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Mon, 31 Oct 2005

X-men Legends, N-Gage

Marvel/Activision

A dystopic future with lots of fighting to be done might sound familiar but this has enough complexity and adventure-like features to make for interesting and continued gameplay.

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Asphalt: 2, Urban GT: N-Gage

This is a familiar sort of genre these days. You're racing around public streets of different cities in very fast cars which you can choose from and add to once you get a bit of money from winnings and collecting tokens along the way.

The graphics are pretty good although the car control champion on this paltform is still the Mcrae rally game.

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Java Phone Games: X-Files, Robobouncer

We haven't looked at any Java Download games before and over the coming months we'll be testing a few to see what they're like.

X-Files: The Deserter
many phones, Elkware, Infospace

This is the first adventure game I've checked out for a phone. The start stop nature of such a game would appear to be quite suited to some waiting environments. Stopping playing causes no real problem here. If you're geeky enough to like these games, there's even less of a problem. This is in Java with a window onto the part of the world you're in and a row of actions underneath. Below that is where conversations and reactions to silly moves go. It's quite smartly done. On some platforms some people have created interfaces that are almost totally impenetrable -- how do these get past the testers? Do they have testers? Anyway, simplifying for the phone platform and trying to make the thing idiot proof has had good effect. In this game you start out in FBI headquarters in DC and need to get out to LA to investigate the grizzly murder of a colleague. Scully is around somewhere as well. Get the picture?

MTV Robobouncer
many phones, Infospace

In this one you are a robot that's a bouncer. Your job is to stop other robots getting into the dance club you stand in front of. No dress code here, or door bitch -- noone's allowed in! So, you just bop everyone. It's sort of bouncer heaven I guess. Other than bouncers, or people coming home from bars, this one is probably more suited to kids as it is, dare I say, fairly mindless.

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Tue, 18 Oct 2005

Games Market Europe (London)

Games Market Europe Last year saw London having two video games related shows. Both were quite large and at the opposite ends of town. This year, for a while, it looked like London wouldn't have any show at all partly because of the cynical attitude taken by some of the big players.

Thankfully, London did get a show even if it was fairly small and there wasn't anything particularly new to get excited about. This was true last year as well but the sheer size of the thing was exciting in itself and it was nice to see wide-eyed kids having fun as well as being able to escape to the comparitive calm of the developer section.

Day two of the show was the official UK launchtime for the PSP but there was no Sony presence and nothing whatever to do with PSP except a couple of things at a gadget stand. Sony have a big attitude and PR problem which their recent attempts to browbeat, bully, and sue small traders over PSP imports showed quite well. They make the Microsoft XBox crew look like really exceptionally nice people and Nintendo look like latter-day saints of gaming.

There was an XBox 360 at the show which was playing some fun looking demos and there was a huge bank of Nintendo DS's as well. Well done, those people.

Hopefully, next year, this new show will continue to grow. In a way, the whole problem has more than a little to do with the main players all having their homes elsewhere. What the UK does have is a large (though growing smaller) collection of developer houses. The show should build on that (as ICTS once did). The developer houses have been growing less through takeover and by attrition. Some would argue that the attrition part has largely been caused by publisher squeeze. Some might also point out that in a country where the top soccer club was recently sold to junk bond wielding Americans, and where the TV rights for that most English of sports, cricket, was sold to the American controlled Sky for subscriber view only, that the future was looking mighty dim, and that the "home" show for London will be E3 in LA. We'll see.

some of the supporters of Games Market Europe...

BBFC, Buena Vista Games, Codemasters, Contact Sales, Digital Jesters, Electronic Arts, Game Outlet Europe - Pallet Concept, Gamesindustry.biz, Gem Distribution, Idigicon, Just Distribution, Just Flight, Mastertronic, MCV / Intent Media, Morpheme , NASCR, NCsoft, Phoenix Games, Pinnacle, Pinpoint Consumer Electronics, Rising Star Games, Spectravideo, Total Disc Repair, Ubisoft

www.gamesmarketeurope.com/

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Sat, 01 Oct 2005

Nokia N-Gage Day

Recently we went along to a day where N-Gage games producers chatted about and showed off their wares. You can read more about that here. There are also podcasts with two of the producers having a chat.

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