Long read: Who is qualified to make a world?

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New PAL Releases Roundup

GT5, God of War, PES, Kane's Wrath.

Whether it's driving or fighting you like about gaming (and it's got to be one of those, realistically), this week punches above its weight with a bumper crop of new releases. It's, er, bumper to bumper out there in the area where people fight each other of gaming.

Let's talk about the games, shall we? PlayStation 3 leads the way this week with Gran Turismo 5 Prologue (out on PSN today, in boxes tomorrow) and Everybody's Golf: World Tour (no they're not, etc), but Wii owners will be interested to see how Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 has made it across. So will we, but our best friend Konami claims the postman ate it.

SEGA has 487 games to compensate us, though, including Viking: Battle for Asgard from Total War series creator Creative Assembly, which is out on 360 and PS3. Kristan is reviewing it right now. I asked him if it's any good but he ignored me. Dan Who Puts The Screenshots Up doesn't have his headphones on though, and hasn't played it, so let's see what he thinks: "you could do some sort of clever allusion to chasing its own tail, thus referencing ouroboros".

Moving on, Football Manager 2008 rotates its way successfully thus ensuring latter-season fitness levels onto the Xbox 360, and we look forward to seeing how it replicates important stats like Jamie Carragher's obsession with hugging attackers until they fall over for a penalty, and Steven Gerrard's heroic running deep to collect the ball thus nullifying the threat he represents when attacking from an advanced position. They're probably not even variables - you could just start with those as constants and build the entire engine around them.

Even the PC gamer can finally stop playing Audiosurf and Peggle and dust the old 3D acceleration coils for a tour round a new Command & Conquer 3 expansion pack, Kane's Wrath, which has Natasha Henstridge in it, unbelievably. For this reason and many others, tonight will be Species and a bottle of wine the colour of blood.

All of which fascinatingly rubbish segue leads us to this week's portable star and the final game that falls under our spotlight, God of War: Chains of Olympus, which is easily the most impressive thing I've ever seen done with the PSP hardware (at least in terms of games - you should see what Ellie can do with one). Kratos runs around a world free of loading screens but heavy on massively violent action, with most of the best of the PS2 games' combat preserved albeit without some of the massivest bosses and fewer puzzles. We can live with that and you probably can too.

(Oh and, er, "balance it on her head", by the way.)

This week:

  • Coded Arms Contagion (PSP)
  • Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath (PC)
  • Crayola Treasure Adventures (DS)
  • Dungeon Explorer (DS, PSP)
  • El Tigre (PS2, DS)
  • Everybody's Golf: World Tour (PS3)
  • Football Manager 2008 (Xbox 360)
  • George of the Jungle (Wii, DS, PS2)
  • God of War: Chains of Olympus (PSP)
  • Gran Turismo 5 Prologue (PS3)
  • Hurry Up Hedgehog (DS)
  • King of Clubs (Wii)
  • Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops+ (PSP)
  • Naruto: Clash of the Ninja Revolution (Wii)
  • Neves (DS)
  • Powershot Pinball Constructor (DS)
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 (Wii)
  • Samurai Warriors 2 XL (Xbox Live, PS2)
  • SEGA Bass Fishing (Wii)
  • Teenage Zombies: Invasion of the Alien Brain Thingys! (DS)
  • The Golden Horde (PC)
  • The House of the Dead 2 and 3 Return (Wii)
  • Universe At War: Earth Assault (Xbox 360)
  • Viking: Battle for Asgard (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • Warriors Orochi (PC, PSP)
  • Worms: A Space Oddity (Wii)