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New PAL Releases Roundup

Life, the universe and paper animals.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

The big questions. Sometimes we don't think of them in advance, so we end up with an oil crisis, a housing slump and Nicotine gum. Sometimes we don't ask the right people, so we end up being told this isn't a newsagent sir it's a chemist. And sometimes we don't spend enough time on the answers, so we end up going into games journalism.

And it's a good thing we did, because videogames, of course, are renowned for dealing with the big questions. While others stand idly by calculating pi to a billion digits and building 15-mile particle accelerators under Switzerland to try and generate Braxton-Hicks anti-matter of whatever, games march philosophically onward exploring the depths of the intellectual unknown. As games prove over and over, the big answer is poetic and memorable, like "You've stolen your last Crystal Star, Galactron". F*** you, Huygens.

After all, tomorrow marks the release of one of the biggest question-answering games ever. It is, of course, Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise. Remember how BioShock was a critique of objectivism? Remember all those long speeches from Andrew Ryan about how a parasite says "Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God"? Empty bluster. Viva Piñata asks the most important question of our generation: what would happen if the Piñata Central database was destroyed and you had to refill it? Not content with that, it has a desert with a gecko in it.

It is not alone in approaching life's mysteries through the prism of abstract paperanimalism either, because it is joined on the shelves of shops by the highly anticipated, many-years-in-the-making Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise, which asks similarly important questions. What would mating be like without a mini-game? What happens to weeds without snails? And, if an apple falls down in a forest and is obscured by the apple tree graphics, does it really exist?

By now you probably need a sit down, and that's fine. Just remember: every garden has its weeds.

This week:

  • Dinosaur King (DS)
  • FaceBreaker (PS3, Xbox 360)
  • Final Fantasy IV (DS)
  • Hannah Montana: Spotlight World Tour (PS2)
  • Infinite Undiscovery (Xbox 360)
  • Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (PS3, Xbox 360, PS2, PC)
  • Monster Madness: Grave Danger (PS3)
  • Nostradamus: The Last Prophecy (PC)
  • The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (Wii)
  • Romance of Three Kingdoms XI (PC)
  • Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution (DS)
  • Spellbound (DS)
  • Spore (PC)
  • Spore Creatures (DS)
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky (PC)
  • Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise (DS)
  • Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise (Xbox 360)

This week online:

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