A look at what we've been playing this week.
Welcome to VideoGamer.com Plays, our weekly feature where we give you the inside track on what's been whirring in our disc drives this week. We'll be honest (so if we've been playing Superman on the N64 we'll tell you). But if we've been hammering the latest billion-selling blockbuster we'll let you know about that too.
Tom Orry, Editor - Frontlines, Xbox 360.
You can barely move for First-person shooters on the Xbox 360, so it takes a lot for a new entry in the genre to stand out. Frontlines from THQ is such a game, delivering an FSP experience that feels more War-like than any other shooter I've played. It lacks the gloss and heart stopping excitement of Call of Duty 4, but for sense of scale and options on the battlefield Frontlines can't currently be beaten. During one level you can hop from tank, to foot, to helicopter and it's great fun. It's the multiplayer that could earn the game a place in Xbox LIVE history though, offering 32 player matches and maps bigger than most villages. If you enjoyed the demo you'll thoroughly enjoy what's on offer in the final game.
Wesley Yin-Poole, Deputy Editor - Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings - DS.
Currently keeping my Nintendo DS warm is Square Enix's RTS Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, which I wasn't sure about at first. It's definitely growing on me the more I play it, though. Expect a review soon, but for now I'll say that while slow paced, the cute art style, predictable depth and RTS stylus point and drag controls are pushing all the right buttons. It helps that I'm a sucker for Final Fantasy of course. Now if only Square Enix had done it for FFVII. Now that really would have been something.
James Orry, News Editor - Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, DS.
My right hand has been getting quite a workout this week, with each session my speed and rhythm improving until I was too exhausted to carry on. I am of course talking about Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games for Nintendo DS. The majority of disciplines on offer require fast strokes on the touch screen, be it in a side to side, up and down or circular motion. It actually works really well and thanks to the Wi-Fi Connection support you're able to compete against the best times and scores recorded by gamers across the world. It's simple and addictive fun, but a strong wrist is recommended.
Nick Peres, Video Producer - Sensible World of Soccer, Xbox 360.
Talk about another nostalgic trip to the past. I downloaded SWOS from LIVE Arcade this week, keen to refresh my skills from the days of being addicted to it on the Atari ST. As soon as I booted it up (after searching for Reading amongst the Premiership - doh!) I fired into a quick friendly match. Oh how I have missed playing a footy match from the old favourite bird's eye view. The players have never looked more hansom with their little pixel faces and ginger hair (a more popular look back then clearly). Within minutes of kick off I was down 2-0. I had obviously forgotten the age old skill to the game, unable to pull off any decent curling passes and shots. My favourite move seemed to be dribbling the ball into the box and then during a skilled step over turn, abandoning it for the opposition to nab.
Simon Hunter, Associate Video Producer - Poker Smash, Xbox 360.
I hated this game at first. It was lunch time you see, and I had just lost my fifth consecutive game against Nick - which bothered the hell out of me since I would easily wipe the floor with him in REAL poker. This variation involves switching rows of cards (bejewelled style) to make high ranking poker hands. For whatever reason I couldn't keep up with Nick, so on our seventh go (he couldn't get enough of this unfamiliar winning feeling) I decided to mash the pad just to show I wasn't really trying (I'm childish like that). But to my delight this actually proved to be a golden strategy - by complete fluke, I had discovered a slight flaw in the game that meant you could accidentally make hands by just randomly jumbling up the cards! And it really works - go try it on XBLA now for some easy gamer points!