What we've been playing this week.
Tom Orry, Editor - DIRT 2, Xbox 360, PS3
A few weeks ago I was a bit down on DIRT 2. Maybe I was having a bad day, but the menu system drove me mad. For whatever reason the final game isn't nearly as annoying in this area. Menus aside, and not wanting to say too much ahead of our review next week, DIRT 2 looks incredible. Neon hates this term, but some of the long, winding Rally courses are simply jaw dropping and completed runs beg to be watched over using the superb replay function. This could be the best looking racer I've ever seen, and coming on the back of seeing Forza 3 and GT5 at gamescom last week that's high praise indeed.
James Orry, News Editor - Football Manager Live, PC
It's been two months since my last update and after spending a week playing one game at gamescom - it just so happened that one game was Microsoft's Project Natal - it's been back to good old Football Manager Live. It was a battle this season, but by the skin of our teeth, the Juicy Danglers have managed to maintain their Premier League status. It was certainly touch and go right to the wire. What's more, Tom's The Noirs also earned promotion from the Championship, meaning he too will be fighting with me for a place above the drop zone in the coming season. While the world of virtual football might not be treating me very well, in the real world things couldn't be going much better - Spurs are top of the league. And with Birmingham at the weekend that doesn't look likely to change.
Neon Kelly, Previews Editor - The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, Xbox 360
Man, I love Guybrush Threepwood. If I had to pick one video game character as my all-time favourite hero, it would have to be him. Unfortunately, as a side-product of this adoration I have a crystal clear memory of the first two Monkey Island games, and this somewhat limits their replay value. As I mentioned on this week's podcast, I feel hugely guilty about the fact that we never got around to reviewing the recent remake; it simply turned up at a time when there were a million other things that needed doing. In any case, I've attempted to make some amends for this crime by re-introducing my flatmate to the adventures of Mr Threepwood. I spent most of Thursday evening watching as she battled the swordmaster, robbed the governor's mansion and dug up the treasure of Melee Island... and it was almost as fun as when I did it for the first time, back in 1990. The new art style takes some getting used to but the script is as sharp as it ever was - and the bit with the yak and the wax lips is still wonderfully odd. If you've got 800 MS points down the back of your sofa, I heartily recommend it.
Sebastian Ford, Video Producer – Wheelspin, Wii
I’ve now done E3 and gamescom, and on both occasions it surprised me just how few games I ended up playing; in L.A I think I scored a whopping three, only narrowly beating it in Germany with four. One of these three was during an interview with Archer Maclean for his new game Wheelspin. If you put Rollcage, Rock n’ Roll Racing, and Wipeout into a blender, served it hot over the Wii, with a side garnish of Micro Machines, this is what the final result would look like. Plus, it’s got up to eight players on local multiplayer, which is quite frankly insane given the amount of on-screen, real estate you’re going to be getting! The good news is I didn’t suck at it, and was genuinely disappointed when I had to put the controller down and actually ask some questions before my appointment expired.
For more on what we've been up to this week check out the brand-new VideoGamer.com Podcast.