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What's New? (12th August 2005)

The continuing misadventures of Tom.

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

Sullen, slumped, moping, brooding - these are all words you might use to describe him. There he sits. It's about 9:30am on a Friday, and it's getting close to that time of the day.

The sitting continues. There's casual clicking too; through websites on his computer, in the hope of unearthing some excitement to fill the seconds that remain. He was listening to music, but he stopped doing because he needed his ears operating at their absolute peak to guarantee a result.

His clothes aren't today's. He hasn't bothered to shower yet, because he's worried that's when it'll happen. And his bladder's full. Normally, in this situation on this day, he goes anyway, but it seems so close to the right time now that he fears it'll occupy him just a few seconds too long - and, let's face it, nobody can hold it in once they've started.

Heck, he's even avoiding putting that toast in the toaster; food's almost equally valuable, so there's no sense getting halfway through spreading the butter and then realising he has to dash away, leaving it to become - yuck - only slightly warm.

But then it happens. BEE-BEE-BEEB! It's not quite three beeps; it's more like one long "BEEEB" that rises high for the middle 'E' and then sinks low enough to take on the sonic characteristics of a 'B' again. But it's a brilliant sound.

He lurches out of the chair, filled with hope. It could be anything. It could be just what he's been looking for. It could make it all end. The pain.

Then, hum, he hears the sound of the letterbox, and droppage. Maybe the BEEEB wasn't for him after all; she just couldn't get in and had buzzed a few numbers to get into the communal area. Yeah. She was already trundling down the hall. It was obvious from the noise through the wall.

It wasn't loud droppage either. He slows, and some of those murky adjectives start to apply again. Plod. Plod. Plod.

BUT. What if the reason it wasn't loud droppage was because the doormat was absorbing the impact? What if that horrible fluttering sound was actually secondary, practical bits and bobs landing aside from the doormat and masking the sound of thick paper brushing against thick padded carpet?

With that, the murkiness vanishes and the pace quickens again. So does the pulse. It's close now. The first sighting is just a few feet ahead.

He rounds the corner and two things hit him like bricks to the head. The first is the actual sight of it. One item of post. And a letter at that. The second is the stupidity of the previous few steps: he doesn't even own a doormat.

The envelope hones into full view.

Ah. A phone bill.

Says it all really.

(NEXT WEEK: Actual games will come through our letterbox that we will actually write about. Promise.)

  • PAL Releases
  • Coffee Break (PC)
  • Great Invasions (PC)
  • Pac-Man Pinball (GBA)
  • Premier Manager 2005-2006 (PS2, PC, GBA)
  • The Arcade (PS2)

  • Key US Releases
  • Well, Madden, but...

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