Late Night Consoling


One of the things I've noticed, especially since I haven't actually bought any games in a while now, is that my Xbox collection has seriously ballooned. This is of course because of review copies, but what's interesting is that many of these titles are cross-platform games. When I'm asked about which platform I prefer, I always ask for whichever version best showcases the game in question, and nine times out of ten that means I wind up with the Xbox version. Which I guess isn't too surprising, but considering that one of the original criticisms of the Xbox is that its library was comprised largely of ports from other platforms, it's worth pointing out that the increasing amount of cross-platform development has actually been in Microsoft's favor. I'll admit to being as guilty of this as the next guy, as more often than not, I go with the Xbox version of a cross-platform title. It just seems like if you want the best framerate and audio, chances are the version that you want is going to be the Xbox. Of course, there are other factors (like extras and online components), and EA games are still for the most part the best on PS2. But just glancing at my holiday wish list, I put the Xbox versions of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Legacy of Kain: Defiance on there, and after reading some criticisms of the PS2 version of Midway Arcade Classics, I switched that one to Xbox as well, despite the fact that I prefer the PS2's controller for classic games. I imagine I'm not the only one around here that's done this, and I don't even own an HDTV (I do however own an awesome surround sound system).
Sega Sues Over Simpsons Game Sega of America filed a lawsuit yesterday against Fox Interactive, Electronic Arts and Radical Entertainment, on the grounds that The Simpsons: Road Rage is a carbon-copy of Crazy Taxi. Although most of these lawsuits are groundless, I really do know several people who said that Road Rage is so much like Crazy Taxi that until I told them otherwise, they assumed it was licensed from Sega. Fortunately Rockstar has nothing to worry about with Hit & Run, as that game only took the worst parts from Grand Theft Auto. Thanks Slashdot Games for the tip.
Dreamcast VF: Cyber Generation on Four Console Systems Some new details from Virtua Fighter: Cyber Generation can be found at Polygon Magazine, which were taken from a recent Japanese language interview with Makoto Osaki of Sega-AM2. Osaki talks about why they're targeting a younger audience with the game, and also confirms that it will be released for four platforms: GameCube and PS2, as previously reported, but also Xbox and incredibly, Dreamcast. Thanks roushimsx for the tip.
Fight Club: The Game? From the "what the heck are they thinking" department comes word from the Official US PlayStation Magazine that Vivendi Universal is working on a 3D fighting game based on Fight Club. No word on whether or not there's a multiplayer mode where you pummel on yourself until you win.
Four Swords Details 1UP is reporting that The Legend of Zelda: The Four Swords will contain much more than just the multiplayer experience shown at E3 in May. Aside from that game, there are two single player modes (a survival-type game and a single player story-driven adventure) and Tetra's Trackers, which was another simplistic title shown by Nintendo at E3.
Fable Chat Log An edited chat log from the Fable developer chat the other night is now available (thanks Carnivac). There are a pretty wide range of topics covered, including how much your character ages in the game (from 12 to "55ish"), their use of day/night cycles and weather effects, and even polygamy, which is actually possible in the game (if you're clever).
R-Type Final Coming to America Great news for shmup fans...Eidos Interactive has announced that they will be bringing R-Type Final to North America via their Fresh Games label. A specific release date isn't available yet, but their press release says to expect it "this winter."
Xbox Brings Troops, Families Together A follow-up on the story from earlier this year about the Army's use of Xbox Live for recreation, this Reuters article reports that thanks to Xbox Live's voice chat features, soldiers can now chat with friends and family. This is a pretty big expansion on the original rollout, as it's now being featured at USO centers around the world, whereas previously it was only being used by the Air Force in Europe. Naturally games will also be playable, including Shack-favorite Project Gotham Racing 2. Thanks Slashdot Games for the tip.
Tomonobu Itagaki Interview Team Xbox has conducted a new interview with Tomonobu Itagaki, the head of Tecmo's Team Ninja, and the outspoken creator of Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive. Itagaki-san is a little calmer than usual in this interview, but he still manages to comment on all of his major products in development, while dodging some important questions. He also mentions briefly the Xbox Live features of Ninja Gaiden, but you can find the same information a bit more coherentlyhere at SpyGN.
Rainbow Six 3 Stats Live Ubisoft has launched their live stats for Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3. The simple web page shows the top players, and you can search for yourself if you're not in the top 100.
GameBoy Advance Bandai Drops Hardware This has been a long time coming, but nonetheless, Bandai announced yesterday that they are officially exiting the hardware business. While the Wonderswan never made it out of Japan (although it came really close), it was a moderate success over there, thanks largely to the support of SquareSoft, who released the first three Final Fantasy games for the platform (among other games).
Sony PSX Incompatibility List As the system's going to be released in Japan next week, Sony has released a list of accessories that are incompatible with their PSX ubersystem. These include the obvious (PS2 BB unit and HDD, which are superfluous anyway) as well as the questionable, like the lack of support for the PS2 multitap and PocketStation. For more PSX fun, Sony Japan has posted a bunch of commercials.
Nintendo Sony Seamus Blackley Interview The first half of a two-part interview with Seamus Blackley is up at GameSpot this evening. Blackley was one of the creators of the Xbox, but after his post-Microsoft project went under he relocated to Hollywood talent firm Creative Artists Agency, where he's their in-house games rep, and he talks about his new digs.
GameBoy Advance Pokemon Buggy Nintendo of Japan has announced that there are bugs in Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire. Apparently the bugs, which affect the growth and harvest of certain berries and lottery tickets, show up after the game has been in use for a full year. As the games haven't been out that long in this country, it's unknown if the same problem will surface in the localized versions of the games.
New SWON Content Available LucasArts, who has already put out more extra content than most companies, has released a second round of downloadable content for Secret Weapons Over Normandy. This time around you can grab a new plane and new single player mission.
R: Racing Evolution Interview The first part of Computer and Video Games' R: Racing Evolution interview is online tonight. The interview is with several members of the development team at Namco, and they explain how this game differs from Ridge Racer.
Dreamcast Neo Geo Samurai Shodown Zero, Others Confirmed SNK has confirmed that a PS2 port of Samurai Shodown Zero is in the works. No date has been announced yet, but they did announce that King of Fighters 2003 and Metal Slug 5 will be released for the NeoGeo home system on March 11th and February 19th respectively, and KoF 2001 will be released for the Dreamcast on January 22nd. Note that these are all Japanese release dates.
  Misc. Media/Previews
GameSpot has new movies from Phantasy Star Online Episode III: C.A.R.D. Revolution, SpyGN has new media from Custom Robo 2 and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,
SpyGN goes hands-on with Nightshade, GameInformer has new hands-on looks at Nightshade and Gran Turismo 4 Prologue, 1UP has a look at Yu Yu Hakusho: Dark Tournament and Sony Japan has posted a streaming movie with footage from Final Fantasy XII and Samurai Warriors (the official English-language name for the Dynasty Warriors-in-Japan game).
New previews of Full Spectrum Warrior are up at GameSpot and Xbox.SpyGN tonight.
  Pocket.SpyGN has a new preview of Sonic Battle.
GameSpot has new shots from The Suffering (PS2, XBox) and DRIV3R (GC, PS2, Xbox), SpyGN has a new profile from Sonic Heroes (GC, PS2, Xbox), shots from Star Trek: Shattered Universe (PS2, Xbox), and a first look at The Punisher (PS2, Xbox), while GameSpyGN has a new preview of The Suffering.
Console Game of the Evening: Klonoa for the PSOne. "It was the first platformer to make my eyes tear up at the end. A tragically overlooked gem." (submitted by Spok).

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