Games and Internet
Corsairs (Micro'ids) £24.99 1: at ‘k it
There’s nothing like a life on the ocean wave. The mournful cry of the whale, the creaking planks beneath your feet and the clatter of falling teeth as scurvy takes hold. Corsairs re-creates this and more, provrding you with a King’s ship and your very own albatross necklace. Sailing into the South Seas you must bring law, Order and your monarch's word to the burgeoning ports of the Caribbean and beyond. Beginning with one ship, some clever trading between these ports will earn you some money to upgrade island defences, hire more men and build a fleet of war and cargo ships to command.
Viewed in top-down isometric 2D, your tour of duty is split into missions, each containing a number of arms. How you fulfil each task is up to you, whether it be honest trade or immoral piracy, but be ready for some cannonbaII-slinging combat whatever your choice. The sea battles are simple to control and capturing enemy ships soon becomes second nature. Some of the missions are a little slow and sailing into the constantly changing wind will reduce your schooners to a crawl but, all in all, Corsairs is an admirable title. (ID)
Gruntz (Microi'ds) £34.99 * * t
Gruntz is a puzzle game populated with cute plasticene characters. There's a story to accompany it, but after five minutes play, you will have forgotten all about it. The aim of the game is to guide your Grunt around a top-down map to collect a piece of warp stone and present it to your King at the finish. Succeed and — hey presto! — onto the next level. There are traps to overcome, buttons to stand on,
94 THE UST 8—22 Jul 1999
Mechwarrior 3 (Microprose) £34.99 * * 1t 1t
It's strange that Japan — the home of power-suited biomechanical amalgamations of man and steel -— should be secondary when it comes to Mech gaming. From tabletop war gaming to first person 30 combat, the BattleTech universe is by far the most popular arena for stomping 100 ton behemoths to beat the living daylights out of each other. Now Microprose have followed MechCommander, their so-so attempt at Mech strategy, with Mechwarrior 3 - a return to full-on, toe-to-toe Mech combat.
For those new to BattleTech, it is the 31st century and war has become the only way to live. Humanity has split into numerous
factions all vying for power, with their
favourite method of political badinage being a well placed strike team of walking tanks known as BattleMechs. Having been around for years, the BattIeTech universe is as detailed and RPG-anal as any you could hope to meet. Luckily, the history and, to be honest, the story means as little as you want it to mean. Wallow in the politics or skip it and jump feet first into the combat, the choice is yours.
Once in the cockpit of your striding titan (for shandy drinkers there is a third person view), you must follow your mission parameters to ensure success. However these are normally very simple, allowing the maximum amount of destructive mayhem to ensue. The graphical
All tanked up: Mechwarrior 3
details are beautiful, with some splendid animation, but the landscapes suffer from the same old problem of huge open spaces with a sprinkling of buildings. There are a few tight areas where the tension really spikes but otherwise it's rather uninspiring. The weapons are impressive, especially on the darker levels, and the sound rocks the room.
Slicker, easier to control and quicker, with a much better level of interaction, Mechwarrior 3, though far from perfect, is a vast improvement on previous Mech games. If any doubt remains, try the playable demo on www.mechwarrior3.com. You'd be mechin' stupid not to. (lain Davidson)
f enemies to defeat, toys to play with
and tools to utilise.
Some of the animations are fun — the sucking up of melted enemies With a bendystraw is particularly amusing — and the sound effects are big, bold
; and fruity. Unfortunately, the level
, designs are basic to say the least and prove no match for the experienced
A rum do: Corsairs
gamer. The battle modes are slightly more involvrng and multiplayer games could prove fun if you didn’t need another computer to play. Gruntz is fun for five minutes and may amuse the kids, but fails due to its lack of taxing levels. Lemmings everywhere will breath easy. (ID)
: (Various) £4.99 it * ir
The Sold Out collection is an excellent idea. Software past its sell by date is repackaged and offered at give-away prices. Unfortunately, its strength is also its weakness, as the selection of titles is a mixed bag, to say the least.
Now there are five new additions to the Sold Out catalogue. Virtual Golf: Scottish Open was an average golf game when it was released in 1994. Now it just sucks. Toonstruck is one of the most bizarre games ever released — a strange mixture of live action and cartoon animation, featuring the voice talents of Christopher Lloyd and Dan Castenalleta. Terracide is a cheap and cheerful space flight sim and Screamer was the fastest racer of its time. It's still fun, if a little Robin Reliant in speed. Finally, we have Championship Manager 2, the predecessor to the greatest football management sim ever. The player roster may be a little old, but the game is still wickedly
addictive and as a piece of video
gaming history, it is unparalleled. Go and have a sift through the Sold
Out collection — there’s bound to be a
fiver’s worth of history that suits you. (ID)
Rainbow SIX Gold
(Take 2) £19.99 at t t *
Rainbow Six is one of the most underrated games ever to grace the PC. Its combination of in-depth strategic planning and nail-biting 3D combat was a breath of fresh air when it was first released, and paved the
way for future titles like Hidden And
Dangerous. Although the anti-terrorist theme is slightly overplayed, it does
: allow a realistic present day arena for
the action, cranking up the player’s
involvement in the game world. Missions are easy to understand, if not so easy to complete, and the familiar surroundings mean there are no distractions. All that matters is nailing that evil terrorist.
A keen mind will help mission planning, with up to sixteen agents looking to you for pre-combat instruction, while a quick finger and steely nerve is required if both you and your target are to walk out alive. The original has now been expanded with five more mi55ions (based on real-life situations), a couple of new weapons