UK Charts: Mercenaries holds firm at No.1

Well-received action title sees a sales boost in week two.

Xbox and PS2 action title Mercenaries has stayed in the number one place in the UK software charts for a second week, with the critically acclaimed title actually boosting its sales by 33 per cent over its first week on the shelves.

Meanwhile, the second part of Lucasarts' February duo, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 (Xbox/PC) slipped down two places in the ranking to number four, swapping places with Sega's Sonic Mega Collection Plus compilation, which returns to number two.

THQ's The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, meanwhile, continues to see strong sales around the half-term period, driven by the launch of the movie itself at UK cinemas, and holds steady at number three in this week's ranking.

The remainder of the top ten sees much shuffling for position among familiar titles, although Namco's Ace Combat 5: Squadron Leader climbs four places this week to enter the top ten at number eight, while Blizzard's World of Warcraft is on its way out, slipping four places to number ten.

In terms of new releases, the top-ranked title is Nintendo's GameCube exclusive Mario Power Tennis, which comes in at number 15 - topping the GameCube chart in the process, and marking a now-rare entry into the top 40 for a Cube title.

EA's NBA Street V3 is the only other new release in the ranking, and it's not even really a new release - it arrives in at number 34 in the all-formats chart in its second week on sale.

Other new releases didn't fare quite so well, although Konami's RPG title Suikoden IV manages number 19 in the PS2-only chart, ahead of Sega's Altered Beast at number 31 on the same ranking, while Digital Jesters' Pro Rugby Manager 2 comes in at number nine in the PC chart.

Missing in action this week are the likes of King Arthur (PS2, Xbox, Cube), Neo Contra (PS2), Samurai Warriors Xtreme Legends (PS2) and Project Minerva Professional (PS2), all of which fail to dent any of the charts.

This week sees the launch of a number of titles which should get things moving at retail, with Konami's Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater leading a pack which also includes Eidos' Project Snowblind, Lucasarts' Star Wars: Republic Commando, EA's Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath, Namco's Street Racing Syndicate, Ubisoft's Cold Fear and, also from Ubisoft, Playboy: The Mansion.

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Rob Fahey

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