And now we start getting down to it, the crush of the holiday titles pouring out in earnest. Mainstream titles based on more tv shows than anyone knows what to do with, sports, racing, cards and hunting, and franchise after franchise getting thrown onto shelves in the hope that someone will notice them amidst the clamor of the dozens of others. This really can't be healthy for anything except the games with the name recognition to rise above it all.
Still, the variety can't be beat. Hanheld and full-sized Burnouts, MediEvil getting a new lease on life, and Mortal Kombat sneaking out the door a few days early kept the consoles busy, and new Sims and Everquest expansions are always cause to celebrate for those who are into the respective series. Hitting the racks with a bit less fanfare were a new Armored Core and Tecmo's first arcade collection, and the latest Dynasty Warriors finally found its way on to the Xbox.
Next week, however, is where things really start hopping. Not one but two Marvel games hit on the same day, with Ultimate Spider Man trailing along behind, all sorts of sports games wander in, Myst finally comes to an end, and a new RPG Maker adds depth to the proceedings. Kingdom Under Fire gets a sequel, Ninja Gaiden gets a retooling, and Dungeons & Dragons gets an RTS. In addition to all that, We Love Katamari shows up to add just the right note of charm and style to the week. Any week with a Katamari in it has to be a good one.
Week of September 12 - September 17
Tuesday, September 11
Scooby Doo! Unmasked (PS2, GC, Xbox, GBA)
Fred's cousin Jed is missing. The Scooby gang doesn't know that Jed's dead, baby. Jed's dead.
Puzzle racing on stunt tracks.
Everquest: Depths of Darkhollow (PC)
Everquest the first is still alive and kicking with expansion packs.
Everquest II: Desert of Flames (PC)
Everquest's sequel needs lovin' too.
Wednesday, September 12
Burnout Revenge (PS2, Xbox)
The single greatest racing game ever made gets a sequel.
Evil Dead: Regeneration (PS2, Xbox)
They aren't zombies, they're Deadites. Kill 'em all anyway, and to hell with semantics.
Armored Core: Nine Breaker (PS2)
Arena battle focused robot customizing action.
Urban Reign (PS2)
Another beat 'em up rendered in a million shades of grey.
Dynasty Warriors 5 (Xbox)
One general vs. thousands of enemy troops. Now on Xbox.
Burnout Legends (PSP)
A compilation of the best of the first three Burnout games.
MediEvil Resurrection (PSP)
The return of Sir Dan Fortesque, the sword-wielding skeleton from the PS1. Undead-killing action.
Sims 2: Nightlife (PC)
The Sims 2 gets its second expansion, dozens more to come.
Thursday, September 16
Cabela's Outdoor Adventures (PS2, Xbox, GC)
Tecmo Classic Arcade (Xbox)
Eleven Tecmo arcade games.
NHRA Championship Drag Racing (PS2)
After weeks of being bumped back, it finally hits the shelves.
Friday, September 17
World Series of Poker (GC, PSP, PC)
Virtual cards played for fake money.
Saturday, September 18
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks (PS2, Xbox)
Free-roaming action version of the fighting series.
Week of September 19 - September 24
Tuesday, September 20
Tak: The Great Juju Challenge (PS2, Xbox, GC, GBA, DS)
Run, jump, & bop 3D platforming action.
Battalion Wars (GC)
Real-time military strategy plus action gaming, in an Advance Wars spinoff.
DK: King of Swing (GBA)
Unique action/puzzler, with Donkey Kong swinging around the levels.
Classic-style action puzzler, with lots of blocks to push and switches to hit.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War: Winter Assault (PC)
A chilly expansion to the Warhammer RTS.
Wednesday, September 21
Indigo Prophecy (PS2, Xbox, PC)
Another step on the long path to truly interactive fiction.
Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects (PS2, GC, Xbox)
Fighting game starring the Marvel universe. Capcom nowhere to be found.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 (PS2, GC, Xbox, PC)
Another annual installment of Nike's golfing droid.
X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse (PS2, GC, Xbox, PC)
Dungeon-crawling with the X-men.
Backyard Football 2006 (PS2)
Football for the kids.
DICE: DNA Integrated Cybernetic Enterprises (PS2)
TV show base robot dinosaur transforming action.
Genji: Dawn of the Samurai (PS2)
Samurai are cooler than pirates and ninjas combined. Action adventure.
Gretzky 2006 (PS2)
Legend of Kay (PS2)
Furry mascot action gaming.
RPG Maker 3 (PS2)
Create your own 80-hour epic. How hard can it be?
S.L.A.I. Steel Lancer Arena International (PS2)
Giant robot arena battling, and the sequel to Phantom Crash.
We Love Katamari (PS2)
Rolling up stuff into a ball returns, bigger than ever. The title speaks truth.
Kingdom Under Fire: Heroes (Xbox)
More action strategy, this time with a fantasy theme.
Ninja Gaiden Black (Xbox)
Upgraded release of the brutally tough Ninja Gaiden.
Big Mutha Truckers (GBA, DS)
Whac A Mole (GBA, DS)
Animal abuse made into a game. Oh, the horror!
Ford Racing 3 (DS)
Racing, involving Ford cars.
Snood 2: Lost in Snoodville (DS)
Like Bust A Move, but with a graphics swap.
Space Invaders (DS)
The original shooter sees a DS upgrade.
The Berenstein Bears and the Spooky Old Tree (GBA)
The Berenstein Bears have their souls consumed by the spirit of the forest. Maybe.
Disney's Cinderella: Magical Dreams (GBA)
Pac Man World 2 (GBA)
Another side scrolling platformer.
Madden NFL 06 (PSP)
Slightly tweaked Madden for Sony's handheld.
Dungeons & Dragons: Dragonshard (PC)
Fable: The Lost Chapters (PC)
Action RPG from the Xbox, now with major content additions.
Myst V: End of Ages (PC)
The concluding game in the long-running point & click puzzle adventure series.
Thursday, September 22
Ultimate Spider-Man (PS2, GC, Xbox, DS, GBA, PC)
Free-roaming Spider-Man action, now with a comic book art style.
DT Racer (PS2)
Wants to be Burnout so bad it hurts.