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The Week Ahead - 19/10/07

Feature: Quality and quantity

Quality as well as quantity this month as at least four of our picks represent phenomenal value for money. Take any one of Football Manager 2008, The Orange Box, World of Warcraft: Battle Chest or The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hour Glass and you have enough gaming pleasure to keep you going for a long time.

After a very barren spell it's also pleasing to see PC gamers catered for so handsomely. No PS3 titles though - there's a shock.

The complete list of games released in the UK this week (19/10/07):

  • ATV Offroad Fury Pro, PSP, Sony
  • Big Catch, DS/Wii, 505 Games
  • Bratz 4 Real, DS, THQ
  • Bratz: The Movie, Wii, THQ
  • Buzz! The Hollywood Quiz, PS2, Sony
  • Clever Kids: Dino Land, PS2/PC/DS, Midas
  • Clever Kids: Pony World, PS2/PC/DS, Midas
  • Cocoto Racer, DS, Midway
  • Disney Friends, DS, Disney
  • Eternal Sonata, 360, Namco Bandai
  • Football Manager 2008, PC, Sega
  • Orange Box, PC/360, EA
  • High School Musical: Making the Cut, DS, Disney
  • Hoshigami, DS, 505 Games
  • Mini Desktop Racing, DS, Metro3D
  • Myst, DS, Midway
  • Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2, PS2, Namco Bandai
  • Painkiller: Overdose (Platinum), PC, DreamCatcher
  • Rockstar Presents: Table Tennis, Wii, Rockstar
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass, DS, Nintendo
  • Thrillville: Off the Rails, PC/PS2/PSP/360/DS/Wii, LucasArts
  • World of Warcraft: Battle Chest, PC, Vivendi
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Football Manger 2008 (PC)

Sports Interactive reckons its latest Football Manger database is so powerful it's helped current Premiership managers with scouting and signing new players. It makes good headlines but whatever the case this iteration is shaping up to be the best yet with tweaks and refinements in every department and over 100 new features.

Navigation of menus is notably more intuitive, saving and loading faster and an advisor system now eases players through the intricacies of the game. There's even a revamped awards system, which now includes the European golden boot and a 'best eleven' to highlight the all-time (in game) best eleven for all teams and nations. It also offers the only feasible way to take Accrington Stanley to the Champions League final.

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The Orange Box (PC/360)

How's this for value: five games squeezed into one box including Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Portal and Team Fortress 2. How the winter months will just fly by. We don't need to point out how amazing this series is and when it comes to bang for your buck this is practically a steal.

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Eternal Sonata (360)

Only in Japan would a developer have the guts to make an RPG based on the famous 19th century composer, Frederick Chopin. If that wasn't weird enough the premise centres on the Polish maestro's death bed delusions, which conveniently takes the player into an anime world full of weird monsters and sidekicks named after musical terms: think Polka, Beat, Jazz and Allegretto.

Thankfully the game's bizarre nature is backed up with some excellent questing, plotlines and combat. It's all very linear but the beauty, depth and musicality will touch you to the core. We're just looking forward to a beat-'em-up pitting Amadeus Mozart against Richard Wagner.

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