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Tue, 01 Mar 2005

Games: March

Sony's PSP is a nice looking thing at a better than expected
price although getting them out to market seems to be a
problem. Is there something of the future in this? ... a
bigger handheld? Or is this just a case of Sony covering
a segment of the market they haven't been in before, and
properly differentiating themselves from the competition
by taking the handheld to a new level. Well, creating a
new subdivision is more like it. People aren't going to
consider this to be competition for a GBA, a DS, or even
N-Gage. The PSP is bigger and somehow more adult. The
interesting thing will be to watch what other things the
PSP gets up to as time goes by.

Viewtiful Joe 2, PS2, GC, Capcom Underwhelming changes and additions 
have commentators almost lost for words as to why you should buy this
sequel... um, new girlfriend character, zoomy thing, er

Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines, PC, Activision You're a Vampire.
You're in LA. Life is sad. There's not much to do.

Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean, GC, Monolith 
This card-based RPG with a sky world as a backdrop rewards quick
selection rather than refined judgements. Time morphing cards are
cool.

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King of Fighters, N-Gage

The original license owners of this have been having fun getting this one around. First PS2 and now from a different house, Hudson, we've got another one.

The King of Fighters is, as you'd guessed, a fighting game with retro roots. One screen scene has a nicely drawn Chinatown look and the other is more bland. The characters have that Japanese anime look that all arcade players would be familiar with.

You can fight by yourself, selecting various teams to go forward, or you can have Bluetooth battles with nearby friends. It's fun, although moving your fingers quickly between the number pad controls sometimes had me foxed.

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King of Fighters, PS2, Ignition

Retro-gaming is alive and well and in this game brings an old arcade game to PS2. This is the second in Ignition's series and there are more to come. This is a 2D fighter with lots of nice pixels around. The violence is cartoon-like and even humourous so is unlikely to send anyone off on a shooting rampage or whatever. There are seventy-five characters to choose from with some more to unlock as you go along. Biff! Pow! Crunch!

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Asphalt Urban GT N-Gage

This is reminiscent of Need for Speed: Underground and GTA Vice City -- the first because this is the kind of game it is, and the second for the sort of criminal driving you might get up to especially in Miami.

It is a driving game, with various sorts of competitions which you get promoted through as you're successful, and a garage you can go to as well for mods. In a similar vein, you start out with a limited car choice and this grows as you get more skilled.

The screen is a little busy sometimes to see what's going on but it's more than adequately done and it's the first criminal driving sim for N-Gage if that lights your candle.

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