The State of Play 18th-24th Aug

Between Europe and America quite a large number of titles are hitting store shelves. As a result if your finger is not right on the pulse of the gaming world it is quite easy to let a title slip by without noticing. As such we are delighted introduce the latest new article to hit DarkZero; ‘The State of Play’. With this new item we hope to give you a quick rundown on what you should expect to see in stores (or available via download) during the course of the next week. Not only that, but we will also be doing our best to sort the wheat for the chaff so you won’t end up picking up a title that will last you only a few hours after purchase. Well that’s enough with silly introductions – let’s get straight into what you clicked this article for and discuss this week in games.

Europe

It has to be said that the recent summer drought of games is still at full force in Europe this week as no real big name title (or anything resembling one) will be on show for a little while longer. It almost pains me to say it, but this week most noteworthy release is ProStroke Golf: World Tour 2007 which will be available in stores… right now. The game has recently been seen getting that hard sell on many a TV station lately. Due to this strong advertising the game is likely to debut in the Top40 next week, but it would be best advised to hold onto your cash until something of more substance rears its head. Even if you are a big golf fan there is not much to entertain you on here.

Other less noteworthy title out this week are two GBA titles – Phil Of The Future andTrickStar. I personally never heard of either of these titles until I checked the upcoming release list and as we all know it is never a good sign if a company tries to release a title under the radar. After doing a bit of searching it seems that TrickStar is a budget release that should be selling for less than £15 everywhere. The less said about this week the better. Our frothing demand for next weeks release continues…

Release Rundown

Friday (August 18)
PC: Specnaz: Project Wolf, Pathologic
GBA: Phil Of The Future, TrickStar
Xbox: ProStroke Golf: World Tour 2007
PS2: ProStroke Golf: World Tour 2007

US

With last week’s release of the fantastic zombie smash ’em up Dead Rising you would expect this week’s releases in the US of A to be less spectacular. Think again as it seems things are on the up and up over there as the next seven days worth of games put what’s available in Europe to shame. Without a doubt this week’s big game in America is Madden NFL 07 (which seems to be getting released on every console under the sun) and is without doubt going to get the whole country doing 75 on the motorway to get to their local GameStop to pick it up. While most of us here at DZ towers could not give a toss about the sport (and would rather get teeth broken playing our continent equivalent) there is no denying the franchise is very popular and is (usually) very entertaining game to play.

The other big release in America this week is the appearance of Ninety-Nine Nights which was first released in Japan way back in mid April. Even though this title was much vaunted by Microsoft when they were planning to release the Xbox360 at last years launch it really did not live up to the hype. When the 360 owning Japanese audience (all five of them) got their hands on the game it was found to include many bugs and of couple of bosses which were very cheap and unfair. None of these problems have been fixed for the US release and as such the game really does not warrant a purchase.

Release Rundown

Monday (August 21)
DS: Tenchu: Dark Secret
PC: Coffee Tycoon, First Battalion, Ship Simulator, UFO Extraterrestrials

Tuesday (August 22)
PS2: Backyard Baseball 07, Madden NFL 07, Madden NFL 07: Hall of Fame Edition, One Piece: Grand Adventure, PacMan World Rally, World Championship Poker: All In.
Xbox360: Ninety-Nine Nights. Madden NFL 07, Madden NFL 07: Hall of Fame Edition.
Cube: Madden NFL 07, One Piece: Grand Adventure, Pac-Man World Rally.
GBA: Madden NFL 07.
DS: Madden NFL 07
PSP: Madden NFL 07, Pac-Man World Rally, Rapala Trophies, World Championship Poker: All In.
PC: Madden NFL 07, Pac-Man World Rally, Prison Tycoon 2: Maximum Security.

Wednesday (August 23)
GBA: The Scooby Movie Dual Pack

Downloads

While this section will undoubtedly look slightly void of games for a few months we hope it will pick up once Nintendo’s Wii is launched. Once it comes out we can hopefully fill it up with loads of virtual console goodness. For the coming weeks this will be the home of any XBLA or download-only PC games and thankfully both participants have released something for us to talk about this week.

In a world where you seem to get nothing for free (unless you’re rich and can already afford it) we are happy to bring news of two great full games that can be yours for free this week if you take the time to download the. The first title to bring to your attention is Texas Hold ‘Em which will be coming to the XBLA next Wednesday. We would advise you to get your ass on your sofa sometime between its release and Friday 26th and download the game for free (news link). We hope as many people take advantage of this move as possible and get what should be a great game (well it can’t be as bad as Pac-Man) without putting a dent in their wallet.

The next game available this week is F.E.A.R Combat. For the uninformed this is a freebie version of the PC first-person shooter’s entire multiplayer component. It may be just Sierra’s clever way of increasing the public’s exposure of the F.E.A.R franchise, but it is still a very fun game to play. The game will mostly likely remain free on Sierra’s website forever so make sure you pick up on the offer sometime in the future.

Release Rundown

Friday (August 18)
PC: F.E.A.R Combat

Wednesday (August 23)
XBLA: Texas Hold ‘Em

If you are European-based, on first glance this week may not seem like a great week for games, but thankfully some nice free downloads make up for any short comings in retail stores. Both Texas Hold ‘Em and F.E.A.R Combat should help most Europeans get through the ever enduring dry period of games. For the US Madden 07 will be the game most pick up, but for non sports fans there is the option to RENT N3 for the Xbox360. We say rent as the game does have some infuriating moments that will annoying and for that reason we don’t see it necessary to spend $60 on it.

See you next week!