Updated every 2 weeks
"Maybe" - Edge

Freeloading Bitch
I was rudely awoken earlier in the month by an excited Elvis telling me that hell had frozen over, several porcine mammals had taken flight and Freeloader, the region free gaming bootdisc, had shipped. You can imagine which event surprised me the most.

Apart from a shakey start involving shipping buggy versions of the software (1.04) and the subsequent riots which broke out on Datel's forums amongst disgruntled early adopters, Freeloader does, largely, what it says on the tin, and is an essential purchase for those PAL gamers who are tired of poorly optimised, delayed Nintendo sofware (and NTSC gamers who wish to try the odd cheeky rental).

This frankly astonishingly clever piece of hacking isn't quite the model of simplicity that Datel have been pimping to us for the past seven years, as it requires users to test no less that four boot methods to get their Gamecubes to recognise alternate region discs, each one involving three or four steps and a degree of button pressing.

Our lab test have uncovered an additional boot method not detailed in the manual for those still struggling to get software running on Freeloader

Freeloader Boot Method FIVE:
1. Insert Freeloader disc into Cube with the lid up and switch the power on
2. Create a small efficy of Donald Sutherland from twigs and smear it with the blood of a virgin goat.
3. Take a dried Badger and start thrashing it around your lower torso whilst chanting the lyrics to the Bucks Fizz's1970's hit "Making your mind up"
4. Repeatedly hammer on your neighbours wall with a bagette shouting "I know what your whoreing wife has been up to"
5. Insert game of choice, ensuring that any curious ants don't touch the controller.

Mario Pac - Skill with Prizes!
Instead of shaking his head and saying "I don't get it" upon looking at THIS spoof on Uncleclive.co.uk a few months back, talented Uncle Clive reader Matt Verran took it upon himself to turn the concept into an actual working game.

Based on the ZXSpectrum classic 'Jet Pac' Matt has created this Mario Sunshine tribute, and I kid you not, its an absolute masterpiece of bootleg gaming.

Uncle Clive Competition!
Win a 'Loadrage' tee-shirt
Download Super Mario Pac, and when you think you've got an unbeatable score send the given code to me at: mario@uncleclive.co.uk

Sponsored by Loadrage.com


Super Mario Pac:
A free game for Windows XP/2k/ME/9x

Based on Utimate's (now 'Rare') 'JetPac', oldskool gamers will feel completely at home with this gem, those who haven't had the pleasure will revel in its charming simplicity and funky stylings. Videogaming like it used to be.

Instructions: You'll need to keep Mario's waterpack topped up with water from the well, and drop the purple blocks onto the piranha plant a few times to gain access to the pipe. Squirt water at the baddies to clear a path. Full joypad compatibility and user-defined keys for the hardcore. PC only.

For more games visit Matt's website at: www.hermitgames.com

Think you can get the highest score?

OMG!!! MEGATON!!!!1111
So as Nintendo's 'Megaton' turns out to be little more than 'something to do with a comic strip in a games mag or something' we here at Clive Heights were a little disappointed that Nintendo's main announcement was simply a 'useable' version of the GameBoy Advance - the GBA SP.

PR Disaster
This was announced just after Christmas, and after the original versions were sold off to an unsuspecting public. Still, that's big business for you (although I feel its a PR disaster for a company with a shrinking market share).

A damaging new direction
My primary concern though at the moment regarding the GBA, is the way Nintendo and other developers are attempting to kick start the GBA cartridge market by making certain titles a 'key' to opening up extra features in GameCube games (and vice-versa).
When I first learned of the GBA link-up facility, I assumed (perhaps naively) that it would be a way of using the GBA as a GameCube 'peripheral', but it increasingly seems that you need TWO games, one on each system, in order for it to work.

Cross-sell or no-sell?
It certainly annoys me to think that I'll be missing out on the full experience of any given title I've purchased if I choose not to spend £30 on the GBA version of it.
Whilst I understand Nintendo are using this facility to try to cross-sell their products, isn't there a danger that gamers won't purchase 'GameCube Game X' because they don't have the GBA version of it to take full advantage of their potential investment?

Send me your thoughts for a possible follow up in a future update.

The Matrix Re - Load "ED"
Uncle Clive reader 'Fishy' discovered this curious ZX Spectrum feature photoshoot from 1984's 'INPUT' magazine, which predates the Wachowski's magnum opus by about 18 years.

Videogames meets the Matrix? Surely that would be the best thing ever? Oh, hold on a second....

Rubbish Enter the Matrix videogame, yesterday

The Uncle Clive 'Gameboy Player' GameCube peripheral. Savings gamers cash the world over.

Uncle Clive's money saving tip: No:33 GameBoy Advance Player
Far from rewarding patient GameBoy Advance owners with a lead which would them allow them to hook their handhelds up to a TV, Nintendo have seen fit to ask gamers to shell out for a new peripheral, the GameBoy Player, which fits under their GameCubes (provided of course, they already have one).

Always one to try and save his loyal readers a few quid, Uncle Clive has devised a cheaper method of achiveing basically the same thing.. Uncle Clive's GameBoy Advance games player. (pictured left).

Simply place your old SNES (or purchase one for £10 from e-bay) under your GameCube and enjoy the following benefits:
Over 2000 games already available (in your loft or £3 each on e-bay)
Use existing SNES controller with its
Show a greedy entertainment giant that you aren't prepared to shell out four times for the same piece of hardware (SNES, GameBoy Advance, Gameboy Advance SP, GameBoy Player)

Dean Fast - He's a man from the past!

Lions, Llamas and Games... Oh My!
Mr Jeff Minter is set to bring his own unique brand of recreational merriment to the GameCube in the intriguing 'Unity'. This reporter predicts it to be a most intriguing televisual experience, involving changing coloured lights and an exciting timpanic musical accompanyment.

Mr Peter Molyneaux from Lionhead Studios has decided to fund this enterprising beatnick, and this will serve two purposes. 1. Traditional British entertainment being played by children across our great nation 2. It prevented the bearded Mr Minter from being lulled by foreign company Infinium labs, with their proposed 'Phantom' electronic entertainment unit, which is an abomination of science gone awry.

X-Box Communicator
The device, which undoubtedly will turn out to be the least used videogame peripheral of all time next to THIS ONE, is already causing problems for gamers several months BEFORE its release (here).

The ever hopeful Microsoft have even put up a photograph of something which will simply never happen - a girl playing videogames, via x-box live, wearing the X-Box communicator. Each one of those points in isolation is unlikely, but together they create an absolute mathematical certainty.

An absolute mathematical certainty:

A far more likely scenario:

Another absolute mathematical certainty:

Videogamers eh? I wish we could return to more noble times when we all looked and behaved like THIS

Not much to report.
It's all a bit 'rubbish' at the moment isn't it? Everyone gearing up for Christmas, price slashing left, right and centre. The Gamecube was cut to a 'rude not to' price, Microsoft are expected to follow and Sony could put the PS2 price UP for all the difference it'll make to their market share. Lawks, I've even had to slap a couple of this sites 'rejected' items up given the lack of inspiration about.

Still, last week saw the arrival in the shops of a new hardware platform - Nokia's 'N-Gage'. You didn't know either? Not so much as an advert in the small ads section of the Accrington Herald coincided with the launch. So little trumpeting for a company who expect to take on Nintendo in the handheld market. Oh, 'N-Gage'.... 'ENGAGE'. I've just got it. Very clever.

A proper update coming soon. In the meantime, Yoshi's Fruit Adventure claims its latest victim (14 meg WMV file)