What we've been playing this week.
Tom Orry, Editor - DIRT 2, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC
I've been moaning a lot in the office this week and most of it has been centred on the menu system in DIRT 2. It might sound like a fairly trivial thing to have a problem with, but after the original game's sleek interface, the multi-tiered indoor/outdoor real-world interface offered in DIRT 2 reeks of trying to be trendy and ends up being annoying. It grew on me the more I played, but I still have an issue with how long it takes to get into a race and the way you're forced to look at the sponsors for a few seconds every time you finish a race. It's doubly annoying because the actual racing is great. Maybe I'm just getting old.
Wesley Yin-Poole, deputy editor – Street Fighter IV, Xbox 360
For those of you who don't know, the great VideoGamer.com forum has taken it upon itself to organise a VideoGamer.com Street Fighter IV league. Anyone can join, and I encourage you to do so, because it's a right laugh. I'm currently in fourth place in the 360 table, which is absolutely fine - I've played less games than those above me, so haven't had the opportunity to score as many points. And as soon as I've sorted my PS3 (it refuses to read discs – any help?) I'll be entering the PS3 league, too, for a much anticipated showdown with Bloodstorm. My prediction? When all is said and done, and everyone's played the same amount of games, I'll be top. TOP I SAY!
James Orry, News Editor - Football Manager Live, PC
The new Premiership season got off to a cracking start this week when the Danglers took on four-times champions Flanders Angels. Having decided that the way forward this season is to attack, I switched to an aggressive 4-3-3 formation and went full-throttle at the all-star Angels. To my amazement my lads put up an astonishing show and came out 3-2 winners – I should also add that the Flanders Angels' star striker managed to get himself sent off after what must have been a punch to the face of my goalie. Still, a win's a win. This victory was swiftly followed by a sluggish 2-0 defeat in which star striker Lemaire managed to waste a whole host of chances in-front of goal.
Neon Kelly, Previews Editor - Dead Rising, Xbox 360
Aside from suffering through GI Joe at work, I’ve not had much time for games lately, due to the fact that I’ve been moving house. However, last week I did finally get around to finishing Dead Rising. Initially I thought I’d just mess around in Willamette Mall while taking a break from packing, but addiction slowly consumed me like a zombie virus. Dead Rising has several issues that can’t be ignored: it’s bloody hard at the start, the save system is flawed and there’s barely enough time to do all the quests. And yet it’s still something of a gem, a genuinely original game with a great concept and lashings of black humour. Three years have passed since its release, and there’s still nothing like it. I hunger for the sequel.
Sebastian Ford, Video Producer – G.I. Joe, Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, Wii, DS and PSP
So this game blows. This much is obvious. If you read Neon’s review then you’ll understand why this is, but if you haven’t, here’s a run down. In easy mode, you can’t fail. Checkpoints only exist as an excuse for a lengthy loading screen; if you die while playing on any harder difficulty you have to run through the entire level again, even if you make it to the last checkpoint. I particularly love how there is only one animation for the characters moving, with spinning on the spot looking notably realistic. The camera suffers from ADD on occasion; either lagging slowly behind uselessly or charging off towards a shiny object, leaving both characters out of shot. There are loads more of these innovations to list here, but instead I’ll just direct you towards some gameplay videos I made so you can see for yourself. One time, I actually managed to complete a driving section by holding down fire and driving in circles. So awesome!
For more on what we've been up to this week check out the brand-new VideoGamer.com Podcast.