Monday, November 29, 2004

The Rundown: 29th November to 5th December
Posted by JayGo :: 4:43 AM

Welcome to a shortened The Rundown. Seriously. There's not much out at all this week, for some reason or another. In fact, let's cut straight to the one big title of the week...

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (PS2, Xbox, GC, PC) is the sequel to one of the big surprise hits of last year, and yet, manages to completely ignore the usual idea of not messing around with a winning formula. The setting is darker. The soundtrack is nu-metal. And the Prince now calls people 'bitch'. The whole thing now seems a lot more mass-market, and (dare I say it) aimed at the 'casual gamer'. But the question is, does it still manage to improve on the first game?

Well, I've played the demo, and it's a mixed bag. The combat system has been overhauled, and is much better as a result, and the camera system is unusually great for a game in this genre, but if anything.. well, it seems a bit Mortal Kombat-esque now. In terms of style at least. Long battle sequences with leather-clad women to what sounds like a Linkin Park album filler reject jar quite badly with what fans of the first game may expect. This isn't to say that it's a bad game, by any stretch of the imagination. Just that perhaps it could have been better.

Still, I've only played the demo thus far, and I'm sure Dan will be weighing in with his review some time in the next few weeks. So look out for that.

Outside of the new Prince of Persia, things are quite barren. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 (PS2) has been delayed to this week, so anyone looking for more war-based action could try that, while Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls (GBA) brings the first two Final Fantasy games together for handheld gamers. You know, before they added the long FMV cutscenes everywhere.

Also out this week:

The creators of Dora The Explorer (GBA) may think that nobody has been observing the continuing delays to this eagerly awaited title. They are wrong. Don't worry folks, as soon as those slackers get around to unleashing Dora's special blend of platforming action onto the nation, I'll stop mentioning it every week. Until then, here's the rest of this week's new releases:
  • Playstation 2: Growlanser Generations, Kuon
  • XBox: American Chopper: The Game, GunGriffon: Allied Strike, World Championship Poker
  • Gamecube: Cabela's Big Game Hunter 2005 Adventures, Pinball Hall Of Fame
  • PC: Armies of Exigo, Bad Mojo (Redux), Blitzkrieg: Rolling Thunder, D-Day, ER, Fritz 8 Deluxe, Konung 2, Legacy: Dark Shadows, Painkiller: Battle Out Of Hell, Second Sight, X-Plane 8
  • Gameboy Advance: Dora The Explorer: Super Star Adventures, Metal Slug Advance
Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom:

The release schedule looks a bit more healthy in the UK this week, but it's made up entirely of titles I've already covered in this column before. So, in short: Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (PS2, Xbox, GC, PC) and Painkiller: Battle Out Of Hell (PC) will be arriving in both continents at the same time, while Call of Duty: Finest Hour (PS2, Xbox, GC), Blinx 2 (Xbox) and Sid Meier's Pirates! (PC) will all be out on British shores.

Oh, and there's Pro Evolution Soccer 4 arriving on the PC too, but I think I went on about that enough last week. So.. that concludes a shortened Rundown for this week. Don't worry, there's one final torrent of big names to arrive before Christmas yet, and I'll get a chance to talk about them in seven days time. So, see you then.

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