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This Week In Reviews - Nov 2nd

Welcome one and all. Welcome to the dizzying world of This Week In Reviews - your source for the definitive information about those PC games being released over the following week. Other gaming websites may feel the need to open the game's box before reviewing it, while the majority will give the packaging a cursory glance before saying, "8.2/10 - a fine example of its genre". But not us. Oh no. We're not prepared to compromise ourselves, letting the publisher bias infect our opinions by playing the games. These are the most pure, the least unencumbered reviews you'll find anywhere on the internet. Absorb them, in wide-eyed wonder.

Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties

The Carrington family return, this time trying to seek oil under the entire landmass of Asia. Have they set their sights too wide? Will Blake Carrington gain complete control of the continent's black gold output, or will evil Alexis beat him to the goal? You can play as either Denver Carrington or Alexis' ColbyCo in two large campaigns, while attempting to fend off the advances of secretaries, shout at errant cousins, and deal with kidnapped children. Features an angry bitch-slapping minigame.

Championship Manager 2008

Gain control of the Championships! At last, every major worldwide championship is brought together into one ULTRO-CHAMPIONSHIP! Who will come out on top? Will it be the Rugby World Cup? Or perhaps the Olympic Indoor Bowls Tournament? Perhaps it is the year for the Scrabble World Championships to reach the top spot? Pick your misfit team of sportsmen and women, manage them through their careers, and eventually set out to become the Champion of Champions of Championships!

Chessmaster XI: The Art Of Learning

In a sudden deviation from the regular rules of Chess, the latest in the long line of difficult-board-game-simulators goes back to basics, encouraging you to teach those boffins to paint. Take grandmasters like Viswanathan Anand, Vladimir Kramnik, or Gary Kasparov (or even some since 1999) and begin them with the simplest finger painting. Then move up the ranks to potato prints, poster paints, and then eventually using brushes and watercolour. Perhaps you'll reach the end game and have them try and paint a picture of another chess player in oils.

Dirty Dancing - The Video Game

Officially beyond parody.

FIFA Manager 08

That's right - you finally get to manage FIFA. Will you allow the inherent corruption to continue, or will you fire everyone and start afresh, preferably with some sealions or something.

Flight Simulator X - Acceleration Expansion Pack

A lot of criticism was levelled at Flight Simulator X when it first came out, for failing to include the option to have the planes accelerate. Many overcame this by spawning planes in midair, and allowing a combination of gravity and inertia to create the feeling of acceleration, but beyond these diehard fans, much of the audience felt let down when piloting a stationary plane on the runway. While many argued it was far more realistic to sit at the gate while clicking the button to put announcements over the tannoy that "a passenger has decided not to join us, so we will be delayed while we remove his baggage from the hold," and "Oh God, is that light meant to flash like that?", others complained that it didn't have the same level of impact as the previous nine games in the series (apart from Flight Sim 3 of course, which famously forgot to include aeroplanes). Hopefully those disappointed will be cheered by the release of this expansion, now allowing the planes to increase in speed. We would advise inexperienced players to hold off until the forthcoming Decceleration Expansion Pack is released, however.

Hellgate: London

Or to give its other name: The Entrance To The Hammersmith & City Line.

Richard Garriot's Tabula Rasa

Lord British shakes things up by creating an MMO that contains literally nothing. You can customise your non-existence avatar, and then go exploring the complete nothingness of the planes of a featureless world. Auction houses will be added in a future patch.


Tom did every good joke imaginable for this, in his hastily compiled This Week In Reviews RIP-OFF "What's New".

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John Walker


Once one of the original co-founders of Rock Paper Shotgun, we killed John out of jealousy. He now runs buried-treasure.org