media and technology

Playing the field

It’s ajungle out there in the world of games and entertainment CD-ROMs, but fear not, John Henderson has beaten off the opposition to bring you twenty titles worth shelling out for this Christmas.

Soviet Strike (PlayStation/Saturn £44.99)

Helicopter action over Eastem Europe as you attempt to save fledgeling democracies from tyrannical chaos. The fourth Strike title in a highly successful series will see you wasting long nights drooling over photo- realistic graphics.

Telrlren 2 (PlayStation £44.99)

The best got better. No self-respecting PlayStation owner can be without this ultimate violence-fest. There isn‘t another beat 'em up around offering the same animation. playability and downright brutality as 'I‘ekken 2. Cinemaaia 97 (PC CD-ROM £29.99) Overtly American view of cinema. but still the slickest package about. Clips. profiles. reviews and stills are seamlessly bonded with hypertext links. and the package can be updated monthly via the lntemet. A crucial tool for film buffs.

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Wipeout 2097 (PlayStation £44.99)

A racing game with style. courtesy of Designers Republic (graphics ofthe future). effects worthy of Star Trek and music from The Prodigy. Chemical Brothers and Leftfreld. The hippest release of the year bar none. Toerb Raider (PlayStation. Saturn. PC CD-ROM £39.99)

Lara Croft is the lndiana Jones with the hour-glass figure who stars in this crypt-exploring. creature-dodging. puzzle-solving three-dimensional over-hyphenated extravaganza. The odd niggle. but looks the business.

oeelrallz (PC CD-ROM £14.99)

Hot on the heels of Catz and Dog: comes another collection of desktop pets. These seven little aliens will save your screen. guard your files and generally waste your time. But remember. an Oddball is for life not just for Christmas.

Creatures (PC Cl)-R()M £39.99) Too weird. An exercise in artificial intelligence featuring gremlins that live. breed and play in your computer. Each has a character that develops according to impulse. environment and nurturing. The results are uncanny.

Dinosaur Hunter (PC Cl)-R()M £29.99)

Keep wannabe palaeontologists amused this Christmas with this fact- packed museum. and excavation allowing dinosaurs to be re-animated. Not quite Jurassic Park. but then it is in your living room.

lights (Saturn £49.99)

Sega needed a showcase for the Saturn and came up with Nights. It‘s a cross between [firm The I )u/p/Ittl and Smtit‘ The Hedgehog with fast. fluid graphics and addictive garneplay. It won't challenge Mario 64. but it's here now and Mario isn't.

Wallace and Grommit (PC Cl)-R()M £29.99)

Silicon meets clay as the ()scar- winning animations take to Cl)-R()M. A mixture of games. clips and general interactivity will keep any young fan amused. but this title does rely heavily on the strength of its characters.

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Quake (P(.‘ CD-ROM £29.99)

Dutntt changed the face of PC gaming forever. Qua/w is the follow-up. Not so much a giant leap forward as a big step. this game will still grab the attention of gore-hungry garnesters. Mario 64 (Nintendo Ultra 64 £69.99 lrnport)

If you‘re rich/spoilt enough to own Nintendo‘s new machine and don‘t have this game. you need your head examined. The plumber's latest outing is the release of the decade. and heralds a new era in videogaming.

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Encarta 97 (PC Cl).ROM £29.99) Arguably the best encyclopaedia available. this UK version of [fur-arm now features hot-links to relevant web pages as well as more traditional multimedia. The essential reference CD-ROM for adults and kids alike.

Fighting Vipers (Saturn £44.99) Although not as refined as ll’r‘rtua Fig/Her. this game kicks butt in the beat ‘em up stakes by having walls and armour. Humiliate your opponent by taking your kit off and then smash them up against perimeter fencing. Rock ‘n' roll.

Broken Sword (PlayStation £39.99) This title shows all signs of being the first decent adventure game for the PlayStation. An intricate plot revolving round the mysteries of the Knights Templar is backed up by truly awesome graphics.

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i’oy Story (SNES/Megadrive £39.99) Woody and Buzz Lightyear. partners in animation extraordinaire. wreak havoc in a slick release combining van’ous gaming styles. The fact it's so good is ironic considering the film‘s nostalgic view on toys.

Championship Manager 2 (PC CD- ROM £ l 7.99)

Updated classic where you pick a footballing dream team and watch their performance across the season. Strategy and management combine to produce the perfect gift for any would- be Alex Fergusons.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 6.0 (PC CD-ROM £39.99)

The old favourites are often the best. Used by airline pilots to practice new routes. Sittmlatur won't suit those seeking action. but there is no better. or cheaper. introduction to the art of flight.

FIFA 97 (Most formats £39.99) Building on the outstanding reputation of previous games. FIFA 97 delivers another dose of footballing nirvana. With the voices of John Motson. Andy Gray and old smoothie Des. you know you're in safe hands.

Yoshi's Island (SNES £39.99)

If you sold your Super Nintendo to pay for a next generation console. you might want to buy it back to play

Yoshi 2r Island. When reviewers harp on about the need for playability rather than fancy frills. this is what they mean.

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The List 13 Dec 1996-9 Jan I997 109