Games and Internet

PLAYSTATION Bust-A-Move 4 (Taito) £34.99 a. i it i.

As any good sitcom writer knows, never change a Winning formula. So it is with the Bust-A-Move series. Now onto its fourth instalment, the core of the game has remained unchanged since its first incarnation. Shoot your coloured ball up the screen to hit Similarly coloured spheres. Get three together and they disappear. Clear the screen and you progress to the next fiendish arrangement.

As much fun as this is, the two-player games have always been Bust-A— Move’s best feature. Dislodged balls are sent onto your opponent's screen, invariably provoking a stream of swear words that would make a sailor blush, Nothing is guaranteed to split life-long friendships like a quick post-pub game and Bust-A-Move 4 carries on this tradition, tWisting the playability even further. There are now chain reaction moves which can clear your screen With one carefully placed shot, leavmg your opponent with more balls to deal With than that guy on the National Lottery. If you have a copy of any preVious editions, then give this a miss. But for those new to the game, Bust- A-Move 4 is definitely the one to get. (ID)

Puma Street Soccer (lnfogames) £34.99 fir A Puma must be stark raVing loony to put their name on this piece of nonsense. With football being one of the most fiercely contested game genres, Puma Street Soccer must be among the worst attempts to ever disgrace a console. For a start, there are only four players per team. The lack of tactical play, passing moves and general playability this number prowdes is quite breathtaking. Even a five-a-side would have forced a larger pitch, therefore more space to play Wlth.

Although called 'Street Soccer’, you never actually seem to play on a street, with a purpose-built pitch always

106 THE HST 10—24 Jun 1999

N64 Star Wars Episode I:

Racer (Lucasarts) £49.99 a it i: at

For the first time in history, a movie tie-in game has been released before the actual film reaches the cinema. Therefore anyone who doesn't want to know a thing about The Phantom Menace, who wishes to remain virginal as they sit down to the movie event of the century, then please do not play this game. In fact, stop reading now and turn the page.

Racer is, unsurprisingly, a racing game. Apparently at some point in Episode I, the young Anakin Skywalker gains his freedom from

slavery by charging to victory in a pseudo-chariot race. However, with this being science fiction, these are no ordinary chariots. Instead of horses, the anti-gravity buggies are dragged by two huge jet turbines and are called Podracers. Reaching speeds of over 600 miles per hour, they are hard to control, flimsy in construction and very, very dangerous. Racer lets you pilot one of

these death-rigs.

After choosing your very own Podracer, you take to the first of over twenty tracks on eight worlds. Finish in the top four, and you can move on to the next race. The better you are placed, the more prize money you receive and the more improvements you can purchase for your Podracer. The tracks vary from sand-blown desert to underwater tunnels, and are hazardous in the extreme. Rarely does a race go by without at least one


collision ripping your feeble Podracer asunder. Luckily this results in time loss and little else. The races are fast, seat-of-the-pants affairs, requiring some skilful flying to

Racer utilises the N64 Expansion Pack, allowing high- res graphics, but those without need not worry it still looks great in low-res. The sound is minimal but effective, with your opponents screaming Obscenities in alien languages as you pass them. Not having seen the movie, the music sounds brand new, yet feels very familiar. Indeed, as you would expect from a Star Wars game, the entire presentation is friendly and comforting, with many neat little touches.

Ultimately Racer is a Star Wars version of Wipeout without the fun weapons. Does that mean there won't be any in the film? (lain Davidson)

4:3,? ., . ,,'I

Look mum, no Hanl: Star Wars Racer

appearing as your playing surface. The animation is laughably poor as chunky, Master System-like players waddle slowly around the tiny pitch. There’s no through balls, no clever crossmg, no net-busting goals, no impressive skills, no atmosphere and ultimately no fun. This type of footie game was tackled better on the SNES as an add-on to the mighty ISS, where it was ridiculous, unreal, frantic and a toy to play. Puma Street Soccer is none of that and less. You Just pray for the doddering old git from next door to appear and put a knife through their ball. (ID)

Release the bats: World Cup Cricket 99

Grand Theft Auto:

London 1969

(Take 2 Interactive) £19.99 (or £34.99 With GTA) if k i

As the first ever Playstation misSion disk, GTA: London 7969 is something of a Victory. With the minimum of disk-swapping fuss, the gang-ridden streets of Liberty City, San Andreas and Vice City become the SWinging, shagadelic highways of GOsLondon.

It may not be inch-for-inch aCCurate, but With Tower Bridge, Battersea Power Station and St James Square in Soho all flashing past as you roar that red mini to your next jOb, the feeling is perfect. The mu5ic is also worth a mention, With the glorious back catalogue of ska kings, Trojan, stomping away in the background. The misSion—based system of the original game remains the aim here, but all the dialogue has been ’Cockney-fied’. You’ve got to

_ take on some slags, deliver a few

filthy movies, do in the odd grass

and av0id the Old Bill at all costs.

If you have ever wanted to be

Michael Came in Get Carter, then GTA: London 7969 Will fulfil that . fantasy. Don’t take no grief, don’t ; get in a two-by-eight and, if your

motor gets stopped by the rozzers,

keep your bleedin' trap shut. Sweet

as a nut. (ID)

COLOUR GAME BOY Harvest Moon (Nintendo) £24.99 rs! A -.

Harvest Moon is a perplexing little title. Farming WOuld not seem to be the best actiVity to recreate in a game, yet this is a compelling, absorbing and deceptiver time-consuming GXDE‘TIGHCE‘. Beginning in the spring, you have one year to develop your farm from a lowly homestead to an expansive and profitable business. Ground must be ploughed, seeds bought and planted, crops watered and fruit harvested, all Without the aid of burly farm hands.

Make money and you can invest in livestock which must be fed and tended if they are to produce anything other than grief. As the year passes, more effiCient tools become available, as do more productive crops. There are a few distractions in the shape of the local girls, as well as the odd earthquake to deal With, but if you work hard enough and save up enough money, yOu can upgrade your farmhouse.

Effectively utilising the graphical capabilities of the Colour Game Boy, Harvest Moon is a dastardly infectious combination of management simulation and tamagotchi. When Winter ends, the only thing preventing you from starting again Will be the state of your batteries. (ID)