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Vice City hangover? Buy something new

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Although it's difficult to follow up the fastest selling game of all time, it's fair to say that none of this week's major releases will be quickly forgotten. On the PS2 side, there's a trio of excellent games; an RPG, an FPS and a wrestling sim, whilst Cube, PC, GBA and even PSone make an encouraging effort to keep us interested. The only area of neglect here is Xbox - LMA Manager 2003 looks to be the best bet this week, with the unproven Harry Potter and Reign of Fire games alongside Transworld Snowboarding, which isn't a patch on Amped or SSX Tricky.

Back full circle to the market leader though. PS2 this week welcomes to long, long-awaited releases of Kingdom Hearts (excellent Disney/Square crossover action RPG), Red Faction 2 (excellent albeit heavily-scripted FPS) and WWE Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth (excellent, innovatively designed wrestling sim). All three are well worth buying. Venturing slightly farther afield, LMA Manager 2003 and Rocky are both second-tier choices well worth considering.

Moving onto the Cube, it's a week of bare feet, dirty vests and sabre-wielding midgets. Confused? Die Hard Vendetta gives us Bruce Willis on a mostly vigorous and enjoyable first person romp with a very similar premise to the original film. Developer Bits have done a tremendous job in recapturing the essence of that film. Meanwhile, unproven Star Wars epic, The Clone Wars, speeds into view and if the reports of "a slightly worse off Rogue Leader in the midst of a war" are correct, then we're in for a treat.

This week, the GBA also says hi to a couple of old friends. Doom II finally appears, complete with indispensable co-op mode, and Ubi Soft's Tomb Raider: The Prophecy beats big-screen Lara to market by three months. We'll be bringing you our thoughts on that very soon.

Far from also-rans (that's Xbox this week), PC and PSone also make some pleasing gains. The PC welcomes MechWarrior: Mercenaries, although we're a bit preoccupied with next week's MechAssault to pay too much attention to that, and speaking of top Xbox games, RalliSport Challenge also appears on PC this week. And for those Tom Clancy addicts out there, the latest Ghost Recon expansion, Island Thunder, er, thunders into view.

But I also spoke of PSone, no? Those of you who attended ECTS or the PlayStation Experience this August will doubtless remember Konami's Dancing Stage Party Edition and the accompanying dance mat. Well, it's finally out, on store shelves if you will, and "only on PSone" [bet that catches on -Ed].

Finally, a kind word for EA, who released no less than six versions of the new Harry Potter game this week, with Lego Harry Potter due on the 22nd. We can't speak for the next-generation or handheld versions, but the PSone edition was developed by Argonaut, and their first Potter game was enjoyed thoroughly by nippers up and down the land (and secretly by their parents). Don't make the mistake of thinking PS2 Potter is a flashy version of the PSone game - read some reviews

New Releases - PS2 Centre Court Hard Hitter 2 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Kingdom Hearts LMA Manager 2003 Red Faction 2 Reign of Fire Rocky Superman - Shadow of Apokolips WWE Smackdown! Shut Your MouthXbox Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets LMA Manager 2003 Reign of Fire Transworld Snowboarding Cube Die Hard Vendetta Star Wars: The Clone Wars Godzilla - Destroy all Monsters Melee Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets PC Combat Flight Sim III Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets K Hawk - Survival Instinct Mary Kate & Ashley Dance Party + Crush Course MechWarrior: Mercenaries Pink Panther RalliSport Challenge Robin Hood Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Island Thunder Zoo Tycoon - Marine Mania GBA Dexters Lab: Chess Challenge Doom II FIFA Football 2003 Godzilla - Domination Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Lara Croft Tomb Raider The Prophecy Pink Panther Reign of Fire Superman - Countdown to Apokolips The Powerpuff Girls - Him n Seek PSX Dance Mat & Dancing Stage Party Edition Dancing Stage Party Edition Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Related Feature - UK Release Date List

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