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Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

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New PAL Releases Roundup

Norse knowing ya.

I like Denis Dyack. I met him once and he gave me a T-shirt, and out of solidarity I am wearing it today. He has a magical theory about why there will only be one console next time, and his latest game is about Vikings in space, and he likes fighting the internet. On said internet, however, he's like someone's mentalist dad at Sports Day, running alongside the track shouting at his son about much better he is even though he's last. It's all a bit weird. Still, you can finally buy Too Human if that's your sort of thing, as it's the highest-profile new game out tomorrow.

By contrast, Bangai-O Spirits is the highest-rated new game out tomorrow (10/10 according to a breathless Dave McCarthy), and is rather more like Sports Day being cancelled because of a fire, which has lit up the circumference of the playing field and is accelerating towards the people in the centre under cover of fireworks and balloons. It's a brain-rupturing Japanese shmup, in other words, and probably best appreciated by people who already use "shmup" in conversation.

Elsewhere on the release list, it's good to see Atari giving something back with Driving Theory Training on DS. From now on, whenever you're trying to blame that dead hooker on videogames and the sensible tabloid newspaper reporters argue that games can't teach you how to actually do the bad things they portray, you can hold it up high and show them all how stupid they are. The DS: already good for the brain and good for the eyes, and now theoretically good for Nicole Kidman breaking down on the A23 and me having to save her. Good work, Atari.

And finally, there's just room (well, there's no space restriction whatsoever, I'm just getting bored) to mention that Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 is disproportionately useless fodder for jokes, but is at least out tomorrow. Look out for a review of that in the next few days, along with our thoughts on Soul Calibur Legends. Smash Court Tennis 3, Too Human and Bangai-O Spirits reviews lie beyond the blue-word threshold.

This week in shops:

  • Bangai-O Spirits (DS)
  • Baroque (PS2, Wii)
  • Driving Theory Training (DS)
  • Smash Court Tennis 3 (Xbox 360)
  • Soul Calibur Legends (Wii)
  • Super Swing Golf (Wii)
  • The Sims 2 Apartment Life (PC)
  • The Sims 2 Apartment Pets (DS)
  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS)
  • Too Human (Xbox 360)

This week online: