They Break the News, I Break it Again!

RETRACTION: Last week I reported that Microprose had all its flight sims grounded by angry stepmother Hasbro. Untrue, it seems. They will still bring us Gunship and B-17 Flying Fortress. A drop in the bucket when you consider that flight sims once dominated this industry. Fortunately, Hasbro plans to fill the gaming void with a title based on the new Sony Pictures movie Stuart Little (joy!).

HEADLINE: Thunderbirds Are Go!

SCi Entertainment has announced plans to bring the popular ’60s program Thunderbirds to monitors everywhere. The sci-fi series takes place in the 21st Century and marks the first time in gaming history that you’ll be portraying a crude, poorly animated marionette… well, aside from Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine that is.

SCANDAL: Cradle Raider: The Last Revelation?

And people think video games are bad for kids? Perhaps developers are the real danger. Twenty-eight-year-old executive Kenneth Lockley of Core Design (one of the creators of Lara Croft and her amazing inflatable chest) was supposedly caught trying to persuade an undercover cop to arrange a sexual liaison for him with a nine-year-old girl. Allegedly, he approached the cop at the Regent Hotel in London and solicited sex for an unnamed third party. Aside from the chilling spin this puts on the “young Lara” tutorial level in the latest Croft adventure, no further mocking is necessary, just a profound shudder of revulsion and fear. Core has suspended him from the company until this pans out. Here is the sordid story in its entirety. It’s been a rough year for Eidos, huh?

EDITORIAL: Stormy Weather?

Hot off the financial success and ultimate fan and critical disappointment of Westwood’s inexplicably delayed Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, Westwood has been quick to back its inexplicably non-buzz-generating action RPG Nox. This is too bad, because Nox certainly looks very good. Still, Westwood enjoys sending out press releases bragging about what fans are thinking in various cities the game has visited and other incidental factoids. Most recent is a press release bragging that Westwood came upon the developers of Nox floating in a river and took the swaddled child to their husband, Pharaoh, to be raised as an Egyptian (I may be getting my stories confused here, but you get the gist). Westwood is proud of the game and proud of the developers, and that’s pretty nice…. But it ain’t news! If anything, this frantic deluge of incidental Nox reports feels like Westwood is fearful of a Blizzard.

HEADLINE: Interplay Ships Y2K: The Game!

A few people feared that the adventure genre was dead; more people hoped it was dead. It seems that it isn’t really dead after all. In Y2K: The Game, gamers portray a lottery winner named Buster as he spends the News Years Eve in his brand new computer-controlled mansion. The next morning, after all hell has broken loose, he finds his home has turned against him. How to solve this problem? Logically, it must be to use a mouse to click on things and solve seemingly random puzzles. In short, Y2K plans not only to cash in on ubiquitous fears of a computer-related apocalypse but also to give us a go at playing Myst once again. Naturally, mercifully, the game won’t work after January 1st.

ITEM: Sony Throws Latest Hissy Fit Over Bleem!

First a failed restraining order, then several injunctions didn’t work. “Persuading” the E3 folks to ban Bleem from the convention last year didn’t work (yes, that really happened). Now Sony attempts to bully retailers with subpoenas and a lawsuit against the makers of Bleem, also known as “the little company that could (barely) emulate Playstation games on the PC.” What’s next? Rock throwing? It seems a great deal of fuss over a product that doesn’t violate Sony’s PSX patents and still requires customers to actually buy retail PSX games. Also consider that the product doesn’t work 100% with all games and probably never will. A brand new PSX is only twice the price of Bleem, and those games work better on your TV anyway. Yet Sony keeps throwing money at squashing the company, almost as if it’s afraid to lose more than it’s afraid of any damage the “emu” might cause. The frightening thing here is that Sony demanded Bleem give over its customer identity list. Does that seem right? Thankfully the judge squashed that bit of Big Brother thinking in a hurry.

PCData’s Top Five Computer Games for the week of 11/28-12/04/99

1. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – Disney Interactive

Further proof that America can’t get enough of old Reeg, the home version of the inexplicably popular television show nabs the top spot. My question is… Who Actually Wants This Game?

2. How to get free Simoleons for SimCity Buildit

The rides get wilder; the ground gets stickier; and the handymen get more annoyed as RC Tycoon drops a spot.

3. Barbie Generation Girl Gotta Groove – Mattel

Future PMS Quake clan members get into this whole computer fad with a Barbie dancing game that’ll make them wish they were anorexic and filled with plastic bits too!

4. Age of Empires II: Age of Kings – Microsoft

Unto the breach and chop through woods to Saladin’s house we go…

5. Fifa 17 Cheats –

Still on the list, but dropping fast … Look on the bright side. If nobody buys it for Christmas, I can stop reporting it! You hear me? Anyone listening? Please, please, please, start buying some good/cool games, so I can ignore the crud on this list. Unreal Tournament debuted at six and then fell off the list entirely! I beg of you, only real gamers can prevent Beatdown meltdown.

Tune in Friday, January 7, to see if anything mockable happened during Christmas week 1999 and the end of the world shortly thereafter. Feel free to send comments/flames and hot news tips to ASDante@execpc.com.

ITEM: Sony Throws Latest Hissy Fit Over Bleem!

First a failed restraining order, then several injunctions didn’t work. “Persuading” the E3 folks to ban Bleem from the convention last year didn’t work (yes, that really happened). Now Sony attempts to bully retailers with subpoenas and a lawsuit against the makers of Bleem, also known as “the little company that could (barely) emulate Playstation games on the PC.” What’s next? Rock throwing? It seems a great deal of fuss over a product that doesn’t violate Sony’s PSX patents and still requires customers to actually buy retail PSX games. Also consider that the product doesn’t work 100% with all games and probably never will. A brand new PSX is only twice the price of Bleem, and those games work better on your TV anyway. Yet Sony keeps throwing money at squashing the company, almost as if it’s afraid to lose more than it’s afraid of any damage the “emu” might cause. The frightening thing here is that Sony demanded Bleem give over its customer identity list. Does that seem right? Thankfully the judge squashed that bit of Big Brother thinking in a hurry.

PCData’s Top Five Computer Games for the week of 11/28-12/04/99

1. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – Disney Interactive

Further proof that America can’t get enough of old Reeg, the home version of the inexplicably popular television show nabs the top spot. My question is… Who Actually Wants This Game?

2. Roller Coaster Tycoon – Hasbro

The rides get wilder; the ground gets stickier; and the handymen get more annoyed as RC Tycoon drops a spot.

3. Barbie Generation Girl Gotta Groove – Mattel

Future PMS Quake clan members get into this whole computer fad with a Barbie dancing game that’ll make them wish they were anorexic and filled with plastic bits too!

4. Age of Empires II: Age of Kings – Microsoft

Unto the breach and chop through woods to Saladin’s house we go…

5. Deer Hunter III – GT Interactive

Still on the list, but dropping fast … Look on the bright side. If nobody buys it for Christmas, I can stop reporting it! You hear me? Anyone listening? Please, please, please, start buying some good/cool games, so I can ignore the crud on this list. Unreal Tournament debuted at six and then fell off the list entirely! I beg of you, only real gamers can prevent Beatdown meltdown.