Well, we get slapped from all sides this week for major game releases:
Age of Empires III (PC)
Blitz: The League (Xbox/PS2)
Jak X Combat Racing (PS2)
Quake IV (PC)
Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)
Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (Xbox/PS2/GC)
Let's go down the line for each one, going more into it than I did in my list of games coming in the next few months.
Age of Empires III: Both Gamespot (8.2) and IGN (8.8) have reviewed it. Things seem to be pretty nice, but I still have a negative reaction to the demo, especially when it comes to the amount of space the interface takes up. I still consider this series lower than Civilization or Rise of Nations.
Blitz: The League: I think a lot of people bummed out about Madden having NFL rights are going to pick this game up. I also think most of them will probably tire of the game after a few days since I can only guess the base Blitz gameplay is still present. That can only be fun for a few days unless online play is worth it.
F.E.A.R.: Probably the highest hyped game coming out this week. Both Gamespot (9.1) and IGN (9.2) have reviewed it. The game should be awesome and I guess people take it as commonplace that an FPS only has 10 hours of play in it. I figured we were past that with FarCry, but what do I know?
Jak X Combat Racing: This will be an interesting game since it is all about car combat and no platforming elements. I think this game could do well online, but I'm not sure how much it can grab people for single-player games.
Quake IV: You can spin it however you want, but Doom 3 was a bad game. Great graphics, bad gameplay. Quake IV is bound to follow in its sibling's footsteps. This game got an 8.2 from IGN, but it also got a 70 from PC Gamer, a magazine that gave Doom 3 a high 90s score if I remember.
Shadow of the Colossus: This game is getting great reviews all around. Gamespot gave it an 8.7, Game Informer gave it an 8.25 and it got the Silver Award from EGM. There are problems with the game (framerate dips, camera flopping, robust controls), but the experience outweighs all that is all I've been hearing. If you've ever wanted an innovative game, this one from the makers of ICO is a good bet!
Tony Hawk's American Wasteland: I was at the in-laws place this weekend and I popped THUG2 into the Xbox there (I don't own the game, my brother-in-law does). I had never played this game before, but I had played THUG...even reviewed it. Anyway, I found myself bored of the game even while going through the early motions. I remember when this series was the hottest thing on the map, but I'm not sure where Neversoft can go to make this series still be appealing. Granted, it sells like gangbusters every year and I hope Wasteland can bring the old style back, but we'll see.