Games and Internet


PC Nocturne (Take 2) £29.99 * i. s *

Rarely do games try to do one thing and one thing only, Normally they claim to buzz your head \VIII'I speed- induced adrenaline while movmg you to tears With their deep exploration of the human condition. It is refreshing, then, to discover Nocturne, a game that has one aim. It wants to scare you.

As The Stranger, yOur JOb is to investigate rumoured paranormal incidents, However, as it is I930s America, you tend to investigate with two very large guns and an itchy trigger finger. Weaponry aSide, this is a game wrth a lot of atmosphere, and anyone who has read HP. Lovecraft or the Preacher comics \‘VIII lap up all that Nocturne has to offer. The camera-to- camera editing, alth0ugh old hat now, is very effective in producmg those all important moments of trepidation as well as the big surprises. There are werewolves, vampires and zombies to waste, With the flame-thrower yet again emerging as the weapon of chOice.

Is it scary th0ugh? Well, when the big orchestral number kicks in and the darkness encroaches, you would be forgiven for standing up from your computer and popping an extra light on. (ID)

PC F/A-18E Super Hornet (Titus) £29.99 t at it t ‘A'

It is universally accepted that yOU either love or loath flight SImS. F/A- 78E Super Hornet, however, may go some way to altering this cliche. Yes, it is a dedicated flight sim With all the knobs, buttons, whistles and bells any geek could want, but its savmg grace is the plane itself. The Super Hornet is one of the easiest planes in the world to fly. Almost everything is automatic and the only thing that stops a pilot pulling the most outrageous aerobatics is the

122 THE LIST I8 Nov—2 Dec 1999


Final Fantasy VIII (Squaresoft) £34.99 * y . ,t

And so the most famous role playing adventure in the history of the universe rolls into its eighth incarnation. With the Final Fantasy series having such a frighteningly fanatical following around the world, there was no way that this game was going to be a turkey fatwahs have been called for less. What is surprising however, is exactly how good FFVIII actually is. Assuming the role of military student Squall Leonhart, you soon become aware of a terrible plot to conquer your world. As the suffering hero, it is your job to thwart the enemy, save the population from prospective slavery and exorcise all

your personal demons. Although this seems pretty run-of- the-mill so far, everything else about the game reeks of class. For example, there is no clear distinction between magic, combat and character development. The elementals from FFVII, such as Shiva and Quesacoatl, have transformed into Guardian Forces gaining experience and new abilities as the game progresses. By assigning Guardian Forces to party members, their elemental attributes are bestowed upon the character, allowing infinite customisation. Assign or ’junction’ - Shiva to Squall and all his attacks gain Shiva's ice attributes.

However, it doesn’t end there. As all magic must be ’drawn' from elsewhere - mainly your enemy - choices must be made. Do you take extra damage to draw extra magic or do you kill the opponent as efficiently as


(lain Davidson)

It‘s a kind of magic: Final Fantasy VIII

possible? Magic gained can also be assigned to your attributes, combining with your Guardian Force's abilities to make you stronger. Although initially daunting, this complicated system gradually begins to make sense and, as well as being imperative to success, ’junctioning' emerges as a fantastic way to keep your character

Graphically FFVIII does the impossible and exceeds its predecessor. Cute Japanese big heads have been replaced with more realistic figures, the cut scenes are unlike anything seen before and summoning an elemental shakes the television from its stand. For all this and a story that is worthy of the term ’epic', get a copy of Final Fantasy VIII. Disappointment is not an option.

frailty of the human body under (3- Force. For a combat game, this is heaven-sent.

Based across two theatres, Super Hornet is packed to the canopy With air-to-air misSions, air-to-ground miSSions, land-based missions, carrier- launched miSSions the list is endless. As well as this wealth of combat possibilities, it is the depth of detail which makes Super Hornet a peach of a game. Launching from a carrier, for example, involves closely following deck crew instructions, neon sticks and

Darkness falls: Nocturne

all. Try and do it without grinning

Regumng a hefty machine to run on, Super Hornet isn't for everyone, but for those that are even the slightest bit interested, it is the best of the best. (ID)


Spyro 2: Gateway To Glimmer

(Universal) £34.99 fir a: a 9 9r

When VVIII people learn that there is no such thing as a kid’s game? Take Spyro 2 for example. Yes, the main character is a Sickly sweet young dragon and, yes, the graphics are blocky, cartoon- like and you Will rarely see more than three colours at the one time. And yet take one second to look beyond this and a game of real JOy appears.

This is as engaging, enthralling and challenging a three-dimensional platform game as you \VIII ever play, The versatility of the dragon Spyro

allows hundreds of leaping, SWimming,

floating, charging, fire-breathing puzzles and tasks to be overcome. Such is the solidity and consistency of both Spyro’s world and the gameplay that the desire to collect all the Jewels, gather all the orbs and Win every talisman soon surpasses everything else in life. Even baSICS like sleeping and eating become secondary to finding that gateway to the next level.

Sure, the kids will enjoy Spyro 2. But don’t let them be the only ones to discover the pure pleasure of this title. (ID)

PLAYSTATION Destrega (Sony) £34.99 * t t

Tnere is nothing wrong with trying something new When it comes to gaming, for example, a few attempts at something radical before the nitty- gritty of programming can produce those little nuggets of creative genius that lift an otherwise average game into something speCial. However, there shOuld always be someone Willing to stand up and say ’EnOughl'. Unfortunately, Destrega did not have that someone.

This is a beat-em-up that tries to do too much, The arenas are absolutely huge, incorporating battlements, hills and halls, all with various height levels As good an idea as this might be, it is utilised poorly, With a zooming camera that struggles to keep both combatants in View. To make proper use of the often increased distance between the fighters, attacks With fireballs, shurikens and sword swipes have been greatly extended and have homing capabilities. This, in turn, mutates the game into a run-and-fire escapade rather than a true beat-em-