Metal Gear Solid 3, while we're on the subject. We've said quite enough. You know we like it. It's totally boss, y'know. Ahem. (And yes, for those of you grinning at the back of the box, that was the defining moment of my life. It's all downhill from here.)
But, away from Darth's Toaster (or, for slimline PS2 owners, Darth's Hotplate), Xbox and PC owners will find their own remedies for the cold. On the PC front there's Darwinia, Uplink developer Introversion's latest, which has the PC crowd very much up and jumping as they marshal fleets of little men around an abstract world influenced by real-time strategy, god and action games. The demo's still on Eurofiles if you haven't tried it yet, and you can buy it from Introversion here if you feel like supporting the little man of UK games development. The little, brilliant, artistically-minded man. Our review of that will be up very soon too. You can probably guess who we asked to look into it.
PC owners also get to share the joys of squad-based shooter Star Wars: Republic Commando with their Xbox-owning brethren. Penny-Arcade summed up the weight of feeling about it rather eloquently, calling it "the best Star Wars experience... since the first KOTOR". Kristan felt much the same way, even though he found it ended a bit abruptly and didn't always get on with its droid dispensers. Even watching over his shoulder though it was apparent that this is a very different Star Wars game. If you've grown bored of every game attempting to be as grand and epic as the new films think they are, you may well be pleased to simply shoot the crap out of far-flung bits of the galaxy without having it all tenuously linked back to Luke Skywalker's choice of belt in A New Hope. Actually, here's a way to sum it up: Does it have a Hoth level? No.
Star Wars-loathing, Xbox-owning types in the audience needn't fret either. If the lure of being a Republic Commando isn't strong enough to dislodge you from your icy throne, you've always got Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath to consider. After Munch's Oddysee, we were a little worried (not least about the spelling), but Stranger is a significant change of tack. An open-ended, shoot-'em-up-flavoured adventure starring a bounty-hunting chap who sounds like he's talking through a trach ring with a funny accent and uses animals for ammo. And one that holds your attention. Look for a review of that soon, too.
Finally, Ubisoft has Playboy: The Mansion on shelves today.
[Might be worth a punt -Ed] Oh, er: "Top shelves, presumably." [PUNT. -Ed]
Hrm. I may now not be able to reach them, however, because someone just broke my legs with a big rubber cock. Oh well, back to the Gran.
- PAL Releases
- Cold Fear (PS2, Xbox)
- Constantine (PS2, Xbox, PC)
- Darwinia (PC)
- Hearts of Iron II (PC)
- King of Fighters: Maximum Impact (PS2)
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2)
- Neighbours From Hell (PS2, Xbox, Cube)
- Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath (Xbox)
- Playboy: The Mansion (PS2, Xbox, PC)
- Project: Snowblind (PS2)
- Star Wars: Republic Commando (Xbox, PC)
- Street Racing Syndicate (Cube)
- Wanted Guns (PC)
- Key US Releases
- Brothers In Arms: Road To Hill 30 (Xbox)
- Devil May Cry 3 (PS2)