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Fighting spirit: Soul Calibur

0n the day Namco announced they were releasing Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast, SEGA’s market price rose by 17%. A heavy weight for any game but, if reports from Japanese shores are to be believed, everyone’s expectations have been more than exceeded.

Essentially Soul Calibur is another beat-em-up. You pick a character, you kick the living daylights out of successive opponents and, well, that's it. However, Soul Calibur promises to do this in so much style that friends, neighbours, even the postman will be popping in to have a gawp at its


For starters, the graphics in the game are way beyond anything that has ever been seen before. Imagine the most beautifully rendered opening sequence you have ever witnessed. Now imagine that level of detail in the game itself sun flares, hair movement and lip synching all presented in real time. Soul Calibur looks better than that. The screenshots in no way capture the flowing grace of the game in full flight, and the fact that it handles so well, with such precision, makes it all the more unbelievable.

Yet it's not all show. Such is the depth of the game that there are over 80 separate moves per character, a repertoire of athletic violence that will take months to master. As well as the open hand combat, there is a large arsenal of weapons to whip, stab and swing with, each of which have special attacks attributed to separate characters. To help you gain proficiency, there are a mass of game modes to traverse, from simple arcade, through single fights and time attacks, to the astonishing Mission Battle mode. Here the challenges range from victory without using your feet to battling the elements, such as high winds, alongside your opponent. The replay value, like so much in the game is unparalleled.

Soul Calibur has defined what is now expected from SEGA’s new machine. When it arrives on our shores, don't be surprised if you witness people fighting in HMV for the last copy. Just make sure you are in there first.

(Iain Davidson)

l Soul Calibur wi/l be released by Namco in Nov, priced around £40. For

Dreamcast feature, see page 7 70.

to the gamer. The tracks are tricky, yet have the delicate mixture of knee- scraping bends and sprinting straights just about right. The bikes look and s0und fantastic and, With a variety of riding aids at your disposal, soon become comfortable to handle. There are a few annoying glitches like dodgy colliSion detection and some wobbly animation, but they don't detract too much from the gameplay.

Hopefully Castro/ Honda Superbike Will be the first of many top-notch motorbike titles, kick-starting the genre, as it were. (ID)

Croc 2 (Fox Interactive) £34.99 7‘: it

Are baby crocodiles born Without the VICIOUS mouthful of weaponry sported by their adult counterparts? The reason for the question is that, if Croc 2 is anything to go by, they are utterly toothless. In the genre of 3D adventure, populated as it is With bandicoots, geckos and now ageing hedgehogs, why anyone would buy this little reptile is beyond


It may be marketed as a game for children, but that is no excuse for child-like programming. The graphics are blocky, the control system is unWieldy and there is absolutely no character to the game at all. Masswe problems have been ignored, such as the camera’s inability to see where Croc is gang to land when he Jumps, making the title almost unplayable. Havmg appeared on millions of blSCUlt boxes, the marketing potential of Croc is ObVlOUS. A shame then that Fox should go and blow it all on such a poor game.

Croc 2 should have bitten hard, holding us fast in its Vice-like grip. A shame then that it Just sucks. (ID)



a t t g t Unmissable t t it it Very 00d t i * Wort a shot ii i Below average t You’ve been warned

Totally wired

The weird world of the Web.

Dress Tara Palmer- Tomkinson


Britain's favourite 'lt’ girl has taken a tumble the doyenne of society hasn't a thing to wear. Armed only With a wacky wardrobe and a computer mouse, it's your JOb to get this girl an outfit. Natty wrgs, blood-stained overalls, £100,000 frocks and a shark are JUSI some of the items you can kit her out With. Then she’ll look like she does on the telly.

The Crappy Processor Support Group

A satirical page aimed at people With crap computers Just come here and laugh at people With better hardware than you. The place to be if your computer is so slow, the clock is still registering 1982

Java Poet

For the many, writing poetry is difficult because every word counts, and choosing the right ones can be a struggle Enter the Java Poet, and exit any meaning You're given an array of words and you Just drag them into your poem The cheap way to create profound, beautiful gibberish. The expensive way is ten pints down your local.

Java Games

On the subject of Java, this is a collection of old arcade games that have been converted to tiny Java applets that Will run on most modern browsers. Pacman, Asterords and the like. And guys, Bustout is a very interesting variation on the old Breakout game. Or so I'm told ..

Daft Patents

This site is worth a shot. The craZiest patents ever applied for »- like a urinal that rewards men who shoot straight With nice SOUndS and images on a TV screen. Or a deVice to irrigate Australia by firing snowballs from Antarctica A great place for people With too many ideas, and no clue as to What's happening in the real world.

World's Fastest Talker|k.htm

There's a man from Kent who claims to be able to talk faster than he can think. While this is not unusual for peOple from Kent, this man has achieved the world record for speed talking, at 637 words a minute. (Most people manage 60) Here you can listen to a recording of him speaking a modest 380 words a minute (so people can understand him). This means he can tell you the ingredients of a box of cornflakes faster than he realises that it would be a very dull thing to hear.

The Ultimate Spud Gun

http://www.go| /potato/launcher.html


Some boys never grow up, they Just get older. This one seems to have dedicated his life to improving ways of firing potatoes at people. From hairspray-propelled models, to steel, propane-fuelled, laser-gUided guns that can shoot a 62-gram piece of potato through a half inch of plywood at 50 metres. What can you say? Technology has reached its limit. (Steve Blair)

23 Sep—7 Oct 1999 THE “ST 109