The games we've been playing this week.
Tom Orry, Editor - SSX, PS3
I'm not exactly loving SSX, and I think it's down to two main reasons. Firstly, and I realise this is a fairly shallow reason, I'm not wowed by the visuals. I remember snowboarding games really impressed me in the past, with the massive mountains and lush snow in the likes of SSX 3 and Amped 2 helping those titles be among the most visually impressive on their systems. This new SSX doesn't dazzle in the same way - or at all. Secondly, I'm finding the whole thing a bit manic. You board down the slopes at such great speed, that it's hard to focus on doing anything well, and the design of the mountains feels quite messy to me - and yes, I am coming to this after years without touching a game in the series, so fans may well disagree completely.
Oh, and now I'm back on MotorStorm RC thanks to another VG time trial challenge - buy it now if you haven't already. It's brilliant.
Neon Kelly, Deputy Editor - I Am Alive, Xbox 360
I want to like I Am Alive. It's an underdog, for starters - a project that miraculously came back from the dead. It's also got a post-apocalyptic theme, a backdrop I tend to favour, and it's trying to do something new. The climbing mechanics are highly original, and it's trying to approach combat in a way we've rarely seen before.
The problem I have at the moment is that it keeps puncturing its own atmospheric bubble. Our unnamed hero encounters three cop cars within minutes of starting the game - but can he search them? No. He completely ignores the ambulance he passes, and later there's a Humvee with fuel canisters visibly attached to the outside. But you can't even inspect these things. I get that it's a budget release, but it's annoying to have such things in front of you - and yet untouchable - in a game that's supposed to be about survival. The same goes for the invisible walls that pop up, and for the impassable scenery that would pose far less challenge than all the stuff he happily clambers over.
Oh, and don't get me started about the two early villains who hack through a wall - revealing that they've been hiding in a cul-de-sac with no entry or exit points. I guess they just thought they'd barricade themselves in an empty yard till I wandered past.
Still, I do want to like it, and Martin saw enough goodness in it to give it a 7. I've also just had dinner with a journalist who raved about how great it was for a good 15 minutes. On that basis, I'll grant I Am Alive a reprieve - for now.
Martin Gaston, Reviews Editor - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Xbox 360
This might very well be my last week of playing Skyrim for quite some time, as Mass Effect 3 is finally here. Sorry Skyrim, but BioWare's latest has got space, Shepard(s) and sexytimes with famous games journalists!
Still, Skyrim has me sitting around in Breezehome while Aela cooks me dinners. And by 'sitting around' I mean fiddling around in drawers and cupboards sorting out all the tat I've spent months and months gobbling up from any and indeed every possible area. And, boy, what a collection of useless tat and virtual trinkets I've managed to accumulate - but there comes a point in every Dovahkiin's life where he needs to think about why he's going around picking up so much junk.
We've had a good run, Skyrim, but I'm just going out and I might be some time. Or I might get withdrawal symptoms in the next few days and bung you back in the disc tray. It could go either way, really.
Emily Gera, MMO Editor - Mass Effect 2, Xbox 360
I'm an idiot. I forgot to power up Legion and now I'm already onto the Suicide Mission. I. Forgot. To. Wake. Up. Legion. Oh and did I mention I neglected to save the game at a reasonable point before this happened? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. These are the joys of trying to finish off Mass Effect 2 as quickly as humanly possible before ME3's release, and losing your mind in the process. God help me.