Pokemon (Nintendo) £24.99 4 2: .a— 4.
Many moons ago, two card games ruled the school yard. Top Trumps pitted pupil against puprl in a battle of wits, tactics and pokerfaced subterfuge, while Panrnr football strckers had krds the world over flicking through frstfuls of cards chanting, ‘Got, got, need, got doubler
' Now, thanks to Pokemon, combat and collectabrlrty rule the monkey bars once more.
The ODJCCI of this infectious title is simple collect all 150 Pokemon (pocket monsters). There are two ways to do IhIS. The easiest method rs to play the adventure part of the game, collecting then developing Pokemon by battling wrth computer opponents. As much fun as this rs, rt rs only when you connect two Gameboys together that Pokemon's true potentral rs realrsed. Shandy drrnkers can swap monsters if they wish, but a Pokemon rs not a Pokemon unless it has been won in combat.
Watching your frrend's face fall as your monsters krck the lrvrng daylrghts out of hrs prize fighters is beyOnd heavenly. Plus you get to keep his defeated monsters, burldrng them up to defeat their former master at a later date. Oh, it’s so beautiful! Don Krng's of the playground unite. (ID)
N64 Michael Owen's WLS
2000 (THO) £44.99 -.
There is no doubting the originality of the best selling titles for the N64. However, when it comes to those genres that overpopulate other formats, such as beat-em-ups or drrvrng titles, the poor N64 seems embarrassineg naked. Football, for example, rs represented by F/FA and, well, that’s about rt. Michael Owen’s World League Soccer 2000, therefore, wrll have the krds queurng rOund the block. Shame, then, that rt rs so
Games and Internet
footbarlﬂ I “cqu 0 0 Chutr
LMA Manager (Codemasters) £34.99
Judging by the speed at which Gremlin’s below average Premier Manager 99 flew from the shelves, it is safe to say that the PlayStation population are crazy for football management. Well, no longer will such substandard simulations be tolerated, thanks to the arrival of Codemasters' fantastic LMA Manager.
For those that don’t know, LMA stands for League Managers Associaton, giving a good idea as to the emphasis of this title. LMA Manager is a pure and unadulterated management sim. Every aspect of the most thankless job in the world is included, from team selection and tactics, right down to who advertises on the pitchside hoardings. There's no sneaky control of players during a game or scoring dodgy goals because you know the computer's weak spot. This is hands off, omniscient control that can go wrong in so many different ways.
Codemasters have clearly taken their time over the player interface and their patience has paid off. Clear and concise, no statistic or menu is more than a few clicks away and, within ten minutes of playing, you will be instinctively surfing back and forward between screens. The amount of information available is quite staggering for the PlayStation, and it is rare that you feel underinformed. The only real annoyances are the scouting options, which are a little clumsy. However, you
Top of the league: LMA Manager
can always go do it yourself.
The games themselves are fun to watch, depicted from above with every kick of the ball included, and give an immediate idea of who is playing well, who is getting tired, etc. For the completist, there is also the opportunity to watch highlights after the match, presented as a television programme and voiced by Alan Hansen. Nothing has been omitted.
LMA Manager proves that the PlayStation can handle a management game with style and, though it doesn't come close to the PC's Championship Manager series, it is by far the best of the console breed. Exeter City for the cup, anyone? (Iain Davidson)
All the preces are present - adequate graphrcs and animation, a t0n of teams to play wrth and a handful of special moves to master yet nothrng hangs quite rrght. Small thrngs, like not havrng complete control over your player as the N64 gurdes him towards the ball, or forwards who stand and wart for the ball, soon add up to deep rrritatr0n. There is never any sense of urgency about the play, and rnterest drarns away rnto your sofa. The true power of the console feels crrmrnally under-employed but, if there rs no
122 THE lIST Oct 21—4 Nov 1999
Little monsters: Pokemon
competrtron, why bother? Michael Owen’s WLS 2000 rs one of the top three footre games for the N64. Says rt all, really. (ID)
PC Flight Unlimited 3 (Electronic Arts) £34.99 *
True flrght srms have always been seen as the property of middle-aged geeks lrvrng out their childhood dreams of berng an arrCraft prlot. Flight Unlimited 3 wrll do nothrng to change this attitude. There are no baddres to blow from the skres, no nuclear installations to flatten, indeed, there rs Irttle pomt to the flyrng at all. The enjoyment hes
in the accuraCy of the experience. And,
to the layman, Flight Unlimited 3 IS as acCurate a representation of prlotrng an aircraft as c0u|d be imagined.
’From the detailed plannrng of flrght path, to the careful control required to keep your chosen craft rn the air, everything reeks of precrsron, There IS an rmpresswe array of Irght aircraft to pilot and, though some may be drsappomted by the lack of anything larger, their differences wrll take weeks to master. As yOu would expect, the graphrcs are spectacular, regurrrng a fair amount of processing power to apprecrate, and make simple actions such as entering a cloud bank a jOYOUS experience. A huge envrronment and
some qurck fun challenges ensure that Flight Unlimited 3 lasts a long, long trme. (ID)
PC ON-LINE Fireteam (Cryos) £34.99
If console grant Sega and PC gods rD, GT Interactive and Sierra are to be believed, the future of gaming rs on- lrne. And now publishers Cryo have staked a claim on this lucratrve vrsron with their new release, Fireteam, Playable only on the Internet, Fireteam rs a multr-player combat title vrewed in top-down 3D. Wrth games only lasting a vrcrous ten mrnutes, rt rs short, sharp and bloody, relying on rntense playabrlrty and unrrvalled player rnteractrvrty for rts punch, rather than any fancy graphrcal wizardry.
However, rs not really the game itself that wrll attract the crowds. As Fireteam rs a team game, relationships between players must be established over the Net, aided by the revolutionary communication system. By donning the natty headphone- mrcrophone, you can chat — in real trme — wrth everyone and anyone who rs logged onto the game. Within the game, this allows for unprecedented organisation among your team, ambushes planned and attacks choreographed in seconds. A ranking