Games and Internet

PC Tomb Raider ll: Golden

Mask (Eidos) £19.99 at t at a: t

I And so the Tomb Raider legacy rolls

on. If you are not sick of the sight of Ms Lara Croft on bus shelters, pencil cases and now television advertisements, then TR/I: Go/den Mask is as good a purchase as you will make all year. For the ridiculously cheap price of £19.99 not only do you get the complete second instalment of the Croft saga, you also get four extra levels never seen before. Granted there is nothing new, innovative or indeed exciting about these levels but, hey, they are free.

This time you are searching for, you guessed it, a golden mask and, if you need any explanation of how Tomb Raider looks or works, then you've never owned a computer, and probably never will. For those who already own TR/I, then you can download the extra levels from but with phone bills being what they are, you’re probably cheaper buying the game again. Obviously those who don’t own TR/l are now reading the rest of this review on the bus to the nearest software emporium. Tomb Raider ll: Go/den Mask is priceless pleasure for twenty quid. (lD)

Amerzone (Microi’ds) £34.99 1: 1k 1: t

Amerzone will be cursed and blessed by inevitable comparisons to the legendaw Myst. Blessed because the scores of people who played, loved and lived Myst will crawl over broken glass to get a copy of Amerzone. Cursed because generally these people were not hardcore gamers who buy the majority of software and will probably avoid Amerzone like the plague. Which, to be fair, will be a terrible shame. Amerzone is a worthy title in it’s own right.

Based on the work of French comic book author Benoit Sokal, the story

Going for gold: Lara returns in Tomb Raider ll: Golden Mask

112TllE LIST 24 Jun-8 Jul 1999

O~mailist (inni‘i‘ iik


In Britain alone, Gran Turismo has sold an astonishing 560,000 units. The budget release has ensured that it continues to sell somewhere in the region of 17,000 units a week, earning its developers a cool £317,000 every seven days. Who would have thought that the simple act of driving a car around a track could have proved so popular?

Putting your finger on Gran Turismo’s greatest strength is not easy. Is it the realistic car physics, the beautiful handling, the numerous competitions, the stunning graphics or the sheer number of machines and upgrades available for purchase? The list could go on, and you would be no closer to identifying that x-factor which proved, and continues to prove, such a winner. Luckily you don't have to. You can sit back and play your little heart out. The programmers at Polyphony Digital Inc however, have to know exactly what made GT a success because, if they mess it up while making GT2, millions of gamers, and a few shareholders, will be baying for blood.

As things stand at the moment, it looks like they've got it nailed. A quick demo on the new PlayStation 2 machine at the E3 trade fair caused quite a stir among gamers and critics alike. Essentially the gameplay remains unchanged - you race, you win, you spend, you race faster. However, everything has grown. There

Hard Drive: Gran Tourismo 2

will be more races, over more tracks, covering more racing styles with many, many more cars. All models have been updated and there’s a whole range of new manufacturers to choose from.

The car physics have also been improved, providing an even more realistic driving experience and allowing the switch from, say, rallying on sand to dragging on gravel to be as lifelike as possible. The presentation has also been improved with a more sophisticated sound system and a greater level of graphical detail on both car and course. Indeed, it would appear that no part of the game has been left untouched. Let's hope that essential GT magic has survived. (lain Davidson)

I Gran Turismo 2 is released on Sony in November, priced £39.99.

; Amerzone. The pre-rendered locations : are stunningly created and, despite an

, often irritating lack of interactivity,

subtly draw you into the complicated

1 plotline. Gameplay is made up of tricky ; logic puzzles and exploration within a

: slowly evolving ecological and political adventure.

, along the way and a strong sense of ' achievement after every success.

follows a journalist’s journey from Brittany to the imaginary country of


There are many beautiful set-pieces

Amerzone is a rich and rewarding experience with a wealth of detail

Tamriel history.

i strong.

unlike any other game on the market. However, the stand-off gameplay will prevent many gamers from savouring its many delights. (ID)

(Virgin Interactive) £34.99 * t it

If you are going to have a long running series of fantasy games, it makes sense ; to set them all in the same world. Not ' only does this engender a feeling of familiarity and warmth among gamers, it also allows development, complication and ultimately a more believable environment. Thus Bethesda . Softworks created the world of Tamriel and, after two RPG adventures and an action game, we now have the action- adventure Redguard to further the

Redguard is a halfway house between role playing - complete with political story and character interaction and rope-swinging, swashbuckling action. Played from a third person perspective, you must guide the hero Cyrus in search of his sister lzara while slowly becoming embroiled in a complicated struggle for control of the region. Combat is swift and easily controlled, while conversations with NPCs effectively convey the twisting story. The graphics are adequate, if not mind-blowing, and the feeling of l being in an ever-changing world is very

Redguard might fall between two

stools when it comes to aficionados of RPG or action, but for those that don’t

mind a bit of both, an entire world is

out there waiting to be explored. (ID)


Anna Kournikova's Smash Court Tennis (Namco) £34.99 it i it t it

If anyone was in any doubt concerning the gameplay vs graphics argument, a few minutes in the company of Anna ' Kournikova’s Smash Court Tennis will provide a definitive answer. : Graphically, it is one of the sorriest, cheapest and unpolished games that has ever appeared on a console Since ; the glorious days of Sega’s Master System. Blocky little characters move 3 jerkily around a very basic tennis court, . with poorly animated backdrops trying their hardest to irritate. The sound is minimalist and the less said about the mobile phone mu5ic the better. However, try as it might, the laughable presentation cannot hide

tricky and responsive, with a perfectly judged learning curve, it is more addictive than chocolate flavoured cigarettes. As a multiplayer, it excels and with so many hidden games and characters (including a couple from Tekken 3 and RR Type 4) to unlock, even people without friends can get the most out of it. Every one of the

the sheer beauty of the gameplay. Fast,