Remember Me reviewed

Capcom's game has many memorable moments!

7.1 Surround Sound for the masses

Want cinematic sound quality? Then Mad Catz 720+ may be for you

DayZ: a new approach to survival horror

DayZ, a mod for Arma 2, is unlike any other horror game that came before

Best of the worst bad habits in gaming

Megabits of Gaming takes a look at five of its favourite gaming characters who have bad or slightly seedy habits.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Commodore 64 makes a comeback

The Commodore 64 has had a facelift and thanks to a US firm could soon be sitting on a desk beside you...

Spot the difference... above we have the
classic Commodore 64 - the best-selling home computer EVER. And on the right, the new version from Commodore USA - similar styling but crammed full of modern technical wizardry.

Incorporating all the things we take for granted these days - USB ports and DVD drives - the shiny aluminium box can also be fitted with a BluRay drive, card readers and even a credit card reader! Why not add up to 4GB of RAM or Windows 7 too? A bit of a contrast to the original, eh?

Here's what the website says is on offer:

Engineered to fit a lot of computer into a little space, it's powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo or Quad Core processor, with advanced graphics and fast DDR memory. There's plenty of storage space - up to 2 Terabytes - for just about about anything you have. And it comes with your choice of Ubuntu or Windows 7 OS (other OS choices are available for self-install).
For more information, check out the Commodore USA website...

The original C64 hit the shelves in 1982 and was a lowly 8-bit machine back then. That didn't stop it being snapped up and fuelling the home computer revolution. I remember the battles for market share between the C64, Amstrad CPC 464 (my computer of choice at the time) and the ZX Spectrum - equivalent to the Sony/Microsoft turf war we see today. Happy days.

(Photo credit: Another Pint Please)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Golden era of gaming: Gamecube

Nintendo’s Gamecube was belittled in its day as the weakest and most family-friendly console of its generation, and it’s belittled today as just a Wii without motion controls (it’s amazing how game snobbery is backwards compatible, eh?)

Of course, it was hard for the Gamecube’s brightly coloured chassis and adventures not to appear a little unsophisticated when set alongside the PS2 and Xbox, with their Gods of War and Halo, but actually, there were any number of good games on Gamecube, enough in fact, that compiling my Top Ten was quite a task. I can’t quite believe that Viewtiful Joe didn’t make it, nor Metroid Prime, but this is a list built around sheer gaming buzz, and technical proficiency sometimes has to take a backseat to the games that push your buttons while you’re pushing theirs.

Star Wars Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron II
Star Wars flight action games range from the considered pacing of Tie Fighter through to the frantic action of the original arcade cabinets, but all of them are guaranteed to stir something of that same emotion you felt when you first saw the movies. Rogue Squadron II is no exception, and while it’s Briefing/Hangar/Mission structure and comparatively small skies leave it feeling a little bit constrained and arcade-y when compared to modern fighters, it stirs just enough excitement to edge out some of the other contenders for tenth place.

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
Ah, Resident Evil, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...or perhaps not, as it will only make me bitter when I think of the travesty that is Resident Evil 5. Still, long before that co-op action game came along, we had a run of four numbered instalments and several spin offs that did it properly: limited ammo, a vulnerable protagonist, a huge environment that balanced a certain amount of retraversal play with a genuine sense that you were progressing towards new environments. Resident Evil III was shorter and less polished than its predecessors, but it had all the right ingredients, and it brought something new to the series in the form of dynamic choices that affected the game’s outcome and, of course, it had the Nemesis. Ask yourself, what could make Resident Evil scarier? How about a giant, lethal bioweapon that can’t be killed and which will pursue you from screen to screen to screen of underlinen here please.

Ultimate Spider Man
Most people rate the adaptation of the movie Spider Man II as the webslinger’s finest gaming venture, but for me, Ultimate Spider-Man is the winner. Beautiful cel-shaded art, a huge, engaging story with great dialogue penned by actual Spider Man writer Brian Michael Bendis, great character designs, and a big open world presented in a comic book style. What more could you want? Well, how about bags of guest stars and a genuine sense of swinging, swooping, leaping agility? Ultimate Spider Man makes you feel like a superpowered acrobat, then gives you a giant city to bounce around in. Let’s just not mention the slightly repetitive side missions.

Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance
An exercise in RPG simplicity, Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance doesn’t command the respect of it’s un-suffixed siblings, but it was cracking good fun nonetheless. Crack being the operative word - Dark Alliance exploits the fundamental addiction of all RPG players to level up and buy better weapons by simply throwing you into an endless series of dungeons and mazes in which you never stop swinging your sword. It’s like playing Gauntlet, except your annoying colleagues are replaced with piles of lovely loot.

Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
You could argue that Twin Snakes should place more highly on the list. It is, after all, a graphically polished version of a game hailed occasionally as the greatest game ever made. It’s so close to original, in fact, that you’d be hard pushed to tell the two apart. Sure, you can slip into a first person mode if you want to, but you won’t, so it’s basically the same great game with more pixels. Sneaking around, misusing prescription sedatives, getting peed on by guard dogs, swapping controller ports, and taking part in set-pieces that have been repeatedly ripped off ever since, it’s all here. Alas, so are the bum-achingly lengthy cut scenes and persistently ringing transceiver, but that just goes with the territory.

Part II to follow. Leave a comment...

(Photo credit: drumecho)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cheaper alternative to Xbox Game Room

We all love nostalgia, right? Even when it costs a bomb to play some aging games that most of us have long forgotten about? That's the dilemma faced by visitors to Microsoft's new Game Room, now available on its Live service.

I like classic games as much as the next man but I can't help but feel a little swindled by having to pay what amounts to a hefty chunk of points for a creaky old title. Scanning the forums this morning, there's also a mixed reaction to the actual format of the room, in so much as you can't actually roam about the place (like Playstation Home) and meet up with your friends virtually - you only have so much control and swoop between screens.

The initial list of 30 games is reasonable - although many wouldn't have made it if I'd had any say. And with shiny new games available on Live Arcade for only a few hundred points more, I wonder whether the majority of subscribers will really take to the new service. Some games bring back nice memories but others really, really suck. Another thing, I forgot how tough and unforgiving games from yesteryear were!

Anyways, if gamerscore is your main driver, there are many points to be had - although most of these will come at some expense as you'll have to purchase a fair few of these old gems or pointless items to decorate your arcade.

Alternatively, if you're not that fussed by upping your scores - and aren't that inspired by what is currently on offer, why not have a surf on the internet and find the majority of the games for free? Here's a selection from
ClassicGamesArcade and Atari to get you started...

(Photo credits:
iluvrhinestones, Bojeeva)

Friday, March 26, 2010

BAFTA Game Awards - what should have won

So what did we learn from the BAFTA Video Game Awards a few nights ago? Dara O'Briain is a closet gamer, Ralf Little feels the Pro Evolution Soccer developers have "dropped the ball" and let FIFA regain its football crown, Dom Joly is a big fan of Modern Warfare 2 and Shigeru Miyamoto is a genius having brought us the likes of Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong!

No real revelations there, eh? For me, it showed me that awards ceremonies so often neglect to acknowledge the developers of some fantastic games, and tend to send a plethora of shiny golden trophies solely in the direction of the firm favourites. Yes, Uncharted 2, I'm looking at you (bet you weren't expecting Batman to win Best Game though!)

I was fairly happy with the shortlisted nominations, there was some decent variety in each category and representatives from each of the major platforms. They genuinely did showcase some of the top titles from the past year - and it was nice that innovative games such as Flower on the PS3 got acknowledgment.

But I can't help but feel that some of the praise was misplaced. Here are a few of my suggestions for what should have emerged victorious on the night...

My biggest gripe is that Assassin's Creed II received little kudos. I've been playing it relentlessly over the past few weeks and am yet to tire of the free-running japery. What's not to love? It looks great, sounds authentic - and you get the chance to run along the rooftops before pouncing on some unsuspecting guard and stabbing him in a very cool Assassin-like way (this blog in no way condones this behaviour, by the way - but in Renaissance Italy, people were a little more tolerant to this kind of thing).

Although it was nominated in no fewer than six categories, it failed to make its presence felt in any of them. In my humble opinion, it could easily have claimed a few of the lovely golden mask accolades dished out at the ceremony, particularly for Artistic Achievement (gorgeous, detailed level design), Original Score (atmospheric and appropriate to each city visited) and Gameplay.

It was, in every way, a massive improvement on its predecessor but those poor fellas that locked themselves away in a room to program the thing didn't so much get a pat on the back by BAFTA. Shame on them.

Left 4 Dead 2 could and should have claimed the Action category too. Stuck in a burning building, ammo running low and hordes of salivating beasties running in your direction... now that's action! It was a worthy winner of the Multiplayer award, however, although an honorable mention must go to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2?

Its solo campaign was, in my eyes, a bit of a disappointment - redeemed only by its fantastic Special Ops missions. But for multiplayer, it's still top of its game. Not in the eyes of BAFTA, obviously. Perhaps it's all those glitches we so often hear about - 10th prestige, anyone?

While Empire:Total War is undoubtedly superb and a worthy winner of best in the Strategy genre, I feel a nod should also be given to Football Manager 2010 - the latest incarnation of the best-selling management sim. I've invested many hours in this so far this season and am confident when I say that it is the best and most involving so far.

Saying that, I think Football Manager could have also been in with a chance for best Sports game, along with Wii Sports Resort. FIFA 10 won it in the end. Following from Ralf Little's comments in my intro... Pro Evolution was again absent from the shortlist. How the mighty have fallen, eh?

FIFA also swiped the Use of Online award despite its laggy nature, sometimes irritating matchmaking and the problem with your opponents dropping out of games when things aren't going their way! My tip was Modern Warfare 2.

Finally, I'd like to raise a glass to the young programmers in the Ones To Watch award. None of the games would have looked out of place on any of the consoles that sit beneath your television. I send my congratulations to the Shrunk team... but personally, I think Quick as Thieves looked like a cracking title and I'd love to get my hands on it.

If any of you weren't lucky enough to go to the event or missed the live streaming, here's another opportunity to see the great and the good of the industry schmoozing...

Part one

Part two

Part three

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

3D comes to the small screen - Nintendo

People watching exciting 3D movie

Remember back in the day when 3D glasses were all the rage? The little foldable card versions with red and blue film lenses?

Back then, 3D was tipped for big things - and people were eager to experience this new technology despite looking like an idiot in the process. It wasn't long before the IMAX cinemas started popping up all over the place and movies were filmed using special 3D cameras to make everything appear uber-realistic.

In my eyes (no pun intended), the whole 3D thing was a bit of a damp squib. It's dropped under the radar in recent years and few people really seem to care much about it anymore. Although it had loads of potential, it seemed to drown in a sea of hyperbole and disappointment. My foldable glasses were consigned to the bottom of a drawer. And I must admit I wasn't too bothered.

But wait. Everything seems to be changing and exciting new avenues are opening up for the video games sector. The likes of Avatar and Alice in Wonderland recently hit the big screen and became huge moneymakers; the public lapped it up, having craved the full 3D experience for years. They visited the cinemas in their droves.

Sony has proudly declared 2010 the year that 3D enters the home, with its range of televisions, Blu-ray players - and importantly, its PS3 - to showcase the "nascent" technology. Special glasses will still leave you looking like a cretin, however.

But reports show that Nintendo is also getting in on the act... The Nintendo 3DS is, yup, you guessed it, a 3D version of its 125+million selling handheld console - and best of all, users won't have to wear dodgy-looking spectacles.

So far, there's scant information on pricing or launch date but all should be revealed at the E3 event later in June.

Quite whether the Nintendo faithful will be particularly happy that yet another version of the tiny console is going to hit the shelves remains to be seen - especially so soon after the launch of the larger-screened DSi XL (apparently 93% larger than the original DS!).

Let's just hope that the whole thing doesn't flop like Nintendo's previous efforts in the 3D market - anyone remember the Virtual Boy in 1995?

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Update: 20,000 gamerscore challenge

My monthly points total belies the amount of time I’ve spent gaming these past few weeks. Despite my best efforts to keep the momentum going after an impressive start to my challenge, I fear my target is growing even more daunting and elusive. I can’t understand it considering the time I’ve invested on my Xbox of late!

Having consigned Call of Duty: Modern Warfare to the shelf after getting all 1,000G, I thought I’d dabble in a bit of Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3. Fun though it is, the achievements weren’t exactly freeflowing. And just as I got to grips with the controls and co-op play, my friend and I rediscovered the delights of old favourite Crackdown.

While I enjoy leaping tall buildings and have managed to find all but 25 of those blooming green agility orbs, it wasn’t exactly a great source of gamerscore seeing as I’ve completed it countless times already and snaffled most of the low-lying fruit. Nevertheless, Crackdown again kept me thoroughly absorbed and resulted in me only picking up 40G for completing the missions in co-op and a few other accolades for improving my driving abilities!

Assassin’s Creed II soaked up most of my hours this month. I wasn't that taken by the original but the sequel rights pretty much every wrong. It looks, plays and sounds fantastic - and it's great fun too. Got about 500G to date and there's plenty more to do - hopefully, by my next update I'll have covered every square inch of renaissance Florence and Venice and have gathered a few more points.

Undoubtedly though, the highlight of the month has to be my first few hours playing zombiefest Left 4 Dead 2 with old pal and fellow blogger Ibwib. Both of us were huge fans of the first game but this just about tops it. It has to be one of my favourite multiplayer games of all time... and having completed just one of the campaigns so far (gaining a miserly 65G in the process), there's plenty more fun to be had...

My aim is to complete both of these in the coming weeks and then I’m hoping that I can redeem myself with some decent scores from Wet and King Kong, which are waiting in a pile next to my console… I’ll bring you an update this time next month. Wish me luck!

Friday, March 19, 2010

And the Bafta winners are...

The great and the good of the gaming industry convened this evening for the GAME British Academy Video Game Awards. Here are the winners...

Action: Uncharted 2:Among Thieves
Family: Wii Sports Resort
Use of online: FIFA 10
Audio: Uncharted 2:Among Thieves
Handheld: LittleBigPlanet
GAME Award: 3rd place -
Uncharted 2:Among Thieves
2nd place - Assassin's Creed II
1st place - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II
Strategy: Empire: Total War
Original score: Uncharted 2:Among Thieves
Multiplayer: Left 4 Dead 2
Gameplay: Batman: Arkham Asylum
Sports: FIFA 10
Story: Uncharted 2:Among Thieves
Ones to Watch Award: (teams of students created a game in three weeks...) Shrunk
Artistic achievement: Flower
Best game: Batman: Arkham Asylum
Fellowship Award: Shigeru Miyamoto (Mario creator)

A few surprises there... Batman for best game???

(Picture credit: hawkfb)

Greatest gaming sequels ever

Sure as night follows day, game sequels will continue to be big business. Thankfully, things really do seem to improve with age in the gaming world.

Just look at some of the nominations for tonight’s Bafta Video Game awards in London, UK, and it’s patently clear: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – the bestselling game of all time, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Assassin’s Creed II, Left 4 Dead 2, FIFA 10, Street Fighter IV and Football Manager 2010. All have one thing in common: they blow their predecessors out of the water, improving almost every facet of the gameplay, storyline, characterizatio
n, graphics and sound.

Rarely in the cinematic world does a sequel manage to truly trump its predecessor. Few mega budget Hollywood blockbuster movies manage to capitalize on the success of the original and deliver something altogether more enjoyable, exciting or good-looking. Granted, there have been some fantastic follow-ups over the years but largely you leave the cinema feeling a little let down. What a relief then that videogames seem to differ so much from their big-screen cousins and so many developers manage to produce sequels that surpass everyone’s expectations.

To see my Top 10 picks of some of the greatest ever gaming sequels - and those that made the most significant improvement on the original - check out my
article on GamingBolt...

(Picture credit: Miyaoka Hitchcock, Dekuwa)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Review: Assassin's Creed II

Assassin's Creed II is exactly what the original should have been like. It ticks all the boxes with an engrossing storyline, sumptuous graphics, atmospheric music and sound effects, and intuitive controls. I'm glad I actually gave it ago after feeling so let down with its predecessor, and thoroughly recommend it.

Again you take control of a robed killer, partial to a bit of Parkour - or free running - and just as happy to scale a tall building as to leap from the top. Hone your skills as you progress through the missions, learning how best to dispatch your enemies and retrieve treasures and trinkets. Unlike its previous incarnation, you aren't left disappointed after a few hours of gameplay; there's plenty to do and little monotony here.

You start as the mundane-as-he-sounds Desmond who, along with his scientist buddies, is once again caught up in a bit of memory-based time traveling. The story's a little convoluted but stick with it... he's transported back to the days of 15th century Italy to piece together his fragmented memories and live life through the eyes of Ezio, a decent kind of fella who quickly learns the art of stealth to become an assassin following the brutal murder of his father and brothers.

The action first takes you to Florence but quickly find yourself roaming the country visiting varied environments including Tuscany and Venice - all in all, its a fantastic setting and you really find yourself being drawn into the vast, living, breathing cities. Check out Wikipedia's article if you fancy reading a bit more about the plot intricacies.

While you have plenty of freedom to explore, you're initially confined by the boundaries of your ancestor's memories and have to retrieve information to reveal more of the landscape and the real reason you're back in renaissance Italy. It all works really effectively - far more so than in the first game - and you're certainly not left with the same feeling that you're just walking around the place aimlessly. Scale the truly tall towers and perch atop for a few moments and more of the map is revealed, opening up more shops, stalls, races and assassination missions.

In many ways, this game could be likened to Prototype, which also boasts free-running elements and a pretty structured storymode. Having played them both to death, however, Assassin's Creed II seems to have a little more longevity, greater enjoyment factor and certainly beats it in the looks department.

Besides the actual gameplay, the cut scenes and voice acting are decent too - I normally abhor lengthy cut scenes but found myself listening intently as the plot unfolded. It's a nice touch to have background music and effects in each of the cities too, and the fact that you can hear the banter of passers by and occasional Italian lilt in their accents. Some of the characters you'll encounter are particularity well developed - Leonardo da Vinci seems an extremely nice and helpful guy with his various gadgets!

Money now plays an important factor in this game too, not only because of the inclusion of shops to spend your hard fought cash (on weapons, art, medicines etc...), but also because you now have the ability to renovate your dilapidated villa - a safehouse where you can hone your skills and recuperate between missions. This proves a nice distraction from all the killing and thieving.

The fighting elements have also been much improved and somehow, the multitude of button presses and combinations required to get Ezio about the place don't seem remotely complicated this time round. You can even hire the services of mercenaries, thieves and groups of young ladies (the girls don't fight but flirt with nearby guards, providing a nice diversion!) to help you on your quests. There is a wide range of weaponry and armour available too, all of which add to the enjoyment of dispatching your foes.

There are also the obligatory collecting objectives, be it 100 feathers (!), eight statuettes or hundreds of treasure chests littered about the ancient cities. Surprisingly though, they don't seem to grate as much as in other games and much like the agility orbs in old favourite Crackdown, they actually prove pretty fun to track down. Each of the hidden tombs are enjoyable fare too, largely involving a bit of climbing, running and the slaying of passing guards to find several lost seals.

Achievement and trophy-wise, the game is fairly generous and most are gained through normal story progression. There are plenty of side missions and tasks thrown in for good measure, however, that make the point-whoring a really fun element of the game. Quite whether I can muster enough enthusiasm to track down all those hard-to-reach feathers though is another matter!

Ultimately, this is a really enjoyable romp. It feels extremely polished
and looks fantastic. And if ever you needed evidence that developers actually listen to feedback about their previous releases, then this is it.

The Assassin's Creed series has come on in leaps and bounds - and I'd certainly recommend it to anyone.

Can't wait 'til the inevitable sequel...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Brink looks a blast in new trailer

Just to clarify... Brink is right at the top of my wish list this year. Ladies and gentlemen, this new trailer looks awesome, don't you think?

According to, it's scheduled to grace our screens in October...

This teaser not only showcases the fantastic graphics and movement but it's worth taking note of the wide variety of character models featured - there's a rather cool editor that allows you to customise pretty much everything about the gun toting madman you control! Brink it on!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Modern Warfare 2 map pack imminent

Note to self. Cancel all appointments from 30 March... Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 map pack incoming.

Just when you think you're getting your life back ontrack and weening yourself off an addictive game, the developers only go and release some must-have downloadable content, don't they?!? The swines.

I've played Modern Warfare 2 to death these past few months, attained my 1,000 point gamerscore by completing the solo campaign and special ops missions, and romped around the various multiplayer maps online. Only recently had I retrieved my beloved disc from the drive and started making a dent in the growing tower of games piled up beside my console... now they'll just have to go back in their boxes and continue to gather dust.

The DLC will be Xbox exclusive for 30 days apparently, which has left PS3 players seething on all the forums and news sites. There's no detail on what's going to be included, or how much it will cost, but suffice to say it will no doubt gobble up my every spare moment...

(Picture credit: Infinity Ward)

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Is there anything Apple can't do?

As luck would have it, on the very same day a few weeks ago I was lucky enough to come into possession of both a Nintendo DS and an Apple iPod Touch (the latter a gift from my lovely wife!). On the face of it, both were suitably different gadgets - one a gaming handheld and the other effectively a music jukebox, capable of storing my entire catalogue of music and a few videos as well. First impressions were that the DS was chunky, fairly ugly looking with a distinct plasticy feel while the iTouch was, well, a typical Apple product... shiny, sleek and subtle.

Apple Introduces Udated iPods
But as I spent time with them both, I discovered that the music element of Apple's miniature marvel was never going to be its most used function for me! I was surprised that although its the likes of Nintendo or Sony that regularly steal the gaming headlines, Apple is now in a position to compete and give them a run for their money.

As expected, the DS posed few surprises but was fun to play. It retained the charm and appeal that I gleaned when I first got my grubby mits on a Game and Watch several decades earlier. That too was a clam shell design and felt rugged enough that it could withstand a fall from the top of a tower block. There are notable differences too - but although the DS has touchscreen technology and boasts built-in WiFi... so did the iTouch...

Granted, the iTouch was never really designed as a games device and sure, Nintendo has a far more substantial library of titles - most with identifiable, cutesy mascots... but of the two, it's Apple's offering that I haven't been able to put down.

Part of the appeal is the availability of Apps - small, downloadable programs and widgets that allow the user to do almost anything and tailor the device to their personal preferences.

In my short time with my shiny new gadget, here are a selection of some of the best games I've found (I'll no doubt add a few more to the blog as I come across them in the coming weeks!).

The first I came across was Doodlejump - a simple premise but it's kept me coming back for "just one more game" more than anything else I've downloaded since I acquired the iTouch. Bounce up the screen from platform to platform, avoiding aliens and crumbling floors - but keep an eye out for the helpful jetpacks and spring shoes! Lose your footing and you plummet to your doom. Addictive as hell and a real battery drainer.

The Settlers made it into my all-time Top 10 and it remains one of my favourites. Graphically, this version is just as charming as the original all those years before and there's plenty to keep you occupied - from fighting off invading armies to feeding your villagers and enlarging your boundaries. Brilliant fun.

Having also always been a fan of the Command and Conquer series, I was pretty impressed by this version, which is a pretty accurate rendition. It transfers really well to the iTouch and boasts decent graphics and great sound. The controls are really well catered for on the touchscreen.

Fall Down - stop your ball from getting squashed by rolling it through holes in the platforms. The rather nifty accelerometer built into the iTouch means the slightest hand gesture moves the ball. Great fun and frustratingly addictive. If I could just get the wife to stop playing it so I could have another go...

Call of Duty: World At War Zombies - clearly, this is not going to rival the larger, graphically enhanced versions on the likes of the PS3 or Xbox but this isn't a bad attempt at bringing Call of Duty to the smaller screen. Fight off the zombie hordes and survive for as long as you can.

Got any other tips for great gaming on my new favourite handheld? Leave a comment...

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Split/Second to race to the top of the charts

Finished the latest Forza? Bored of Burnout? Given up waiting for the new Gran Turismo? Well, there’s a glut of upcoming new racers in the next few months that will be fighting for pole position in the gaming charts… and I reckon Split/Second: Velocity from Black Rock Studio – part of Disney Interactive – has a good chance of coming out on top.

It’s a refreshing change for a racer on the current crop of consoles to not be overly concerned about realism and physics; for those of us who don’t care whether we’re using the correct tyres, have suitable suspension or sufficient understeer, a solid arcade racer is much more fun. Certainly this takes the tried and tested genre by the scruff of the neck and gives it a good, much-needed, shake – focusing on the far more important issue of making it through a race in one piece!

Set under the guise of a fictional reality TV show, winning and survival is all important. Split/Second is fast and furious, gorgeously detailed and more than a little reminiscent of some of the more popular driving games from yesteryear such as Destruction Derby and Carmageddon. In fact, if you cross the scenery smashing elements of Flatout Ultimate Carnage with the adrenaline-fuelled carnage of the Burnout series, you’re pretty close to imagining Disney’s latest offering.

Players don’t just race around the track but trigger explosive events that alter the course, wiping out opponents or creating timesaving short cuts.

Check out my five reasons why Split/Second will race to the top of the charts...

(Picture credits: Disney Interactive Studios)