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The Week Ahead - 11/05/07

Feature: Hold on to your handhelds

Okay, let's start the week on a very positive note: a little gem called Picross is about to be released on DS by Nintendo. You may have vaguely heard of this title before but the sad thing is that while the Japanese have been enjoying the logic/puzzle formula for decades we've only ever had one Picross release in the west, in the form of Mario Picross back in 1995. So we're super glad the latest and best iteration is coming our way this week.

There's more portable delight to be had in the form of Driver 76, a robust and speedy PSP game that looks like being the best Driver title since the original on PSone, as well as Ratchet & Clank: Size matters and Harvest Moon: Innocent Life. Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars is released on 360 and we're very much looking forward to seeing how well it's been adapted to a standard controller.

PC gamers will have to make do with the very niche Virtual Skipper 5: 32nd Americas Cup, though it is by TrackMania's Nadeo and has an excellent heritage. So there's no denying it's hardly a stellar week for releases but as we predicted in the last column, there's always going to be at least one title to lure the money out of your bank account.

The complete list of games released in the UK this week (11/05/07):

  • Bust A Move, Wii, 505 Games
  • Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, 360, EA
  • Cooking Mama, Wii, 505 Games
  • Driver 76, PSP, Ubisoft
  • Exit 2, PSP, 505 Games
  • Harvest Moon, Innocent Life, Rising Star Games
  • Heatseker, PSP, Codemasters
  • Lost in Blue 2, DS, Konami
  • Platinum Sodoku, DS, Ubisoft
  • Picross, DS, Nintendo
  • Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters, PSP, Sony
  • Spinout, PSP, Ghostlight
  • Virtual Skipper 5: 32nd Americas Cup, PC, Focus Home
  • World Championship Poker, PS2/PSP/DS, 505 Games
  • World of Pool, PSP, Ghostlight

Picross (DS)

Ah, another puzzle game on DS we hear you sigh. But this is something a bit special - it's the kind of game that's so addictive it'll make you see geometric shapes in your sleep (although we're not sure that's entirely a good thing). The idea is to use logic and your noggin to shade in blank grids until a picture is revealed. It's kind of like a cross between Kakuro and knitting. Yes, we realise this sounds very dull, but on paper Tetris was hardly a recipe for pleasure and it still remains one of the greatest games ever conceived. With 300 puzzles to complete, the ability to time-attack them all and even create your own to share with friends via Wi-Fi this is easily one of the best logic/puzzle titles to appear in the last ten years. Give it a try, you won't regret it.

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Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars (360)

The cataclysmic battles between the Brotherhood of Nod and the GDI (Global Defence Initiative) return in what's been heralded as a return to form for the PC version which was released back in March (read the PC review here). We're hoping the Xbox 360 iteration is just as good, if not better considering the extra content it's loaded with. Along with new multiplayer modes for Xbox Live, including Conquer, Capture the Flag and Siege, plenty of extra downloadable content via Marketplace is also promised by EA. The Xbox 360 is hardly inundated with deep strategy titles so this is definitely one to consider.

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