Games and Internet
PC Extreme Selection (Sold Out) £9.99 * t * 1r ii
Visiting the budget shelf of your local boutique can often be a confusing experience. Stacks of identical boxes containing software that either takes you back to your childhood or is simply unheard of.
Sold Out are changing all this. Their Extreme Selection is packed with titles that are not only immediately recognisable, they are still fantastic. First up are the Single game packs. These cover the bigger titles like the Command And Conquer clone Dark Colony and the cops and robbers car crime caper Grand Theft Auto. Every one of these leading titles should be part of any gamers collection and for £9.99 you would be a fool to miss them.
Then there are the compilations. To list them all would take forever but how about Championship Manager 2, F76 Fighting Falcon and Jimmy White Snooker together for under a tenner? Gets the old saliva glands going doesn't it? With much more arrivmg in mid-November, the Sold Out Extreme Selection has the potential to alter how we all view budget games. Very high quality at ridiculously low prices. What more could you possibly want? (ID)
(Take 2) £29.99 at it i it
Rainbow Six, the anti-terrorist strike simulator, brought something new to the table. As well as tense, super-fast first-person combat, its mission planning stage kicked everything into another gear with many an hour wasted shuffling little coloured triangles around a map.
The sequel, Rogue Spear, has a lot to live up to and yet, strangely, it av0ids any criticism by being exactly the same as its predecessor. There is a wide variety of environments to sweep and clear and improvements in the
120 THE “ST 4—18 Nov 1999
DREAMCAST REVIEW Powerstone (Capcom) £39.99 * a: ii air it
Since Way Of The Exploding Fist, beat-em-ups have remained ultimately unchanged, with your chosen character fighting his way through a list of opponents to become supreme mega-champion of the universe. Powerstone may follow this trend but is so different in every other respect, it constitutes a whole new experience altogether.
To begin with, the fighting arenas are all presented in three dimensions. Although many beat- em-ups claim to be 30, Powerstone demonstrates what this truly
means. In the London-esque level for example, there is a street side café with tables and chairs for al fresco dining, a fountain, an olde worlde pub and even some doddering pigeons. The detail of each level can be quite breathtaking and after a week's play you are still
noticing things in the scenery.
However, the scenery is more than just eye-candy. It is an integral part of the game as everything can be wielded as a weapon. Boxes can be thrown, chairs broken over opponents, vases smashed over heads and roof support pillars can be ripped from the ground to swing in a ludicrous - but deadly - arc. Ceilings are hung from, walls are leapt off and trees can be swung round to increase the power of an attack. It takes quite a shift in perception to fully utilise this freedom but
A new dimension: Powerstone
this is an epiphany worth achieving.
Weapons are plentiful and, like the scenery, must be used properly to proceed fully. And finally, we have the titular Powerstones. There are three of these, one per character and one appearing randomly, with the
collection of all three endowing your character with
superhuman powers for a short time. These stones can be knocked from your opponent by a sufficiently heavy blow, making face to face combat a little more tactical.
Superior in looks, animation and playability, Powerstone demands both praise and attention. Niggles like too few characters become meaningless in the face of such genius. If there was ever a reason to rush out and buy a Dreamcast, Powerstone is it. Simply glorious. (lain Davidson)
graphics, Spund and Al, as well as a new replay feature which lets you watch your perfect tactics and sharp shooting again and again. However, these smoothed edges only distract you so long before realismg that this IS Rainbow Six version 2.1.
Anyone familiar With the original c0uld play Rogue Spear With their eyes closed. And yet, this is not as bad as it sounds. It means that this is gripping and exploswe, with a delicious mixture of planning and execution taxmg both the brain and the reflexes in equal measures. If only Hidden And
Over the Rainbow: Rogue Spear
Dangerous disappeared, Rogue Spear would be the best tactical combat game on the market. (ID)
(Ubisoft) £29.99 it t ‘k t
Page 34 of Making A Million, the handbook on becoming very rich indeed, reads as follows: 'Invent a cuddly character, put it in a computer platform game and, hey presto, television, toys, T-shirts and sackloads of money will follow.’
Sonic anyone? Crash Bandicoot? Spyro, Mario, Croc or Abe? Well how about Rayman? Now on his second instalment, the limbless hero of Ubisoft is battling evil pirates who have conquered his world. He must leap, swim, slide, swing and glide his way across a huge selection of beautifully created environments, battling crazy creatures and robot villains along the way.
As Rayman progresses he gains ever more bizarre skills, like rodeo riding, while the worlds become ever more weird and wonderful. The game suffers from the usual 30 platform problems such as poor camera
positioning and there are a plethora of
inconsistencies — some water you can
I swim in, some you cannot. No reason
why, you just can’t!
Available on N64 as well as PC, Rayman 2 may provide platform maniacs with a little diversion from their weary day. For the rest, it is a
game packed With many aesthetic delights, though little lasting gameplay. (ID)
DREAMCAST UEFA Striker
(lnfogrames) £39.99 at t it it
With the frenzy surrounding the release of any new console, it is easy to develop unreal expectations of its software. UEFA Striker is a perfect example of this. Ten minutes into the first game a heavy cloud gathers above the sofa as the realisation dawns that this game is not changing your life.
However, fight past this irrational disappointment and you will discover a cracking footie game that sets the standard for subsequent titles. Refreshingly free of redundant options, UEFA Striker relies on its tight gameplay to keep you interested. Which it does in spades. The multitude of player animations are crisp and impressive and though they don’t really affect the game, they certainly entertain any spectators who may be watching.
Control of the players is immediate, While those controlled by the computer seem to react intelligently and realistically. The much advertised real time element — with the ability to take throw-ins and free kicks quickly — rarely provides any advantage. When it does come off however, a huge smile spreads across the face.