Game of the Week: MotorStorm Apocalypse
Writing about games was a lot simpler 15 years ago. Back then, before websites really took off, magazines were competing with a handful of other publications rather than dozens. It was a lot easier to get away with trawling out lazy old cliches and recycling jokes.
These days things are different - if you're a games journalist, anyway. If you're a games developer, it seems you can still earn big bucks by churning out the same old stuff, i.e. games about fast cars and men pretending to hurt each other.
Which doesn't seem fair. So to redress the balance, and because it's Friday afternoon and everyone's a bit tired, this edition of Game of the Week is coming to you in a 1996 "stylie". (Which, yes, is really just an excuse to trawl out lazy old cliches and recycle jokes.)
Greetings, gamers! What a bumper week it's been here at Eurogamer Towers! We're loving Ninty's new handheld! Still, it's hard to imagine a time when the hardware market won't be dominated by the mighty SEGA!
This week there's great news for games journalists who like making references to sweaty men in lycra, with the release of WWE All Stars. It features all the big names, including exciting newcomers like Andre the Giant and Ultimate Warrior, along with other sweaty men in lycra.
"This certainly isn't the wrestling genre's answer to Super Street Fighter IV," wrote Tom. (Street Fighter FOUR??!?!??? Is he on crack???!?!??!?!!!)
"But it does succeed in articulating a solid, well-presented caricature of its subject matter and providing a few hours of knockabout fun.
"The game's pitch was always to offer accessible, even-more-ridiculous fun that would mix up Legends and Superstars. If that's all you want, it delivers." Sweaty men in lycra etc.
Next up is SHIFT 2: Unleashed. This ace racer will be burning rubber / putting the pedal to the metal / following the racing line as it zooms up the software charts vying for pole position / a spot on the winner's podium / the right to perform a victory lap around the charts on Monday.
Simon looked under the bonnet / peeked under the hood / slid out from underneath the chassis one of those wheely things like on Eastenders for his review.
"As with its predecessor, SHIFT 2's cars have a twitchy, unruly feel in the hands," he warned. "There's none of the slick grace of Forza's cars, nor the dry, studied realism of Gran Turismo's cast."
But! The day is saved, Simon said, by the presence of new RPG elements and online options. "In terms of its social features, SHIFT 2 leads the pack," he added. Well done SHIFT 2, we're booting up our 56k modem as we type.
A different racer has won the title of Game of the Week, however...
Following its delayed release, the latest instalment in the MotorStorm series finally arrives this week. And it's been worth the wait, as Oli noted.
"Not much about Apocalypse is subtle, from the crushing orchestral dubstep soundtrack, through the astounding visual assault of bounding cars, flying masonry, landslides, dust clouds, twisters and moody, filtered light, to its sheer breakneck speed," he wrote.
"But beneath all this clamour you can detect the stable, confident hum of a decent racing series finding its feet - in its improved boost mechanic, substantial feature set and streamlined campaign.
"Britain's fight to save the arcade racer continues, undaunted. We can only wish Evolution better luck than its brothers in arms." Speaking of which, hard to believe it's been a whole ten years since Money for Nothing was released, isn't it?
Right readers, that's all we've got time for - This Life is on in a minute and the Trainspotting poster needs re-sellotaping to the wall. Have a great weekend!