The games we've been playing this week.
Tom Orry, Editor - New Star Soccer, iOS
I had started to write my VG Plays for the week on The Splatters, a neat little XBLA game that's on sale this week. I played it for an hour or so, splatting the Splatters on various things, and it was good fun. To be honest though, I was still thinking about playing New Star Soccer on my iPod touch.
On Thursday night I bought Ms. Splosion Man via the strange Sales app on the Xbox 360 - 400 MS Points seemed like a price I couldn't pass on - but again, I know for a fact that I'm only really going to be playing New Star Soccer when I get a spare few minutes.
You see, I've just been transferred to Burton, a team outside of the Conference for the first time in my career. I'm keen to make a good impression, but things haven't gone well so far. My manager has lost faith in me, dropping me to the subs bench, my in-game girlfriend has dumped me because I didn't spend enough time with her, and I can't seem to kick a ball straight.
I swear at times I'm playing a game designed to make me feel miserable, but I want to turn things around. The games in which I never miss a pass, score a couple of goals and end up as man of the match are the ones that give me hope - hope that one day I'll be picked to play for England rather than having to sit and look at the results screen.
I've also just bought a private jet.
Martin Gaston, Reviews Editor - DOTA 2, PC
This week I have played four games of Dota 2, which Steam says comes to a whopping six hours of play time. That's right, just scratching the surface of Dota 2 takes more commitment than most other video games in the whole world. I mean, I could have completed a Call of Duty game twice in that time!
The game I played yesterday was something special. There's a lot I don't understand about Dota, which is to say, I don't understand almost anything about Dota outside of the most basic of basic elements, but even I could see how we managed something magnificent. And when I say we, I of course mean the other four people on my team - I was playing Witch Doctor for the first time and did very little other than feed the other team buckets of free gold and experience. I am the Dota 2 equivalent of that little man near the deli counter that gives you free bits of cheese, only with the dairy being replaced by free money and, for me, personal humiliation.
Still, I had a backup weapon: Phill, who knows more about Dota than I do Kellogg's cereals. And I chuffing love Kellogg's cereals. Phill, the inter-lane creep swatter and general enemy-bashing nuisance, was the glue who held the team together through a prolonged seventy minute thrashing by the enemy team. More than once it looked like we were fighting a losing battle, as our base defences started crumbling and the enemy team began their assault on our all-important ancient.
Phill was our Leonidas, then, and we were the Spartan army holding off superior numbers at the Battle of Thermopylae. We had one thing the ancient Greeks did not, however; a Carry. And, in Dota, if your weak-at-first Carry grinds up enough experience and gold they will become an unstoppable killing machine. Which, after some incredibly tense late-game, all-in team battles, is exactly what happened. And they lost and we won. GG.
Probably my best single gaming moment of the year so far, actually, despite the fact I was completely rubbish throughout the entire game.
In summary: Play Dota 2.