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Ben’s Week In Review: December 16

Some interesting news in the past week, so let's get right to it.

What's the deal with GTAIV?

More specifically, how did the Australian ratings board issue a classification so early? Yes, it's intriguing to learn Rockstar and Take-Two got away with the 15+ rating, but that's a whole other topic for another time. Right now, I'm just wondering if the team is closer to completion than we all realize. Don't ratings boards need nigh-on complete versions of a game before they can issue their lil' label? Isn't Grand Theft Auto IV tentatively scheduled for a Q2 2008 release? And, oh yeah, isn't Take-Two experiencing some serious financial strife right about now? Considering all this, I get the sneaking suspicion that we may be seeing GTAIV sooner than expected…perhaps much sooner. The first launch date of October 16, 2007 was obviously far too optimistic, but now it almost seems as if Take-Two is being too conservative. Perhaps they just said "Q2" so as not to disappoint everyone again. The publisher knows the game can't possibly release any later than Q2, so that's the estimated release they give. Know what I mean?

In all honesty, we have more than enough titles this holiday season to keep us occupied, so we didn't necessarily need GTAIV in 2007. It could make for a fantastic early spring release (even if it might have to contend with MGS4), but now I'm thinking GTAIV arrives on store shelves before the spring. In fact, I'm thinking it might be before March…the faster it comes out, the faster Take-Two can start recovering. It's just business, baby.

Heeeey…Extra Twisted Edition slipped by us!

We must've missed the official announcement for Eat Sleep Play's Twisted Metal: Head-On: Extra Twisted Edition for the PS2. As a giant fan of the series, I'm very happy to see this, because it means a whole new TM title is coming to the PS2! We've been waiting for this ever since Black in 2001, and while loyal followers have been pining for a next-gen Twisted Metal , we're okay with this. Heck, we're better than okay! It might just be a PSP port, but there's all kinds of extra stuff not included in the handheld version, and any new content is much appreciated. This is one franchise that should certainly never die, and while Jaffe and Co. have said they're not as interested in blockbuster projects like God of War , we can always hope for a PS3 Twisted Metal …right? How can you deprive us of that, David? Seriously? In the meantime, we'll wait until spring so we can get our hands on Extra Twisted Edition , which may become one of the last great PS2 titles.

Well, at least it's not canceled

After Hot Shots Golf 5 dropped off the radar a few months ago, I have to admit, I started to get a touch concerned. Thankfully, though, SCEA has announced that US gamers will finally be getting this one in March , which is certainly better than never. We knew it would be a gigantic game in Japan – and so it has been – but the series has never been anywhere near as popular in other regions. Therefore, I was beginning to wonder if they were planning to pass on North America this time around…if they had, I would've been awfully upset. You can have your Tiger Woods ; I'll take HSG any day of the week and twice on Sunday. It's actually more realistic – that's right, you heard me – and it's also a hell of a lot more fun, in both single-player tournament and online mode. I downloaded the Japanese demo a long time ago, and it's still there; I play it every now and then. I also play the last entry ( Hot Shots Golf: Fore! ) sometimes, too. You just don't get more entertaining than this quaint, yet very simulated, golf series.

Of course, I'm not saying I spend all my time with golf games. That'd be just plain…uh…weird. No, my diverse tastes will always remain, but when it comes to certain games named Hot Shots Golf , Final Fantasy , Gran Turismo , etc, than I can't ever pass them up. 🙂

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