The Week Ahead - 13/04/07

Feature: Please God, no...

Last week we were a bit glum due to the lack of releases but at least we could look forward to God of War II, scheduled for release on April 13. But you guessed it; it's now been put back, this time to April 27. Sony says it was always this day but Play's been listing as April 13, until recently. Don't forget the game is already out in the US and was first scheduled for release in the UK back in January... This sometimes happens; in the publishing word it's called treating Europe like a backwater.

Anyway, there's still a decent clutch of software available and while the release schedule is small there's hardly a dud among them. The handheld platforms are particularly lively this week with Final Fantasy V, Harvest Moon DS, Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters and Pokemon Ranger among the best releases. And just to show there's still life left in the PS2 the excellent Everybody's Tennis looks every bit as addictive as its golfing counterpart.

The complete list of games released in the UK this week (13/04/07):

  • Capcom Classics Collection Volume 2, PS2, Capcom
  • Everybody's Tennis, PS2, Sony
  • Dancing Stage SuperNova, PS2, Konami
  • Final Fantasy V, GBA, Nintendo
  • Harvest Moon DS, DS, Nintendo
  • Hotel Dusk: Room 215, DS, Nintendo
  • Lost in Blue 2, DS, Konami
  • Pokemon Ranger, DS, Nintendo
  • Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters, PSP, Sony
  • The Godfather: The Don's Edition, PS3, EA
  • Wing Island, Wii, Nintendo

Everybody's Tennis (PS2)

While it feels more like Namco's Smash Court Tennis to play, with the focus on quick reactions rather than court tactics, Everybody's Tennis wins you over with charm rather than serious po-faced mechanics. You can expect hundreds of collectables including anything from sweat bands to caps and multiplayer fun will also be a focus. If it's anywhere near as good as Everybody's Golf then this will be an addictive and light-hearted alternative to Virtua Tennis 3.

Final Fantasy V Advance (GBA)

A wondrous conversion of the 1992 SNES classic, Final Fantasy V has all the sublime ingredients that made it the ultimate adventure back in its day and still stronger than 90 percent of RPGs released today. With a compelling story, superbly honed battle system, novel side-quests and unforgettable characters this is not just a blast from the past but a perfect game for those short bus rides home. Extras include new job classes, remixed music, improved graphics and an extra dungeon to explore.

Harvest Moon DS (DS)

This is classic Harvest Moon complete with Harvest Sprites, lady wooing, sheep rearing and crop rotation. Of course, the idea of getting up at the crack of dawn, weeding farmland, milking cows and chopping wood may not sound appealing but once you've laid down the foundations of a good farmstead then Harvest Moon becomes utterly compulsive. New touch-screen features allow you to groom and pet animals while a neat Wi-Fi option allows you to visit friends' farms far and wide. It's essentially Animal Crossing for those with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters (PSP)

More sophisticated than you'd expect the first Ratchet & Clank game on PSP may not be the greatest thing ever but it will certainly entertain, impress and tickle the funny bone. With the wonderful blend of platforming, puzzles and action that has characterised the series Size Matters stand-out feature is the ability to switch between an imaginative array of weapons to suit the situation and enemies at hand. Although tough in places this will not disappoint.

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