This coming week it's time for a post-launch cigarette after the fevered (or should that be languid?) activity surrounding the release of Sony's PS3. There are one or two PS3 titles still trickling out, such as Splinter Cell Double Agent and inevitably a few of the expected launch titles will spill over into week two - they always do.
Elsewhere the industry's hard-on for games with planes continues unabated and after the recently released M.A.C.H. and Battlestations: Midway we get three more with After Burner, Heatseeker and Blazing Angels. But pick of the week has to go to Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles on PC. Sure, it's just an expansion pack but a very delicious one at that.
So, the complete list of games released in the UK on Friday (30/03/07):
- After Burner: Black Falcon, PSP, Sega
- ATOM, PS2, Blast
- Blazing Angels, Wii, Ubisoft
- Casper Scare School, PS2, Blast
- Coded Arms Contagion, PSP, Konami
- Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, PC, EA
- Dragon Ball Z Shin Budokai Platinum, PSP, Atari
- Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles, PC, Take-2
- Full Auto 2: Battlelines, PSP, Sega
- Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, PC/PSP, Ubisoft
- Gunpey, DS/PSP, Atari
- Harvest Moon: Innocent Life, PSP, Rising Star
- Heatseeker, Wii/PS2, Codemasters
- Meet the Robinsons, PS2/GBA/DS/360/Wii, Disney
- Pacman Rally, PSP, EA
- Penumbra Overture, PC, Lexicon
- Pogo Island, DS, EA
- Pokemon Ranger, DS, Nintendo
- Rainbow Six Vegas, PSP, Ubisoft
- Spectral Vs Generation, PSP, Midas
- Spin Out, PS2/PSP, Ghostlight
- Splinter Cell Double Agent, PS3, Ubisoft
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Wii, Ubisoft
- Test Drive Unlimited, PSP, Atari
- Totally Spies 2 Undercover, DS, Atari
- Wiffle Ball Advance, DS, Zoo Digital
Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles (PC)
With an estimated 30 hours of additional gameplay Shivering Isles offers a completely new plane to explore, one dominated by Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness. With two vastly different kinds of environments and creatures, representing the God's Mania (creative) and Dementia (twisted and psychotic), this has all the hallmarks of a completely trippy and absorbing adventure. There's plenty of fresh spells, ingredients, armour and weapon types plus 12 brand new monsters. Better still, you can even use your existing character from Oblivion.
With a nod to late 80s arcade games and infused with all the hormonal energy of Top Gun this is likely to be a surprise hit. Indeed, you only need to see it running for 30 seconds to understand its hypnotic influence over anyone into action, explosions or using call-signs like 'Rapscallion'. Missions take place in locations as far a field as Antarctica, the Far East and the Caribbean peninsula. Containing both modern and classic fighter jets, including the F22 Raptor, F-15 Eagle, F-35 Lightening II and Russia's SU-47 Berkut, Heatseeker is also a plane spotters dream. With Wii software a bit thin on the ground Heatseeker is likely to fill a much needed gap so slip in the Kenny Loggins CD and don the sunglasses, this is going to be an exhilarating ride.
After Burner: Black Falcon (PSP)
If you'd rather play your aerial combat games on PSP then After Burner is just the ticket. From what we've seen it utilizes the PSP analogue nub beautifully (and you can't say that very often) and delivers the high adrenaline lock-on, shake off game play that made the 1987 arcade game such a classic. With customization options, 19 officially licensed jets and intense multiplayer dog-fighting modes this is a very exciting prospect indeed.