A short little week segues into a longer one, proving once again that the holiday season starts a bit earlier each year. This time last year it was calm and quiet, with only a few games between now and the first week of September. This year, we start a bit earlier with the middle of August.
Football was king of the world this week, with game stores even doing midnight openings for the unstoppable juggernaut that is Madden. Seeing as there's no GTA this year, and the Xbox 360 will be hobbled by limited availability, this is most likely going to be the single biggest game of the year. At the very least, Madden isn't worried about being knocked off the top of the pile by the charming Graffiti Kingdom.
As for next week, it's an oddball. That huge pile of family-friendly GBA games (that probably won't be available on the listed day, no matter what the listings say) makes it look fuller than it is, but there's still some great stuff to be found. Death Jr and Darkwatch bring the gothic action, while Metal Slug 4 & 5 and Sonic Gems do the best kind of retro gaming. Sigma Star Saga shows the GBA has life left in it yet, melding all the genres it can get its hands on into one cartrige. There's even Hello Kitty, being as pink and girlie as a kitty can while proving she can kick Barbie's ass any day of the week.
Week of August 8 - August 13
Tuesday, August 9
Madden NFL 2006 (PS2, Gamecube, Xbox, GBA, DS)
The only NFL game in town.
Thursday, August 11
Graffiti Kingdom (PS2)
Action RPG where the main character transforms into any creature you can draw.
Dragonball Z: Transformation (GBA)
Action RPG for the anime version of pro wrestling.
Week of August 15 - August 20
Tuesday, August 16
First-person adventure where you can posses both the living and inanimate objects.
Centipede, Breakout, Warlords (GBA)
Chess, Checkers, Backgammon (GBA)
Connect Four, Perfection, Trouble (GBA)
Millipede, Super Breakout, Lunar Lander (GBA)
Paperboy, Rampage (GBA)
Pong, Asteroids, Yar's Revenge (GBA)
Risk, Battleship, Clue (GBA)
Sorry!, Aggravation, Scrabble Junior (GBA)
Arcade and board game compilations, and lots of them.
Gumby vs. the Astrobots (GBA)
Standard-issue platformer with Gumby. Apparently there are Astrobots involved, too.
Wednesday, August 17
Darkwatch: Curse of the West (PS2, Xbox)
If the Wild West was run by goths, it would look something like this FPS.
EyeToy: Play 2 (PS2)
More minigames for the Sony EyeToy.
Metal Slug 4 & 5 (Xbox)
Side-scrolling shooter for those who like their games brutal.
Hello Kitty: Roller Rescue (GC)
Hello Kitty issues a beatdown on aliens who have taken over her town.
Sonic Gems Collection (GC)
Sonic CD, finally available on a modern system, and several other Sonic games.
Death Jr. (PSP)
Third-person action, with a goth twist.
Lizzie McGuire 3 (GBA)
Because two Lizzie games weren't enough.
Sigma Star Saga (GBA)
RPG/Adventure/Side-scrolling shooter for when one genre just won't do.
Dungeon Siege II (PC)
Diablo-esque fantasy RPG.
Madden NFL 2006 (PC)
Still the only NFL game in town.