Moved house recently. That was fun. There were two highlights - dropping a 36" widescreen television on my toe, which is now broken, and knocking my cherished Game Boy Advance SP onto the floor, breaking that as well. (I fully expect to get shot tonight, since bad things generally come in threes.) Anyway, the main problem with a broken GBA SP (there isn't actually much of a problem with a broken toe when all you do is sit around playing games and hurling barbed comments at flatmates) is that it's forced me to turn to the Game Boy Player, and that's not really my bag. I prefer to lie upside down on the couch with my legs splayed and my face cushioned by Amazonian beauties (stitched into the upholstery, see), and my television doesn't exactly operate on an axis. Heck, I'm never going to touch it again having broken another one trying to play Ikaruga properly.
Fortunately though, the timing of my double breakage couldn't have been much better. Once I got past blinding rage at the fact the supposedly durable handheld had perished whilst negotiating the trifling matter of a three-foot tumble from desk to hardwood floor (it's not as if it was thrown down two flights of stairs or anything - and my bloody walkman survived that), and came to terms with the fact that I can't move one big toe as far away from its pals as I can on the other foot, it got me thinking. After all, today is Classic NES Series day, and that means I have a cast iron excuse to burn the best part of 80 quid on one of, er, them [nods head left]. Pretty, isn't it? Well, okay, it's not very pretty, but it pushes my buttons. And very soon I hope to be pushing its. Probably whilst purring like a cat with its own cow and lying upside down. Drunk.
However, largely pointless NES bedecked handheld re-fabs aside, the Classic NES Series doesn't strike this writer as anything much to get excited about. Granted, it's nice to have the option to play some of our old favourites on a handheld - but for £15+ a go? Some of these are surely classics, some of them are damn near legendary, but there really was nothing to stop Nintendo piling them all onto a single cartridge, or perhaps a couple, and just charging £35. Well. Perhaps there are crazy licensing hoops that would have been difficult to jump through saddled with eight console games (for the record: Bomberman, Donkey Kong, Excitebike, Ice Climber, Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda and Xevious), but then there are always excuses, aren't there? We'll just dig the NES out from under the bed, thanks.
Er, more time travel
The good news though is that there are some games out this Friday worth buying, and topping the list is probably Onimusha 3 from Capcom. We've written lots about why that's good, and even asked Keiji Inafune why in an interview elsewhere on the site today, but it's worth reiterating for anybody who missed it: it's a lot more like the first one than the second was, and it's got Jean Reno in it. Running around feudal Japan with a sodding machine gun. Surely that's enough?
If it's not, then you could always do whatever a spider can in Activision's latest movie tie-in, the stupidly named Spider-Man The Movie 2, which seems to have defied all our expectations by being good. We're not convinced it's the best thing ever yet, but it seems like an enjoyable enough exercise in accompanying the film - robbing elements from all sorts of games like Grand Theft Auto and Max Payne to great effect. And it's nothing to do with that odd PC demo that found its way onto the Internet a while ago that nobody liked. This one's good. And it's out on literally everything, even Game Boy Advance (although we somehow imagine it might vary ever-so-slightly thrust onto the new NES-coloured handheld).
Other than that, there's not a great deal to talk about this week. Richard Burns Rally is out (if it wasn't last week) and seems to be doing okay critically. Then there's Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain, which far apart from the fact that it's the latest in the most bizarrely named series ever (is it some sort of cigarette gag? Liquid cigars? What? Make sense for yawning out loud), is also not very good and knows it. Although it does star a bloke who looks a lot like Wayne Rooney from behind. Then again, that's all very well until you realise that you can't find anybody online unless you beat your friends very hard with sticks with guns on them and sticks inside the guns that point out and shoot bullets. The PS2 has lots of better third-person action games. Play those instead. Or buy Full Spectrum Warrior for the Xbox if you haven't already.
So there you go. We're all wrapped up. And much quicker than usual actually. Perhaps there's room for dream analysis? We haven't had a stupid running theme around here for a while so I might as well kick one off. Right. Last night, I had a very vivid dream where I was constantly moving between these really nice suburban sort of houses with a few other people in a car, and whenever we got inside and went to sleep, gunmen came in through the front door and we had to escape through an upstairs window and do a runner. Any thoughts? [Never do this again. -Ed] Right you are. Good night. (Ack, I've been shot!)
- PAL Releases
- Classic NES Series - Bomberman (GBA)
- Classic NES Series - Donkey Kong (GBA)
- Classic NES Series - Excitebike (GBA)
- Classic NES Series - Ice Climber (GBA)
- Classic NES Series - Pac-Man (GBA)
- Classic NES Series - Super Mario Bros. (GBA)
- Classic NES Series - The Legend of Zelda (GBA)
- Classic NES Series - Xevious (GBA)
- Cycling Manager 4 (PC)
- Onimusha 3 (PS2)
- Richard Burns Rally (PS2, Xbox)
- Risk: Global Domination (PS2)
- Spider-Man The Movie 2 (PS2, Xbox, Cube, PC, GBA)
- Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain (PS2)
- Uru: The Path of the Shell (PC)
- Key US Releases
- Nothing we haven't seen already. (Tales of Symphonia on the Cube is out next week.)