Welcome to VideoGamer.com Plays, our weekly feature where we give you the inside track on what's been whirring in our disc drives this week. We'll be honest (so if we've been playing Superman on the N64 we'll tell you). But if we've been hammering the latest billion-selling blockbuster we'll let you know about that too.
Tom Orry, Editor - Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom, Xbox 360.
Is it that hard for Microsoft to make a God of War clone? I know the Xbox 360 has Conan, Devil May Cry 4 and the forthcoming Ninja Gaiden II, but only Conan comes close to the forgiving thrills and spills Sony's hack 'n' slash offers. The latest Microsoft published title trying to muscle in on the genre is Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom, and it just doesn't cut it. It's not terrible, but it's far from the free-flowing action and downright coolness that God of War delivers in spades. I'm hoping I don't have to wait until God of War 3 to get my fix, but it's looking increasingly likely.
Wesley Yin-Poole, Deputy Editor - Advance Wars: Dark Conflict, DS.
I'm a casual fan of the Advance Wars series, never having the patience to get very hardcore about it. And so it is with Advance Wars: Dark Conflict on the DS. A lot of this is to do with the fact that it's actually pretty bloody hard. But it's bloody addictive too. The rock, paper scissors gameplay is simple but has tonnes of depth. The ground, air and sea units have a crazy charm and the battle animations have been given a much needed overhaul. I'm not sure the new darker look fits in with the awful story and Jetix cartoon dialogue, but it's Advance Wars at its best, and that's what's keeping me warm during the cold commute to and from work these days.
James Orry, News Editor - Turok, Xbox 360.
I don't usually play demos, but Turok was one of my favourite N64 games and the promise of a return to form tempted me to download the teaser on Xbox LIVE Marketplace. I knew it wasn't going to be like the Turok of old and I'm fine with that (it's the hunting dinosaurs that I like), but the demo really didn't sell me on the game at all. Things improve as the demo goes on, but the opening section set inside one of the darkest video game caves of all time is a rather miserable gaming experience. Tom was moaning about it earlier in the week and he's right. I just don't know why that part of the game was chosen to sell the new Turok to thousands of gamers.
Simon Hunter, Associate Video Producer - Burnout Paradise, Xbox 360.
This week has been all about Burnout paradise for me. I won't deny that I'm absolutely crap at it, and found it a bit of a novelty really - until I tried it online... Now, being ginger (something our editor reminds me of daily) I have very few friends on my Xbox LIVE account, so to play around with online functions, I joined a group of randoms. We were meant to be competing to score the longest jump/furthest drift etc. But the game soon took on new rules when a particularly loud American kid wouldn't stop whistling the theme to mission impossible. Suddenly the game became an amazingly gratifying revenge story as me and 4 other players agreed to make our goal destroying his car again and again. Half the time we would ram into each other, but that made it all the more hilarious.