Having mentioned a number of possible games I was considering spending my CEX voucher on, I thought I would look at them in a little more detail to see if I can make a decision...
Virtua Fighter 5 (360) - Now I'm not entirely sure why but I suddenly really fancied getting this, which is a bit odd as I've already had it. I downloaded the demo and quite liked it, so I ordered it from Game on Christmas Eve for £17.99, a bit of a bargain at the time! It duly arrived before New Year and slipped into it's place in my rack still sealed. And there it sat. And sat. And sat. Eventually I started to believe that I would never crack the seal and decided to stick it up for sale. An offer eventually came in and I had second thoughts so I downloaded the demo again and gave it another whirl. No, I decided I didn't really like it and it should go so it was packaged up and posted off. On Saturday I had the game in my hand at CEX but eventually slipped it onto a shelf amongst the PSP games whilst I was in the queue. I've since downloaded the demo again and... well, I'm glad I didn't buy it as I don't think I like it. I think my desire for a good fighting game will hold until I can get my hands on Street Fighter 2 HD and Street Fighter IV.
Burnout Revenge (360)/Burnout Paradise (360) - I'll tackle these together, for obvious reasons! I've wanted a good racing game for a while and was thinking Burnout Paradise would fit the bill. I had tried demos of both of these and was very impressed. What impressed me even more was all the fantastic additions that have been released for Burnout Paradise, including the recent release of the bikes pack. That's amazing for a freebie! Paradise was another one I had in my hand at CEX, until I flipped it over and read the back and realised that there was no split-screen multiplayer! I can't understand that, I really can't. I still have the original Burnout on my Gamecube and think it's brilliant zipping in and out of the traffic and THAT version has split-screen multiplayer, so why is it missing from the latest version? When I realised this I checked whether Revenge had split-screen multiplayer and found that it did so it quickly came into contention. Unfortunately I couldn't find a copy in the store, but next time I'm in there (or another branch) I'll be checking for it again and am sure to be picking it up.
Army of Two (360) - Now this was more of a whim than anything. I play a lot of games with Player Two in co-op and I figured a game that is built from the ground up around co-op play could be pretty good. Reviews I have seen have been good rather than great so I felt that this was a bit overpriced (at £25) in CEX so didn't pick it up. If I'd seen it under £20 it would almost certainly been on my shelf now.
Conan (360) - At £10 this looked like a bit of a bargain. I've tried the demo and quite like it, although I can imagine it will likely become impossibly difficult at some point and will be one of those games that I never finish, which put me off somewhat.
Call of Duty 2 (360) - Another one I couldn't see on the shelves (I could see Call of Duty 3, which I've completed on Wii) but will be looking for again next time I'm in there. There has been quite a shift in FPS games towards multiplayer in recent years, with single player experiences suffering. There are a number of games where singleplayer mode is effectively the multiplayer mode with bots which I find becomes frustrating when your efforts don't seem to amount to much, or worse, when the team manages to win in spite of you! This is what helped to rule out Battlefield 2 and Frontlines.
So there you have it, it looks like the voucher is destined to be spent on Call of Duty 2 and Burnout Revenge next time I see them...