Among upcoming video game releases: The latest Metal Gear Solid game, Peace Walker, hits the PSP, Green Da y gets its own Rock Band release, and Super Mario Galaxy 2 arrives in Europe just as the World Cup kicks off.
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (PSP)
Release: North America, June 8. Europe, June 17.
Age rating: North America, Teen. Europe, not yet rated.
Hideo Kojima, mastermind behind the simultaneously serious and silly Metal Gear Solid series, has come up with a multiplayer spin on the series. Up to four PSP owners can take part in the same game, sneaking about in this prequel that's set in the delicate nuclear tension of the 1970s. Peace Walker is also bundled with selected new PSPs, and Japanese manufacturer HORI are busy producing an official accessory set that includes a protective PSP pouch as well as a trinket and a code to unlock an extra character. There's also a promotional free to play web game, " Piece Walker."
Price: $39.99 / €39.99
MGS:PW Accessory Set: $24.99 / €24.99
PSP bundle: $199.99
Green Day: Rock Band (360 PS3 Wii)
Release: North America, June 8. Europe, June 11.
Age Rating: North America, Teen. Europe, 12+.
No previous Rock Band games required for this special version (but some of the special instrument-shaped controllers would help). Forty-seven tracks from six of the American pop-punk trio's albums are on the disc, including all of 2004's American Idiot, and most of 1994's breakthrough Dookie and 2009's most recent effort 21st Century Breakdown. The ' Plus' version includes those six remaining 21st Century Breakdown tracks.
Price: $59.99 / €59.99 (360 PS3), €49.99 / €39.99 (Wii)
Green Day Plus: $69.99 (360 PS3)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
Release: Europe, June 11. North America, released May 23.
Age Rating: Europe, 3+. North America, Everyone.
An earlier North American release treats European consumers to a wealth of critical praise for SMG2. Though once again Mario sets off to rescue Princess Peach from the horrible Bowser, almost everything about this appears to feel fresh: "A megaton explosion of ideas" ( Wired), "by far the tastiest audiovisual treat on Wii" (Eurogamer), "huge, brilliant, and gorgeous" (The Escapist), and a game in which the gimmicks never run out" (Edge). Giant Bomb noted its "consistently inventive level design," and Games Radar appreciated the simple, understandable controls. According to review aggregators Metacritic and Game Rankings, SMG2 is now the best-reviewed Wii game ever.
Price: €49.99 / $49.99
Toy Story 3: The Video Game (DS PC PS3 PSP Wii)
Release date: North America, June 15
A tie-in with the big-screen release of Toy Story 3 in cinemas on June 18, Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear are joined by Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl to form the game's roster of playable characters. Story mode is self-explanatory - where this diverges from the movie is in Toybox mode, where players can create their own levels with items unlocked from the main game.
Price: €49.99 / $49.99 (360 PS3 Wii), €29.99 / $29.99 (DS PC PSP)
International Cricket 2010 (360 PS3)
Release: Europe, June 18
Age Rating: 3+
With a release date timed to correspond with a five-match One Day International series between England and Australia, June 22 to July 3, International Cricket features licenced teams and kits for both historic sides. In total there are 16 teams and 21 stadiums to choose from, the option of online tournaments, and commentary from Jonathan Agnew and Shane Warne. Players can also rate their opponents according to how sportsmanlike they were during a game.
Naughty Bear (360 PS3)
Release: Europe, June 4. North America, June 29.
Age Rating: Europe, 12+. North America, Teen.
This maladjusted plushie wasn't invited to the one birthday party he'd been looking forward to the most - even going so far as to make a special present for the event. Spurned, he goes on a vicious rampage to exact his revenge upon the vulnerable feather-stuffed inhabitants of the Island of Perfection, setting up traps and distractions before he pounces. Not so much naughty as downright psychopathic.
Price: €49.99 / $49.99