Games roundup: Tricks and treats with FIFA Street
This week, FIFA Street flicks and tricks its way on to PS3, Blades Of Time slashes on to Xbox 360 and Birds Of Steel flies high on the same system.
Title: FIFA Street
The football season might be reaching the business end of all competitions, so what better time to forget about the millions at stake and hit the streets for some incredible ball-trickery with all your favourite football superstars?
Powered by the revolutionary FIFA Soccer gameplay engine, and introducing Street Ball Control, it won't take you long to discover an arsenal of groundbreaking street dribbling styles and trick moves.
Plus, for the first time, you can use your aerial skills to manoeuvre past opponents, profit from the one-touch passing system and dip into a repertoire of more than 50 never-before-experienced skill moves.
Out of puff yet? You will be. The pace is relentless, the graphics are beautiful and here the FIFA series has proven that, even on the streets, the football always comes out on top.
TIME FOR A NEW HEROINE?
Title: Blades Of Time
Platform: Xbox 360
Lara Croft may have had a monopoly on sexy siren action adventurers, but a new wave of kick-ass women has entered the console world recently, ably represented in Blades Of Time by Ayumi - a gorgeous gunsword-wielding treasure hunter. Blessed with beauty and a trigger happy finger, you'll quickly join her on a mission to find lost bounties on a mysterious and dangerous island, which hides something sinister beneath the surface. As you might have anticipated, this is an all-action title in the same vein of the Tomb Raider series. However, 16 years on from Lara's first outing, Blades Of Time doesn't really grab the adventuring bull by the horns to deliver an experience we'll be talking about in another 10 years' time. The magical, time-control elements keep things interesting, but overall this is nothing we haven't seen before, whatever heroine may be holding the weaponry.
THE SKY'S THE LIMIT
Title: Birds Of Steel
Platform: Xbox 360
Get ready to strap in, go back in time and take stick in the most pivotal battles in the history of air combat. Here, Birds Of Steel puts you right in the crosshairs of the Second World War's most intense skirmishes, proving to be a historical recreation fit for flight sim fans and history buffs alike. Picking up where IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds Of Prey left off, Birds Of Steel now certainly represents the premier picking for aerial action with vast, gorgeously detailed combat environments, as well as an impressive roster of aircraft to select from. Immersive sound effects, musical score and a brilliant mix of one-on-one dogfights and epic enemy battles make this a superb stimulus for your senses, immediately accessible from the off. It'll require some time and effort to hit the pinnacle of plane performance, but this game is that good, you're guaranteed to be in it for the long haul.
GO LOCO WITH A CUP OF COCOA
Title: Coco Loco
I've seen some amusingly amended game concepts in my time. You know the ones, where an awesome original is reskinned and slightly reworked to offer a 'unique' (but very similar) experience. Here, Angry Birds is given a confectionery facelift as Coco Loco swaps feathered friends for marshmallows, jelly and lakes full of hot chocolate, to provide familiar 'pull back to fire' puzzler fun. While the characters may be new, the gameplay is anything but, yet you can't help finding yourself slipping into the old routine of desperately trying to complete each level with as few baseball-batted projectiles as possible to capture all three stars and save the marshmallow heroes. Comfy touchscreen fodder for those with a sweet tooth...
The weather twins Fuyu and Natsu have lost all their stars, and it's up to you to get them back. Across 90 levels and three worlds, you must recover the stars and finish with your fire and ice icons on their corresponding coloured squares. It sounds simple, but careful planning is crucial as the levels progress, with only up, down, left and right swipes available to help you succeed. The twins must work together to gather each star, using the environment to help split them apart then bring them back together again. This is an interesting and unique concept, with a lovely Japanese theme and excellent audio to accompany the brain-bending 3D challenges. Probably unlike anything you've played before, this dynamic duo will have you rerunning sequences of moves in your sleep, which has to go down as a good thing for TwinGo!, if not your ability to function the next day...
WHAT'S HOT AND WHAT'S NOT
Struggling high-street retailer Game has called in financial advisory group Rothschild to find a new buyer for the organisation, with administration now a very real possibility, according to a recent report from The Sunday Times.
Game's potential failure to pay rents could tip them over the edge and jeopardise thousands of jobs around the UK, France and Australia.
With the company's share price teetering around just 3.5p, Game's market value is now just £15 million, and as notable releases such as Mass Effect 3 and Street Fighter X Tekken fail to grace its shelves, it looks like collapse or takeover are the only likely outcomes.
Meanwhile, in the charts this week Mass Effect 3 stormed to the top of the charts after a stinking first weekend of sales. SSX slid into second spot, while Street Fighter X Tekken was the second of two new entries at three, and The Sims 3: Showtime debuted at six.
GAME CHART ALL FORMATS FULL PRICE
1. Mass Effect 3
3. Street Fighter X Tekken
4. FIFA 12
5. Mario Party 9
6. The Sims 3: Showtime
7. Mario & Sonic London 2012 Olympic Games
8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
9. Assassin's Creed: Revelations
10. Zumba Fitness
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (c) 2012 UKIE Ltd