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What's New? (19th August 2005)

Lots of sex please, we've got no games to play.

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

England lost a football match 4-1, Darren Bent was in the squad, and Sven-Goran Eriksson came close to demonstrating an emotional response. England won a cricket match and then nearly won another one. Madonna fell off a horse and beat Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip off the frontpages of national newspapers. In a month that's seen so much oddness here on these sunny shores, you'd think someone could contribute to the madness by releasing an honest-to-God-worth-buying computer game during August. But no. It's another fairly barren week and you might as well just save up all your cash for the inevitable gaming monsoon that'll sweep the nation again in just a few more long, boring weeks.

Chrome: Specforce (PC) is probably the highlight. A prequel to 2003's Chrome, it reportedly adopts this idea rather too fully, reusing most of that game's tech and feature-set but slicing out a few bits and pieces in the process - although sadly not lead character Bolt Logan, whose name is only a few absurdities removed from our man of the moment, Rocketbilly Redcadillac. The Techland FPS' main competition (a sentence never destined to be timestamped outside August, we fear) is... I dunno, making patterns out of your cornflakes or seeing how far you can walk up Oxford Street before somebody shoves you off the pavement into the path of an oncoming bus. You can't really argue the case for anything else.

Over the pond it's a slightly different story. Geist (Cube) finally appears (at least partially) after a lengthy period of development. It's a paranormal FPS that looks rather bog-standard on the outside, but plays host to a few interesting ideas - mostly to do with possessing objects, people and bunny-rabbits in order to find out the truth about why we're able to be a mop and bucket. It hasn't been scoring tremendously well, so presumably it hasn't gotten round to possessing any reviewers yet. We'd like to possess a stallion so we can vigorously reward Madonna's horse.

Dungeon Siege II (PC) fares slightly better. Gas Powered Games' latest is another combat-heavy action-RPG featuring - not entirely unpredictably - a lot of dungeons. Word is that it's long, hard and has more pets in it. We always liked our mule, but now we can befriend things called lap dragons and elementals. Lap dragons are the mythological equivalent of Chihuahuas stuffed with chilli powder, and are useful if you ever need to light cigars or fight off groin goblins or sock serpents. Elementals are news editors who've drunk too much Coke.

The other option is Sonic Gems Collection (Cube), which is - gasp! - another compilation of Sonic games for GameCube owners, finally answering the question "Why the bloody hell wasn't Sonic CD included in Sonic Mega Collection?" It's also got a beat-'em-up we've never played called Sonic the Fighters, and an on-foot racing game called Sonic R. SEGA also managed to "cram" in a collection of Game Gear rehashes, including Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and the portable version of Sonic Spinball, which manages the rare feat of being worse than the 16-bit version.

And that's your lot. More than we had last week, but frankly the only truly good thing to be said for it all is that it hasn't left you to endure some self-indulgent dramatisation of buttering my toast or similar. Next week: new games, we hope, or possibly a self-indulgent dramatisation of yours truly sobbing quietly into the sofa whilst contemplating the pain in the pit of my soul and being rubbed consolingly on the back by friends who haven't seen me this far off the rails since the incident involving Lake Placid, Uwe Boll's House of the Dead and rejection at the hands of the one person I've ever really cared about. RELEASE SOME SODDING GAMES YOU MUPPETS. I know it's August, but that's no reason for me to have to face up to my life, all right?

  • PAL Releases
  • Chrome: Specforce (PC)
  • Conspiracy: Weapons of Mass Destruction (Xbox)
  • Neuro Hunter (PC)
  • Pac-Man World (GBA)
  • Pac-Man World 2 (GBA)
  • Sprint Car Challenge (PS2)

  • Key US Releases
  • Dungeon Siege II (PC)
  • Geist (Cube)
  • Sonic Gems Collection (Cube)

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