There will come a time this week where you have to take a break from playing the new Alan Wake game to grab some food, drink and go to the tiddle shop. Whilst youâ€™re at it, stop by Xbox Live and check out whatâ€™s on offer this week:
Things On Wheels – 800MP
Following on from â€œMad Tracksâ€ Load Inc games have jazzed up the graphics and colours in their second toy car racing game. Choose your vintage, muscle or sports remote-control car then get ready to howl in frustration at your rivals as they win the race by finding crazy shortcuts as you speed around a giant art deco house. Itâ€™s Micro Machines for the modern age without those annoying little bits of cereal to bump into although itâ€™s 800MP price tag is still a little steep.
Rocket Knight â€“ 1200MP
Ah the 1990â€™s, where the best games had animals with attitude in the lead roles and the colours were garish yet cheery. Our hero this time is an opossum fighting to save his world from an army of wolves. Whatâ€™s that Sparkster? Sure Sonic can run and jump and spin but does he have his own jetpack? No he doesnâ€™t and itâ€™s the jet pack that makes this game worth investigating. The controls are very responsive creating a smooth or jerky ride and this makes this 2D platform stand out from the crowd as it adds variety and more excitement to some basic concepts. However, as with all retro games, itâ€™s still pretty easy to race through the levels and Iâ€™m not sure youâ€™ll feel you got your moneyâ€™s worth. This game would do well if there werenâ€™t some brilliant titles available this week on Xbox to distract you (did I mention Alan Wake yet?)
Elsewhere to buy:
Tom Clancyâ€™s EndWar – Â£19.99
This might seem a rather heavy title after all the political shenanigans of recent weeks but itâ€™s timely plot, revolving around dwindling oil supplies, the weaponisation of Space and the race between countries to become the premier world superpower is worth checking out. The voice control system (which supports English, French, German, Italian and Spanish) in combination with the buttons doesnâ€™t take too long to get to grips with as the game gives you advice on what to say plus each mission doesnâ€™t take too long to complete. A great game for those wanting to play their first RTS game but not really one for the die-hards.
Battlestations Pacific – Â£19.99
Another fighting game â€“ oh wow. This time though its over air and sea with an epic range of planes and boats with some beautiful attention to detail. Set between the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941 to the Battle of Okinawa in 1945, interestingly, you can choose between the (arguably) historically accurate story of the American campaign or a completely fictional yarn that asks what could things have been like if the Japanese has won some of the major other battles. Some lovely scenery and engaging battles but with Tom Clancyâ€™s EndWar this week and Brothers in Arms: Hellâ€™s Highway last week, a break from war games is what Iâ€™d recommend â€“ in fact, make that a direct order!
Add-Ons now and this week theyâ€™re magic:
Magic â€“ the Gathering Duels of the Planeswalkers trading card game, have loads of card packs to choose from this week, all at 80MP each including:
Full Deck: Teeth of the Predator
Garruk Wildspeakerâ€™s fully unlocked green deck. Take advantage of its abundant resources to devastate opponents with the awesome might of its creatures.
Full Deck: Scales of Fury
Sarkhan Volâ€™s fully unlocked black-red-green deck. Dragons represent the ultimate expression of power and supremacy. Use the Scales of Fury deck to ferociously decimate all who would doubt them.
Full Deck: Relics of Doom
Tezzeretâ€™s fully unlocked blue-black deck. While you outmanoeuvre your opponent with this deckâ€™s versatility, keep Platinum Angel at your side and you canâ€™t lose. No, really, thatâ€™s what it says: you cannot lose the game!
Full Deck: Mind of Void
Jace Belerenâ€™s fully unlocked white-blue deck. Your opponents will find themselves racing against time as you obliterate their libraries and chip away their feeble intellects.
Full Deck: Hands of Flame
Chandra Nalaarâ€™s fully unlocked red deck. Fuelled by redâ€™s signature passion and fiery destruction, this deck is packed with small, aggressive creatures that immediately put your opponent on the defensive. Unload an awesome arsenal of damage spells like Shock and Incinerate and leave your opponents feeling crispy.
Full Deck: Eyes of Shadow
Liliana Vessâ€™s fully unlocked black deck. Master the forces of malevolence and death, attract followers like Mortivore and Royal Assassin to your side, and punish opponents with a suite of discard effects.
Full Deck: Ears of the Elves
Nissa Revaneâ€™s fully unlocked black-green deck. Exploit the elvesâ€™ mastery of mastery of warfare and the hunt to Overrun opponents with a legion of reinforcements.
Lips has a range of tracks for all ages and tastes this week for 160MP each:
â€œLa La Laâ€ by LMFAO (no, I have never heard of them eitherâ€¦..)
â€œWouldnâ€™t It Be Goodâ€ by Nik Kershaw
â€œThe Gamblerâ€ by Kenny Rogers
â€œAinâ€™t Nobody (remix)â€ by Rufus and Chaka Khan
Finally, Indie Games and thereâ€™s a couple of titles to help you zone out, plus one I have no idea what itâ€™s actually about. No reallyâ€¦
Pallet Loader â€“ 80MP
Sometimes, simple games are a joy and for all you hard workers out there, this is a gem. Drive your forklift truck around the factory floor and try to get the correct crate to the correct shelf within the time limit.Â Work hard to earn your pennies to pimp your truck. Hang on minute. This actually sounds like real work. Let the little gamers have a go and put your feet up!
Murphid â€“ 80MP
I love games with coloured blocks and the makers of this one promise â€œHeavy â€“Duty funâ€. It looks great with plenty of what youâ€™d expect from a block bashing strategy game with over 70 progressively challenging levels with unlockable power-ups. With hours of play time on offer this is bargain of the week.
Anger Management 2: the Masked Potato â€“ 80MP
Following on from Anger Management, this sequel is designed to make you even madder! Why? It doesnâ€™t say. How? It doesnâ€™t say. What is the point? It doesnâ€™t say. All I know is that I like the look of the potato on the front cover and with a mature content of 3/3, the mind boggles as to what this game has in store. Quirky might not cover it but I like a risky biscuit!
Not the best week weâ€™ve ever seen on XBL but with lots of fabulous new games hitting the shelves this month (you are all playing Alan Wake arenâ€™t you?) Iâ€™m feeling very forgiving as thereâ€™s just enough titles to arouse interest (or anger) and keep us going till we do it all again next week!