Teen Thumbs Orgy ((FREE))
Picking a game to back this week is going to be similarly chancy. The field is a mixture of existing pedigree and untested but widely tipped first-timers, with a locker room of experienced jockeys including Elixir, Pandemic, SEGA AM2/Sumo Digital, Creative Assembly, Nintendo and Capcom eager to whip our button-mashing thumbs. But of course where you place your money is entirely your decision. (Probably just as well; I backed three losers too.)
teen thumbs orgy
If What's New was decided over seven furlongs, though, Creative Assembly would probably win through sheer strength of numbers (and by virtue of theirs' being the only game to feature horses), clogging the track up with mounted riders stretching as far as the eye can see. Rome: Total War's appearance this week is bound to stimulate the PC charts, and it seems that the UK-based developer has hit upon the right formula again, delivering the kind of Roman death orgy that we haven't seen since Russell Crowe chucked on a metal skirt and had his battered shoulder stuffed with maize. (Which also sounds like something you could order in a Scottish chip shop.)
There isn't much choice on the Game Boy Advance, mind, unless Action Man Robot Atak or Titeuf: The Tcho Attitude make a strong impression on you. Or are remotely identifiable to you. But then you probably own other bits of kit besides the Game Boy, so you could always plump for one of the fighters out this week (the hiphop-flavoured Def Jam: Fight For New York, Ubisoft's Rocky Legends, or the transcendent, budget-priced PS2 version of Viewtiful Joe, which is the clear choice for fans of, well, games), or you could go for something slightly more 'obscure' (hur), like (drumroll please)... Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy! (Or Obscure.) It seems like we reviewed Psi-Ops ages ago, but it's finally out today, and rather like Second Sight it's a big long out-of-body Jedi mind trick, albeit a rather craply presented one (although arguably the better action game than SS despite having a forgettable storyline). Obscure, meanwhile, is an American teen slasher-inspired survival horror game made by Frenchmen. Which wouldn't be the first time this year the French have horrified Americans.
Finally, there's Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, which is the new Euro-friendly Square Enix's first significant release, and, we're told, features a trailer for Final Fantasy XII. Expect a review of that very soon, and in the meantime I tracked down Rob, who's been playing it. When asked if he could give you all a humorous, one-line summary of Star Ocean, he said, simply, "No." When beaten with his own entrails, he added: "A blue haired teenage hero (with Issues) saves the universe (stop us if you've heard this one before) in a solidly built RPG with some genius bits. The best one being the fact that we lowly Europeans are being blessed with it only weeks after our American pals. Will wonders never cease? And can I have my lung back now?" 041b061a72