For years now, the "dancing" genre has been dominated by Dance Dance Revolution and its many knockoffs, all of which require players to hop around, rhythmically stomping along to music while a dull cascade of arrows floats by. But it wasn't always that way, and B-Boy - a breakdance sim released nearly two years ago in Europe and only now headed for a US release - is a throwback to a time when dance games were more about rhythm than legwork. It aims to do for breakdancing what Tony Hawk's Pro Skater did for skateboarding: make it accessible to people with zero fitness or leg coordination.
We're used to gradual evolutions in gaming, be they in technical, graphical, even artistic fields. And you might have expected the same as gaming explores other new horizons, such as politics, current affairs, satire.
But with Bad Day LA, American McGee has taken a tradition that had long since become dormant (in mainstream games at least), and has pushed it from a standing start to a racing finish.
Taking on fistfuls of current taboos - terrorist attacks, immigration, obesity, tsunamis - it
The checkered history of Los Angeles suggests that on occasion it can help, ahem … redefine the concept of the human love/hate relationship. Even so, the city's seen nothing like this. In the third-person action game Bad Day L.A. you'll face missions involving plane crashes, zombie hordes, meteor showers, riots, a tsunami, an earthquake, and more. Crips vs. Bloods this is not.
At the center is misanthrope and reluctant hero Anthony Williams. He's a former Hollywood agent so disenchanted
Fact: one in 1,368 readers will be struck and killed by a falling meteor while reading this. Okay, so that's not entirely true, but similarly absurd situations and scenarios jam the subversive, satirical action-title Bad Day LA way past chock-full. Rock star game designer American McGee pokes fun at our national pastimes of racism and classism during our Bush-Era culture war of fear - but does so using everything from a guy in a hamburger suit to toxic waste-spawned zombies.
Our hands-on look
Baten Kaitos wasn't exactly wheeled out with much of a fanfare, which, frankly is a something of a shame considering it's easily one of GameCube's better RPGs. Even if it was a little, well, odd. Soon, the oddness will continue in Baten Kaitos II.
On the surface it's a fairly traditional RPG. A vast, sweeping epic played out on pre-rendered backdrops. You have the obligatory towns in which to purchase items, meet characters and further plot development, and between these you have the game's
The original Baten Kaitos was something of a surprise. Hardcore, Final Fantasy-style RPGs like this are the bread and butter of the PS2, but the Nintendo audience typically goes in for Zelda style action. But here we are with a sequel - a shocker in and of itself, as support for the GameCube is drying up fast. It's not a slap-dash quickie, either; it's a gorgeous, playable and refined role playing game that will provide you with dozens of bizarre hours of questing. Can't argue with that.
Based on Frank Miller's superb Batman Year One comics, if its Xbox mirror image is anything to go by, Batman Begins promises to be darker than a black hole and edgier than a dodecahedron. No more tights. No more comedy sidekicks. No more remote controlled Batmobiles with optional bulletproof shields either. Batman Begins - the movie - will be a Batman with its roots in the real world. He'll hunt criminals, he'll scare them shitless, but he'll feel pain, anger and lose control too.Of course, as
Erasers out, then - all references to Advance Wars Under Fire are out in favour of Battalion Wars. And quite rightly so, because this isn't much like our turn-based GBA friend at all. Forget just shunting icons around; you're right in the thick of a war that would get George W salivating.You kick off each mission with a handful of troops, and recruit others you find. Bump into a tank and it's yours, rescue POWs who've inexplicably got flamethrowers on them (as we did) and you can have yourself
The first thing you should know about Beaterator is that it isn’t a game. It isn’t a “toy” like Wii Music, either, although it can be used like one. Instead, Beaterator is a serious tool for making music – or at least as serious as a tool can get while still staying accessible and relatively easy to use.
Right off the bat, publisher Ubisoft's adaptation of Beowulf - based on the upcoming Robert Zemeckis film, which in turn is based on a centuries-old epic poem - commits an unpardonable sin in the eyes of literary types. You might already be familiar with the story's progression: Beowulf, a mighty Scandinavian warrior, battles and slays a man-eating monster named Grendel with his bare hands. He then beheads Grendel's vengeful, horrific mother and - finally - dies fighting a dragon some 30 years