Upcoming for the 9/11-9/16 week, there are some surefire hit games coming out for multiplatform release: NHL ’07 and Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy. Beyond that, this upcoming week promises to bring a lot of good military PC strategy games, and a lot of new Nintendo DS games as well.

The two big multiplatform games, Lego Star Wars II and NHL ’07 will definitely be heavy hitters. For those of you who haven’t played the first Lego Star Wars game, don’t dismiss the first or it’s new sequel as mere “kid’s games”. They’re well crafted, in depth, as easy or as difficult as you want them to be, and a crapload of fun. The first game dealt with the new trilogy that Lucas butchered. The sequel deals with the original trilogy, which means you’ll get to play as Han, Leia, Luke, Chewie, Vader, and all the characters you grew up with! NHL ’07 looks to continue the EA’s sports dominance, although it will be tested amongst Xbox and 360 owners with 2K Games’ NHL 2K7. Both should be good, and it’s also a sign that Hockey seasons’ almost upon us! All Hockey fans rejoice!

As for the PC, we’re being treated to some good WW2 and modern military strategy games. Faces of War and Company of Heroes deal with the Second World War from a squad based strategy game. Company of Heroes looks to be taking their game a step further than Faces of War. It’s far more ambitious both in scope and scale, based off of the Warhamer 40K: Dawn of War HAVOC engine. Early buzz for Company of Heroes makes it THE WW2 strategy game to get this year. It’s basically being touted as the “Call of Duty”, only for WW2 strategy game buffs.

Joint Strike Force finishes the pack off, also focusing on squad combat, although there’s much more of an emphasis on adding role-playing elements to it. Your soldiers gain ranks and experience as they continue to fight, and their actions (as well as your own commands) will impact positively or negatively upon how you spend your funds. Most of the battlefields will be taking place in urban and heavily civilized areas, which means that if you screw up, you’re screwing up on CNN, and there goes your funding. All these games look interesting, and all should find their market. If I was a betting man (which I’m not), I’d say that Company of Heroes is the winner of the pack, simply because the game looks damn gorgeous, and I’ve played the Warhammer: Dawn of War games, and I can say that it’s got the best strategy engine out there.

Lastly, there’s the upcoming games for the Nintendo DS, which are bound to be mostly sleeper hits. Cooking Mama, Harvest Moon DS, and MechAssault: Phantom War are most assuredly going to be sleepers (unless they suck). Mega Man ZX, Mario Hoops 3 on 3 and Lego Star Wars II will be cash cows, obviously, because of their name brands (and because all should be good to great games). Cooking Mama is the game I’m most interested in, since it’s a cooking game on DS, and it’s something that’s indelibly of Japanese origin, in terms of gaming. If it’s controls and difficulty are manageable, then it should rule. MecAssault came out of nowhere at E3, and while I hope it’s good, I can’t help but feel it’s a bit of a retread, harkening back to the old Mech Warrior 2: Mercenaries days. Still, should be fun. Mario Hoops 3 on 3 is actually rather interesting, if only to see if the DS stylus works for a basketball game. Plus, it was developed by Square Enix- and it’s truly rare when Nintendo lets someone else touch one of their cherished iconic characters. And since it is Square that’s working on it, I have high hopes for it.

Here’s the list of upcoming games for the week of 9/11-9/16:
Avatar: The Last Airbender (PC)
Backyard Baseball 2007 (PC)
Bomberman (PSP)
Bounty Hounds (PSP)
Call of Duty 2: Big Red One Enchanced Greatest Hits (PS2)
Cheetah Girls (GBA)
Company of Heroes (PC)
Cooking Mama (DS)
Everquest II Classic (PC)
Faces of War (PC)
Fuel (Xbox)
Great Invasions (PC)
Harvest Moon DS (DS)
IGPX (PS2)
Joint Task Force (PC)
Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (PS2, PSP, GC, DS, GBA, 360, Xbox, PC)
Little Einsteins (GBA)
Mario Hoops 3 on 3 (DS)
MechAssault: Phantom War (DS)
Mega Man ZX (DS)
My Little Pony: Crystal Princess (GBA)
NHL 2007 (PS2, PSP, Xbox, 360, PC)
NHL 2K7 (360, Xbox)
One Piece: Pirates’ Carnival (PS2, GC)
Rengoku II: Stairway to HEAVEN (PSP)

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