MISFIRING IN MOSCOCOW; Lads'Lounge Lads' Lounge blogger MARTIN SMITH looks at the latest goings-on in the world of games, girls and geek.
METRO 2033. REVIEWED ON X360. ALSO AV A AV ILABLE ON PC. pounds 49.99 IT'S the year 2033 in post-apocalyptic Russia and humankind has long since ventured underground to escape the nuclear winter raging outside.
Huddled in makeshift camps deep in the Moscow tunnels, 40,000 resourceful people eek out an existence using whatever they can find.
Unfortunately they are not alone.
It seems radiation has spawned a mutated generation of monsters whose lust for blood brings them into regular contact with the poor old Russians.
As a big fan of first-person shooters I couldn't wait to get started.
Ten minutes later I was still waiting. Sadly the makers of this game, THQ, have sacrificed substance over style in what seems like a bid to win an Oscar instead of a gaming award.
The opening sequences are glorious cinematic showpieces, exercising sublime graphics and sounds which totally immerse you in the experience, but which sorely lack any serious action. If I wanted to watch a film I would have gone to the cinema.
Once you get stuck in, complicated controls and annoying details like having to recharge your torch batteries rand constantly checking your oxygen gauge add to the frustration.
Serious gamers with too much time on their hands will probably love it, but casual gamers who like to dip in and out for an hour should probably avoid it like the plague (no pun intended).
Bring back mindless gaming.
REVIEW: DUNCAN GIBBONS SONIC CLASSIC COLLECTION. NINTENDO DS. pounds 19.99 THE world's most famous hedgehog who introduced a generation of children to games consoles is back in all his original glory - this time on the DS.
The hand-held is the latest platform to bring out the Sega Classic Collection of Sonic 1, 2, 3 and Sonic and Knuckles.
It takes a bit of time for your eyes to get used to the bright blue spikes whizzing across such a tiny screen but once you do all the old memories come flooding back.
Unlike the DS versions of classic Nintendo offerings like the original Super Mario, there are no added features with Sonic; all you get is the scaled down version of the games.
But you do get to play Sonic 2 and 3 as Knuckles the Echidna, which offers new techniques like climbing up walls and opens up more secret paths in the games.
Purists may consider it tantamount to cheating but for me the best introduction in the DS version is the chance to save as you go - no longer do you have to suffer that awful crushing feeling when you lose your last life at the final hurdle.
Modern games may contain far superior graphics, complicated storylines and complex techniques but you just can't beat the classics.
And for less than pounds 20 this is a must for old and new Sonic fans alike.
REVIEW: HELEN "TAILS" THOMAS HERE'S some of the other highlights from this week's Lads' Lounge: AAAAH. Photoshop. The system that I use every day and still barely understand how any of it works. Adobe recently published a short demo video on YouTube showing off new Photoshop feature, Content Aware Fill. And it's so incredible to see what this new Photoshop can do. See the demo video on the blog.
BABES Kylie Minogue, Claudia Schiffer and Sienna Miller have stripped off for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer. See the fab pics.
HERE'S a sentence I thought I'd never, ever write. I'm looking forward to the remake of Private Benjamin. Even re-reading these words on the screen in front of me look peculiar. Find out why.