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The Week Ahead - 22/06/07

Feature: Go Nintendo

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Mini-games include rowing boats, punching statues and tightrope walking but they don't really make good use of the Remote and most of them get irritating quite quickly. Call us party poopers but Mario Party 8 is one for fans only.

Metroid Prime Pinball (DS)

In the US this has been getting very favourable reviews but we suspect more discerning European gamers will realise it's not nearly as charming and captivating as first impressions would suggest. There's just something too capricious about the ball physics and table designs and many of the boss battles border on annoying.

There are seven tables in all but only three of these are 'traditional' in the sense they broadly conform to what you'd expect down your local caf. On the surface this sounds like a lot of choice but the tables themselves are a little lacklustre with bonuses and features lacking real spark. If you're a Metroid Prime fan you may like it but pinball experts will be sorely disappointed.

Hot PXL (PSP)

Cynics might say this is Atari doing Wario Ware, and they'd be right. With 200 micro games and 10 boss battles the idea is to go through the Story Mode completing retro inspired three second games while unlocking 'urban and street culture' designs. It all sounds a bit copy-cat, but hey, it might just work.

There will also be music tracks from leading hip-hop acts, multiplayer modes and plenty of downloadable content so we remain optimistic it'll be fun in short bursts. Atari will also draw on its own games, like Battlezone, to add credibility.

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