Tom Orry, Editor - Football Manager Live, PC
I've more or less given up on doing anything in my free time other than playing Football Manager Live. After insisting that a youth setup wasn't for me, I've just spent a small fortune brining in about 16 15-18-year olds. The way buying unsigned players works is that you just bid the wage you're prepared to pay (usually no more than £1k), and then also pay the transfer fee (usually not much) to make him yours. I spotted a very promising 16-year-old striker who already had strong finishing and composure stats, and appeared to be nippy too. Not really thinking about it I bid £10.5k, just to make sure I got my man if someone came in with a high bid. I didn't expect it to be anywhere near that high, and didn't think any more of it. To my horror, James (my own brother no less) had also put in a bid, in his case of £10k, so I ended up signing a completely unproven child on a £10,001 wage - that's more than most of my first team is paid! He better turn out to be bloody good.
Wesley Yin-Poole, Deputy Editor - Mass Effect, Xbox 360
All the recent talk of Mass Effect 2 got me so hyped I couldn't help dusting off my copy of the original, installing it to my 360 hard drive and replaying the entire game with my level 40 Infiltrator. I'm motivated in part to refresh myself on the ins and outs of the game in preparation for EA's inevitable ME2 preview event, but also to see if my gushing 10/10 review holds up nearly a year-and-a-half after the event. While I completely agree with the critics (installing it does nothing to improve those lift times or the texture pop-in, the Mako Rover's frustrating as hell to drive and planet exploration is boring), Mass Effect was for me a masterclass in atmosphere. Its 80s sci-fi soundtrack and Bladerunner-esque design pushed all my geek buttons back in 2007, and it's doing it all over again in 2009. I stand by my review: Mass Effect is one of the greatest RPGs of all time, and I absolutely cannot wait for the sequel.
James Orry, News Editor - Football Manager Live, PC
Things are slowly turning around for the Juicy Danglers. A ten match run that has seen the team defeated just once has put them at the top of the All Evening Championship form guide and now in with a great shot of making the play-offs for a place in the Premiership. This run of form began with the signing of Dutch holding midfielder Heitinga, who's provided a great deal more solidarity to the team as a whole. The Youth Team is also going great guns and 18-year old Maxime Lemaire is now regarded as High Profile, a status well above his years. The offers continue to flood in for his services, but I refuse to sell my prize asset. By this time next week the season will be over - here's hoping I have good news to report.
Neon Kelly, Previews Editor - Chinatown Wars, Nintendo DS
Alright, so there's no denying that Chiantown Wars is pretty darn superb. It's funny, it's addictive, and it seems to push the DS to the very limits of what the machine is capable of. However, I'm not entirely convinced that it's the best choice of distraction when you're commuting through Soho. It's quite a stressful game, and dealing with the Victoria Line during Rush Hour is already a pretty fraught experience. Earlier this week I found myself playing an early car-theft mission, while on my way to Oxford Circus. In addition to the game's own time limit, I knew I only had a few minutes before I reached my stop. I delivered the last car with seconds to spare, then dashed off the tube just as the carriage doors were beginning to close; I was so excited that I gave a little fist pump as I got off - and some bloke thought I was trying to punch him. As a result, a little star appeared in the corner of my vision, and I spent the next ten minutes running away from imaginary policemen.
Sebastian Ford, Video Producer – Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Xbox 360
I NEED to finish this game. I keep going through phases, where I get into it for a few days at a time, but ultimately get demoralised having to constantly hunt my enemies through a labyrinth of underground caves and strongholds. “But Seb, why not just follow the main storyline and get that out of the way?” I hear you ask. A valid question, and I would, but I’m doomed to a life of obsessive compulsion that requires me to do nearly ALL the side missions and search every single crate to feel like I am getting the most out of a game. As a result, I have nearly mastered alchemy from all the bloody rice I’ve found, and yet I’m only level 7 after 38 hours of gameplay. Something tells me that I’m not the most efficient gamer out there.
For more on what we've been up to this week check out the brand-new VideoGamer.com Podcast.
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