From the emails I know a lot of you have been wondering what happened to this column… and the simple answer is- GTA IV. Sure, it only came out last week, but for the last month everyone’s been afraid to put out anything for fear of the car-jacking monstrosity, except for a certain videogame tie-in to the #1 grossing movie this weekend. Oh, and Okami! Everyone should snag that one for the Wii if you haven’t for the PS2 already.

But now that GTA‘s out and everyone’s stuck in it (I’m sure your buddy lists are as full of people playing it as mine is…) more games are poking their heads out, wondering if it’s safe. Let’s see what we’ve got.

SNK Arcade Classics Volume 1 (PSP)
Buy it from Amazon here!

The budget PS2 version came out last week, but this could be a game that shines on the PSP. Included are Art of Fighting, Fatal Fury, King of the Monsters, Metal Slug, Samurai Shodown, Magician Lord (YES!), and 9 more games. I know you’ll all think I’m crazy, but I always preferred SNK’s side-scrollers to their fighters. Street Fighter man through and through right here…
 
 
 
 

 

Brain Voyage (DS)
Buy it from Amazon here!

Every company must have a Brain Age ripoff if they develop Nintendo DS games, it’s practically a law. This is Eidos’ attempt, and is even sponsored by yet another wacky doctor. From the screenshots it looks as if he’s the man with an oddly shaped head that’s trying to puzzle you all over the world. Get Professor Layton instead…. those free downloadable puzzles are still going!
 
 


Crosswords DS (DS)
Buy it from Amazon here!

Crossword puzzle fans- there’s over 1,000 for you to riddle  yourself with here. Also included are anagram and word-search puzzles. It’s an official Nintendo game, at least, so you’ll know it should control well and have a nice presentation… although the New York Times Crossword game that’s already out is pretty fantastic already.
 
 

 
Tuesday, May 6

Iron Man (PC)
Buy it from Amazon here!

The PC version of this game hits this week, later than all the other versions. Does that mean it’s better than the console versions? I doubt it…. but it is a lot cheaper. If the demo is any indication though, this is a rush job. Here’s a hint, kiddies- when the video game tie-in to a movie hits shelves BEFORE the movie opens, that means they were pushed into cranking it out fast to get it on store shelves, and most probably didn’t spend all the time polishing it up that they should’ve. Always be wary. 
 
 
 
 

Boom Blox (Wii)
Buy it from Amazon here!

I’m not ashamed to admit that I absolutely can’t wait for this game, and even though the concept and involvement of Spielberg made me roll my eyes, my playtime with the game won me over. I’ll put it this way… I haven’t picked up Mario Kart yet, but I want to grab this first because I know if I have my family or friends over I can pull it out and have a good time. Just hope that there’s enough puzzles to keep us playing… but since there are 300, and the option to create your own and send them to friends, we should be good.
 
 
 
 

Great War Nations: The Spartans (PC)
Buy it from Amazon here!

Just a little bit late to catch the rush, aren’t you, Dreamcatcher? The publishing company releases their strategy game controlling the infamous Spartans, whose blood flows in my veins. (Really! My Grandmother’s from Sparta. She’ll kill before you can even blink. I’ve seen it happen.) Not the best looking game around, but it looks nice and bloody, with some massive battles.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
R-Type Command (PSP)
Buy it from Amazon here!

R-Type is one of my favorite shooters, and I can’t wait to see how the twitchy arcade action works on the PSP…. what? What do you mean it’s not a shooter? It’s a hexagonal strategy game? The hell? Well, there’s a demo up right now on the Playstation Store where you can check out the game for yourself, but this is definitely a strange turn for the series.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Speed Racer (Wii, DS)
Buy it from Amazon here!

Remember what I said about Iron Man before? Speed Racer hits theaters this weekend. (BAD SIGN! AHEM!) And the game comes with a free ticket for the movie (HARGHAHAHEM!). Hope you like Wipeout, because it sure seems to take a lot from it. All the main actors from the movie will lend their voices to the game, but can it actually be any good?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Dog Island (Wii)
Buy it from Amazon here!

The Dog Island is a Wii game from Yuke’s, which puts you on a island with dogs.”

Well. How about that. Let’s see if we can find out any more interesting tidbits about the game.
The Dog Island is a game for the Wii and Playstation 2 in which players control a dog and must search for a special flower. “

Uh. Hm. Well, go to this link. It explains pretty much everything you could want to know.


This Week’s Downloads!


Monday’s Wii Virtual Console titles-


Pokemon Puzzle League
(N64, 1,000 Wii Points- $10)

Don’t let the name turn you off, as this is actually one of the better puzzle games ever made. Those of you who’ve played Poker Smash or Planet Puzzle League will have no problem jumping right into the action… it’s very similar to those other titles. 10 bucks is a tad steep for this one (and it really does scream online multiplayer, if any did), but if you’ve got a friend nearby who’s into puzzlers you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.
 
 

Renegade (NES, 500 Wii Points, $5)

Another sidescrolling beat’m up game, but don’t expect much out of this one. Renegade was never what you could call a good game, but it’s an interesting note in history, as it led to the development of such faves as Double Dragon and River City Rampage. It’s good to see a company learn from their mistakes and advance their creations, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay for it.
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

Wednesday’s Xbox Live Arcade title-


Not announced just yet! Could it possibly be Bionic Commando Rearmed? Let’s hope so…

(UPDATE! Nope! This week’s release is Wits and Wagers, a party trivia game that’s going for 800 points. 700 questions included…. and it supports the Xbox Live Vision Camera and the bug button controller from Scene It. Interesting… let’s see how that demo plays.)

Whenever’s Playstation Network titles-


echochrome-

This MC Escher inspired puzzle game definitely looks awesome. For some reason, the North American version of the game contains 56 levels, while the Japanese version contains 100. Course, they’ve also got a downloadable PSP version that contains another 56 unique levels, and costs another 10 bucks. Hey! The shit is that? Still, if it ends up being as addictive as people have said, that’s not a bad price for the full package.

This week’s Rock Band Songs-


(Going to start listing these every week. Why? Because I love the game, that’s why.)

“This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race” by Fallout Boy (master)

“Date With The Night” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs (master)

“It Hurts” by Angels & Airwaves (master)

This is considered the “Scene” pack, AKA the “We couldn’t think of any other title” pack . Fuck you, Fallout boy.

Guitar Hero
‘s actually got Rock Band beat this week for the first time ever, as it’s got a three-pack of Muse tunes for your downloading pleasure (Exo-Politics, Supermassive Black Hole, and Stockholm Syndrome). Of course, it’s always sad to see good songs go to Guitar Hero instead….
 
Next week expect some great downloadable games, one more “final” fantasy and more summer blockbuster tie-ins! Till then… now I’m back off to Liberty City.