Late Night Consoling

With all these reports of the Japanese release of Soul Calibur II starting to come in, I'm back to wondering which version I'm going to pick up. As you may recall, I, along with many of you I'm sure, find myself torn between the Xbox version, which has the nicest sound but the weakest bonus character, the PS2 version, which has the best controller but ho-hum extras, and the GameCube version, which has the worst controller but the best unlockable character. I was thinking about this the other day, when it suddenly occurred to me that I could just import one of the badass Soul Calibur II arcade sticks. There are GameCube and Xbox versions out, but it's compatible with any Xbox-to-PS2 adapter, so the playing field is definitely leveled there. And that's assuming of course that an American version for all three platforms isn't announced at E3 in May, which I suspect may actually happen. Assuming I can get my hands on one, I think I'll get the GameCube version. After watching some of those gameplay movies of Link in action, it's hard not to get excited about that version. And while the Xbox version will sound significantly better here thanks to my surround sound setup, the GameCube version's Dolby Pro Logic II will sound excellent as well, and well...it is just a fighting game. The sound isn't that important, even for an audio snob like me.

GameCube PS2 Xbox More Soul Calibur II Milking their copies of the game for all they're worth, GameSpot has posted previews of Soul Calibur II for GameCube, PS2 and Xbox. The previews are all identical, but feature new screenshots for each individual platform. Also, PlanetGameCube has posted their hands-on impressions of the GameCube version of the game.
GameCube PS2 GameBoy Advance Bye Bye Square, Enix, Hello SquareEnix! It's official: as of midnight (in Japan), SquareSoft and Enix cease to exist as separate companies, and have been reborn as SquareEnix. Here's the new company's web site, which features the very strange juxtaposition of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest side-by-side.
GameCube PS2 Xbox StarCraft: Ghost Interview Computer and Video Games has conducted an interview with Bill Roper of Blizzard Entertainment, talking with him about their upcoming cross-platform title StarCraft: Ghost. The questions cover a nice array of subjects, including their plans for multiplayer, which may be co-op or competitive (they haven't decided yet). For more Ghost, check out GameSpot's flood of new screenshots from the game.
Xbox Arx Fatalis for Xbox Dreamcatcher games has announced plans to release Arx Fatalis for Xbox this winter. Details on tweaks or extras have yet to be revealed.
PS2 GameBoy Advance Namco Creates New Phantasia Company Namco, obviously planning big things for their Tales of Phantasia series of RPGs, has announced plans to form a new company rather creatively known as Namco Tales Studio, which will work exclusively on new games for the series. This is Namco's second RPG subsidiary, the first of which is behind the epic Xenosaga series.
GameCube PS2 Xbox Spy Hunter 2 Announced Midway has announced Spy Hunter 2, the sequel to their recent remake of the classic driving action game. Or wait, is that a remake of the sequel to the classic driving action game?
GameBoy Advance No Golden Sun 3 According to Games Are Fun, Golden Sun developer Camelot has announced on their web site that they will not be working on a third game in the series. This isn't because of lack of interest, but simply due to the fact that they are tied up with other projects. This sounds to me like it may still happen in the future, although obviously not for a while.
PS2 Gran Turismo Jr? Also at Games Are Fun is a story repeated from Bloomberg that says developer Polyphony is working with Volkswagen on a simplified Gran Turismo game that will use the sam engine as the in-development Gran Turismo 4.
GameCube PS2 Xbox Galleon Q&A HomeLAN has conducted a Q&A with Toby Gard and Rusty Buchert of Confounding Factor, talking with the duo about their upcoming Pirate-action game Galleon.
PS2 Ken Kutaragi Continues Ascent at Sony Yep, he's been promoted again...the father of the PlayStation has been moved up as part of a corporate restructuring at Sony, and is now the new executive deputy president, which will have him overseeing the games and broadband divisions of the company.
GameCube PS2 Xbox GameBoy Advance Misc. Media IGN has posted the first gameplay movies from ESPionage, while Planet GameCube has new movies from P.N.03 and a new trailer from Viewtiful Joe and at Computer and Video Games they have a gameplay movie from Payback, a Grand Theft Auto-like game for GBA.
Console Game of the Evening: Mutant League Football for the Sega Genesis. "The best 'alternative/unrealalistic' sports game on the market before arcade and "extreme" sport titles were in vogue, like Midway's line of sports titles (NFL Blitz, NBA Jam, NHL Hitz,)." (submitted by bosst0ne).