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My wife likes to tell me that there is a 13 year old boy inside every man.  Even more so if that man is a gamer.  She’s probably right.  It would explain why I love Need for Speed Hot Pursuit so damn much.

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is the re-boot of the Need for Speed franchise that of recent years became a little bogged down in the details.  EA gave the job of bringing life back to Need For Speed to Burnout: Paradise developer Criterion Games.

Criterion stripped it back to the basics, fast cars, smooth roads, cops and slow motion crashes.  It’s a 13 year old boy’s dream racing game. 

Set in the mystical Seacrest County – a location that has everything, from coastal roads, to snowy peaks, the miles of highway are liberally littered with a plethora of shortcuts and surprisingly devoid of too much traffic.  Add to this the fact that all the racers seem to drive exotic sports cars rather than Jap imports, and the cops likewise, and you have the beginnings of an awesome game.

But wait, there’s more. 

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Ah, cricket.  The gentleman’s game.  The long, drawn out game where you mostly get to stand around.  It’s not a sport that I’m particularly fond of.

I have however played Codemasters’ previous cricket game, so I have a little experience with the genre, at least in the gaming sense.  Not that I can remember too much, except it was overly complicated and I couldn’t hit the damn ball.

Fortunately, along with crisper graphics, Codies have designed a batting system that actually makes sense to a complete idiot like me (in the cricketing sense). 

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We don’t get to review too many Nintendo DS games here at GameGuide, and there’s a reason for that.  With the exception of some re-born old school platformers, we just haven’t found anything worthy to waste hours of our day that is available on the DS.  That is until now.

That was until Super Scribblenauts turned up on my desk.  The cover art along with the tag-line – Create anything, solve everything – had me writing this off as a child’s game.  Whilst it is, for the most part a child’s game, it is also damningly addictive for adults.

The essential premise is that you play a character named Maxwell who has to solve numerous problems.  These start out easy, but soon require you to really use your brain.  Not in the sensible way either, but often in an offbeat creative way. 

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From Call Of Duty 3 to World At War, Treyarch have without doubt been the B-Team when it comes to making Call Of Duty games. While Infinity Ward put out the blockbuster releases, it was Treyarch’s job to craft something solid with the games engine to tide fans over until the next Modern Warfare release.

But with Infinity Ward imploding, not to mention fans’ frustration with the unbalanced nature of Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer, Treyarch have approached Black Ops as their chance to well and truly steal the limelight. Do they succeed?

Well, a little bit.

The single player campaign in Black Ops is one of the series’ best. It still plays like an action movie highlight reel, but the story is far more followable than the mess that was Modern Warfare 2, even if the set pieces aren’t quite at the same level of excitement.

The Cold War setting is intriguing and it creates a great backdrop for a mysterious story which takes a few risks and is gripping from start to finish. It doesn’t approach the dizzying heights of Call Of Duty 4’s campaign, but it’s certainly a good solid thrill ride. 

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I can vividly remember the excitement I felt watching Sting fight Holywood Hulk Hogan at WCW Starrcade. The year was 1997 and I was 12 years old.

In my school years, I was a wrestling fan. I even had a brief resurgence of fandom in my early 20’s, when we begun to stock WWE DVD’s at the record store I worked in.

Of course, these days it’s a little tough for me to get excited about wrestling, beyond the clear camp hilarity of it all.

My journey with wrestling reflects my journey with the Smackdown vs. Raw series of games. In 2006, these games were fun and interesting. However, little has changed in the intervening years and now the package just seems stale and a little bit silly. 

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When I first played Borderlands, I found it a fun if flawed game. Most of all, I complained about the lack of story, as well as the repetitive nature of the gameplay.

I rented the game and took it back, not giving it much more thought.

But then something strange happened. I began to have the itch to play some more. So I rented the game once again, finishing it this time. And eventually, I bought the game, and played through it with another character, as well as lapping up all the DLC.

Borderlands doesn’t have a narrative arc that will move you emotionally. It isn’t technically brilliant, and the framerate lags quite a bit at times (though the cartoony art style is inspired).

But what the game has going for it is this: it’s both fun and incredibly addictive. You take quests, kill enemies and gather loot, all the while levelling up one of four character classes. The gunplay is solid, and it should be, since the controls are carbon copied from Call Of Duty.  

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Released back in 2008, Fallout 3 was almost unanimously raved about as being one of the best open-world role playing games ever created.  The positive buzz was so constant that I decide to put my dislike of RPG’s aside, and jump into the post nuclear American wasteland.  Two years later and I was still exploring undiscovered areas and amassing a fortune of ill-gotten gains.

The only reason I retired Fallout 3 was the imminent arrival of Fallout: New Vegas.

I’d had a couple of months break between Fallout games, but as soon as I awoke at the start of New Vegas, It felt like I was back home.  This was the Fallout world that I had fallen in love with.  It was almost as if Bethesda had released another DLC add-on.  But no, New Vegas was much bigger than that.  It was a vast expense just waiting to be explored. 

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An international conspiracy has placed the UK’s most secretive bio-chemical project into deadly hands, and only Her Majesty’s most lethal agent, James Bond, can unravel the mystery. To navigate through layers of corruption, you, as Bond, will embark on a global chase that will have you battling on land, sea, and air through Athens, Istanbul, Monaco, and Bangkok.

Hell yes, Bond is back!  And what’s better, its the Daniel Craig version, so there’s no messing around with stupid gadgets, it’s just get in there and get the job done.

Of course there is a downside, Dame Judi Dench has come along for the ride as well, but fortunately you get to play Bond, not M. 

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It’s been a while since I played SIMS, it was probably pre-XBox days when I last controlled the destiny of these little plastic people and their pixilated nudity.  BUt now EA has decided to unleash God-like powers to us mere mortal console owners.  What was once the domain of the PC elite, is now available to those of us who have chosen the way of the console.  

Essentially SIMS 3 for the PS3 plays pretty much the same as on a PC.  It was easy enough to pick up and play right off the bat.  The only issues were getting used to the controls.  This can be a bit tricky but the game does a good job of teaching you the basics, and it’s not long till you’re in familiar territory – you know, like burning down the kitchen whilst trying to cook dinner or forgetting that your SIM needs sleep if they’re to get up for work in the morning. 

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MMA is the second Mixed Martial Arts title I have played this year, the first being UFC Undisputed 2010.  I’m still not a fan of the sports, but despite not having the UFC license to back it up, EA’s MMA does a mighty fine job of portraying a sport I can’t help laughing at, especially when two sweaty mean, intent on smacking the living daylights out of each other, end up rolling around on the floor in positions that make you wonder…

Of course for the fans its no laughing matter, and to be honest there’s something inside me that enjoys the fact that two men are allowed to fight to the figurative death – knock you opponent to the ground and unlike the very British rules of boxing, you don’t have to wait to see if he can get up again, rather you can jump on him and repeatedly punch him in the face until he gives up.

So yeah, you could call this a violent sport. 

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