And just like that, the holiday crush of titles is over. Thank god.
It's not that the gaming year is over or anything, there's still stuff to be released. It's just that from here on out, everything is going to happen at a reasonable pace rather than all at once. Last week was the last time this year we'll see over forty titles (counting each game once, not several times for multi-platform releases), in one go.
Next week sees quite a few things happening, despite its comparitive shortness. From a games perspective, the new generation finally kicks off after months of preparation. Midnight Monday/Tuesday sees the Xbox 360 hit stores at long last, for those lucky enough to snag one. There aren't many, so for those of you wanting one—good luck.
While you're at it, have a good Thanksgiving too. Just don't go anywhere near a shopping center the day after, for the sake of your sanity.
Week of November 14 - November 19
Tuesday, November 15
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (PS2, GC, Xbox, GBA, DS, PC)
Movie-based Christian allegory as video gaming adventure.
Magna Carta (PS2)
The first Korean RPG to hit the US.
WWE: Smackdown Vs. Raw 2006 (PS2)
Hot rasslin' action.
Mario Kart DS (DS)
Mario Kart and the Nintendo DS finally make it online.
Wednesday, November 16
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (PS2, GC, Xbox, GBA, DS, PC)
EA's annual racing series returns to its police chase roots while keeping the car tuning.
Shadow the Hedgehog (PS2, GC, Xbox)
Like Sonic, but with guns and an extra serving of 'tude.
True Crime: New York City (PS2, GC, Xbox)
The GTA-wannabe takes a second crack at it.
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (PS2)
Classic turn-based RPG action with a gorgeous modern day look.
Dynasty Warriors 5: Xtreme Legends (PS2)
The fifth installment of the historical Chinese brawler series gets an expansion pack.
Stuart Little 3: Big Photo Adventure (PS2)
Action-adventure starring a freaky CGI mouse.
Wild Arms: Alter Code F (PS2)
The orginal Wild Arms gets completely remade from the ground up.
007: From Russia with Love (GC)
The Gamecube version of third-person shooter finally shows up.
Madden 06 (X360)
Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 3 (Xbox)
This year's Xbox version of the dance series.
Half-Life 2 (Xbox)
Gordon Freeman redefines the FPS again, now on Xbox.
Sonic Rush (DS)
2D Sonic action, as god intended it to be.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (PSP)
The video game of the movie of the book.
Ultra-gory zombie blasting action.
Thursday, November 17
Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2 (PS2, GC, Xbox)
Hunging things that hunt back.
Neopets: The Darkest Faerie (PS2)
Platformer based on another franchise that isn't Pokemon no matter how hard it tries.
Amped 3 (X360)
Striking a blow for tradition, the snowboarding series shows up for the 360 launch the same way the original did for the first Xbox.
Call of Duty 2 (X360)
The only console version of the PC WWII FPS.
Condemned: Criminal Origins (X360)
FPS/adventure gaming in the dark, hunting for serial killers.
FIFA 06 (X360)
The same western gaming as the other console versions, now prettier.
NBA 2K6 (X360)
NBA Live 06 (X360)
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (X360)
NHL 2K6 (X360)
Project Gotham 3 (X360)
Skill-based racing, including a Geometry Wars 2 demo.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 (X360)
Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (X360)
And finally, skateboarding. About the only thing missing is baseball and interpretive dance.
America's Army: Rise of a Soldier (Xbox)
The console version of a game paid for by your tax dollars.
Tony Hawk's American Sk8land (DS)
The final Tony Hawk this year, unless another platform is invented at great speed.
Kingdom of Paradise (PSP)
Fantasy action slasher.
The Legend of Heroes: A Tear of Vermillion (PSP)
Falcom's classic turn-based RPG series returns to the US for the first time since the Tubrografx.
Earth 2160 (PC)
Science fiction RTS on Mars.
Friday, November 18
50 Cent: Bulletproof (PS2, Xbox)
Thug life starring the rapper too damn dumb to die.
Aeon Flux (PS2, Xbox)
Movie-based action gaming, starring the creepy MTV anti-heroine.
Pac-Man World 3 (PS2, GC, Xbox, PC)
3D platforming starring the former maze game yellow disc thing.
Ridge Racer 6 (X360)
Arcade racing at its finest.
American Chopper: Full Throttle (Xbox)
Ride and customize a motorcycle to call your own, kind of.
Sega Casino (DS)
Touch-screen casino gaming.
Not a Nintendogs clone, seeing as this series beat it to market by about a decade.
Saturday, November 19
Perfect Dark Zero (X360)
The N64 FPS gets a sequel, two hardware generations later.
Dragonball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2 (DS)
Week of November 21 - November 26
Tuesday, November 22
Kicking off the fifth generation of the modern-day consoles.
Combat Elite: World War II Paratroopers (PS2, Xbox)
It's Baldur's Gate, WWII edition.
Peter Jackson's King Kong (PS2, GC, X360, Xbox, DS, PC)
Half FPS adventure, half giant ape action.
Thayer's Quest (PS2)
The most complex of the laserdisk games of the 80s gets a home port.
Quake 4 (X360)
The science fiction military FPS series soldiers on.
College Hoops 2K6 (Xbox)
Real Time Conflict: Shogun Empires (DS)
Feudal Japan RTS with touchscreen commands.
Kong: The 8th Wonder of the World (GBA)
Like the bigger versions except side-scrolling.
Zatch Bell! Electric Arena (GBA)
Anime based weird puppet-y team fighting.
Battlefield 2: Special Forces (PC)
The online FPS gets more toys with a new expansion pack.
Wednesday, November 23
American Chopper: Full Throttle (PS2)
Same as last week's verion.
Eye Toy: Kinetic (PS2)
A fitness program for the Eye Toy.
Crime Life: Gang Wars (Xbox)
Urban beat-em-ups are slowly taking over WWII FPS.
SBK: Snowboard Kids (DS)
The N64 snowboarding series is resurrected for the DS.
Elf Bowling 1 & 2 (GBA)
Christmas themed bowling. At elves.