- Having finally got round to doing the first half of a massive Bloglines crawl, here are some of the most interesting random gaming links I ran into, as pasted all over the blogosphere over the past few days:

- Posty at Shoot The Core has spotted a new PlayStation 2 shooter - "Ocean Commander from BigFishGames will be reaching a whole new audience of shmuppers this May thanks to Phoenix Games. Phoenix is a European Budget game publisher, which means this game probably won't be ported to the US, and will also be dirt cheap." Interesting! Phoenix also do the recently NeoGAF obsessed-over White Van Racer, among other ultra-budget oddities, of course.

- Treyarch exec. producer Stuart Roch (who is currently working on the Activision Bond game, his LinkedIn profile says!) has posted his favorite games of 2006 on his blog, and they're perky and interestingly categorized, so I pass them out. For one, 'Best Game Nobody Played' was Condemned ("OK, of course I am inferring here that Condemned was “sell-through challenged,” but I think through my straw poll of speaking to one person or another that not many people played Condemned. Like many Monolith titles over recent years, I think you have a case of a great game here that just didn’t generate buzz for one reason or another.") And he liked Saints Row, too.

- An extremely miscellaneous post at the Dreamcast Junkyward is interesting to me because of his pic of a third-party 'Uno' joypad for the DC that I'd never seen before - "One last Dreamcast thing I did actually pick up was a fighting controller for $15. It's third party, but the only time I had seen a controller like this for the DC was one released in Japan by ASCII, which sells for a lotta money. This one is pretty much the same thing, but a lot cheaper. Score!" I own the ASCII Dreamcast pad, and it's _excellent_ for fighters.

- Finally, there's a preview of Pocketwatch Games' PC indie title Venture Arctic over at GameTunnel, and the ecosystem simulator sequel to 2006 IGF finalist Venture Africa is looking agreeably sharp, also sporting some really _alternative_ gameplay mechanisms: "In Venture Arctic, inhabitants pass on after their material form has ceased functioning, one way or another. Each inhabitant comes back in a spirit form that players can capture and re-use to further change or alter the ecosystem." Sorta Sim Safari meets Ghostbusters, then!