Tom Orry, Editor - Comic Jumper, XBLA
Twisted Pixel's 'Splosion Man is brilliant. I love that game. So when we got the follow-up game, Comic Jumper, in the office I was genuinely excited. While the game doesn't disappoint from a comedic point of view, offering some of the smartest dialogue and humour I've seen in a video game, the core gameplay is definitely lacking. It's old-school in design, but the punishing gameplay is often so frustrating you're no longer laughing. I can't help but think that an easier ride would have made for an all-round more enjoyable experience.
Neon Kelly, Deputy Editor - Duke Nukem Forever, PC, PS3 and Xbox 360
No, I can't believe it either. I was 14 when this game entered production; in the time it's taken for the first playable code to show up, I've become an old man. Wars have started and ended, three billion babies have been born, and mountains have crumbled into dust. If you buried a pet cat (a dead one, natch) on the day the game was announced, its remains would have since turned into a reservoir of crude oil. Was it worth the wait? Yes, almost certainly - if only for the fact that the opening 30 seconds features interactive toilets and a turd you can throw at the wall. Check the site on Monday for our first impressions of the most overdue project in the history of video gaming.
Martin Gaston, Staff Writer – Assassin's Creed II, X360, PS3, PC
The following is written by a multicultural team of various faiths and beliefs. So, here goes: Brillante! Suona realmente italiano! Amo gli spaghetti bolognese! Carbonara! I finally got around to playing Assassin's Creed II, basically. I followed someone's advice (I can't remember who, sorry) and immediately switched the spoken language to Italian with English subtitles, and it makes the whole game amazing. Apart from those bits where you've got to play as Desmond and put up with Danny Wallace, but who gives a damn about those? I'm not a great lover of the open world, but Ubisoft's picturesque renditions of Renaissance Florence and Tuscany are absolutely gorgeous. Plus you can kill people by stabbing them through the eyes. YES PLEASE.
Jamin Smith, Staff Writer - Halo: Reach, Xbox 360
I feel sorry for my control pad. After dying for the hundredth time (depressingly, this is probably an accurate statistic), I chucked it at the ground in a fit of rage. Once the red mist had cleared from my vision, I picked it up, clicked the battery pack back in place, turned it back on, and tried again. The end of the Exodus level is a bitch on legendary. A real bitch. I've powered through the rest of the game with relative ease, but activating all those beacons at the end of this level is killing me. Quite literally. I nearly did it once; I'd cleansed the whole level of Covenant scum, bar one Brute who loitered around the last control panel I needed to activate. It had taken me about 45 minutes, all-in-all, and I was convinced I had the level in the bag. Active-camo on, I snuck into the control room with a rocket launcher, fired it, missed, and watched as the Brute swung his huge hammer over my head. You do not want to know the pain and abuse the control pad suffered after this.
Emily Gera, Staff Writer - FIFA 11, Xbox 360 and PS3
FIFA 11 is my all-time favourite way of pretending I have sport skills since FIFA 10. In reality I barely watch football. As a Canadian I come to it pretty green, but both FIFA 10 and 11 are actually what I think of as some of the best examples of how football is a genuinely beautiful game, even to the n00bs of Britsports. Because little is better than how fluid the game can be, especially when you’re the one planning out the strategies along the way.
Tom Pearson, Video Producer - Super Street Fighter IV, Xbox 360 and PS3
I've recently picked up a copy of Super Street Fighter IV. I might be a little late to the party, but gladly, I'm a fast learner. Of the vast amount characters to choose from, I've decided to stick with the one burly man that stole my heart first time around: Gouken. This dude is an unusual choice by most. One con is that if you mess up, you can get punished incredibly easily. However choose your moves correctly, and they're in for a hard slap round the face. My personal favourites are his angled hadoukens and his counter attacks. People just can't reach me. The cherry on top is that setting up his ultra can be mind numbingly easy. I can only hope that when Hyper Mega Street Fighter IV Ultra Remix Super HD Edition comes out, that he will still be around.