Tom Orry, Editor - Shadow Complex, XBLA
I was never a big Metroid fan growing up, mainly because I was a bit of a SEGA fanboy, but it's easy to see why Metroid fans might be a bit excited about Chair and Epic Games' XBLA game Shadow Complex. It's a stunning game, no doubt about it, but visuals alone won't make it a hit. The gameplay blends retro-style platforming (reminiscent of titles like Prince of Persia), with arcade style action. The end result feels like a kind of 2D Uncharted, which can only be a good thing. I've only had the chance to play a preview build for a few hours, but Shadow Complex is easily one of the most impressive XBLA games I've had the pleasure to play.
James Orry, News Editor - Gorillas Deluxe, PC
Friday afternoon at VideoGamer.com HQ isn't the most productive of periods at the best of times, often filled with more Keyboard Cat than anything worthwhile. This Friday afternoon proved a particularly bad example of efficiency in the work place when the whole VG team stopped what they were doing and gathered around a game in which gorillas stand on skyscrapers and throw bananas at each other. The game was Gorillas Deluxe and it turns out I am a natural at judging angles and velocity. To the amazement of Neon, Tom and Seb I plucked the correct angle and trajectory from nowhere to send my bananas on a collision course with the rival gorillas's big hairy heads. My arms actually raised aloft in celebration of my achievements - I was literally marginally excited by what I'd just done.
Neon Kelly, Previews Editor - Gorillas Deluxe, PC, open source
It's quite rare for a game to get the entire team excited, but it happened this week. On Friday morning Seb stumbled across an open source version of Gorillas - that ancient PC game where two large apes chuck explosive bananas at each other across a randomly-generated urban landscape. That's right folks: we have access to every triple-A title out there, but we prefer to play remakes of old maths-based games from the 1980s. By Friday afternoon the entire team was screaming at each other in the main office, with multiple bouts taking place at once. It turns out that James canactually play something other than Football Manager Live; the git scored a one-hit kill on me, perfectly calculating the angle and velocity, and even taking the wind into account. Ah well, at least it's educational: I've learned that bananas are made out of C4, and that gorillas are capable of floating in the air if you happen to blow up the ground directly beneath them. I'll be sure to pass on these important discoveries to my kids... should I ever have any.
You can get Gorillas Deluxe here: http://telcontar.net/Misc/Gorillas/
Sebastian Ford, Video Producer - Battlefield 1943, XBLA & PSN
Since working at VideoGamer.com, the amount of games I have actually purchased has plummeted. I'm talking, like, maybe 3 games? Street Fighter 4, Gears of War 2... and I'm sure there's another one somewhere but you get the point. So, when I purchase a game (as opposed to stealing it from the office, and then selling it when I'm done) it basically has to be excellent. So last night, after playing it to death at work, I invested 1200 of my hard earned Microsoft points and purchased DICE's multiplayer-only Battlefield 1943. You only get three class options from enlistment, and it didn't take me long to realise that Rifleman is my forte, whereas Pilot certainly isn't. Neon and I have both successfully nose dived a plane into the ocean immediately after take off. I only have one minor gripe with this game, that it truly indulges spawn campers to the extent of dying within 2 - 3 seconds of life. However, this game does have the feel of a true XBLA/PSN game - in the sense that you can pick it up, be in a game in under a minute, and play a quick match while you're waiting for the kettle to boil. A solid investment I've decided, and a game I will frequent in the evenings if anyone cares to join my supreme* squad of ass-kickery.
*Note: Squad may or may not be "supreme". Term "ass-kickery" is open to interpretation, including "ass-suckery". Small purchase necessary.