What we've been playing this week.
Neon Kelly, Deputy Editor - Mortal Kombat, PS3, Xbox 360
"That new Mortal Kombat game looks good," a generally non-gaming friend of mine said to me the other day. "Oh!" I replied, slightly taken aback. "Yeah, it is. I reviewed it last week," I added, with the ingrained games journalist reflex that makes you endlessly try to make people read your work (usually in vain). It turns out that my good chum had seen a post-watershed TV ad in which someone has their skin pulled off, and she thought this was fairly awesome. So much so, in fact, that we'll probably be celebrating the royal wedding by ripping out each other's electronic spines.
She also used to play Angry Birds, and from this I deduce that the best way to bring more people into gaming is to follow this simple recipe: Birds, then extreme violence. And on that note I must end this observation, as I have to go work on my new project: Fluffy the Penguin's Barbed Wire Skipping Rope Child Massacre. This time next year, I'll be a rich man.
Martin Gaston, Staff Writer - Portal: Still Alive
Despite being one of the best games made in the entire history of time, Portal didn't win VideoGamer.com's Game of the Year in 2007 - proof, if it were ever needed, that nobody around here knew their arse from their elbow before I showed up. Since blasting my way through the single-player campaign of Portal 2 last week (still waiting for PSN to come back online before I can get into co-op) I've decided to reacquaint myself with the iconic original.
I would normally play on the PC - I'm a bit of a stickler for playing Valve games on the computer - but I impulse bought Portal: Still Alive on the 360 last year in a holiday sale, and I couldn't resist another run through the Aperture Science labs when I read about the 'Out of the Blue' Achievement, which requires you to complete the entire game only ever exiting from the blue portal. Working through the 14 new challenge maps was excellent, too.
Fingers crossed Sony will have sorted PSN out in time for some Portal 2 co-op action next week.
Emily Gera, Staff Writer, The Sims Medieval, PC
Look out, Charlie Sheen. My hot Saturday night was spent playing Portal 2 for seven hours with a pile of crisps nested on my lap like a blanket. But it's safe to assume that's a pretty accurate description of your own Saturday night so instead of telling you what you already know (it's a great game, run - don't walk - to your nearest shop to buy it if you haven't already) here's a short review of Sims Medieval: If you like The Sims and you like the past then Sims Medieval might be up your alley! It's a structured, quest-based Sims game that leaves you in charge of a kingdom and servants. My favourite pass-time is sending villagers to the stocks and then immediately wooing them. I've decided to role-play as proto-rap star L.L. Crusades whose only aim is to love the one he's with. So yeah, good game.
Jamin Smith, Staff Writer – Scrabble, iPad
Before last weekend, the last time I'd played Scrabble was about seventeen years ago; I was six-or-so, and forced my little sister to be my opponent. After exhausting my limited vocabulary, I'd invent elaborate meanings for barely pronounceable words, and she'd lap it all up - it was hilarious. Anyway, Scrabble was 59p on the App Store over the Easter Weekend, so I snapped it up. In the modern day version, however - with its touch screen technology and integrated dictionary - there's no way to cheat! Calling your opponent's bluff with ridiculous definitions was such a big part of Scrabble for me as a kid, and now I had to play by the damn rules. Thankfully, I was able to beat my girlfriend fair and square - or to be more precise - I was winning up until the point she got bored and decided she wanted to do something outside instead. Subsequently, I didn't actually play many games last week, hence this slightly dull account of my history with the board game Scrabble.