The games we've been playing this week.
Tom Orry, Editor - UFC Personal Trainer, Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii
After taking part in the warm up session in the Kinect for Xbox 360 version of UFC Trainer my legs had more or less had enough. What this fitness game doesn't do is ease you in to things. I'd already had to prove how unfit I was by doing a series of sit-ups, press-ups and star jumps, but then the game asked me to kick my hands having placed them outstretched in front of me. I can't be sure, but I doubt my feet have been elevated above the height of my knees in many, many years. I struggled.
Next came the actual workout. I selected the "Quick" option that targeted weight loss and then entered a world of pain and suffering. The main cause of this pain was a move the game calls "Get ups". If you don't know what this is, you essentially have to start from a standing position, then fall backwards onto the floor, roll onto your arm, push up onto your feet and stand up again. Repeat this over and over and, like me, you might find that your legs no longer want to do anything. I'm going to stick with it, but my body currently feels weaker than it did prior to getting UFC Personal Trainer.
Neon Kelly, Deputy Editor - Frozen Synapse, PC
Frozen Synapse was described to me as being a bit like a turn-based version of Counter-Strike, mixed with the pre-mission planning bits from the old Rainbow Six games. That's not a bad description, though it fails to convey the fiddly-yet-rewarding nature of play. Essentially it's a turn-based strategy game with minimalist graphics, designed with two human players in mind (though you can play against the AI, too). Each player has a small squad of troops to order about, with the simple aim being to wipe out the other side. You map out actions for your men using waypoints and modifiers, watch a simulated run-through of your plan, tweaking the details until everything is perfect, then commit to carrying them out. At this point, you sit back and watch the results.
And unfortunately for me, the results usually involve my guys getting shot in the head, bloody spraying across the futuristic scenery. You see, the crucial point is that once both sides have made their plans, both set of actions unfold at the same time. Even if your prep work was perfect, you can never be sure what the outcome will be. In short, it's rock hard but also great fun. It's about £12 on Steam at the moment, and that gets you two copies so you can give one to a mate.I'm up for taking on Forumites if anyone wants to give it a go. Send me a PM.
Martin Gaston, Previews Editor - Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and 3, Every Platform Ever
Sonic 2 is much, much harder than Sonic 1 - I have absolutely no idea how you're supposed to be able to do the special stages without save states. It's also a much longer game, with better platforming tricks: even now it's clear to see why it's the best in the series.
Sonic 3, well, it's still pretty good. I think (and have always thought) the Carnival Night Zone is pretty gashtastic, and the final boss fight pales in comparison to Sonic 2's magnificent Death Egg zone. But the soundtrack is fantastic.
The two games are still brilliant, of course, but SEGA is still a twat for completely ruining the series, and anyone who thinks Mario is better is still wrong. See you next week when I'll repeat this sentiment entirely after playing through Sonic and Knuckles.
Jamin Smith, Staff Writer – Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 iPad, iPhone
I've been playing a lot of golf recently, spending my weekends in fierce competitions with friends. It's been raining the last few days, however, so to stay at the top of my game - at least on a tactical level - I thought I'd play some Tiger Woods. Fittingly, this coincided with EA's mer-husive App Store sale, and I was able to pick up Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 on iPad (and Sim City Deluxe) for a measly 59p.
It's pretty good, too. To take a shot, you swipe a finger back and then forward across a virtual mat. If you want to put fade or draw on the ball, you simply curve the virtual line you're drawing in the appropriate direction. Whilst the ball's in the air, you can frantically swipe on the touch screen to apply spin. It's an intuitive control system, and while the game isn't up to snuff graphically, it plays rather well indeed. There are some cool social features, too - so if anybody fancies a closest to the pin challenge, gimme a shout, yo.