What we've been playing this week.
Tom Orry, Editor - Sonic and SEGA All-Stars Racing, Xbox 360
Back when I reviewed this I thought it was more entertaining than Mario Kart Wii, and after playing it again this week I stand by that completely. It's just less frustrating to play than Nintendo's Wii racer, yet just as accessible to novice gamers. On 360 and PS3 it looks pretty smart too, although I'm yet to forgive the fairly erratic frame rate. I do wish Billy Hatcher wasn't in it though. Does anyone really like or care about that guy who had one mildly successful game on the GameCube?
Neon Kelly, Deputy Editor - Angry Birds, iPhone / Android
Curiously, given the megaton events that kicked off the week, it's been a quiet seven days for me as a gamer. I've not had many nights in of late, and as a result the ever-reliable Angry Birds is the only game that's had any serious attention from me. By now most of us are familiar with Rovio's winning mix of birds, green pigs and addictive, physics-based gameplay. For me, it's the presentation that continues to shine as the game's strongest weapon; every relative I've ever shown it to has been sucked in by its cheeky charms. Personally, I just like the fact that it makes train and night bus journeys evaporate into thin air. Next up, I'll be finally tucking into that FPS game everyone keeps going on about...
Martin Gaston, Staff Writer - 007: Blood Stone
Because I've been going on about it all week, I'm not allowed to write about Call of Duty: Black Ops. Truly this is a punishment equivalent to that of being chucked on a medieval rack, but I shall persevere nonetheless - I'm a fighter, you know. I've also been playing a lot of James Bond: Blood Stone, however, which is probably worse than being chucked on a medieval rack. It's technically functional but utterly charmless, and the less said about its throwaway, pop-up gallery multiplayer mode the better. I'd love to spoil the specifics of the ending so I can mention how preposterously, overwhelmingly dumb its ill-conceived, poorly-executed twist actually is, but I won't. Instead I'll just list all the memorable moments from its five hour campaign:
Jamin Smith, Staff Writer - Deadly Premonition, Xbox 360
Deadly Premonition looks like the kind of game a group of students might throw together as they're wrestling with the basics of 3D modelling and UV maps: terrible. I first popped the disc into my 360 on Halloween evening, hoping for an experience that would scare the crap out of me. Ten minutes in and I was terrified for very different reasons: that I'd just wasted £25 (I bought it on the high-street) on one of the worst games this year. I played on out of sheer boredom and the hope that a certain 10/10 review score had a scrap of truth to it. I'm glad I persisted, as Deadly Premonition is the most interesting game I've played this year. Underneath its cracked and ugly shell are some inspired design choices, fantastic characters and an incredibly unique approach to story-telling.
Emily Gera, Staff Writer - Fable III, Xbox 360
Day Nine without internet access at my new flat. I've started playing Fable 3 for the second time, regardless of whether I even have any actual interest in playing it again. And for you trivia fans out there: I don't really. Not entirely, anyway. Lovely game, but my threshold for romancing country bumpkins in the centre of Brightwall is pretty low. I like the bit where I throw a ball for the dog though. Dogs are ace.
Tom Pearson, Video Producer - Call of Duty: Black Ops, Xbox 360
Blops, as it's now widely known, seems to be a rather big hit. This week I've been diving head first into multiplayer, trying my best to do a Sandy Ravage. I whacked my sensitivity up to 6 and expected to rock the park. Now, after a few intense (unfair) games I got a really good taste of what everyone was talking about online. I died constantly; it really was like being against the Viet Cong as they were exceptional hiders. While many will call this form of strategy "camping", I like to see it as "tactical waiting". Not an honest tactic I know; all I wish apart from fair play is for these people TO BURN FOR THEIR SLYNESS. This is why I immediately bought the napalm killstreak. Try and hide in fire Charlie, I think you'll find you can't.