Publishers have spent the last two weeks holding on to their big releases so as not to go head-to-head with Konami's PlayStation 3 exclusive Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Having given Solid Snake's latest a fair bit of breathing room, those publishers are pushing their titles onto shelves en masse this week.
Starting off the week on a loud note, Electronic Arts brings its Battlefield series of military shooters to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 with a twist. In addition to the multiplayer-minded online action of previous installments (with support for up to 24 players), Bad Company includes a story-based single-player campaign aiming to inject some dark humor into the war game genre.
Bad Company is by no means the only anticipated game on deck this week. Atari's return to the seminal survival horror series Alone in the Dark also arrives on the Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2, and PC, while Activision takes its Guitar Hero franchise on the road with On Tour for the DS (complete with plug-in fret board peripheral).
DS gamers looking for something a little slower paced than Jet's "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" on expert can kick back with Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift. The turn-based strategy role-playing game follows in the footsteps of previous Tactics titles, putting players in control of a young boy transported to the world of Ivalice and in search of a way back to his home.
A number of ports are also set to hit stores this week, allowing some older games to find new fans. Two PC real-time strategy games are arriving on the Xbox 360, with console-ized editions of Supreme Commander and Command & Conquer: Kane's Wrath both making the transition to the living room. Meanwhile, Harmonix's Rock Band makes a belated appearance on the Wii after rocking gamers on the Xbox 360, PS3, and PlayStation 2 last year, and Overlord appears on the PlayStation 3 with a "Raising Hell" subtitle.
Finally, games are getting a little political, as Wideload Games is releasing satirical minigame collection Hail to the Chimp on the PS3 and Xbox 360, while the PC release of The Political Machine 2008 will allow gamers to relive the current election cycle in all its arduous glory.
On the downloadable services, Nintendo is introducing High Voltage Software's multiplayer arcade-style shooter Gyrostarr for 700 Wii points ($7). The Virtual Console adds Sega Master System mascot game Alex Kidd in Miracle World for 500 Wii points ($5) and the Neo Geo side-scrolling beat-'em-up Burning Fight for 900 points ($9).
Over on Xbox Live Arcade, Microsoft is adding a pair of new games. First up is False Alarm, the gaming debut for Sega's gory-yet-adorable Happy Tree Friends. Strategy fans can also pick up Ticket to Ride, an adaptation of the railroad-themed card game for up to four players. Both games will sell for 800 Microsoft points ($10).
This week's new releases are listed below (list taken from retailer information--actual dates may vary).
JUNE 23, 2008
Battlefield: Bad Company (PS3, X360)
Guitar Hero: On Tour (DS)
Supreme Commander (X360)
Alone in the Dark (X360, Wii, PC, PS2)
Rock Band (Wii)
Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift (DS)
Top Spin 3 (X360, PS3, Wii, DS)
Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath (X360)
Gyrostarr (Wii Ware)
American Girl: Kit Mystery Challenge (DS)
JUNE 24, 2008
Hellboy: Science of Evil (X360, PS3, PSP)
WALL-E (Wii, PS3, X360, PS2, PSP, DS, PC)
Supreme Ruler 2020 (PC)
Hail to the Chimp (X360)
Overlord: Raising Hell (PS3)
The Political Machine 2008 (PC)
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 2: The Phantom Fortress (PSP)
Mega Man Star Force 2: Zerker x Saurian (DS)
Mega Man Star Force 2: Zerker x Ninja (DS)
Operation Darkness (X360)
Big Beach Sports (Wii)
Cake Mania 2 (DS)
My Weight Loss Coach (DS)
Gourmet Chef (DS)
Midnight Play Pack (DS)
Baseball Mogul 2009 (PC)
Cocoto Kart Racer (Wii)
Jeep Thrills (PS2)