By Ezio's beard! Xbox has announced Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is coming to backwards compatibility today, along with a collection of other much-loved titles.
It's early days in the great next gen console war, and the commercial reality of development is very simple - the cost of making games on more advanced hardware has skyrocketed meaning that publishers get the best returns from their investment with multiformat development. Eurogamer typically reviews these games on the lead platform (more often than not, the Xbox 360) but we've got plenty of love for the PlayStation 3 - enough to bring you the all-important info on any differences between the versions, even when review code arrives somewhat belatedly.
In comparing the games we concentrate first and foremost on the gameplay experience, with objective commentary on new game modes and control methods that have been added or tweaked since the initial review. And as there is such a large cost difference between the two gaming platforms, we think it's fair game to point out any differences between versions on a technical level too. This makes these ongoing features as much a commentary on cross-platform development as they are aiding in a purchasing decision.
Complementing each piece is a series of screenshot galleries at full HD resolution 24-bit RGB using the PS3's HDMI digital output and the Xbox 360's precision VGA display mode, both professionally calibrated and captured losslessly using state-of-the-art grabbing equipment - indeed the only kit available that can handle full colour-depth and 1080p when required. Console analists can then debate the minutiae we expose and exercise the full unbridled talkback POWER of the Internet to give voice to their thunderous displeasure.
Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII will be released alongside the PlayStation 3 on November 17, Ubisoft's announced.
Not only that, but it will make "innovative use of the PS3 controller" - suggesting there will be a tilt-controlled game at launch after all.
Like the Xbox 360 version, released earlier this year, Blazing Angels PS3 will take in the Battle of Britain, Pearl Harbor, Midway and the skies above Berlin as you swat each other in World War II planes.
Ubisoft has demonstrated its confidence in Nintendo Wii with the promise of seven titles at launch.
The French publisher had previously announced Red Steel and Rayman Raving Rabbids for Wii, and this week followed it up with talk of Far Cry, Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII, Monster 4x4 World Circuit, Open Season and GT Pro Series.
A disputed French version of the publisher's press announcement also made reference to a Prince of Persia Wii title, although that release was soon retracted and reworded to reference other, unnamed games also in development.
It may be a bit mediocre, and I may be glad to see the back of it so I can stop typing "Angles" by accident, but if you're still keen to have a go and see if Ubisoft's World War II planes-go-ratatatatat-'em-up Blazing Angels is any good on the PC, you can now do so.
Looking back on games is a notoriously unreliable exercise, even for reviewers who've penned hundreds of critiques. If you love a game to bits, it's only natural to defend its faults and gloss over the problems you encountered. Those silly difficulty spikes, the glitchy graphics, the bits where it crashed. And it's just as bad the other way around, too. People always tend to deliver righteous bile, when the truth is generally somewhere in between. And that's the tormented, enjoyable, hateful, delightful topsy-turvy world of Blazing Angels in a nutshell.
It's hard to even start to address Ubi's World War II flight combat title with any real clarity, when it occurs to you that there are at least four out of the 18 campaign missions that are among the most intensely irritating of any game that we've come across since Driver 3 caused the destruction of two joypads almost two years ago. Missions that render your pleasant enjoyment of this generally above average game null and void at a stroke, and make you question whether any normal human beings tested the game - and why their feedback was so obviously ignored.
For the first few missions, Blazing Angels seems reasonably up to scratch; albeit with some instantly questionable design decisions (more of which in a moment). It follows the standard arcade-style flight-combat template in a way that fans of Crimson Skies and Secret Weapons Over Normandy will be familiar with. It's the same, solid mixture of intense dog-fighting and daring bombing raids that you'd expect, set over all the familiar theatres of war during WWII - but now with added High Dynamic Range.
Flight combat titles don't often hit the headlines, but the March 31st release of Blazing Angels could change all that. Released on Xbox, PC and Xbox 360, it's the latter version which has gained this particular title that extra bit of attention, and is therefore one we're looking forward to putting through its paces just prior to its release next week.
Xbox 360 owners unimpressed by all this PlayStation excitement (SPIT, etc.) can pop down to the Marketplace this evening and actually play some games instead - with Astropop joining PopCap Games' growing range of Live Arcade offerings and Ubisoft's Blazing Angels joining the demo line-up.