Monday, 07 March 2005
Welcome to the second edition of Newswarp, brought to you by our very own Chris Pickering!
Welcome to Newswarp - AltGaming’s look at the week’s biggest gaming news (and a few smaller pieces if it tickles our fancy), and its overall affect on the industry as a whole.
First thing that took our notice was the introduction of Binary-one.co.uk. This little site seems intent to offer not only nicely designed t-shirts, but also a small selection of game related accessories for the current generation of consoles, and a few items from years gone by. Admittedly there’s not a particularly wide selection of items there at the moment, surely it’ll grow, and might just become to place to grab that kind of stuff from. The only problem is, do you really want to wander down the street in game related apparel? Or is geek all of a sudden stylish? Just don’t be surprised if your laughed at by the abundance of “chavs” that now seem intent of taking over the world.
Mercenaries held on to top spot in the latest all format UK charts. Apart from that, the only thing of note to appear from these charts is Mario Power Tennis appearing at number 13. Let’s just be thankful we finally have some big releases hitting us in the near future.
Sony announced that they expect to ship 3 million PSP’s before the end of March, a week after the US release. Sony’s entrant into the handheld market (which Nintendo have had complete control over for the past few decades) looks set to have give the DS a major run for it’s money with the sheer power of their handheld. Those who have been lucky enough to play on a Japanese unit (Yes, this writer has managed a mere half an hours play so far) obviously know all about the machines potential. The only problem is, the lack of overall creativity in the systems launch titles. As exciting as handheld Ridge Racer is, where’s the Rez’s, the ICO’s, the Amplitude’s, or the Darwinia’s? The games that show true creativity and style, something that’d suit such a fresh new system, rather than rehashing the same old crap we’ve played hundreds of times before. It’ll sell, but I can’t help but feel that the PSP could be something of a false dawn.
This years BAFTA Games Awards saw Valve’s Half-Life 2 win a total of 6 different awards, and prove itself to be undoubtedly the game of last year. EA’s first Burnout title managed to bag three awards, with Halo 2 winning a mere single award. The strangest award saw the new Prince of Persia title winning the Gamecube award. For starters, it’s not that good of a game, and a mere shadow of last year’s beautiful prequel, plus handing a single format award to a multi-format title seems a bit of a cop out. Why not hand it to something Nintendo developed? Even Metroid Prime 2!
Hideo Kojima once again goes back on his word, and the now somewhat tired Metal Gear Solid series (in this writers eyes at least) and admits that he’s to be involved with a yet un-named forth iteration of the series, to be released on a next generation format. The series which is most famous for offering roughly 15 seconds of gameplay for 25 minutes of rambling on various subjects, mostly totally irrelevant to the game looks set to carry on pretty much forever as Konami will once again be ready to milk it’s favourite cash cow for as much as possible.
Rumours are abound that the DS will recieve a cosmetic overhaul which is set to be shown off by Nintendo at this years E3 show. Despite Nintendo's dismissal of the rumour, it's always a possibility, and something they're obviously more than willing to do, as shown the the SP. How happy that'll make early adopters to the DS is yet to be seen. Though with announcement of a range of colourful DS's set for release in Japan, that could be extent of the overhaul. And as much as I'd love a pink DS, I'll stick with my boring old silver/grey unit.
RPG specialists Square Enix have announced that they're set to bring their special kind of genius to another medium, and launch it's very own variety show in Japan. Entitled "Heavy Metal Thunder" the show will basically feature the host Yoko Kumada chatting to a selection of guests. Japans answer to Parkinson? Only if he mercilessly kisses the arse of each guest of course. Oh, and the theme music is created by "Sex MachineGuns" who are apprently a popular band in Japan. What a name.
Once again that rounds up another weeks of most of the interesting news. Come back next week to see who I mercilessly pick on.
The views expressed in this article are not neccessarily those expressed by AltGaming as a whole.