It is now dark when we walk home and birds are either dropping out of trees in frozen lumps or going somewhere much nicer for their holidays. And, as always happens, the shops are hoisting their Christmas decorations up and getting us all worried about buying presents because we never know what they want is it socks or aftershave. So, we thought we would join in.
Hype is a fickle and unkind mistress. The games it chooses to touch seem almost chosen at random (or at least, at the whim of a marketing division, which often seems to be just about the same thing), with many wonderful games completely passed over by its gentle caress.
A Most Wanted list you say? Cripes, whatever next: a Tips and Cheats pamphlet to go with Eurogamer's promotional Pacman Beach Ball cover mount? Still, it's the summer, there are precious few games around and, with an awful lot of new titles coming up towards the end of the year you might quite reasonably want to know which ones to keep an eye on.
Last generation was easy. If you wanted to play Japanese RPGs, you bought a PlayStation 2 - preferably investing in a dirt-cheap GameCube later on in the cycle when the likes of Tales of Symphonia tempted you to the platform. Microsoft's failure to crack Japan meant that this entire genre of gaming remained largely untouched on the Xbox, and the opinion-polarising properties of JRPG styling and gameplay meant that the majority of Xbox owners were perfectly happy with that situation.