Actua Soccer 3 (Gremlin Interactive) £39.99 7ft 'x «r air
. SPURS o
Behind Sensible Soccer, Actua Soccer is the finest football game around. It may not be as immediately accessible as, say, ISS Pro, but it does produce final scores which bear some relation to real life. My record on ISS Pro is 36-0, honest. Actua Soccer takes a lot longer to master but is ultimately much more satisying. When a ball played down the channels results in a cross to the back post and a zipping header into the onion bag, all those months of practise suddenly seem worthwhile.
Well, now we have the third Actua Soccer and little has changed. It is still so murderously difficult to master that your goalkeeper will get back strain from lifting the ball out of the back of the net before your perseverance pays off. All the usual options are available - cup and league competitions, freedom of team management and more than 450 teams to choose from. Both national and international teams are available, from lowly Hibs to the mighty Kansas City Wiz, with skill levels differing accordingly. Graphically, everything has that Actua feel where detail and fluidity is preferred to slick 30 rendering. The players are small but perfectly formed, leaving a lot of room on the pitch with which to weave your tactical magic. This feels more like the real game than any other game out there and is everything a footie anorak could want. There is also the added bonus of secret codes, gained through winning competitions, which release extra teams and silly graphics.
If you love football and want a game which panders to that love rather than arcade action, then you'll do no better than Actua Soccer 3.
Actua Soccer 3: feels like the real game
Magic And Mayhem (Virgin Interactive) £39.99 e —.» Magic and mayhem are opposites. Mag:c is the anCient art which brings order from chaos, the restructuring of the universe according to the wielder's Will. Mayhem, on the other hand, is the completely uncontrollable, the anarchic frenzy of unrestrained excess. Magic And Mayhem the game, however, fails to keep these forces equal, mayhem being the stronger by far.
As a fledgling Wizard you must seek out y0ur errant mentor, travelling a land which is conveniently split into areas. Each area contains a challenge Or quest and conquering one allows access to the next few. The challenges are essentially real-time strategy exerCises where yOu create your own little army by Summoning magical creatures who then fight, explore and, importantly, guard you and your Places Of Power Succeed in an area and experience gained buys you better
statistics and new spells. Unfortunately,
y0ur army is very difficult to control, resulting in a great deai of mayhem and very little magic The areas feel very similar and boredom soon begins to creep in More crip-crap-crop than piff-paff-poof (IDi
Sanitarium (lvlindscape) £39.99 1» ..
There’s this guy who has lost his memory and can't even remember his
own name, poor guy. Luckily, he has you on his side Using a point-and-click interface, yOu must guide what's-his- name through the mental institute he now finds himself in, helping him to regain his identity, history and, ultimately, his sanity.
And what a trip this turns out to be. Although the gameplay is a little slow and the pu77|es don’t tax you too much, the imagination and creativin of the story is breathtaking It is intricate, detailed and deeply invoIVing As you progress, beautiful Cinematic flashbacks slowly reveal life as it was, while the present takes many a Wicked toast and turn. Ghosts of what's-his- name's childhood become reality, the insane babbling of rnadmen cOntains truth, calming psychiatrists become menacing figures and each fantasy holds aspects of the next
Imagine Jacob’s Ladder, Pink Floyd's The Wall and Dante's Inferno and you'll be getting close to the feeling of this game It is iritriguing, shocking, touching and very, very bizarre Lose y0ur mind and discover someone else's iIDi
REVIEWERS THIS ISSUE Iain DaVidson, Peter Ross, Jonathan Trew, Rory Weller
Worth a shot
Below average You've been warned
The weird world of the Web
Aliens Are Abducting Our Pants
Taking X—Fi/es mama to its logical conclusion, this Site posits the theory that little green men are yiSiting our planet and stealing the underwear of unsuspecting Earthlings Why they don't Just head round to lvlarks & Spencer is anybody’s guess.
Official Star Wars Website
http://wwwstarwars.com Six months to go before you can see Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace, but you can take a sneak peek at Ewan McGregor et al by downloading the two-minute trailer at this site. Be warned though millions of other people have the same idea. Best wait till America is asleep, eh7
Someone Shoot Me http://www.meaninglessdr... com/season-greeting.html
If you didn't know that this site was created by someone who really hates this time of year, then the picture of the dog with a Christmas tree up its ass might give the game away. In any case, this is the place if you want to bone up on ’Christinas SLiiCide lvlethods', read about 'The Tortured Life Of An Elf’ or try out some Christmas Carols about 'a boy and his unnatural love of pine'
Gallery Of Regrettable Food http://www.lileks.com/institute/ga|lery/food.htm|
Eleanor Roosevelt recommended hotdogs in ads for Life lTlled/IIIC, but what the hell (lid she know7 This site looks at promotional materials for crap foods of the 40s, 50s and 60s and dares to ask ’how did they eat this bilge7' Go here for loVingly reproduced pics of awful edible crap. Proof, if you needed it, that yoor parents are mad.
Barbelith: The Invisibles Reading Companion http://wwwcinenet.net/users/jaybab.barbelith.html
This site is dedicated to The Inwsrb/es, Scottish artist Grant Morrison's montth comic book series Jay, who writes this, reckons The //lVl.S/b/6‘S is a ‘magickal spell to encourage subversion and disobience’ Decide for yourselves by surfing here.
The Marilyn Manson Christmas Album
Ohttpzr/www.geocitiescom... p/Plaza/3767/manson.html This IS a very funny site iriiagining what a Phil
Spector-style Christmas album would be like had it been created by the self-styled 'God Of Fuck' Go here for hilariOus parodies 'Silent Night', 'Rudolph The Red—Nosed Reindeer’ and the like ‘lingle Bells’, for example, has been changed to include lyrics about remoVing ribs, eating human faeces and being, like, a bit of a loony
Twin Peaks Humor http:i'fwwwgeocitiescom...Boulevard.fI884.main.html
Billing itself as 'the lighter side of depraVity, death and despair", this site points out the funny bits in OaVid Lync h's Try/n Peaks Lynch himself is reported as saying 'I like the darkness and confusion and absurdity but I like to know that there could be a little door you could go out into an area of happiness’, a quote that precedes an episode-by-episode guide to the gags
Tacky Postcard Archive http://homeattnet‘~ro'tpafhomehtm
Dedicated to ‘preserVing the bad taste of our era for future generations', this immensely popular site, as you might expect, .s a haven for extremely bad postcards Bad Eastern European (lllt’lYtlﬂS to be ‘funky' and sexually suggestive advertising promotions are their speciality
“.7 Dec l998 )7 ,‘ar‘ l999 THE lIST129