Just a handful of new releases this week, three of which are mere ports of games already out on other platforms. But there is, of course, a new Zelda.
Time was, a new Zelda game was a big deal. Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, Phantom Hourglass were all hugely anticipated. , Although clearly Zelda on DS is never going to be as much of an event as Zelda on Wii, the buzz around Spirit Tracks seems surprisingly subdued.
Which is a shame because it is an excellent game. I like the way in which the recent handheld Zeldas have been far more experimental than the most recent console effort, Twilight Princess. Spirit Tracks continues in that vein, particularly in terms of its overworld navigation and dungeon design. It's the clear choice for your gaming money this week.
New releases for the w/c December 7:
Blood Bowl (360) What Is It? Digitised conversion of the Warhammer board game all about orcs playing something akin to American football. Should You Care? It's not bad, but the PC version is better. And so's the actual board game.
Buzz! Quiz World (PSP) What Is It? It's trivia on your handheld. Should You Care? Only not as much fun as playing in front of the TV.
James Cameron's Avatar (PSP) What Is It? Unlike its console cousins, this Avatar only lets you play in a third-person actioner as the blue aliens from Cameron's film. Should You Care? Only if you're a PS3-PSP connectivity fanatic.
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (DS) What Is It? The second DS Zelda adventure does with trains what Wind Waker did with boats and comes with a neat Four Swords-style multiplayer mode. Should You Care? It doesn't reinvent the series like the upcoming Wii edition purports to, but it's another really solid Zelda title.