Welcome to Heads-up, Pro-G's weekly feature which gives you an at-a-glance run-down on the games you'll be able to buy or rent this weekend. Every Tuesday we'll pick out the best of the bunch, link to our reviews and previews and keep you in the video game loop so you have enough time to pre-order for Friday's post. Time to splash the cash.
This week sees the long-awaited release of Half-Life 2: Episode 2 for PC and Xbox 360. PC gamers are understandably excited by the latest chapter in the Half-Life story, but there's also good reason for console gamers to jump up and down; Orange Box will be remembered as one of the best value video games of all time. For your £50 (£35 for PC gamers) you'll get Half-Life 2, Episode One, Episode 2, Portal and Team Fortress 2. All this should provide gamers will 25+ hours of FPS action, one of the best new puzzle titles in recent times and the return of a multiplayer classic.
A game that should go on every Nintendo DS owner's weekly shopping list is The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. This touch-controlled adventure has been winning unanimous praise across the pond and is likely to go down just as well across Europe. The game picks up pretty much where Wind Waker ended, with Link, Tetra and Tetra's band of pirates out at sea in search of new lands. Pretty soon Link finds himself washed up on a mysterious island and with the help of a fairy must explore the island and find the missing princess.
Video games don't come much more addictive than the successful Football Manager series. Returning on Friday with Football Manager 2008, SEGA and Sports Interactive look to be onto another winner, promising a host of new features, a new eye-friendly skin and importantly up-to-date player, club and manager data. Take control of your favourite team or start out in the low divisions and work your way up to Premiership glory, the decision is up to you. Either way, once you start tweaking training schedules, signing new players and hopefully winning trophies you simply won't be able to say no to just one more game.
Also new this week:
Eternal Sonata (Xbox 360)
Carnival Funfair Games (Wii)
Buzz! The Hollywood Quiz
Thrillville: Off the Rails (Xbox 360, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS, PC)
High School Musical (DS)
Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights (PSP)
The King of Clubs (PlayStation 2)
Balls of Fury (DS)
World of Warcraft Battlechest (PC Games)
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2 (PlayStation 2)
Luminous Arc (DS)