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Monday, January 10, 2005

The Rundown: 10th to 16th January
Posted by JayGo :: 6:26 AM

And now, later than advertised.. welcome back to The Rundown! Yeah, see, this is what happens when you say you're going to make your return on a day that doesn't actually exist like Monday 5th. Anyway, back now, and I actually have a fair few releases to plow through. So, let's get back into the ol' routine, and start by looking at the two big titles of this week.

Given that I'm not a big fan of the whole survival horror genre, I'm probably entirely the wrong person to be the first to mention the apparent greatness of Resident Evil 4 (GC). What I'll do, then, is mention that all reviews so far are calling it by far the greatest ever game in that genre, and that Hogie will almost certainly be along with further thoughts on it in the near future. Maybe. Suffice to say, if you're even vaguely interested in this title, it's almost certainly well worth a purchase.

Grand Theft Auto, in the army. That's as good a summary of Mercenaries (PS2, XBox) as you can probably get. Tanks instead of cars, airstrikes instead of machine guns and hostage retrieval instead of gang warfare. Of course, it's inferior to San Andreas - most things are - but it's still a fine third-person action game.. albeit one saddled with a slightly lame 'pack of cards' gimmick to represent the most wanted list. And it looks and sounds great, too.

Amazingly, there have been some games released in the past few weeks while this column has been away. Chief among these is MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf (XBox), the vastly improved sequel to the first big XBox Live game, which Dan should be reviewing soon enough. If you were a big fan of the first NFL Street, then maybe a rental of NFL Street 2 (PS2, XBox, GC) is in order to see if the few new features improve it enough for it to be worthwhile. If you were a big fan of the first The Getaway, then you enjoy inflicting harm upon yourself and should see a psychologist before you do something stupid, like say, buy The Getaway: Black Monday (PS2).

And finally for the big titles, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (GBA) is another installment in the adventures of Link, and represents two firsts for the series. It's the first Zelda game to be developed by Capcom as opposed to Nintendo, and perhaps slightly surprisingly, it's also the first true single-player Zelda title for the GameBoy Advance. And hey, it got released first in the UK a few weeks back. Miracles do happen, clearly.

Also out this week:

So, none of those take your fancy? In that case, here's a list of everything else that's been released since the last column:
Playstation 2:
Airborne Troops: Countdown to D-Day, Suikoden IV, Virtua Quest
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, GunGriffon: Allied Strike, Tork: Prehistoric Punk
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2
Advanced Battlegrounds: The Future of Combat, American Chopper, Civil War Bull Run, Dragon Puzzle, The Guy Game, Hearts of Iron 2, Hoyles Casino 3D, SeaWorld Adventure Parks Tycoon 3D, Shadow Vault, World Championship Tennis,Yourself!Fitness
Gameboy Advance:
Banjo Pilot, Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town for Girls
Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom:

Think the release list is barren in the US? Well, it's worse in the UK. The sum total of what's coming out over here this week are the ESPN 2K5 series of sports games for PS2 and XBox (still at a low price, but stupidly with all the online options removed) and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (GC), which is a great game provided you've spent a fortune on all the required hardware. Still, if you've got four GBAs, four link cables, three other players, and a GameCube, then make the most of it and buy the thing.

So, that's all for now. There's not much out next week.. so how about we meet up again in two weeks, hmm? That's Monday 24th.. and before you check, yes that date does actually exist. See you then.

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