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Martin Robinson

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Go to Goodge Street's Casino Arcade right now and you'll be met with the most wonderful of dinosaurs. Dariusburst Another Chronicle, released in Japan towards the end of 2010 and currently on location test in Central London, is all about excess - it's a side-on shooter for six players, its angelic soundtrack pumped through the bench that sits in front of its eccentric 32:9 screen.

Go to the App Store right now and you'll find a smaller but no less impressive example of Taito's long-running yet under-praised series. Dariusburst Second Prologue, a pimped-up port of a two-year old PSP game, is another excellent addition to what's fast becoming a comprehensive 2D shooter collection.

Like Cave's swathe of iOS outings, Darius manages to partner the reflex mechanics of its genre with a touch-screen and a single finger input. It's not quite as effective as the likes of DoDonPachi - Cave wisely leaves a little space at the bottom of the screen for your finger to run riot, while in its eagerness to fill the iPhone's screen Darius allows you to too often obscure the action. It's a minor nuisance, though, and control's sharp and snappy enough for it never really to detract from the experience. And what a brilliantly surreal, taut experience at that.

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Halo 4's newly unveiled multiplayer perks - which, for the first time in a Halo game will have an impact on the gameplay - aren't a result of 343 Industries chasing Call of Duty and Battlefield, the studio has said.

As part of a slim first look at Halo 4, 343 Industries' first game proper since Bungie departed the series, it's been revealed that you can change every aspect of your Spartan's appearance - and that doing so would influence the way that the game plays.

"I've never worked for Infinity Ward, or Respawn - for years I bet they were asked similar questions about how it's like the multiplayer system in Halo 2 or something like that," franchise director Frank O'Connor told Eurogamer when asked about the new system's similarity to Call of Duty. "We're not chasing anybody else's tail - all the pressure comes from inside."

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What's the best tale that video games have ever told?

What's the best story a game has ever told?

Perhaps it's Final Fantasy VII's emotional epic, or Planescape: Torment's dense tangle. Or maybe it's the self-referential yarn spun by BioShock, or the original Metal Gear Solid's surprisingly affecting tale, delivered before the series took on one twist too many and collapsed under the weight of its own self-importance.

Actually, for me it's none of those. The greatest story ever told for me by a game came from the PlayStation 2's Pro Evolution Soccer 6.


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Tanner the best.

Games are full of excuses, whether they're telling you that a terrorist strike has closed off half the city you're exploring or that swimming is a bad idea when you have electricity coursing through your veins. As excuses go though, Driver: San Francisco throws up one of the more outrageous.

You're John Tanner, undercover cop, wheelman and faded gaming icon, and after one high-speed altercation with your nemesis Jericho within the opening 10 minutes, you're also in a coma.

What that preposterous set-up excuses, however, is something quite brilliant. Drifting through the fog of San Francisco in the haze of a dream, Tanner can shift from car to car, possessing citizens in a mechanic that's as inspired as it is bizarre.


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Ever!

Sony's PS Vita, the new handheld that follows in the wake of the long-serving PSP, is the company's most developer-friendly console to date according to engineers from its research and development teams.

"We've never had tools at such an advanced state before the launch of a new platform," said Neil Brown, senior engineer at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's R&D division said at today's Develop conference in Brighton.

"It's our most developer friendly console, and by quite some margin."


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