PLAYSTATION Crash Team Racing (Sorry) £29.99 '

Play your carts right: Crash Team Racing

Sequels are damned by their very nature. They must follow the example of their predecessors or lose their audience; but too close a similarity and they are panned for being cheap attempts at cashing in. It is fantastic then that developers Naughty Dog have decided to completely dodge this double- edged sword by taking Crash Bandicoot into a different genre altogether. The only similarity between Crash Team Racing and its parent games is the bandicoot character travelling at great speed in both.

However, it does bear striking parallels to a few other titles, namely Super Mario Carts and Speed Freaks. CTR is a cart racing title, involving a massive array of racing options. 0f the many possibilities, the adventure-come- story single player mode is by far the most interesting. An initial choice of four tracks soon grows as victories are claimed, while there are extra items to win in special races and time trials. The wealth of racing possibilities ensures that, even before the multiplayer game is tried, there are a good

few hours of addictive play to be had.

Most of the tracks have an imaginative and fun layout, and the visuals are both bold and bright, zipping along at a fair old rate. Cartoon sound effects also add to the whole, producing a cheekin enjoyable little title. Not that it's easy, however. The combination of vicious weaponry and carts, which take a while to master, makes CTR quite taxing. Although you feel immediately at home behind the wheel, powersliding and speed-boosting may not be in your repertoire for some time. Stick at it, though, and Crash or any of the other characters you choose will be powering round the lava, the beach or the sewers with growing confidence.

Though not the most original game on the shelf, Crash Team Racing more than holds its own in the playability stakes. Falling short of Super Mario Carts' ferocious genius, it is far better than Speed Freaks and deserves much praise. A go-cart game to go-get. (lain Davidson)

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Urban Chaos (Eidos)£29.99 a » r

Erdos must be the only people rn Brrtarn who were annoyed when the dreaded Y2K bug farled to cause socral turmOII. Just thrnk of all the free publroty for therr latest release, Urban Chaos, that .vas mrssed For that rs what the game rs all about Controllrng yOur c'home of poirce offrcer rn thrrd person, a successron of mrssrons take the story from normal, run-of—the-mrll bag-snatchers to creepy, unreal dudes rn black Jackets

brandrshrng WIcked frrearms And guess who rs the last lrne of defence7

Because the mrssrons only cover a small geographrcal area of the crty, the detarl rs that much better Leaves blow, puddles splash and the pedestrrans all seem to go about therr busrness rn an eerre daze Although realrsm rs not an rssue, everythrng hangs together well and the crty soon becomes a character all of rts own

If only the character control, and rn partrcular the hand-to-hand combat, had been rmproved upon, Urban Chaos would be blessed With a frve star revrew A fantastic; envrronment and great story somewhat spOrled by average gameplay A new mrllennrum, but some thrngs never change (ID)



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