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GAMES REVIEWS; In association with COODE WORKS COONECT Supporting Digital Industry.

Byline: ROSS WILKINSON

THE PS3 serves up an ace this week as Top Spin 3 smashes its way onto Sony's next gen console, while The Incredible Hulk makes a city-stomping racket on Xbox 360.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII gives PSP gamers the action-RPG title they've been crying out for, while Looney Tunes: Cartoon Concerto is an entertaining title to keep you amused on Nintendo DS.

GAME OF THE WEEK: TAKING TENNIS INTO THE NEXT-GEN ERA

Title: Top Spin 3

Platform: PS3

Genre: Tennis

Price: pounds 39.99

Star rating: ****

The Top Spin series has always looked to translate the excitement and sporting precision of the tennis world to the gaming environment - and it's improving with every annual effort. It seems having the next-gen technology of the Xbox 360 at its disposal certainly helps. This new version offers the most authentic gameplay and features yet, including signature player animations and expressions, weather changes and situationspecific behaviours. Even the old school tennis world can take advantage of this next-gen arena.

BULGING GREEN BICEPS AREN'T ENOUGH

Title: The Incredible Hulk

Platform: Xbox 360

Genre: Action

Price: pounds 49.99

Star rating: ***

The Hulk might not have wowed the critics in his latest cinema outing but the new film has given games developers plenty to work with. Sadly the result is not quite up to the standard of earlier Hulk offerings. While the graphics are impressive, the repetitive and systematic smashing of almost anything in the city is unlikely to keep you entertained for more than a week or so. There are plenty of other games out there now to turn Hulk developers greener with envy.

NO CRISIS IN SIGHT WITH ANOTHER FINAL FANTASY WINNER

Title: Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

Platform: PSP

Genre: RPG

Price: pounds 29.99

Star rating: ****

Anything with Final Fantasy in the title is likely to set many gamers' pulses racing and Crisis Core has been high on the must-have list for PSP owners. The resulting action- RPG meets high expectations, delivering one of the best-looking titles on Sony's handheld system with an engaging storyline set before the original Final Fantasy VII. A slightly different real-time combat set-up will also provide a new challenge for FF fans, making this an unmissable PSP experience.

CLASSICAL CARTOON CAPERS

Title: Looney Tunes: CartoonConcerto

Platform: Nintendo DS

Genre: Rhythm

Price: pounds 19.99

Star rating: ***

It's a strange dichotomy that such classic overtures as Ride of the Valkyries and Beethoven's 5th Symphony have been matched to visuals of Looney Tunes cartoon characters lumping merry hell out of each other, but it's also a formula that's stood the test of time. Cartoon Concerto gives the rhythm-action genre a decent boost, with 18 tricky tunes to master and a similar amount of cartoon sequences to enjoy. Good looking, well priced and a testing nut to crack.

WHAT'S HOT AND WHAT'S NOT

Metal Gear Solid 4 stormed to the top of the charts this week, proving an irresistible end of an era for gamers desperate to see how the Snake series concludes. It marks the first of several PS3-exclusive releases coming up in recent months, with LittleBigPlanet, Socom: Confrontation and MotorStorm Pacific Rift all lined up for launch later this year. LEGO Indiana Jones dropped into second place, while Grand Theft Auto IV fell to its lowest chart placing of three.

GAMES CHART

(ALL FORMATS FULL PRICE)

1 Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

2 LEGO Indiana Jones: Original Adventure s

3 Grand Theft Auto IV

4 Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games

5 Dr Kawashima's Brain Training

6 Race Driver: Grid

7 Wii Play

8 Sports Island

9 Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution

10 Wii Fit

Leisure software charts compiled by

Chart Track, (c) ELSPA (UK) Ltd
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 26, 2008
Words:624
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