As we head into the season of sales, you'll want to keep your bank account tightly girdled lest you snap up every game under the summer sun. That's why we're here to guide you; we've got a few great bargains this week on some classics of the past few years, as well as some more contemporary greats.
A series with as many epoch-defining entries as Mario is bound to mark a few special spots in your gaming history. My first videogame was Super Mario World. Super Mario 64 inspired me so much that I wrote my very first review about it, aged 8. But after that, as with any favourite series, it settled into a comfortable rhythm; you know what to expect, and you're delighted every time you get it, but it doesn't change your world any more. I didn't think that a Mario game could have that kind of impact on me again. But this year, it did.
Straight off the bat, soon as I'm seated in Nintendo's cosy demo room, I'm told that Mario Galaxy 2 is largely comprised of ideas 'left over' from the first game. Concepts and quirks which just couldn't be squeezed into the original Galaxy's cavalcade of moons and planetoids.
It's hard to imagine now, but the day Shigeru Miyamoto started work at Nintendo he didn't have a clue what he was going to do, let alone achieve. Yet what the designer - who has had a more profound, towering influence on the evolution of interactive entertainment than any other single figure - did have was a desire. And in Nintendo he found the company to help him fulfil it.
A lot of people think that Nintendo loves America more than it loves Europe. Thankfully, it only appears to love America by about 16 hours more. 16 or so hours is the gap between Nintendo's latest media summit in the US, where it let loose with quite a lot of exciting information, and its media summit in the UK, where it did the whole thing all over again, except we mostly knew what was coming.
Opportunities to interview executives have been thinner on the ground than usual at this year's E3. It seems everyone's too busy showing off their new motion-sensing control system / platform exclusives / pulse-measuring accessory / motion-sensing control system. Or perhaps they're just sick of us asking stupid questions.