Weekends are for Video Games

Actually, they aren't. Not entirely. Apparently there are things like shopping and cleaning to be done as well. But then again, you have to do something when "Casualty" is on the telly.

And it's not watch "Casualty". So I've been playing video games.

Starting with "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune" on the PS3. This seems to me as much fun as the original Tomb Raider 2 for the PS1. Not as much fun as Tomb Raider 1, which was ace, but still pretty good. The reason I'm not that keen on it is that, as with Tomb Raider 2, they've added lots of bad guys with guns to slow the action down. The exploring and jumping about is great, once you've managed to stop people shooting with you. The first part of the game was really good, just you and your chum exploring together. Then, after a great level on a submarine, a whole host of blokes with guns better than yours, and more bullets than you, show up round every corner. I'm getting good at headshots, but now they seem to be evolving the ability to survive these, which is irritating to say the least.

I've just given up playing to cool down, if I hear one more of them say "Not so tough now eh?" as idiot Drake turns to black and white and dies in slow-mo. I might chuck the whole thing out of the window. If you are better at gunplay than me you might really enjoy it. The scenery is lush and looks superb, and the whole thing has a very lavish movie feel to it.

The other game I've been playing is "Pure", on PS3 and Xbox 360. Xbox owners looking enviously at Motorstorm, as well they might, now have somewhere to go to get down and dirty on a quad bike. Pure doesn't have the range of vehicles that Motorstorm does, but it does have a huge number of customisation options for your bike. This is a bit irritating at the very start of the game, where you pretty much have to build your ride before you are allowed to go race it, but I guess it comes into its own later in the game. I optimised everything for speed and then had all the parts chromed, which worked fairly well.

Plugging round the muddy courses is great fun, and you can get extra boost by pulling amazing stunts while you and your bike are in the air after a jump. This is hilarious, as you try to work out if you have time to stand on the handlebars before the ground comes up and hits you. The game looks about the same on PS3 or Xbox, and seems to handle you and your 12 competitors on the screen with no slowdown whatsoever.

At this point I have to declare something of a vested interest. Pure was produced by Black Rock studios, a division of Disney interactive. They came to see us earlier this year, hired some of our graduates and promised to send us some freebies. And a couple of weeks back some pre-release copies of Pure turned up. And I've been playing with them. However, even though I got to play for free (we'll give away the games at the next student event we hold) I still rather like the game.