Yes folks, it's October, which means that the crazy end-of-year games rush has begun. A boggling number of games are due out over the next few months, so let us guide you towards the titles we really think you should be keeping an eye on. Remember though, most of these recommendations are based on previews, so wait until the final GamesRadar review verdict before picking any of them up.
1. Animal Crossing: City Folk - Wii, 16th Nov US, December EU
It might not be the great hardcore hope Reggie claims it to be, but the Wii version of Animal Crossing certainly promises to be the definitive entry in the series. It's got proper online play, mic and keyboard communications, Mii support, a new city area full of customisable gear to pick up and connectivity between Wii and DS. In other words, it's got everything Animal Crossing always needed. AC is one of those games you either love or just don't get at all, but if you're the former, this will be a must.
2. Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts - Xbox 360, 11th Nov US, 14th Nov EU
Part platformer, part puzzler, part driving game, part Garry's Mod, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is a quintessentially Rare reinvention of its classic bear and bird franchise. Some might miss the pure platforming of the original games, but the sheer level of customisation and experimentation to be done with N & B's vehicles means that this one should have a lifetime's worth of replayability.
3. Call of Duty: World At War - Xbox 360, PC, PS3, 11th Nov US, 14th Nov EU
So Treyarch steps up to the plate once again, and for a change, gamers everywhere aren't quaking in their boots. With a proper, two-year development run, the team that isn't Infinity Ward has finally been given a fair shot at making the game it wants, and from what we've played of that game so far, the combination of World War II's more unusual campaign locations with COD4's in your face brutality might well give the Hitler-bashing genre a much-needed freshen up.
4. Castlevania: Order Of Ecclesia - DS, 21st Oct US, November EU
Okay, so it's another one of the DS 'Metroidvania' action RPG entries, but is there a problem with that? No there isn't, because they've all been brilliant. You know what to expect. Platforming, monster-killing, upgrades, puzzling, and more Gothicism than an '80s rock club. This time round, there's also an interesting new 'glyph' based customisable magic system and around twenty different locations to explore. And you'll be getting the now-inevitable DS/Wii connectivity too, allowing you to unlock extra stuff if you have a copy of we-hope-it's-not-crap-but-so-far-it-looks-to-be Wii fighter Castlevania: Judgment.
5. Chrono Trigger - DS, 25th Nov US, January '09 EU
One of Square's finest ever games, one of the freshest and most involving RPGs of all time and one third of the holy SNES trinity along with Secret Of Mana and Final Fantasy VI. And now it's on the DS. If you didn't play it on the SNES, don't even consider not getting it. If you did, still consider getting it. That is all.
6. Dead Space - Xbox 360, PC, PS3, 14th Oct US, 24th Oct EU
From what we've played of it so far, this will fill in the gap until Resident Evil 5 just fine. It's a dirty, oppressive space horror with a pounding atmosphere and the kind of gore that would make '80s cinema proud. It's as if John Carpenter, Ridley Scott and David Cronenberg decided to make a sci-fi shooter. And decided to make it really horrible.
7. Disaster: Day of Crisis - Wii, Oct 24th EU, TBC US
A decent-looking third-person action game on the Wii? Heavens be praised! Disaster has been quietly milling along for a good while now, to the point where we thought it might even have been canceled a while back. Thankfully not, as it now looks like a very interesting blend of third-person adventure, cover-shooting, rescuing and puzzling, all set against the backdrop of some epic disaster movie set-pieces. Watch the new, hilariously-voiced trailer here.
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