Hmmm, May Day. International day of protest and anti-government rioting; or the only day of the year where fat men with beards dress up like fairies and prance around with bells and sticks? I suppose it depends on where you are in the the world. I was actually 'invited' to take part in some kind of march today, but the legions of baton wielding police and crowds of camoflage wearing, soap dodging students had an influence on me politiely turning the offer down. Anyhow, May Day apart, today is special for another reason: new shit in the 'Yard peeps!
Allow me to introduce our new arrivals:
A graphically stunning arcade racing game that features a multitude of real life vehicles like Minis and Lotuses (or is that 'Loti'?!). I think the name Vanishing Point has got something to do with the groundbreaking (in 2000) game engine that virtually eliminates pop-up because the whole track is modelled, rather than being 'drawn in' as you travel around it. The handling of the vehicles differs depending on what you're driving, but control is a bit spongy and the cars behave as if they have jelly for suspension - they wobble and bounce about quite a bit. However, there's loads to do in Vanishing Point, a magnitude of different racing modes and mini games so it'll hold the attention for quite a while. Very decent Acclaim. Cast your eyes over these screens and deny the majesty of Vanishing Point if you dare...
Vigilante 8: Second Offense
I had the first Vigilant 8 game on the N64 and it was sweet - the graphics were fantastic with the Expansion Pak. Second Offense doesn't really look much better which is a dissappointment considering the extra power of the Dreamcast. Basically, V8 is a sort of deathmatch game but in vehicles. You drive around shooting other cars, trucks, motorbikes etc and collecting power ups. The magic of the first one seems to have been lost due to the emptiness of the sequels' arenas and there just isn't as much stuff to destroy (houses, gas stations etc). Still, it's fun for a while, just not as awesome as I was expecting. Check out this somersaulting bin wagon...if only they could do that in real life, it'd make bin day much more entertaining. And justify the ridiculous Council Tax.Moving on, my progress in Shenmue has flown along. I'm already into the 3rd disk and have just got a job at the docks as a forklift truck driver. It's actually pretty annoying trying to control the FLT and putting the crates where they are meant to go and it gets very old, very quickly. However, I pulled the plug out of the socket by accident before I had the chance to save the game so lost a good chunk of my progress. After several minutes of dribbling, shouting and generally acting like Mutley, I just shelved it. I really want to get into Shenmue 2 but now I'm so close to completing the first chaper of Ryo's adventure, it'd be a shame to just jump straight into number 2 with all guns blazing. As it were.