Late Night Consoling

I'm only on the third or fourth mission of the first chapter of Final Fantasy X-2, but I think I need to take some time to figure out the battle system before I proceed. I haven't had too much trouble with the regular or boss fights in the previous missions, but on this new one, I found myself having to use Phoenix Downs in regular random monster encounters, and that's really not a good thing at all. I thought I understood the whole "dressphere" and "garment grid" system, but clearly it didn't sink in much. I figure I'll either RTFM or find a FAQ online to figure this stuff out (I already tried IGN's guide, but that's absolutely worthless in this regard). I hear from a lot of people that once you get the hang of it it's really a cool system, but it just hasn't clicked with me yet. Anyone have any pointers for a newbie?
Nintendo Possible DS Specs Leaked An image said to be from Nintendo's official spec sheet for their DS system has made its way around the web over the last 48 hours. The image, which you can read all about at IGN, is labeled here as "Nitro" which was confirmed as an older codename for the system. The spec sheet has some surprising features listed, including a touch-sensitive screen, 802.11b support (suggesting online gameplay) and some serious horsepower, as it's able to produce as many as 120,000 polygons per second. It should be pointed out that those polygon figures are almost always supreme exaggerations, and don't reflect anything resembling actual gameplay. Still, it's an impressive list of features for the system. IGN has also posted another article containing all the information known to date about the system.
Xbox Pro Evolution Soccer Announced for Xbox Somebody restrain pup...Konami of Europe has announced plans to release Pro Evolution Soccer (known here and in Japan as Winning Eleven) for Xbox. Before you get too excited, you should know that only the European release is officially planned at this time, and no decision has been made as to whether or not it will see the light of day elsewhere in the world. Still, the question on everybody's mind is whether or not it will support Xbox Live (down pup, down!), but those scruffy brits at Computer and Video Games point out that in an older interview, the creator of the series expressed his desire to work on Xbox Live. My guess is that if there's even a tiny chance of this happening, Microsoft will push for it as hard as they possibly can.
Xbox Ninja Gaiden Intact in Europe (For Now) Eurogamer.net is reporting that the rumors that the decapitations have been removed from Ninja Gaiden for its European release are sheer rubbish. But there is a catch: Tecmo has acknowledged that the standards in certain European countries are stricter than here in the US and in Japan, so changes may have to be made. But for now, they intend to submit the game 100% intact for approval in those countries.
PS2 Xbox CNN/Money on N.A.R.C. The latest edition of the Game Over column over at CNN/Money looks squarely at N.A.R.C, the upcoming overhaul of the arcade classic. It would appear that this game is being developed with controversy completely in mind, as the game will actually reward you for taking the drugs you capture from felons, so if you've always wanted to play a game where you can smoke some crack, well then here you go. While the original is hardly a classic, it was a game that was adamantly anti-drug (complete with that corny "WINNERS DON'T USE DRUGS" icon with the Presidential seal) so it's a bit disappointing that Midway is so set on turning the name on its head.
PS2 Harry Potter and the EyeToy Proving that the EyeToy is very much mainstream and very much here to stay, EA announced today that their upcoming title Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban will contain special games designed for use with Sony's camera add-on. Adding to the game's cachet of gee whiz features is support for the USB headset, as the game will take voice commands as well. For more on these features, consult CVG's hands-on look at the game.
GameBoy Advance Nintendo Announces Joy Spots For GBA Nintendo of Japan has announced an interesting initiative to support their GBA Wireless Adapter, which recently shipped in Japan with Pokemon Leaf Green/Fire Red. Called Joy Spot, the service will be installed in special retail locations, and will allow GBA owners with the adapter to compete against each other, as well as unlock special features in supported games. The first games supported will be the aforementioned Pokemon of course, but also the upcoming Mario Golf: Advance Tour.
Xbox Xbox Bigwigs Keynote at GDC Those rumors about some sort of Xbox 2-Xenon-Ybox-Josephine announcement at the Game Developer's Conference got a bit louder today, as it was announced that Robbie Bach and J Allard will be presenting the keynote address. Details of their speech are of course impossible to find anywhere, but it's being called "Getting to the Game" which suggests...well, nothing really. Use your imagination. I'm coming up with squat.
GameCube PS2 Xbox GameBoy Advance New Bionic Commando in the Works? From the unsubstantiated rumors department comes this item at Games Are Fun that Capcom's Studio 8 is working on a revival of the venerable Bionic Commando series. Studio 8 is the same group of people that produced the two Maximo titles, which basically means if this is true, the series' legendary difficulty won't be lost in the revival.
GameBoy Advance Nintendo Cracking Down on GBA Emulation Slashdot Games is reporting that Nintendo has been awarded a patent for emulating a handheld system in software, which they are using to try and shut down a planned Game Boy Advance emulator for the Tapwave Zodiac.
PS2 Tekken 5 at E3? Computer and Video Games has posted a news item relaying a rumor that Tekken 5 may be debuted at E3 in May. The bigger question of course, is will anyone care? I don't know about anyone else, but Tekken 4 came and went without my even noticing it for a second, and unless it features amazing online support, or something that separates it from the pack, there's nothing that will get me to even glance at the game.
Nintendo Gumpei Yokoi Article An article over at Gamers Europe talks about the life of Gumpei Yokoi, one of the true visionaries of this industry, and a man who played an instrumental role in the success of Nintendo. The article isn't particularly long, but it does detail the history of the Game & Watch, one of Yokoi's biggest achievements. It's not quite as detailed when it comes to his other two biggies (the Game Boy and SNES) or his one big failure (the Virtual Boy) but it's definitely worth a read nonetheless.
Xbox New Weekly Halo Update The latest weekly Halo update is out, and this time can be found at Halo Babies. This week's update contains info on a recent visit by the makers of that freaky Master Chief armor, hints at two upcoming magazine previews of Halo 2 and more.
GameCube PS2 Xbox Misc. Interviews GameInformer has conducted an interview with Denis Dyack, the president of Silicon Knights, talking with him about their just-shipped Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes and other topics (including his desire to remake Kid Icarus). And on a totally different subject, 1UP has posted an interview with Kudo Tsunoda, the producer of the upcoming Fight Night 2004.
  Misc. Media/Previews
GameCube New looks at WWE: Day of Reckoning are up at GameSpot, GamerFeed, IGN and Planet GameCube.
PS2 GameSpot has new shots from Bujingai: The Forsaken City and impressions of Resident Evil Outbreak, IGN has new looks at Onimusha: Blade Warriors and Black Wind and new details from Street Fighter III: Third Strike and 1UP has an exclusive preview of Sly 2: Band of Thieves.
Xbox Updated impressions from Sudeki are up at GameSpot tonight and IGN has new shots from Dead or Alive Ultimate and Sudeki.
GameBoy Advance GameSpot has some new details from Sonic Advance 3, The Magic Box has new shots from Mario Golf: Advance Tour, Planet GameCube has new shots from Sabre Wulf and IGN has shots from Fullmetal Alchemist (not to be confused with the online PS2 title from Square of the same name).
GameCube PS2 Xbox GameSpot has posted a new preview of Mercenaries (PS2, Xbox) and new shots from StarCraft: Ghost (GC, PS2, Xbox), both GameSpot and IGN have hands-on looks at Red Dead Revolver, IGN has new media from Powerdrome and DRIV3R (both PS2, Xbox) and CVG has new shots from Headhunter: Redemption (PS2, Xbox) which also sports the funniest headline of the day.
Console Game of the Evening: Road Rash 3 for the Sega Genesis. "Cattle prodding cops, crowbars sound like tuning forks, running over pedestrians, beating up women... this game had it all in the 90s" (submitted by moogoperator).