Games and Internet
PC KO (Data Becker) £29.99 it a 1“;
Well, here’s a novelty. KO is a sports game - boxing obviously — which does not have an official license. No boxers have put their names to it, no Federation Organisation have had their pockets lined wrth lucrative sponsorship deals here. Other than the odd, rather sad Daily Star banner, KO remains untarnished, an undiluted and honest boxrng simulation. Unfortunately it Suffers because of this — not that it lacks anything maior. There are Single fights, championship campaigns, training exerCises and a multitude of boxing styles to play wrth, but where is the razzmatazz, that unbridled Showmanship that makes modern boxrng a worldwrde spectacle?
The graphics are effrcrent but baSic, the boxers are simple to control, if a little unexcmng, and the struggle to improve yOur pugilist can become qurte addictive over time. However, With no clever detailing or cheeky characterisation, the experience is ultimately empty, feeling suspicrously like test code rather than a finished product. KO is not the knockout rt could so easrly have been. (ID)
PLAYSTATION F.A. Premiere League
Stars (EA Sports) £39.99 it a» ,2:
At the last count, there were over a gazillion football games on the market. EA Sports had a long, conSidered look at this srtuation and took the herOrcally brave decision to release yet another. FA. Premier League Stars is more of the same old same old. Take control of one of England's finest club teams and try to beat the rest. The action rs shot from a moveable camera, the players have the familiar variation of skills and
94 THE lIST 9-23 Sep 1999
PC/PlayStation/N64 Shadowman (Acclaim) £34.99/E3999/E4499
Remember when you were a kid? Everyone over the age of sixteen seemed to have been created for the single purpose of stopping you doing things. Well, prepare to become one of those infuriating, spoil-the-fun purveyors of the unfair. Play Shadowman for ten minutes and you will understand exactly why they put those little red ‘15' and '18' stickers on games.
Based on one of the darkest comics available, Shadowman takes the terms ’gruesome' and ’disturbing' to whole new realms. Following a premonition, voodoo sorceress Nettie employs hitman Mike LeRoi to
save the world. However, this is no normal contract, as Nettie forcibly rams an occult symbol, the Shadowmask, deep into Mike's chest. As well as bestowing him with growing voodoo powers, this mask allows Mike to travel between the land of the living and the Deadside. Believe it or not, this is as jovial and light-hearted as Shadowman
For Mike to save the living, he must prevent Legion (remember The Exorcist?) from gathering together the five most inhuman monsters to ever walk the Earth. The Five, as they are known, include mass murders and rapists and essentially set the tone for Shadowman. In gameplay terms, it is a reasonably simple affair, following the familiar Lara Croftian school of 30 action adventure. The good thing about this is that it immediately allows the player to feel at home, immersing them in the vicious
Heart of darkness: Shadowman
brutality of Shadowman within seconds.
However, everything else about the game is challenging. The graphics beautifully portray the horrific content of the game, while the music never allows a moment of relaxation. The sound effects truly turn the stomach and stunning details — like the murderer who taunts you with
audio tapes of his victim's dying pleas for mercy - has to
be heard to be believed. Nothing happens without drawing an ’Oh my God!’ from the player. Shadowman perverts and shocks, wielding a power unlike any other game. Be boring, be hated, but unless you like being woken in the night by screaming, nightmare-filled children, do not let them play this. However, don’t let that stop you from having a 90.
See feature, page 74
the best fun to be had is challenging yOur friends to a multrplayer championship.
To add a little spice to the affair, EA have introduced a star-rating system. As your team competes in successive matches, stars are awarded for Winning, fair play, man of the match, etc. These stars act as tokens which
Future shocks: Omega Boost
can be spent on improving inclivicraal players' attributes or saved up and cashed in on a transfer deal This system works well, but is let down by the actual football The gameplay is slow, stuttering and bears little resemblance to an actual footbal match If yOu must buy a football game today, then try Stars Otherwise wait until tomorrow — there’ll be ten more titles to choose from then ilD‘
Omega Boost (SCEEl £34.99
The lads at Polyphony Digital have taken a break from Gran Tons/no 2 to get a bit of retro programming clone Omega Boost contains all the finest big-bang ingredients from shoot-em- ups of old, combined with a control system reminiscent of one of Sega Saturn's finest titles, Panzer Dragoon Viewed from behind our hero, bedeckecl in a natty Japanese power suit, the action takes place in 360 degrees, Missiles scream past, and spider robots snap and lunge while VIClOUS plasma bolts are unleashed with gay abandon. There’s a thread of a story but, in all honesty, who cares7 Knowrng when to ladle on the cheese and when to display sheer genius, Omega Boost has been created by people who know what they are domg. The ship designs are fantastical,
explosions light up your living room and, as Jet streams streak across your visor, breathing becomes a thing of the past This is a piec e of gloriously noisy and blindingly colourful nonsense
\‘xhrc h requires absolutely no c‘orisc.:ous thoug it to enjoy Oh, if only it lasted longer ilDr
PC Hidden And Dangerous (Take 2) £34.99 Hidden Anc/ Dangerous became a classic the second it was released Loosely re-enac ting the World War II exploits of the S A S which ensured their place in the heart of British military history 7 this tactical combat game does the unit proud
After choosing your squad of crack hit-and-run speCralists, a short iaunt across the Channel drops you deep behind enemy lines and the action starts. Whether by map, by third person or through the eyes of your camouflaged warrior, guiding your squad couldn't be easier Each level is beautifully realised and must be examined carefully to ensure success. Trains rumbling through the rain can act as cover, orl drums can be utilised as makeshift explosives and the ability to spot a sniping vantage pornt becomes second nature
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