PC PREVIEW MechCommander

Tactical strategy games have a slightly undeserved reputation as dry-as- dust alternatives to chicken-choking for spotty adolescent boys with megalomaniac tendencies. You know, the sort of people who establish dictatorships in obscure African countries because they can't get a


Offering a potential remedy to this undesirable rep is MechCommander, the promising real-time strategy title from MicroProse and FASA Interactive. Those familiar with the sci-fl environment of BattleTech from novels and previous games will know the score. For the uninitiated, the basic sketch is that you take control of Zulu Company, a group of twelve massive, scary robots, and try to win back the planet Port Arthur from the technologically-superior Smoke Jaguar Clan.

Whereas previous BattleTech games have placed the player in control of a single MechWarrior, MechCommander is the first game to allow its players control of up to twelve of the mental metal monsters in battle. What's more. you can even custom-build your own fighting force. From a total of eighteen available chassis, 29 weapons and nine sensors you can create your own unique squad of steely soldiers.

The next step is to take your finely-tuned army into battle in over 30 in- depth missions. The tactical bit comes from figuring out which tactics to use and how best to manage the resources at your disposal. Don't worry though, there's plenty of mayhem available too, as the MechWarriors don’t simply get stuck in to their opponents. You can also lay waste to the surrounding environment, destroying bridges, forests and buildings. And for those who prefer to indulge their penchant for ultra-violence in the company of likeminded chums, there‘s a multi-player link-up available

through the Net. (Peter Ross)

is MechCo/nnrander is released on Mrcroprose and FASA Interac t/ve, Fri 77 ju/,

[34. 99.

XParanoitl androicls: MechCommancler

like this basketball sim whic h sell by the hoop-load

But there's no reason at all why Kobe Bryant’s NBA Courtsrc/e shouldn’t take pride of place next to your dog-eared copy of World Cup 98 It looks great, plays like a dream and is funkrer than a gibbon With velvet flares

The Kobe Bryant of the title is the b- ball prodigy making waves wrth the LA Lakers, and hers only one of 300 real players modelled in this game If you’re a basketball aficionado, you'll be suitably Impressed by the realism of a game which accurately rates each player in various characteristics such as speed, Jumping, foul tendency and so on, if you couldn't give a Harlem globetrotter for the real sport then you'll still be wowed by NBA Courtsmle's smooth, sharp graphics, groove—tastrc rnusrc and nippy gameplay. (PR: PC Pax Corpus (Cryo Interactive) £19.99 t Oz—Nama is under threat The sinister Kryana Soro is trying to extend her control over the populace by using Pax Corpus, a computer-based mind- control unit that makes you go all blue Only one thing stands in her way - a chick wrth big boobs, a huge attitude and a gun

This is the usual sci-fr, puzzle-solvrng, shoot-the-bad-guys stuff, though With

a couple of twrsts. First, taking the Lara Croft thing one step further, all the characters are female, though not in an ideologrcally-sound way. Second, the figure—rrrodellrng (the way the characters move) rs slinky and effective.

That's where the game's good points end, though, as it is seriously flawed. A game like this depends on the narrative which, here, is baffling. Your first mission is to find the inventor of Pax Corpus, who has disappeared, taking the machine With her to stop rt falling into the hands of the evrl Kiyana and being mass—produced. But the whole place rs already crawling wrth people who are under the machine's spell. How can this be?

There is little or no help Instructions amount to little over four pages of occasionally garbled English, after which you’re on your own. And the configuration is buggy a you have to set screen resolution every time you start the game up.

This really could have been so much better Pax Corpus? Lax tortoise, (IO)

REVIEWERS THIS ISSUE: lain Grant, Peter Ross


* it it a: sit Unmissable

* is it it Very ood

it t i Wort a shot

it t Below average

it You've been warned

Totally Wired

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A Girl's Guide To Geek Guys http:///

The rationale of this site is that geek guys

men who know a lot about the latest

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Squashed Bug Zoo

This is one of the weirdest sites you’ll ever Visit Created by a guy ‘.‘.’lill clearly too

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lots of

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The Gospel According To Lego

http://www.atl.mindspringcom/ ~lewval3/Lgo/html/body_gospel.htm Proof positive that Douglas Coupland isn’t the only normally sane adult to be obsessed With Lego This site interprets the creation of humanity in terms of the little, coloured building blocks Odd, but strangely touching

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Deadly serious and well maintained site dedicated to the study of newly discovered, rediscovered and still unknown speCIes of animals including stuff on NeSSIe and Bigfoot Amusingly, its articles have titles like ’ls A Grant Lemur Survrvrng In A Madagascar7’ and 'New Goat From Vietnam'

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