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What's New?

(This week's new PAL and key US releases.) F-Zero on the GBA is about the height of it, but the US gets Riddick and Full Spectrum Warrior. Import-ant games.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

There's not much going on at retail this week, which rather aggravates the task of writing a column about new releases, but, as regulars well know, we make our own fun around here. Or, rather, we make fun of our own. Just muddle the words around until it gives you a giggle. Please. We're suffering today. (Which ought to be good value, eh?)

Super Smashing Berate

Top of the list of "oohs" this week is F-Zero: GP Legend for the Game Boy Advance, which is some sort of anime tie-in F-Zero title. And not an RPG version of Medicine Man. We'd love to tell you more, but sadly our attempts to secure a review copy have proven unsuccessful - apparently Nintendo Europe's PR firm still didn't have them on the day before the game's release. Or their dog ate them. So, don't buy that one, because we can't vouch for it.

Otherwise, PAL releases are not so much thin on the ground today as they are Kate Moss nailed to a pot of Nescafe. Onimusha Blade Warriors has received mixed reviews, some of which liken it to Super Smash Bros. Melee, some of which claim it rips off SSBM, but most of which argue that for something like that to work you need memorable characters, not just random men with swords and funny hats.

Or at least if that's what you do go after, make sure they're Master Swords, and not just legendary swords. Everybody has legendary swords these days, you know. It's not enough. Mega Man is a good unlockable, mind, but apart from perhaps Samanosuke we can't imagine too many people frothing over the line-up. And we love Onimusha around here, so it pains us to say that.

Finally in PAL land there's Blitzkrieg: Burning Horizon, which isn't our bag, but has been picking up respectable scores. Fans of Blitzkrieg will probably enjoy.

Sparing the ridicule

Fortunately, things are slightly more exciting across the pond, where Full Spectrum Warrior and The Chronicles of Riddick - potentially two of this year's biggest action titles and Xbox exclusives both - were finally released this past week. Having just returned from a trip to see developer Starbreeze, we're certainly on board with Riddick now - and it's a worthy import, although we do wonder just how many packets of Marlboro reds Mr Vin Diesel got through during his recording sessions. And why the warden of Butcher Bay seems to be Chesney Hawkes in disguise.

The same probably goes without saying about Full Spectrum Warrior, too. That it's a worthy import, that is, not that it stars mole-faced blonde singers who you can't take things away from. It's an intriguingly different sort of war game - mixing strategy and action at the US Army's request without simply racing in and occupying the nearest genre with nary a thought for the locals. We liked it when we saw it recently, although morally it's obviously very naughty and wrong. Which might make a difference for anybody out there with morals. Maniacal despots and insurgents looking for good intel on US tactics though: get right in there!

Oh, and since you're probably wondering yourself now: Riddick should be out in Europe on August 13th, or so we're told, whereas Full Spectrum Warrior could be with us by the end of the month, with a PC version due later in the year. Or it might not. Release dates are fickle things - just look at Karaoke Stage, which seems to slip further and further away from us the more we probe it. Next week, we're just going to ignore it completely and maybe it'll come out behind our backs.

I believe in a thing called Thief

Ooh the things we do for you. Also next week: Thief: Deadly Shadows and Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow on the PS2. Look forward to all sorts of rubbish jokes about sinister men lurking in the dark behind you.

  • PAL Releases
  • Blitzkrieg: Burning Horizon (PC)
  • F-Zero: GP Legend (GBA)
  • Onimusha Blade Warriors (PS2)

  • Key US Releases
  • Full Spectrum Warrior (Xbox)
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay (Xbox)

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