2, Issue 3
November 25, 1999
F shamelessly tries to disguise his letter to Santa as this weeks
year, I have this terrible crisis of conscience over the run up
to Christmas. As the nights draw in, I feel an overwhelming urge
to not spend my money on friends and loved ones, but rather on
the disproportionately large number of A-class games released
every holiday season. Aaargh! Why do games companies do it? Last
winter my good credit rating was almost wiped out by a tidal wave
of console goodies: Zelda 64, Rogue Squadron, Ridge
Racer Type 4, Turok 2 (yeuch!) and the Color Gameboy.
This year Sega has already delivered me a sucker punch with the
Dreamcast sneaking a large chunk of savings, money that shouldve
probably been saved for a comfy pair of socks if Santas
elves had their way. Quite frankly, I dont know how Im
going to get away with it this time... I have a sinking feeling
that now Ive finally got a post-university job, people will
be expecting a bit more than the planned airport bestseller, box
of chocolates and Yanni CD (just kidding about that Yanni CD,
guys). Damn yoooooou, publishers!
face it, if there was a poster boy for Attention Deficit Disorder,
it would be me on Christmas Day (or, indeed, any other family
gathering). Sitting there, joypad fingers twitching, Im
painfully aware of the difficulty in trying to keep an expression
on my face that doesnt betray my complete and utter lack
of interest in anything anybody is trying to tell me because I
want to get back to my new game. Even as a kid (hell, especially
as a kid), formal family visits, big turkey meals and extended
vacations were, quite simply, a cruel and unwelcome intrusion
on good, honest gamesplaying time. I mean, is there anything crueler
than finally giving a child the video game theyve been waiting
six months to play, and then banning them from touching the computer
all day? Sounds like sadism at its worst to me. Even worse was
when your well-meaning (read: useless) relatives managed to buy
you the game that would have been last on anyones Christmas
list (believe it or not, I wasnt allowed to trade in unwanted
gifts as it was against the Christmas Spirit - balls).
I have a sneaking suspicion that EB staff get a bonus for offloading
their dud stock the week before Christmas: Hey, I sold five
copies of Tanx Warz! No way!?! Gah! Wheres
your heart, people?
I know what Id like to find in my Christmas stocking this
year. We could start with a Neo Geo Pocket, complete with Turf
Masters, Puzzle Bobble, Metal Slug and (yes!)
Pac-Man. Moving swiftly on, the mandatory PlayStation game
would have to be Resident Evil Nemesis full of zombie-blasting
undead goodness. Im tempted to ask for Tomb Raider 4
(thats what it is people, fancy Last Revelation
subtitles or no), but if Lara still moves like she has piles Ill
give it a miss. N64-wise, theres always Donkey Kong 64
and Jet Force Gemini from those console stalwards Rare.
On the PC theres no shortage of thrills on the action front,
with Quake III Arena, Opposing Force and Unreal
Tournament catering for all your gaming preferences (as long
as theyre in the first person). Im intreagued by the
scary Nocturne, the epic Omikron:
The Nomad Soul and the pretty Homeworld,
too. And if you like your gaming with minimal-bittage theres
always a Gameboy Color with Pokemon Yellow (mmmmm, Pokemon
Yellow). Oh, and while Im asking, alphas versions of
Halo, Oni and Duke Nukem Forever wouldnt
go amiss, either!
bit is a public service announcement (or maybe I just feel the
need to share this weirdo experience I had last weekend). I was
in my local HMV, just browsing through some gaming magazines,
when this complete stranger starts talking to me about Dino
Crisis. So, my initial reaction is just to be polite
mentally Im going Uuuuuuh, okaaaay... but you
know, let the guy get on with it and hell soon leave me
alone, right? But no! He just keeps going, and going and going.
Over the next ten minutes - with nary an ounce of encouragement
from me - hes telling me about how hes already on
the fourth disc of Final Fantasy VIII after a week and
how hes really impressed with the Dreamcast. Next, Did
you know that the new Tomb Raider game will be the last
cracker comes when, with a conspiratorial whisper, he informs
me that he has inside knowledge that Sony just bought the rights
to publish a version of Rares Goldeneye on the PlayStation.
At this point, I admit, I start to laugh - but he gives me a really
rather creepy look and I suddenly begin to want to get the hell
out of there. But, being a bit too polite for my own good, Im
trapped (in a nodding-my-head-politely, what-the-frig-is-this-guy-on?
kinda way). He then proceeds to tell me his vision for the Japanese
console market: In the next few years, Im pretty sure
that Sony will buy out Nintendo and Sega, just scrap them, so
they can control the market. Yeah, right! At this point
I suddenly developed an imaginary friend I had to go meet and
I got out of there, but I just thought I should warn you that
these people are out there. What I want to know is, where the
hell do they pick up that sort of crap?
I fall for outrageous Usenet rumors like John Romero is
dead, Link dies at the end of Zelda 64
and (heh) PlayStation 2 will have 250 titles at launch
all the time...
Nick F. apologises for the preceeding He really does.