Now that the domestic league and cups are settled, all eyes are turning to France and World Cup fever is gripping the land. This year, partners of footie-lovers will have more to contend with than round-the-clock TV coverage, they'll find themselves widowed by soccer software as well.

World Cup 98 is brought to you from Electronic Arts Sports, the athletic blighters behind last year’s massive-selling FIFA Road To The World Cup 98, the game which used Blur’s Song 2 as its theme tune. Whooo and,

indeed, 0000.

World Cup 98 builds on the blueprint laid down by that game. The tremendously catchy song this time is Chumbawamba's Tubthumping, whose chorus is perhaps a comment on Klinsmann’s propensity for taking a dive; there's a big-name commentary team including Lineker, Waddle, Motson, Wolstenholme and Lynam; there's every single group, team and kit in the tournament. For those who get their kicks from football lore, there's even a Classic Team Mode which allows recreation of famous finals such as Brazil, 1970 and Germany, 1990. You can relive 1966 as well, but

why would you want to?

Most importantly, there's exciting play and visual flair. Special features include Star Player Moves, in which the biggest stars show off their own unique moves. Players will even react differently under different weather and playing conditions. Sadly, there’s no way of seeing how Gazza will fare after a hard night on the Kronenberg 1664 and ten plates of escargot

fritters. (Peter Ross)

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The beautiful game: World Cup 98

equwalent of the Vic 20 But there you sit, for hours at a time, glued to the Clive Tyld'esley commentary and staring at a static screenshot of your horrte ground, hoping against hope that your experimc-intai 7-1-2 formation pays diyidends

Simple and (‘lf(.‘(ll‘.’(‘, all the usual tactical, financial and transfer options are in place, although the budget tag means that it's the 96 sguads that you'll be managing, and if you're a Celtic fan that means Peter Grant You have been warned iPOi

Links LS

(Eidos Premier Collection) £12.99 i it t 'Links' as in golf, not sausages And very good it is too Golf or: the computer hasn't really (hanged much in years after all, there are only so many things you can do \‘Jllll the game

but it has been refined, and this represents the 'best yet Play takes place on 'the beautiful resort island of Maui' set in the Pacific Ocean You're presented with a choice of three courses and a number of options for playing the game stroke pray, match play, best ball, skins and practice

Playing is easy to get into, once you've mastered the snap iayoiding the slice or the hooki With your mouse, you're up and running The landscape is excellent, and there are plenty of sound effects to keep you amused YOU can play With, or get personal ttiition from, Arnold Palmer For some reason he keeps yelling 'bite' No idea what that means, but he seeriis guite angry

The customisable player characters are also a bit tetchy lane flings her club to the ground after a had shot

and John keeps hanging his head in disbelief asking ‘what's wrong with me tod'ay7' whic Ii adds to the amusement The only irritants are the smug American voices on the animated flypast of each hole and, given tnat this is golf, the sobriety of everyone's trousers ilGi

PLAYSTATION Gex 30: Enter The

Gecko (BMG Interactive) £44.99

Well, lie/i'ooooo Getting Les. e Phil!” saacy-tonec: star o‘ 60s Britconis to do the ‘.'o.ce for a stiai. e cartoon ./ar‘d s tne 'nost ()l'l(]r."(i thing abOu'. Gex 30 a solid, p’ayable piatforine" w it‘. deas aooyci its station

Perhaps as a tribute to Philips, Gex .s a te?ly add ("I lnus, the levels have a goggle-box slant and are tnenied by T\’ genre I‘ Gex co'npietes a task on a me, he gets a remote control and can access new levels through a "‘(lSSl‘. e IV sc i‘eer‘

Gex being a i./ar'd, you can climb wa Is and e'~.e." wa K on tne cei. "g, but this is "ea..y gust a" ()ttl..".d"y pzat‘orinei along Si'l‘. a" nes to Crash Band/c dot and )cllldf‘HIO/IIU/tl

That's not to say that Gex 3D is a bad game ‘ar from it Tnis is a playable, progressrrely cnaler‘gzng ar‘d frequently funny ()c‘rll‘t‘ l‘ wi‘ be a ‘.'.‘()"tl‘y addition to ar‘y coiiec to" without plat‘orrners

Ai‘ things consciereci, Gex 30 woa'd be a good gaine ‘or those "ew to the PlayStation \.’eteran_s w on't be proclaiming tnis Li/ai'ci k ng iPRl

REVIEWERS THIS ISSUE Andrew Burnet, lain Grant, Paul Owens, Peter Ross

Totally wired

The weird world of the Web.

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Every time you access this page, you are greeted with a different s.;ireaI-st (()'l‘,l)ill‘.l(’l‘.l such as 'Your face ;s like an imperfectly shaten tehn s bar or 'May you always have stables of horses to service your needs' [he list got as far as 'Tnine ass doth be beyond the physical boundaries of l'l's world" be‘oie gett:r‘g bored

Circumcise The Clip-Art Penis

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Fortean Times Online

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Comprehensite and engaging site from lather lionel fanthorpe and his mob of paranormal pursueis Everything you want to know about ci‘op c ir'c -es, UFOs and Mexrcan goatsuc ker‘s is yours at the clic k of a mouse Topically, there's a big article on the Dead Sea Scrolls which suggests the crucifixion .'lll(]."l have been a stunt

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Always useful, this site really demor‘strates the public Sf‘l".’l((‘ side of the Net Apparently if yoa have a (l(i\.'lll() for sugar or hear a humming sound Ill your ears, there's quite a good chance that you're en route for an exploding cranium

Tasty Insect Recipes

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Not for the weak of stomach, this page caters for those with, shall we say, the more adventurous palate Recrpes for such culinary delights as Banana \‘y'oiin Bread, Rootw'or'm Beetle Dip and Chocolate Chirpie Chip Cookies aboui‘d'

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