Itâ€™s raining. In fact, thatâ€™s a complete understatement â€“ itâ€™s been chucking it down every day for the past week. But never fear, it will pass in the blink of an eye thanks to some super speedy titles on the box this week:
Zeit2 â€“ 800MP
A snazzy 2D spaceship shoot â€˜em up where stockpiling seconds allows you to travel through time in order to defeat 8 gigantic bosses. Reversing time gives you alternative options when trying to get through a tricky level and is a great way of helping out your future self (who appears in a shadow form) meaning the co-op option is actually you playing alongside, erm, you. You soon get used to flipping between the now and then and with 70 challenges over 6 game modes on offer, there is much to engage with here. For those looking for an extra challenge there is the option to fast forward time which makes the game uber hard but rewards you with some huge scores. Speedy ship-shape shooting!
Need for Speed: Shift – Â£19.99
Putting you firmly in the driving seat of more than 60 awesome high performance supercars and hypercars like the Bugatti Veyron. Add the personal touch to your automobile with some pretty paint or fine tune your ride by tweaking the breaks, tires, gears, aerodynamics etc as thereâ€™s much more scope for customisation in Shift than in other NFS titles. Forget any wittering storylines â€“ this is all about the stunning cockpit view. Head down to one of 20 tracks (which include the Laguna Seca, Brands Hatch and the Nurbergring) and youâ€™ll find pure driving thrills as the g-force is great â€“ slam on the brakes and you find youâ€™re closer to the dashboard. Revving your engine, tackling tight corners or even changing gear affects your view whilst crashing blurs your vision. It all goes towards creating a realistic sense of speed and control. Not so crazy that newcomers canâ€™t have a satisfying go but good enough that speed demons will go wild! Definitely my recommendation of the week.
Super Street Fighter IV – Â£19.99
Too large to be DLC but with the same basic fighting mechanics (including the Focus Attack system plus Super and Ultra attack combo meters) as well as featuring the original 25 characters from the massive Street Fighter IV there arenâ€™t many surprises here but everything feels more accessible and well, super. The special moves are still fantastic but with tweaks here and there, feel more balanced so the outcome of matches isnâ€™t a given. There are 10 new fighters to try out that are all unlocked from the beginning, two of which are completely new to the Street Fighter series like the sultry, spider-shirt wearing Juri (a popular choice for the lads, canâ€™t think why…) plus there are some trips down memory lane with nostalgic bonus stages whilst online you can play up to 8 fighters in Team Battle and save and view replays from all over the world via the Replay Channel.
Ultra Shadaloo Pack â€“ 320MP
Whilst youâ€™re checking out SSFIV, why not download this costume pack to dress up the bosses Balrog, Sagat, Vega, M.Bison and Seth. Stylish Street skirmishes with fringed shoulder pads, flowery hats and tighty white shorts.
Elsewhere in the land of Add-Ons:
Bomb-Up Pack 2 â€“ 240MP
Grab 7 of your friends, choose your teams, dress up in two new outfits (scary werewolf or jolly nurse) and hit your opponents with the biggest bombs ever, courtesy of the Charger arena.
Extra Stage: One Who Is Many â€“ 320MP
The title gives it away really. In this extra stage (with design inspiration taken from the underground catacombs level in Castlevania: symphony of the Night) you go up against the pinky floating sphere of many faceless bodies that is big boss Legion.
The Sims 3
Asian Fusion â€“ 800MP
Designing and building your own home/cell/crash pad is always the best part of any Sims game. Get it right and it will soon cheer up your tired, emotional little humans. Perhaps at the high end of the contemporary furniture market, this furniture collection showcases the best in Asian aesthetics and wonâ€™t look like youâ€™ve been to the bargain corner at Ikea.
Indie Games and they are pricey this week but then again they do say you get what you pay for:
Honor in Vengeance â€“ 240MP
A year in the making with a team brought together by 18 year old Michael Hicks, Honor in Vengeance has some impressive vocal performances and some pretty smooth graphics. Martian rebel pilot Juno Lucas heads Marsâ€™s fight for every Microsoft Point.
Alpha Squad â€“ 240MP
Promising to whisk up Smash TV, Zelda and Secret of Mana , this title is one forÂ adults only as it scores the maximum 3/3 in each category but it looks a real treat with muscle ripping, perky boobed anime characters which are lavishly coloured, set in a well presented desolate environment (deserts, snow, jungles or bloody cracked pavements). Set in a futuristic military ruled world, you play members of the Alpha Squad, a band of mercenaries hunting down whoever it is thatâ€™s put a price on their heads. It has an engaging storyline that pans out differently depending on which levels you choose to complete during play that range from exploratory missions to all out arcade style arena battles. The weapons are varied and deadly (the Black Hole Cannon is surely one of the greatest name ever for a weapon) and with online multiplayer (surviving waves of enemies and going for the biggest scores) and co-op options, this title is too good to miss.
Bounce! â€“ 80MP
For those of you that donâ€™t have a whopping 240MP to spend on the Indieâ€™s this week, Iâ€™d check out Bounce! Yes, itâ€™s a very simple game but itâ€™s a dumb yet funny kind of simple. There are giant hat wearing granny heads to hit, donkeys and round brown balls with spiky bat teeth plus a dodgy looking girl with straw hair. The aim is to bounce your ball off stuff and score lots of points. Told you it was simple but at least the developers took time to make the game description rhyme: â€œHit those creatures with your ball. Bounce your ball off of the wall! Try to beat that last high score, and win the game forever more!â€ Silly but very addictive fun.
Forget trudging round town on a wet, dark afternoon looking for bargains. The biggest January sale is the Activision Sale. There are some amazing deals on Call of Duty maps, Guitar Hero and DJ Hero track packs plus a whopping 50% off the following games:
Arkadian Warriors â€“ now 400MP
Assault Heroes â€“ now 200MP
Carcassonne â€“ now 400MP
Crash Bandicoot â€“ now 600MP
Golf: Tee it UP! â€“ now 400MP
Legend of Spyro â€“ now 600MP
Youâ€™ve got until January 17th to check out the full range of titles in the sale and grab yourself a bargain!