Tom Orry, Editor - Alan Wake, Xbox 360
Right, so this is another case of not being able to say too much due to a strict review embargo, but I've been playing Alan Wake on and off all week long. Hopefully without spilling too much information ahead of our review next week, all I'm going to say is that I've been looking forward to this game for years, yet despite the extended development cycle it doesn't feel dated at all. If you've been waiting for a proper horror game to appear that isn't all jump scares (Dead Space) or disappointing (Alone in the Dark) or not a horror game at all (Resident Evil 5), well… End of Episode 1. Tune in next week for the whole story.
Wesley Yin-Poole, Deputy Editor - Super Street Fighter IV, PS3 and Xbox 360
In the comments section of our Super Street Fighter IV review, some of you questioned the 9/10 score we awarded it, saying it deserved a 10/10. Here's the deal: I gave Super 9/10 because, in my opinion, it's not quite as good as previous Capcom fighting games. The fighting system behind Super Street Fighter II and its updates is more "pure", and the mechanics behind the tremendous Street Fighter III: Third Strike, with its superb parry system, are more nuanced. Don't get me wrong, we're splitting hairs here. Street Fighter IV was easily a 9/10, and Super is better, but the fighting system behind both games is exactly the same, so it just falls short of being a 10. So there you have it. And breathe.
Sebastian Ford, Video Producer - SBK X Superbike World Championship, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC
Most racing games that I have played in my life, simulation and arcade alike, forgive you for a having a lead foot and a seriously pushy attitude. The simple fact is that if you make the experience too real, it becomes so unfathomably difficult that no one in their right mind would play it for more than ten minutes. Perhaps it's because I know so little about motorbikes, (the one time I drove one on a main road I ended up sideways and tumbling into a ditch) but SBK X chewed me up and spat me out on the side of the track shortly after my very first corner. Early last week I went along to see four-time Superbike Champion Carl Fogarty give it a go, and I'm pleased to say he was almost worse than me. If I had to guess why, it's because he was racing around Phillip Island, the track that famously ended his career with one of the sport's more violent crashes.
Neon Kelly, Previews Editor - Mass Effect 2, Xbox 360 and PC
I know I’m a bit late on this one, but earlier this week I finally got around to starting BioWare's epic sci-fi sequel. As expected, it all seemed very lush and big budget – but my progress ground to a halt almost immediately as soon as I reached the character generation screen. I always hit this problem: I spend ages tinkering with the look of my avatar, tweaking their nose and the shape of their chin (which obviously has a major impact on gameplay), and then when I finally get to the part where you have to pick a class… well, that's when I get really stuck. ME2 has no less than six choices in this regard, and they all seem to have something to offer. That's a good thing, obviously, but it still resulted in me having a temporary mental breakdown. In any case, I eventually settled on playing as a soldier. Hopefully I won't regret this 10 hours down the line…