It's a relatively low-key week for shops, if you deal in blockbusters - but there are minor morsels succulent enough to be digitally devoured.
Lord of Arcana, Square Enix's answer to Monster Hunter, arrives here on PSP; budget-price racer Nail'd - made by Call of Juarez developer Techland - trundles onto PC, PS3 and Xbox 360; and Dungeons, a game heftily inspired by the mighty Dungeon Keeper, cackles onto PC. Eurogamer's appraisals of these three are being worked on now and should be published late this week or early next.
The only one of this week's games that will take considerably more time is Earthrise, a post-apocalyptic MMO by Hungarian developer Masthead Studios. It's got some wacky ideas, such as relinquishing control to the community, offline character progression, decaying items and free-form character development with no classes or levels. Look out for Eurogamer's review a couple of weeks from now.
This Week in Shops!
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem!
- Developer: Nintendo
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Formats: DS
What is it? A superbly crafted platform puzzle game about guiding wind-up Mario miniatures safely through levels. What does Eurogamer think? 8/10: "There's no one thing Mini-Land Mayhem does that's particularly new or innovative, but it borrows the best elements of games like Lemmings, The Lost Vikings, and traditional Donkey Kong platformers to form an extremely refined puzzling adventure."
- Lord of Arcana (PSP)
- Dungeons (PC)
- The Sims 3: Outdoor Living Stuff (PC)
- Nail'd (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
- Mario Sports Mix (Wii)
- Earthrise (PC)
Each week one of the team will step up to predict the UK all-formats chart. The following predicts the outcome for the week beginning Friday 4th February (to be reported on Monday 7th January).
Oli Welsh, Reviews Editor
"I don't think there's anything that will trouble the top of the charts this week; I imagine Nintendo has already booked its traditional opening spot in the bottom half of the top ten for Mario Sports Mix, in accordance with its well-worn 'tortoise' marketing strategy. However, I've included it at five here purely so we don't all die of boredom. Dead Space 2, by contrast, is all hare, but probably has enough good word of mouth to cling on to number one for seven more days. Black Ops and FIFA don't know how to take a hint, do they? But everyone else is too polite to show them the door."
- Dead Space 2
- FIFA 11
- Call of Duty: Black Ops
- LittleBigPlanet 2
- Mario Sports Mix
Eurogamer Community Manager Tom Champion peered into his crystal ball last week. We've made a fancy table to show how he did.
|Position||The Truth||The Prediction||Result|
|1||Dead Space 2||Dead Space 2||YES!|
|2||LittleBigPlanet 2||Call of Duty: Black Ops||WRONG!|
|3||FIFA 11||LittleBigPlanet 2||WRONG!|
|4||Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood||Just Dance 2||WRONG!|
|5||Call of Duty: Black Ops||FIFA 11||WRONG!|