The most pirated PC game of 2011 wasn't Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3 or Skyrim - it was Crysis 2.
It's a relatively low-key week for shops, if you deal in blockbusters - but there are minor morsels succulent enough to be digitally devoured.
Sometimes it's comforting when you know exactly what to expect from a videogame. Mario Sports Mix has all the Mario sports hallmarks: Mushroom, Flower and Star trophies, infuriating random items, courts that make absolutely no sense (basketball on a sandy beach? Ice hockey on the lawn of Princess Peach's castle?), a wide cast of Nintendo characters with superficially differing abilities and special moves... The woiks. It's also got a tiny touch of Square Enix in the form of unlockable characters like Moogle and Cactaur, which you can steadfastly ignore if you're still a bit upset with Square over splitting with Nintendo in the nineties.
There are four sports – Basketball, Hockey, Volleyball and Dodgeball – each with their own separate tournament structures. Hockey is the star of the show, primarily because it's almost as fast and violent as the actual sport. Playing in teams of two or three, the aim is simple – smack the coin-shaped puck past the Shy Guy goalie and into the back of the goal with as much force as possible.
You can charge up flying power-shots or rely on speed and accuracy instead, but you don't have to think about anything very hard. Despite the potential for feinting, dodging and combo moves, you'll do just fine pressing A to pass and flicking the remote to shoot. If you get into a fight over the puck, you have to shake the remote vigorously to batter the opposition into submission.
Volleyball! Dodgeball! Basketball! Hockey!
Mario Sports Mix will leave the locker room on 4th February in Europe and 7th February in the US, Nintendo has confirmed.
Mii characters join the gang too.
Square Enix is all set to break Nintendo characters' monopoly on Mario's sporting spin-offs with the announcement that a number of Final Fantasy favourites are limbering up for Mario Sports Mix.
Quite talented for a fat plumber, really.
Nintendo has announced a new Mario sports game for release in 2011 on Wii.