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Back from Naboo

Could James ditch his addiction after a month in Europe?

By James Stevenson     August 11, 2002

I've just gotten back this week from a month in Europe - as many of you who read the message boards at Cinescape will know. We didn't really announce it on the Games page, in fact, I had articles written that went live while I was gone (see our THE MARK OF KRI features). But while I was enjoying the sites of Europe (including a location in Spain that was used in ATTACK OF THE CLONES as Naboo) I managed to go for a month without playing video games... Did I go insane? Or was it actually an enjoyable vacation?

I left shortly after one of the biggest games of the summer was released, WARCRAFT III. You don't know how much I wanted to play that game! But the review was in the trusted hands of Troy, and I was on a plane to London.

I actually almost got to play some games on the plane flight. The airline had a great selection of Super Nintendo titles... and I eventually pulled up some SUPER MARIO BROS. THE LOST LEVELS. The only problem was the controller wasn't responsive enough and I had to quit. It just wasn't worth my time.

From there on out I was game free. No TVs, no videogames, rare internet access... my day to day life had just taken a 180. And really, I didn't seem to notice too much. I had finished ETERNAL DARKNESS: SANITY'S REQUIEM before leaving, so that wasn't on my mind, and work had been taken care of through July, so no worries. I didn't even stop at an arcade or game shop along the way... I truly was game free.

And then there was that damn layover in London's Heathrow airport, and that blasted VIRTUA TENNIS machine, and those blasted pound coins in my pocket that I knew would go to waste if I brought them back. Needless to say, my month without video games quickly came to an end.

And then the floodgate opened. After landing, I didn't go straight to my house or bed (after being up for over 30 hours). I went to Best Buy. I had to find myself copies of THE LORD OF THE RINGS, SIMPSONS SEASON TWO, and of course several games that I had missed. Not to mention the small stack of games in my mail pile.

It doesn't matter what I do. If anyone knows where I can find a "Will Game 4 Food" t-shirt, let me know. I'm a gamer for life.



Even though it has barely been heard from about the game, Take-Two has released a new trailer of MAFIA and has not set a release date other than the end of this month... The rights to make a videogame based on the character Snake Plissken from ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, and ESCAPE FROM L.A. are being shopped around the industry... Square's KINGDOM HEARTS will be released on Sept. 17th... Square has revealed its Game Boy Advance lineup: A Chocobo sequel, FINAL FANTASY TACTICS, a SECRET OF MANA game, and FINAL FANTASY: CRYSTAL CHRONICLE... The FARSCAPE video game has shipped to stores.



The conundrum: what football game to recommend. I honestly can't recommend either - I haven't played them enough. If you like the slower gameplay of Madden, pick up the new version. Otherwise, NFL 2K3 may be the way to go. Both versions have online support and I have the feeling that the franchise mode in NFL 2K3 will final be up to par. It's just a matter of how you like your football gameplay.

Gamers' Thumb is our weekly Videogame column.


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