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Arnold’s Press Pause and Rewind: February 17th

Namco Punched Me In The Mouth

Ok, look, I know you guys are sick of me talking about Virtua
Fighter already, but damn-it…I really can't wait to have this
game. When I first played Virtua Fighter 4, my PS2 was literally
on for 10 hours that day — 8 of which I played. While I really
couldn't stand VF3tb on the Dreamcast, the first two games and
VF4/VF4: Evo were a Godsend to me. As much as I love Tekken, the
series has seriously taken a hit for the worst. While Tekken 5
(and Tekken: DR) were fantastic, they both seemed to lack a
certain fluidity that Tekken Tag Tournament had. Then there's
Tekken 4, which, unlike TTT or T5, hasn't aged very well. In
fact, Tekken Tag may be the PS2's best aged game; even today it
looks gorgeous.

But with yesterday's announcement of Tekken 6 came
disappointment. It just doesn't look next-gen, at all. You look
at Virtua Fighter 5 and you see arguably the most detailed
fighting game on the market, and you look at Tekken 6 and it
looks like a marginal upgrade from Tekken 5. Something's putting
me off from the game, and I'm sorely disappointed that it isn't
the visual tour de force that the series is known to be. The
screenshots released are from the arcade version, so perhaps the
PS3 code will see a notable bump in graphics – much like Tekken
Tag did when it came from the cabinets to the PS2. We can only

I don't need to unwrap the game…I'll just give it a

Moving on, let's talk about something I've sort of been dealing
with in the gaming community. Sony was kind enough to ship me an
advanced copy of Formula One for the PS3 this past week and I
stumbled upon some reviews bashing the game with completely
invalid reasons. It's not even a question of objectivity, it's a
question of actually knowing what you're doing and talking about
before you label a splendid racing game with a pitiful score that
it doesn't deserve. And while I'm not a masterful wizard of
automobiles, I've learned my way around them in the past two
years. Enough to know how to properly adjust suspension
components to have a car behave a certain way in real-life and in
a videogame. So it's a little unhealthy to my mental state of
mind when I see critics writing off a game and panning it because
they don't know what they're doing or adjusting, and claim that
the game isn't capable of something – when in reality, it is.
Tinker around with the game's truck load of customization options
before you cry about erroneous physics, because the physics are
quite spot-on. In any case, my review of Formula One will be
coming soon.

The Galaxy's Not That Far Away

It's been nice to break away from Final Fantasy XII lately, but
playing other RPGs makes me realize the kind of impact the series
has had on the genre. I've spent some time with Rogue Galaxy, and
I was pretty impressed. I must say, anyone who was into games
like Threads of Fate, Dual Hearts, and Kingdom Hearts will really
like Rogue Galaxy. Likewise, the game has strong flavors of Skies
of Arcadia (must be the pirate thing) and Grandia, which is
always welcome in any RPG game. The battles, while random (like
Chrono Trigger), are real-time (like Kingdom Hearts) – so the
game is technically an action-RPG. Although I'd argue that Rogue
Galaxy's combat is far deeper than your typical A-RPG game.

Man…Long Plane Rides Are About to Rock!

So how's about that God of War on the PSP? I'm pretty sure I
heard Ben break down and cry tears of joy. Not only will we get
one God of War game this year, but possibly two! After playing
Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters and seeing how f-ing amazing it
looks, I can't even fathom the thought of God of War on the PSP.
The game is currently being developed by the guys who did Daxter,
another PSP visual wonder, so it's certainly in good hands. We
just hope Sony gets on with it and reveals it already…hopefully
at Game Developers Conference.

Banging On the Trash Can…Jammin In a Taxi

I heard a bit of news by way of Sega not too long ago about the
PSP's Crazy Taxi: allegedly it's going to have
custom-soundtracks! I may or may not be mistaken, but custom
soundtracks in Crazy Taxi would be a PSP first. An already great
game will have a great feature that I've been dying to see done
on Sony consoles. Now let's hope that it opens up the flood-gates
and more developers begin to follow; and not just on the PSP, but
on the PS3 too!

Forfeit Your Wallets Immediately
Lastly, I can't help but feel excited at the thought of the PS3's
software line-up coming up. Word of Gran Turismo 5 hitting the
PS3 in 2007 has me doing cartwheels in my head (note: I can't do
cartwheels, otherwise). Devil May Cry 4, Metal Gear Solid 4,
Lair, Grand Theft Auto 4, and a multitude of other 1st party and
3rd party titles is going to make the PS3's presence known. And
if Sony is able to roll out both Warhawk and Killzone 2 for
2007…we're going to have some serious heat.

Final note: Looks like both Ben and I feel the exact same way
too, we didn't even plan on concluding both of our recaps on the
same note – but coincidentally we did.

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