The Week Ahead - 17/08/07

Feature: Extreme conditions...

We've taken drastic action this week given the fact there are only three releases. While Premier Manager 08 and Brain Buster: Puzzle Pak may be worth a look we expect you'll be looking elsewhere to spend your hard earned.

So we thought we'd do something inventive and add a hot summer bargain list capable of tempting the money away from your wallet. Everything in the list is under £20 and available now from either www.game.co.uk or www.play.com. The good news is that the silly season officially starts next week so it's back to business.

The complete list of games released in the UK this week (17/08/07):

  • Brain Buster: Puzzle Pak, DS, 505 Games
  • Hard Rock Casino, PS2/PSP, Oxygen
  • Premier Manager 08, PS2/PC, Zoo Digital

Premier Manager 08 (PS2/PC)

While Zoo gets top marks for setting its stall out early and getting a footy management sim out in time for the Premiership this series has historically been weaker than both Football Manager and Championship Manager. Still, with the usual training, physio, scouting and financial micro management options this is likely to be a good stop-gap for those who simply can't wait. The fact each player under your charge has his own persona seems like a nice idea but we'll have to see if it's gimmicky or has a dramatic impact on the gameplay.

Brain Buster: Puzzle Pak (DS)

This was released in the US a few weeks ago to some acclaim. Essentially it's a collection of the most popular puzzle games from Japan including Kakuro, Sudoku, Light Up, Nurikabe and Slitherlink. They're all of the logic variety and considerable motivation is added with running scores and challenges a la Brain Training. While the interface is a little clunky we reckon it's worth a punt at £20.

CVG's Hot Summer Bargain Picks

  • Prey, Xbox, 360 (£9.99): It's not the best FPS on the system but the topsy-turvy gravity effects and decent narrative are well worth experiencing.
  • Hitman: Blood Money, 360 (£17.99): The slow pace and cautious exploration may not be for everyone but stealth fans will find few better examples of the genre.
  • Football Manager 07, PSP (£17.99): Sure, it doesn't reflect all the recent transfer activity but this is still one of the best football management sims on the market.
  • Lumines II, PSP (£12.99): This mesmerising fusion of techno beats and puzzle action remains a highlight on Sony's handheld. And at this price it's even harder to resist.
  • Crackdown, 360 (£19.99): It doesn't seem like two minutes since it was released and Crackdown remains one of the 360's most exuberant titles.
  • Sim City, DS (£19.99): Destroy travel time with this cracking conversion of a classic. What it lacks in depth it makes up for in ease of use and portable pleasure.
  • Tomb Raider Legend, 360 (£14.99): Lara came blazing back to glory over a year ago in a quality adventure with little flab. Your chance to see what all the fuss was about.
  • Black, PS2 (£9.99): An audio and visual assault on the senses, this remains one of the most exuberant and vigorous FPSs in existence.
  • GTA: Vice City Stories, PS2 (£9.99): With better missions, characters and plotlines than Liberty City Stories this is an absolute steal for a tenner.