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Halo. And friends.

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Image credit: Eurogamer

It's cold. It's windy. It's grey. No wonder we get so many games this time of year - who would want to leave the house when it's as depressingly uncomfortable as it is now? Thank the lord for online retail, eh?

Fortunately we're not the only ones who see it this way, with all sorts of people (not just games companies either) queuing up to flood the market with their wares. My new Michael Moore book turned up today, for example, and I'm buying those Indy Jones DVDs as soon as possible...

But for some unknown reason October 10th seems to have got lost in the rush. While neighbouring weeks of the 3rd and 17th are stuffed with all manner of exciting releases (last week: Advance Wars 2, AOM The Titans, etc; next week: Jak II and PES3 to name a couple), this week we're stuck with broken promises and Gearbox's long overdue PC port of Xbox killer app Halo.

Starting with that, then. We'll be bringing you our review of Halo later in the day, and we won't be swayed by nearly two years of bickering over our Xbox score (nor will we accept that you can recycle massive whopping prefabbed chunks of architecture for great tracts of gameplay without inviting some form of criticism), but we'll also be wearing our fanboy hats proudly as we soak up the hugely entertaining multiplayer side of the game. More soon.

Other than Halo, we had been hoping to celebrate the Cube release of Viewtiful Joe this morning, but despite having boxed copies and Capcom's latest schedule pointing to an October 10th release date, we've been unable to locate any retailers who will sell it to you today. Everyone says October 24th. With this in mind, we've delayed publishing our review until the game is very definitely on its way out the door.

The other thing we ought to highlight this week is the PS2/Xbox release of Codemasters' ambitious Club Football project. Available in a whopping 17 different liveries, Club Football has been customised for a huge number of top teams, including big spenders Chelski and perennial underachievers Liverpool. As you'd expect, most of the changes between versions are entirely superficial, and we'll let you know how the actual game feels to play when we get our hands on a review copy. Based on our experience with some 80 per cent complete code recently, however, it's hardly going to have FIFA losing any sleep, let alone PES3.

And with that, there are no major points of interest. Apart from Greyhawk: The Temple of Elemental Evil, which has been keeping a few of my friends happy since its intriguing-because-it's-legal Kazaa-based distribution model brought it to light.

If you were looking for anything to excite you on the Cube, you're in for a shock (or not, as the case actually is) with nothing creeping out of anybody's door, and even PS2 owners are limited to a reportedly shoddy (albeit UK-developed) Disney game, Bionicle, and Whiteout.

For real masochists of course, this week also heralded the release of Nokia's much maligned N-Gage console/phone thing. Despite horrible reviews, it's being backed by a fairly major marketing campaign, so if you do end up on the high street today, you might be lucky enough to find a playable unit in your local phone shop. Just don't go spending £300 or anything.

Nope, if anybody's a winner this week, it's glove salesman and the major releases of the last few weeks. Because anybody going down to the shops today will probably end up falling back on recent successes. Tiger Woods is good, get that.

  • Bionicle: The Game (PS2)
  • Club Football (PS2, Xbox)
  • Disney's Aladdin (GBA)
  • Greyhawk: The Temple of Elemental Evil (PC)
  • Halo: Combat Evolved (PC)
  • Nokia N-Gage
  • Pinobee and Phoebee (PSX, GBA)
  • Whiteout (PS2)

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