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.
With the inevitable licensed video game accompanying almost every family movie these days, it came as a shock when no The Simpsons Movie video game hit stores just as the film hit cinemas. EA has, however, been working on The Simpsons Game, a title which looks to ape many of the industry's most popular video games. Players get to take control of Bart, Homer, Marge and Maggie, each with their own unique style of gameplay.
With such a troubled history the fact that TimeShift has made it to stores is an admirable achievement. It came as quite a surprise then that the game turned out to be a very solid sci-fi romp. Thanks to an experimental time-manipulating Beta Suit players have the ability to slow, stop and reverse the flow of time. This creates a host of unique gameplay elements and action sequences you won't see in other shooters. We're also promised a new multiplayer experience thanks to the introduction of the time grenade, enabling the time-bending antics from the single-player game to cross over into competitive online matches.
Activision's Tony Hawk series has dominated the extreme sports sector for the best part of a decade, but this year has come face-to-face with its first serious contender: Skate. Together with its strong brand and a host of new features, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground is likely to pick up strong sales, but real-life and virtual skaters may be left disappointed if they've already tried EA's Skate.
MMO fans certainly have plenty of choice these days. If World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online or any of the other life destroyers haven't already gobbled up your spare time, then two more are hitting stores this week which aim to do just that: NCSoft's Tabula Rasa, the latest title from Ultima creator Richard Garriott; and Hellgate: London, the first release from Flagship Studios - a studio founded by the original developers of Diablo.
Also new this week:
Naruto: Rise of a Ninja (Xbox 360)
Bladestorm: The Hundred Years War (Xbox 360, PS3)
NBA 2K8 (Xbox 360)
NHL 2K8 (Xbox 360)
The Sims 2: Castaway (PSP)
FIFA Manager 08 (PC)
An Arctic Tale (Wii, DS)
Operation Vietnam (DS)
Dirty Dancing - The Video Game (PC)
EyeToy: Play Astro Zoo (PS2)
Buzz! Junior: Monster Rumble (PS2)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Dark Motives (DS)
Chessmaster 11 (DS, PC)
Galactic Assault (PC)
Clever Kids: Dino Land (DS)
Disney Princess (DS)