Tom Orry, Editor - Mario Kart 7, 3DS
I hadn't touched a 3DS since I finished with Ocarina of Time 3D, so I nabbed the office copy of Mario Kart 7 in the hope it would be another must-own title the handheld is in desperate need of. It is. I wasn't a huge fan of Mario Kart Wii or Double Dash on the GameCube, and only really dabbled with Mario Kart DS, so the last game in the series I really put any serious amount of time into for my own pleasure was Mario Kart 64. To me Mario Kart 7 manages to have the same spirit and fun factor that the Nintendo 64 exuded, with the only thing missing being the split-screen gaming only possible on a home console. With Ocarina of Time 3D, Star Fox 64 3D, Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land, the 3DS is finally proving to be a worthy successor to the DS, although with those big hitters arriving in 2011, 2012 is going to struggle to compete.
Neon Kelly, Deputy Editor – Batman: Arkham City, PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Cruel though it may be, there's a certain pleasure in watching the misfortune of others; the Germans call this Schadenfreude. And in my experience as a gamer, Schadenfreude is especially sweet when the victim is someone who was previously mouthing off about their skills.
So the case was with Arkham City this week. My housemate, who had previously sworn that he was going gaming cold turkey, was lured back off the wagon by the shiny presence of the Batman. I watched as he started up a new game, immediately selecting the advanced difficulty level. After all, how hard can hard be?
After 15 minutes of humiliation, my chum gave up and restarted a fresh. It was a case of Batman Begins, followed swiftly by Batman Returns On An Easier Setting.
Martin Gaston, Previews Editor - Sonic Generations, PS3
Aah, Sonic - back again, I see. While it's a given that I'll play most Sonic games, I found Generations a real curious beast. Moments that are fantastic routinely clash with instances that simply baffle me, creating some kind of weird bipolar game that you're playing smack bang in the middle of a genuine identity crisis. It certainly doesn't help that SEGA can't seem to decide whether it prefers Classic or Modern Sonic, instead juggling the two together and creating a slightly disjointed mix that never quite sits right.
For the most part it plods along in a fairly adequate fashion but then, at times, you get a nod to something great from the series and you're hit with a glimmer of hope that reminds you what it was about Sonic that got you so excited to begin with - and then, as quickly as it appeared, it's gone.
Emily Gera, Staff Writer - Skyrim, Xbox 360
Surprise, surprise. When I'm not busy ignoring all of the other Game of the Year contenders I'm spending my time playing Skyrim while my life turns in to an infinite loop of Eat, Sleep, Dragons. So I've just killed the final big boss dragon and the narrative still doesn't appear to be over. Still, I'm aiming to have it done with before Star Wars: The Old Republic hits shelves, so that I can make the natural transition from one social life-killing game to another. Wish me luck.