Neon Kelly, Deputy Editor - Mortal Kombat, PS3, Xbox 360
While everyone else in the Western world is busy playing Portal 2 - one of the most blood-less blockbusters in recent memory - I've been up to my knees in the guts and viscera of Mortal Kombat. Naturally this has been quite taxing, as I want to be playing Portal too, but the situation certainly has its advantages. When I get enraged over the potential spoilers that appear to be popping up everywhere I look, I can let off steam by doing Noob Saibot's nastiest Fatality - the one where he and his clone tear the victim in half, crotch first. To be fair, I know I'm going to be playing MK long after GLaDOS fever has died down. While it still has the slight clumsiness that has long typified the series, it's still a great game that has a mountain of good stuff to offer - particularly if you're a long-time fan of Scorpion and friends.
Martin Gaston, Staff Writer - Portal 2, PC, PS3, Xbox 360
I played Portal 2 in one elongated sitting this week, starting at 19:30 on Monday and finishing at 8:40 on Tuesday. I haven't done that with a game in years - I think the last time was probably the original Disgaea on PS2. It was absolutely worth it, and I'm desperately hoping TheHut manages to get me my PS3 copy of the game before the bank holiday weekend so I can play through it a second time. There's a good chance I might be biased, considering I absolutely adore the original, but you realise Portal 2 is an immediate classic about five minutes into the game. I'm very glad I didn't have to review it for VideoGamer, because I probably would have just done 1000 smileyface emotions and then finished with a sentence saying how much I loved Portal 2 (it's an awful lot, by the way).
Emily Gera, Staff Writer - Rift, PC
My senses have been numbed after years of WoW which, I think, is the reason Rift is 85 per cent culture shock. 25 levels in and I've just reached a slightly new zone, which looks strangely like the old zone, which itself basically looks like Scotland. As I mentioned last week, I've finally gotten my head around its almost impenetrable Doctor Who-cum-Highlander time travel plotline, but I've been spoiled by almost a decade of the mindless Horde is Evil storytelling from Blizzard that I only had to smile and ignore. Rift requires not only time and min/maxing skills, but patience to actually understand the lore and environment. I'm still not sure if that's refreshing or tedious.
Jamin Smith, Staff Writer - Dead or Alive: Dimensions, 3DS
I realise I'm setting myself up for a torrent of abuse here, but I prefer Dead or Alive 4 to Street Fighter IV [You're right, I'm going to kill you - Neon]. Perhaps it's due to the fact it was the first next-gen fighter I played, or simply that I had more time to dedicate to it at that particular point in my life. Or, just maybe, it's that DOA4 has a better counter and reversal system, more interesting environments and - most importantly - better-looking girls. At any rate, I'm quite enjoying the 3DS DOA offering so far, even if tapping the bottom screen to unleash a combo completely defies the whole point of the game. I've literally only just got stuck into things, but expect thoughts in a review form sometime next week.