@RedSwirl I’ll always feel so sorry for 2K Marin, because it seems everyone bar Tom Chick came out of the gate calling their hard work totally unnecessary. Will you carry on a little further, just for them?

Last Thursday eve I found myself with some time to, ahem, burn and spent it playing Hot Pursuit, head-to-head racing with @poimandre (who I will admonish for not posting here!). And without a doubt, it’s the finest pure arcade racing game to be had in a long time. There’s a stench from the peanut gallery online stating it’s simply ‘Burnout Lite’, but we came to the conclusion these saps are simpletons who undoubtedly came onto the Burnout scene with something silly like Revenge. This is utterly the spiritual successor to Point of Impact, especially after giving it the old versus workout for a solid few hours. Traffic deadly, smooth and uncomplicated racing mechanics and a pleasant differentiation with car handling and classes.

Also, Nail’d arrived just before I zipped off to the inlaws for the weekend. Holy hell, the few races I had before I left were…erm…rather fast. It’s definitely not everyone’s cup of Earl Grey, but it’s excellent regardless. A little more nuanced than you’d think, because mid-air repositioning and tactical boosting is paramount. Not a fan of the metal soundtrack, but it fits the game at least. Unlike a lot of fixed track racing games, this one is initially hard to figure where to navigate. Pansies will cry about this, but once you run a track a few times, you get a good feel for that ‘critical pathing’ multi-road hijinx something like this offers.

It might not win any awards for Criterion-level visual clarity, but I dodged five scything wind turbine blades whilst dropping hundreds of metres towards down an Aegean island mountainside onto the head of another racer. So far, that beats the pants off Motorstorm: Pacific Rift and any other extreme offroad racer.

May I just take this opportunity to – in case of schedule issues and whatnot – thank the Squad for a solid however many months this Squawk has been around. It’s always a pleasure to log in and see the best word on the street there is; may the geekiness and quality discussion continue. Merry Christmas and a happy new year to the best damn group of gaming enthusiasts on the web. It’s a pleasure and an honour to squawk with heroes.