Yep, this is a day late- that’s what I get for having an engagement party this weekend. Really kicked my ass… sorry, people. (By the way- Rock Band and engagement parties go hand in hand, for any of you other suckers out there.)

But there are two absolute must-buys this week. The first should be obvious- hell, there’s a good chance you’re one of the thousands who got on line Saturday night to pick it up at midnight. The second title is the sequel to one of the most underrated horror games of all time.

Let’s take a look at what we’ve got…

Sunday, March 9th

Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)
Buy it from CHUD here!

Need I even say anything about this game? We all know it’s already going to be the best selling thing ever, you all know how it plays, what it’s about. If you don’t, it’s simple. Take very Nintendo character ever made (plus some more) throw them into a fighting game, and see who emerges victorious. There’s an absolutely ridiculous amount of stuff to unlock and try out, along with internet play. If you own a Wii, this is probably the game you’ve been waiting for. Don’t hesitate to pick it up.
Wednesday, March 12th
Condemned 2: Bloodshot (Xbox 360, PS3)
Buy it from CHUD here!

The sequel to the best launch title for the Xbox 360 (Call of Duty who?) is looking great. Condemned really was an underrated game, one of the creepiest things I’ve ever had the pleasure of sitting through, with a fantastic weapon system (forget unlimited ammo- you found your weapons by ripping pipes off walls and such) a fascinating story, and even some fun detective sequences. They’re changing a whole lot for this one. It would’ve been easy to just do more of the same (and it still would’ve been a must-buy) but they’re adding all sorts of neat features, like hand to hand combat (complete with combos!) and full featured multiplayer. This one’s going to be fantastic…. get ready to turn off the lights and crank that surround sound.

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates (DS)
Buy it from CHUD here!

Final Fantasy continues to defy its name by releasing game after game, and lots of new ones for handheld systems. Ring of Fates is a new “Crystal Chronicles” game. Its big feature is 4 player online multiplayer over Nintendo’s WiFi service. Apparently the game’s pretty boring by yourself, but great if you get a group. Pretty much the same as the last Crystal Chronicles game, I guess…
House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return (Wii)
Buy it from CHUD here!
These two incredibly fun zombie shooters with the most horrific dialogue (“Go, Kaurl!”) and storyline around come back in a two-pack for the best system around for light gun shooters. But why pack together these two when there’s a fourth installment that’s only out in arcades? They couldn’t have crammed all three on here? Or even Typing of the Dead– the game that should be used to teach kids typing in schools instead of Mavis Beacon (uh… is she even still around?) Sure, people who’ve never played these games will get a kick out of it, but everyone must have played them at some point, right? I can’t have been the only one with the Dreamcast light gun. Eh, at least it’s only 30 bucks.
Lost Empire: Immortals (PC)
Buy it from CHUD here!
A turn based strategy game with 6 races to choose from. You know what this entails- resource management, expanding your empire, space battles. As you might’ve figured out, this is the sequel to last year’s Lost Empire. It’s a turn based game, and you’ll be able to diplomatically settle things with the other races, as well as just blow them to pieces.

Wild ARMs XF (PSP)
Buy it from CHUD here!
Remember when the first Wild Arms came out for the Playstation and everyone went gaga for it, mostly because it was the first half-decent RPG for the system? (Beyond the Beyond anyone? *shudder*) That’s why it’s so strange that this series is going- sure, it’s not like they’re bad games. But this is different than the other games in the series- it’s  a hex-based strategy game that allows you to customize your party with different classes, weapons and spells.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 (Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, PSP, DS)
Buy it from CHUD here!
The Fifa vs. Winning Eleven fight continues for one more year, and while many of you might not know how goddamn big this series is, it’s basically the Madden of everywhere else in the world. This version’s got some new, smarter AI, but like most other sports game it’s basically the same ol’ same ol’ as last year. Apparently the only one you should stay clear of is the DS version. A Wii port hits next week.
Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters (PS2)
Buy it from CHUD here!
Yet another PSP to PS2 port, made even worse for the PSP gamers as it has more features and is actually cheaper than the UMD. But this series is one of Sony’s best, and if you didn’t experience it already, you really should pick it up… even if you might have the great PS3 installment. (See? I say nice things about the PS3 sometimes)

This Week’s Downloadable Games

Monday’s Wii Virtual Console titles-

DoReMi: Milon’s DokiDoki Adventure (SNES, 900 Wii Points, $9)

Our own Jon Cassady heard about this release and wanted to put his two cents in-

“Its the sequel to Milon’s Secret Castle which is by far the most difficult game I ever beat. I remember getting it as my father’s company was doing marketing for the game and I spent a week trying to get past the first level before discovering that you had to basically shoot bubbles at everything in sight to find the secret areas to advance. Add in that there were a limited amount of lives, no saving, few continues and instant death around every corner, its amazing this game isn’t spoken of more often.”

Puyo Puyo 2: Tsuu (Sega Genesis, 900 Wii Points, $9)

The Puyo Puyo series is an insanely addictive puzzle game in the Columns vein. This one’s a two player competition where you’re directly interfering with your enemies board. There’s even a little story in this one. It’s very bright and colorful and very Japanese, but if you’ve never tried one of these and you’re a puzzle addict, I’d definitely say to check it out.


Wednesday’s Xbox Live Arcade titles-

Brain Challenge (Original – 800 Points – $10)

Guess what this game’s a ripoff of? Guess they didn’t stretch their mental abilities in thinking up a title. Well, now the casual 360 gamers have their own brain training game to mess around with. This one will have online multiplayer and some different tests (like one that checks your ability to deal with stress.)

Bliss Island (PSP – 400 Points – $5)

You play as a mystical blue creature called Hoshi the Zwooph who creates clouds. It’s a puzzle game with 90 challenging levels included, and yes, this appears to be the same game that hit the PSP a few months ago. Not bad for 5 bucks… let’s hope it’s as good as the previous version apparently was.
And that’s it for this week! Look forward to an on-time column next Monday, when we’ve got a new Ninja Gaiden, Rainbox Six, and Worms!