Next generation games review

Sega Superstars tennis, Nintendo
Pick up a racket and take on Sonic in Sega Superstars tennis

Screaming down a hairpin, taking out the trash and playing tennis with a hedgehog and a monkey, I have been working my thumbs to bone tracking down some of the best games soon to hit the shelves.

Gran Turismo 5 – Prologue
Decent exclusive PS3 titles have been fairly thin on the ground so far, but finally we are starting to see some of the games we were promised when the machine launched.

Power sliding onto Sony’s PlayStation 3 console comes the oft-delayed Gran Turismo 5 – Prologue.

Gran Turismo 5 will finally be released after several delays

The full version of the game is due out in 2009 in the UK and late 2008 in the US and Japan but a cut-down version is being released in late March to whet the appetite of the franchise’s fans.

In the early version there are 71 motors to choose from and high-definition visuals that make previous incarnations of GT look like the crude scrawls of an infant.

Online modes promise up to 16 players racing against one another, coupled with a global leaderboard.

There is some oil over the GT tracks though. For a game which places so much stock in realism (its tag line is “the real driving simulator”) the cars seem to be made from the same substance as Superman’s skin.

Bash ’em, smash ’em and crash ’em and they still look showroom fresh. Maybe it’s time for the GT boffins to give players some proper vehicle damage.

Rainbow Six Vegas 2
PS3-exclusive titles might be a bit thin on the ground, but there are plenty of games which are available for both the PS3 and Microsoft’s XBox 360.

Rainbow Six
The Rainbow Six are back to take out the bad guys

This game rather explosively falls into this category, and has set its laser sight on Call of Duty 4’s crown as top first-person shooter.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six team is back for another pop at taking out the bad guys in Sin City. The plot behind this shooter makes the Die Hard movies seem cerebral, and basically involves dispatching hordes of balaclava-clad bad guys.

But it is the ability to direct your AI-controlled team to do your every spec-ops bidding that makes this title so much fun.

Orchestrate massed attacks on nests of bad guys, scream “Go!Go!Go!” at your console like an SAS wannabe, and marvel as your gang of automated team mates go to work.

To really rival Call of Duty this game has to excel in online multiplayer. Thankfully, it is very good, with the usual team-based combat and a new feature which allows players to plaster their ugly mug onto an in-game character with the help of a web cam.

Sega Superstars Tennis
This is another all formats title for those who will be left with a headache after all those screeching tyres and booming guns. Perhaps the cartoonish charms of Sega Superstars Tennis will soothe their aching head.

Sonic tennis
Prepare to be charmed by this fun tennis game

In this game, classic Sega characters such as Sonic the Hedgehog and the big-eared simian from Monkey Ball limber up for a tennis title with a twist.

Characters can perform special moves, obstacles can be introduced to the court, and the whole thing feels a million miles away from most of the dark and gloomy titles dominating contemporary gaming.

It is not really fair to call this a sports sim as it has the spirit of video games of old; namely it is very playable and a whole lot of fun.

Wii Fit
If Nintendo has its way we will all be cancelling our gym memberships and getting fit with the help of its videogames console and a weird bit of plastic that you stand on.

Wii balance
Couch potatoes can now exercise while gaming with Wii Fit

With the aid of the balance board peripheral, Wii Fit puts the user through a series of exercises in the comfort of their living room.

Stand on the board and the Wii measures how much exercise the user is doing.

These exercises range from Yoga tasks, to weird imaginary hula hoop competitions, to daily fitness tests that can be saved and the progress viewed via the power of onscreen diagrams.

More of a workout than a game, the Wii has already proved popular in getting gamers up off the sofa and onto their feet, maybe this title will further banish the images of gaming as the preferred pastime of the couch potato.

Source bbc click