Tom Orry, Editor - DiRT Showdown demo, Xbox 360

DiRT Showdown screenshot

If you've read any of my blog or VG Plays entries in the past you'll know that I love racing games. PGR is my favourite, but Codemasters are up there with the best with its DiRT and GRID series. So, I find it rather bizarre that with DiRT Showdown only a few weeks from release I'm really not at all excited. It's possibly a mentality thing. When the game was revealed I got the impression it was an XBLA title - it isn't, yet I've struggled to see it as a full-price release ever since. Content wise it feels like it could be one of the racing types in DiRT 3, and if I'm honest one of the types I don't enjoy playing.

Anyway, I tried the demo (and signed up to Racenet) and I'm still not sure. Visually, throughout the menus and in the game proper it's incredibly slick, but the racing itself leaves me cold. Going from first place to last because a guy rammed you at a crossroads is infuriating, and it simply isn't the type of experience I want from a Codemasters racer. Maybe if I thought of Showdown as a racer comparable to the combative nature of Mario Kart I'd like it more, but at the moment the game seems to be in a middle ground I don't want to be in.

Neon Kelly, Deputy and Features Editor – Trials Evolution, Xbox 360

Trials Evolution screenshot

I resisted the urge to pick up Trials Evolution, I really did. I know it's a good game, and I'm also painfully aware of what it would do to me – that it would sink its claws in like a hellcat, trapping me into an endless cycle of despair, punctuated by fleeting moments of joy. This is one of those games where the initial download feels like the bit in a horror movie where the nubile teens are in the cellar of an old cabin, reading from the Necronomicon.

If that sounds like criticism, think again. All i'm saying is that Trials is potent stuff. It's not easy to make a game this addictive, one that immediately ensnares everyone on your friends list – and yet RedLynx has pulled it off again. But why am I telling you this? You already know...

Martin Gaston, Reviews Editor - Prototype 2, Xbox 360

Prototype 2 screenshot

Between sitting around doing absolutely nothing, almost killing everyone in our flat by burning a stir fry to the point it became toxic and watching my housemate play The Splatters for about forty hours, I've not played any great video games this week. But I have played Prototype 2, going around the city and mopping up some of the superfluous sidequests and doodads I was yet to do.

Dossing around an open-world game gives a sort of benign satisfaction, the kind of lukewarm comfort from doing something essentially meaningless but quietly entertaining nonetheless. I've already voiced my disappointment with the overall game, but clearing out a few lairs isn't an unpleasant way to spend the odd twenty minutes. But it does feel entirely vacuous, like I could have been doing something amazing with my time if I wasn't so lazy and complacent. But I am both of those things, so perhaps I shouldn't be complaining and I should just pipe down and get back to levelling up Heller.

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User Comments

reynoldio's Avatar

reynoldio@ dav2612

I wish I'd read Munkee's reply before purchasing! Can't see myself playing much GT on PSV because I'm not too excited by golding all the licences and the single races just don't feel like there's any point. Oh well, it's still pretty impressive and I'll play the odd go.

Been much busier on MK - loving the tower mode. Might have to see if I can catch you online Dav...
Posted 21:38 on 08 May 2012
dav2612's Avatar


Gran Turismo 5 took up all of my gaming time this weekend. I wasn't sure if I'd like it but I'm really enjoying it.

Mortal Kombat on the Vita has had a fair bit of attention too.

Re: PSP Gran Turismo. It is an impressive title but as Munkee points out, sadly lacking in a career mode.
Posted 09:07 on 07 May 2012
MJTH's Avatar


Finally beat Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones with deaths after like 3 game restarts. But to be honest I wouldn't thought as much of the game if weren't for its difficulty. I loved playing through attempt getting better at the game, sinking more time into doing it right. Only problem now is, that now I've beaten the game I really want to buy the 3DS fire emblem awakening coming out later in the year. So many good games I'm looking forward to this year on 3DS, let alone E3 will probably announce more.... And the Wii U comes out this year! I mean I have a good chunk of money saved, but my pockets don't run that deep.

Also been playing Pulblox/ Pushmo on the side. Delightful puzzle game by Nintendo, on the surface it does seem like a puzzle similar to those on iOS, but but better in terms of polish and mechanics in alot of ways. 216 puzzles from the start and you can easily find a load more online for free, by looking some up in Google and using their QR codes. Definitely worth what you pay for it, but I can't talk really since I got it for free.
Posted 19:05 on 06 May 2012
Clockpunk's Avatar


Same old, same old, for me. Dead Island (going for the final maingame achievement of finishing Act 1 with with all four characters) and Swarm. The latter is incredibly difficult unless you get a little lucky/really learn the levels in minute detail...

Don't have too much time to dedicate to gaming at the moment, given workload and deadlines, but... saying that, I picked up the £10 Metro 2033/Darksiders bundle the other day, so shall probably enjoy both of those this coming week.
Posted 18:01 on 06 May 2012
Wido's Avatar


Been playing a couple of games like Sniper Elite V2, Prototype 2 and Fable Heroes. FIFA 12 & FIFA Street are on the backburner at the moment. No doubt be playing FIFA 12 Euro 2012 DLC to death once the tourney actually begins in real life.

Cannot wait for Starhawk next week!
Posted 17:38 on 06 May 2012
munkee's Avatar

munkee@ reynoldio

In that case.. Hold up..

The game has no career mode. None at all. There is a challenge mode (licences) and either: single race, drift challenge, or time trial.

You play single races to earn money. Which ever car you use, the AI matches to stay competitive. Each in game day allows you access to four manufacturers. So, you can only get certain cars at certain times. All tracks are open from the beginning, but you build your car collection as you go. No car upgrading either, only performance tinkering.

Think of it as Gran Turismo portable. It's got all the content and plays really well. There's just no career incentive to keep you playing. You have to continue playing single races simply because you want to. But, the game is good enough that you will want to :)
Posted 13:40 on 06 May 2012
reynoldio's Avatar


Cheers Munkee - I was wondering about grabbing that! £7 sounds like a steal for a GT, even a limited one...

I've played a bit of Mortal Kombat on Vita, which is great fun, but not much else really. Busy times round here preparing for the impending kidpocalypse!
Posted 13:34 on 06 May 2012
munkee's Avatar


I've been playing Gran Turismo (PSP) on my Vita. I never played it on the PSP because I couldn't stand the nub.

For a start, the game looks great and I can't believe that it's a PSP game. It also plays REALLY well. The only thing that really lets it down is that the game was developed for hardware with only one analogue input. The accelerate/brake uses an on/off method. There's some really clever programming going on that eases the braking before lock-up, so you can tap the breaks to slow the car rather than skid everywhere. But, it's still not the same as having full throttle control.

Overall, it's a great game and has raised my hopes that Gran Turismo Vita is announced at E3!
Posted 11:36 on 06 May 2012
FantasyMeister's Avatar


I've got Forza 4 Leaderboard-itis. I'm in the top 600 on aggregate Circuit Times out of 2.2 million other players. I can easily envisage the postman turning up with Diablo III and me just popping it to one side for a bit whilst I try to shave just another couple of hundredths off my best laptime on Laguna Seca D-class. Then maybe try to improve a little on C-class. And so on.

Aside from that, totally afraid to pick anything else up in case it threatens to get in the way of Diablo III as well.
Posted 10:41 on 06 May 2012

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 24/04/2012
Developer: Radical Entertainment
Publisher: Activision
Genre: Action
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 327 3
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