UK Charts: Metal Gear holds off Lucas onslaught
The LucasArts empire manages three top ten titles with Mercenaries, Republic Commando and KOTOR2, but can't stop Konami's rebellious Snake.
The release of Konami's PS2 exclusive Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater has loosened LucasArts' stranglehold on the peak of the UK charts, knocking Mercenaries (PS2, Xbox) into second place at the top of the All Formats Top 40.
MGS3's is the 12th largest launch week for a UK PlayStation 2 release. Although it doesn't better the launch of its predecessor, Sons of Liberty (the fifth fastest-selling PS2 title), it does outdo Gran Turismo 3. Although Gran Turismo 4, released across Europe today, might have something to retort with when we revisit the charts next week.
LucasArts may not top the All Formats chart, meanwhile, but it maintains its onslaught on the upper echelons, with Republic Commando (PC, Xbox) debuting at number three - and curiously toppling Mercenaries from its reign at the top of the Xbox chart, despite coming in worse off on the All Formats countdown, while it's second only to Football Manager 2005 on the PC front.
LucasArts will also be pleased to see that Knights of the Old Republic 2 remains within the top ten, coming in at number nine (fourth on Xbox, seventh on PC).
The rest of the top ten sees last month's surprise chart-topper Sonic Mega Collection Plus slip two places to four, while Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas holds firm at five, The SpongeBob SquarePants movie is down to six, and Simpsons Hit & Run still manages to tempt the punters at seven. Then there's a berth for perennial top-tenner Need For Speed Underground 2.
Konami actually book ends the top ten on both fronts, with Pro Evolution Soccer 4 holding onto its lofty status at ten. Konami will doubtless by doubly cheered by the fact that it's nudged EA's rival UEFA Champions League 2004-2005 title outside the top ten, although how long that will last after last night's theatrics on the European footballing stage is anyone's guess.
Meanwhile, other new entries in the rest of the top 40 include Ubisoft's Playboy: The Mansion (PS2, Xbox, PC), which only made it in at number 12 despite the publisher sending playmate Natalie Wood to Oxford Street to try and, er, rouse interest, as well as the EA-published Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath (Xbox) at a surprisingly low number 17 and Ubisoft's little-trailed horror title Cold Fear (PS2, Xbox) at number 33 - the latter only troubling the Xbox chart at number 10, and not appearing in the PS2 rundown.
Elsewhere the GameCube chart is still off in its own world, with no major new entries - just a trio of re-entries for Mario Kart at seven, Mario Party 5 at 15 and Monkey Ball at 19. Likewise the GBA chart, which welcomes a couple of THQ's new compilation carts (SpongeBob Super Sponge/Rugrats Go Wild and Finding Nemo/Monsters, Inc. at 14 and 15 respectively) but nothing else.
Next week should see Gran Turismo 4 sitting pretty at the top, but other than that it's going to be an intriguing battle as the Nintendo DS finally launches in Europe, with Super Mario 64 DS the most likely to trouble the charts.