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Mirror's Edge - PS3
Mirror's Edge has a learning curve closely modelled on the shape of a brick wall, but persevere for a few minutes and you'll rapidly grow to love it. A first-person Prince of Persia with a dash of Portal, when it all comes together and you get into the flow, Mirror's Edge will make you feel like something very close to a god. A high-flying, wall-jumping, god of the ninjas.
One context-sensitive button for upward movements, one for downwards, one to attack and one to spin 180. That's all you get and that's all you need. And when you've finished playing, the real world will look completely different, just like it does after a long Tony Hawk or Metal Gear session. You know what we mean.
MotorStorm: Pacific Rift - PS3
Hmmm. Hmmm indeed. How much you're going to enjoy Motorstorm's sequel will depend entirely on how much you liked the original game. Because apart from the setting, very little seems to have changed at all. It's a gorgeous-looking game, make no mistake about that, but in terms of gameplay, expect nothing more than the same slick, simple, but sightly sluggish racing you played to death at the PS3's launch. Not a terrible experience, but certainly not an exciting one so far.
Pure - PS3
Something feels slightly lacking in Pure at the moment, at least judging from the track which was available to play at GC. Admittedly, it's a tricky, indefinable something, but it's a something nonetheless.
All of the ingredients seem to be there - super-charged quad bikes, branching, big dipper tracks and insane, physics-bending, high-flying tricks were all present and correct - but somehow the experience just didn't add up to the petrolhead SSX we were hoping for.
With just a few button taps and a stick wiggle it's amazingly easy to pull off all manner of showboating potential neck-snappers, as miles of lush countryside stretch out breathtakingly below. And the on-ground bike handling is as tight and responsive as you could ever wish for. But somehow the experience still managed to feel a little flat. It was fun certainly, but between the cool but unexilerating track design and a feeling that we just weren't interacting with the other racers much, we couldn't help but walk away a little deflated.
Resident Evil 5 - Xbox 360
How can something so unquestionably great evoke such little excitement? Because familiarity does not in fact breed contempt. It breeds apathy. And while Resident Evil 5 is a whole load of frantic, visceral, not-zombie blasting fun, what we've played so far - admittedly from only around half an hour into the game - is nearly exactly the same fun we had with Resident Evil 4 in 2005. It sounds ungrateful to criticise a title for being too similar to one of the best games of all time, but criticise we cannot help but do.
There is however, a rather exciting flash of hope in the hints we've seen of the full game's eventual co-op slant. A shared inventory between Chris and Sheva hints at a very heavy emphasis, and a brief, Gears Of War-style, split-up-and-provide-covering-fire escapade put definite smiles on faces while implying that teamwork might really set Resi 5 apart from its hard-to-follow predecessor.
Shaun White Snowboarding: Road Trip - Wii
The Wii Balance Board is a responsive piece of kit, and packed with potential. If you need proof of that, you need only give the Wii version of Shaun White a go. The closest we'll ever get to a home version of Namco's classic Alpine Surfer coin-op, the game controlled brilliantly after the prerequisite foot calibration period. While hitting grind rails has been made a little easier than is perhaps necessary, the game's bright, solid visuals in no way indicate a simplistic game. It's not SSX3, but what we played was a very engaging, tightly-designed showcase for what the weirdest of Wii peripherals can actually do in the right hands.
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