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Release Date Roundup - 15th to 22nd Jan

Slipping and sliding.

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

The man in the alley that smells of fried chicken is talking to himself again, going on and on and on. But he's not as strange as the big camp one from Come Dine With Me who embalmed his parents, labels his clothes so he knows when to wear them, has a stuffed fox head, glass eye and only got 25 out of 40 for his dinner party. Almost put me off my roast beef sandwich.

And did you know Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII is finally going to be in Europe this spring? Of course not. A prelude to the iconic seventh game in the series, it caused an absolute riot in Japan when it went on sale there. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Rings of Fate will be here on 21st March, too. It's the DS action spin-off of the original on GameCube, naturellement.

Then Atari piped up and said the hardcore game market was too competitive sob sniff, so it would make a casual web-based portal and have a bath, but not before dating Alone in the Dark for May. Well, all except the PS3 version, which is still "to follow". Mind you, THQ was similarly cagey over Frontlines: Fuel of War on PS3. Some said it was cancelled, others said not; THQ's saying nothing.

So Sony went and told us Echochrome will definitely be heading to PSN in Q2. This is good news, because its puzzling panache is charming. And Live will "soon" get a snazzy title of its own - N+, where you run around levels as a ninja and jump off walls and try not to die by falling too far or by being impaled by nasty spikes.

Then up jumped Konami, which decided it would send Pro Evolution Soccer out for its Wii debut in March. Looks promising as well, boasting lots of features like a new game mode, Mii integration, online support and rather a lot of tender loving care.

Nintendo US went and spat hordes of new dates out, providing a useful yardstick for us to measure completion dates by. It said Okami would be out on Wii on 25th March, Mario Kart would follow in spring and Wii Fit in Q2. More, much more in the news story.

The DS will see a European release of Draglade, some musical fighting affair, as well as puzzle game NEVES - where you put shapes into pictures like in Tangrams.

Sadly this week also saw another delay for promising MMOG Age of Conan. Developer Funcom told us it needed more time to iron out bugs and oil it up, which is understandable, but frustrating given it was originally expected late last year.

Happily those of you paying a Hellgate: London subscription have finally seen some special Stonehenge content, with raid quests and repeatable adventures. If you play online for free you still benefit from swathes of class fiddles and game fixes.

Or, if you are looking for something a little different to play online, you might like to try Savage 2. The client is free to download and plod around online on for six hours - you can play LAN games indefinitely - and the original was very good, providing you had the right friends to mix into your multiplayer madness.

Otherwise there is little else to tell you. Majesco said some things about games and Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters is being ported to PS2 in March.

Best not forget the return of UbiDays in May, though, or Sony US registering a trademark for the Ceramic White PS3. Cue Euro speculation.

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