Welcome to Pro-G Plays, our new feature where we give you the inside track on what's been whirring in our disc drives this week. We'll be honest (so if we've been playing Superman on the N64 we'll tell you). But if we've been hammering the latest billion-selling blockbuster we'll let you know about that too. Enough small-talk. Read on, and let us know what you've been playing in the comments section below.
Tom Orry, Editor - Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction, PS3.
The Ratchet & Clank series sums up how the platformer has evolved over the years and it's no bad thing. I've been playing the series' PS3 debut for a while now and the action-packed adventure is sure to put a smile on many a sad PS3 gamer's face. It's not a huge departure from the previous titles in the series, but when a game looks this good it feels like you're playing something special. I love using the Groovatron to make the enemies dance, if only to laugh at their weakness. I'm almost 25 and I've managed to resist the urge to dance like an idiot - a shiny, spinning ball wouldn't even get my big toe moving.
Wesley Yin-Poole. Deputy Editor - Portal, The Orange Box, Xbox 360.
Who'd have thought it? The game I thought I'd play the least from The Orange Box has turned out to be the one I've played the most. It's a simple premise - get to the exit or the room by using the portal gun to create an entry portal and an exit portal. But I've been ignoring the rules, instead making a portal in the ceiling and one directly below so I fall in an endless loop of stomach-churning madness. Then there's the 'see-saw' trick, where you create two portals on the floor and keep bouncing out of them ad infinitum. Crazy, but absolute class.
James Orry, News Editor - WaveRace 64, Nintendo Wii Virtual Console.
Boy, what an amazing game this used to be. In my youth no other game ate up more of my time than this beautiful jet-ski skill-based racer. It was with some disappointment then that this week, when playing the game via the Wii's Virtual Console, that I felt my teenage crush being ripped from my heart. In the '90s nothing could compare to the feeling of landing a double backflip while fighting with the N64 controller to counter the force of each wave. However, such have been the advancements over the last decade that played today, Wave Race 64 felt slow, twitchy and I hate to say it... a chore to play.
Will Freeman, Staff Writer - Mars Matrix, Dreamcast.
It's left a hole in my wallet and added to the nest of cables behind my TV, but it has been worth every moment. This week I've imported a console, an arcade stick and a currency transformer just to play a classic 2D shmup by the name of Mars Matrix, released on Japanese and US Dreamcasts around about the dawn of millennium. Like every other shmup, it involves dodging a sea of bullets and weaving through the tiniest of gaps at lightning speed and picking off enemies with the reactions of a leopard, but it is certainly distinct. It's garish, loud and incredibly difficult, and I can't stop playing it with palms sweating and heart pounding. It manages to condense the ferocity of eight hours of a modern FPS into a 15-minute session, and I can see it every time I blink.
Nick Peres, Producer, Pro-G TV - CivCity: Rome, PC.
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears... hmm maybe later actually. To put it as blunt as a legionnaire's short sword this title wasn't the golden eagle I was hoping for. Being a huge fan of Sierra's Caesar 3, I wondered onto the streets of CivCity: Rome to once again rise thru the ranks of the Roman Empire. Although greeted on my way with some of the most basic and bland menus in existence, I finally reached the gameplay which appeared to emulate Caesar in its overall feel. It was pretty good to start but some of the niggles made me squiggle. The poor camera mode made navigating around a high aqueduct and other such structures a pain, my roads became wonky, not straight like Roman ones. Then there were the lazy villagers that had an inability to walk an extra metre outside their 'boundaries' to get their goods from warehouses and granaries. 'Don't worry you fatties', I thought, 'ill just build another outside your house, and then you can smell rotten meat all day long'. I quickly retired as governor when I was caught relaxing in the local brothel.
Simon Hunter, Associate Producer, Pro-G TV - Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare single player demo, PC.
I answered the Call of Duty again this week - this time in the form of the new COD4 single player demo. I was obsessed with the 360's multiplayer beta, but nothing could have prepared me for how beautiful the PC incarnation is. I'm not ashamed to admit that I've literally spent hours admiring my comrade's grizzled faces and pumped arms - it actually looks better than real life. And don't worry, it's fun too - well, as fun as warfare can be. My only concern is how lower-end systems will deal with the breathtaking visuals. So here's an idea - go buy the best PC you can find and wait in eager anticipation for the most realistic warfare experience around. Or alternatively, join the Army...
That's what we've been playing, but what have you been playing? Tell us in the comments section below.