It's another week for big releases, headlined peculiarly enough by a certain Italian plumber on Nintendo GameCube. Super Mario Sunshine has been a long time coming - it's arguably the only viable successor to Super Mario 64 - and for fans of Miyamoto's inimitable platform finesse, there is no finer videogame this Friday. Elsewhere though, the Cube is a barren landscape dotted only with also-rans. THQ's MX Superfly is the only other highlight, with Ubi Soft's Pro Rally and Infogrames' Taz Wanted making up the numbers.
The PlayStation 2 is once again inundated with releases, but Sony hasn't really put up a strong enough counterpoint to Mario. We had hoped (and perhaps expected) to see Ratchet & Clank, the unofficial successor to last year's Jak & Daxter, but instead Sony is relying on third parties to usurp Nintendo. Onimusha 2: Samurai's Destiny headlines the cast, with Sony's own This Is Football 2003 drawing some attention and Namco's Ninja Assault a little more. Elsewhere though the only matter of interest is Hitman 2: Silent Assassin - a grand leap for the series and a very entertaining sneak-'em-up - watch out for the Eurogamer review early next week.
The PC finds itself third in line for top games this week, no doubt to the joy and relief of PC owners bored of Sims expansion packs and tedious strategy titles, but although the PC release of Hitman 2 and the indomitable Unreal Tournament 2003 will satisfy fans to a certain degree, the rest of the haul doesn't do too much for the coins in our collective wallet. That said, if you're not among those hiding in bunkers from The Sims and fancy your first piece of the action, then The Sims Deluxe jumps out as an obvious purchase. The expansion frenzy is certain to continue though with The Sims Unleashed, which introduces pets to Simsville. Review, er, when I'm out of the coma.
The Xbox may be playing poor little brother this week, but it still has its fair share of top-end ports. Silent Hill 2: Inner Fears, reviewed earlier this week, is an excellent game in its own right, even if the port errs on the side of lazy, and Hitman 2 is also available on Xbox. If you like stealing guard uniforms, sneaking into hotels and garrotting people, then this will almost certainly tickle your fancy. Unfortunately, Quantum Redshift is unlikely to follow suit - from what we've seen it's a fairly good racer but offers little approaching previous Wipeout triumphs from Sony - even the somewhat disappointing Wipeout Fusion is on a par, if not better.
Tidying up the bottom of the barrel, the GBA plays host to ports of Colin McRae Rally 2.0 - which no doubt hopes to challenge the supremacy of V-Rally 3 on the platform - along with Driver 2 Advance and Worms World Party. And if you really are still toying with that PSX and can't bring yourself to upgrade (go on, join us!) then JoWooD's M&Ms Shell Shocked may be worth your time.
New Releases - PS2Donald Duck: Who Is PK?Hitman 2: Silent Assassin Lethal Skies Elite Pilot: Team SW Madden NFL 2003Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2MX SuperflyMyst III - Exile Ninja Assault Onimusha 2: Samurai's DestinyStreet HoopsThis Is Football 2003 Wizardry: Tales of the Forsaken Land CubeMX SuperflyPro RallySuper Mario SunshineTaz WantedXboxHitman 2: Silent AssassinMat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2Myst III - ExileQuantum RedshiftSilent Hill 2: Inner FearsStreet HoopsPCEmpire Earth: The Art of ConquestEarth 2150: Lost SoulsHitman 2: Silent AssassinUnreal Tournament 2003 The Sims Deluxe The Sims UnleashedGBA Colin McRae Rally 2.0 Disney's Lilo & Stitch Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku Driver 2 Advance Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2 Mr Driller Monster Force Monster Jam Maximum Destruction Moto Racer Advance The Sum of All Fears Worms World PartyPSX Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22 M&Ms Shell Shocked Related Feature - UK Release Date List