PLAYSTATION Syphon Filter 2 (989 Studios) £29.99 ** it x

‘44»... iii? _. ii _

Despite a plethora of unflattering comparisons with Metal Gear Solid and Tomb Raider, the first Syphon Filter was warmly clasped to the bosom of the games-buying public. Its often uneven mixture of stealth and barrel-to-barrel combat seemed to push all the right buttons and it was inevitable that a sequel would sneak out of the shadows pretty quickly. And sure enough . . . boo! Here it is.

Again we follow the covert, all-action adventures of agent Gabe Logan as he places himself silently between us and the threat of biological terrorism. This time around, Gabe is assisted by Xian Ling, a female character that becomes available as the game progresses, drawing the two heroic do- gooders towards a joint climax.

As in the first game, there is much in Syphon Filter 2 to enjoy. The graphics have been cleaned and smoothed, gaining a little definition and detail along the way. This results in much more realistic environments for Gabe to run, jump, climb, crawl and creep through. Both enemies and allies chatter away on the radios, immersing you further into the experience and somehow giving the story that little extra oomph. Indeed, the entire game hangs together much better than its predecessor.

However, there are still a few irritations. The intelligence of the enemy varies wildly from deaf, dumb and blind to Spidey-sense omniscience. This inconsistency tends to snap you out of the moment and forces you to think about what the programmers planned on you doing rather than letting you make all your choices freely. The controls, though comprehensive, are still a little clumsy. Stealthily kneeling behind a barrel while leaning out to zoom your snipers scope onto an enemy would challenge even the most digitally nimble of concert pianists.

The ever-renewing mission objectives ensure that each level is not simply a case of getting from A to B and the story that enfolds is moderately intriguing. Syphon Filter 2 may still fall short of Metal Gear Solid but just

nigh of perfection is pretty good in most people’s book. (lain Davidson)

example, involve punching the x- button once every ten seconds. Not exactly the glitz, glamour and excutement normally associated wrth Las Vegas. Then again, Midnight In Vegas does exactly what it says on the box. if strategic betting with virtual money tickles your fancy then this Will not disappoint and with the added extra of a ’Music To Watch Girls By’ style audio CD thrown in for nothing, how could you refuse? Odds on everyone else Will be disappomted.

(lain Davidson)

Premier Manager 2000 (Infogrames) £34.99 it t a:

When Premier Manager 99 appeared it promised to finally bring a

complete football management simulation to the PlayStation. Although Championship Manager ruled the PC world outright, Sony’s grey box was an open market ripe for the picking. PM99 thOugh deeply flawed, sold very well due to the lack of competition. However, it is a different story today. There are a few footy sims out there, the majority of

which are better than PM99, making PM2000's job a lot harder.

And it would appear that Infogrames have not learned. Again,

- there are options and options and

options, all easily accessed through a brand new interface. The menus look slick and whipping from one to another soon becomes second nature. Your level of management can be tailored to surt your needs and with leagues from five countries to choose from, the scope for European domination is endless. Yet, minor details soon begin to grate. For example, choose to watch a game in highlight mode and altering strategy or substituting players becomes impossible. Why this should be is not clear, except for perhaps poor playtesting. PM2000 is PM99 with knobs on. (Iain Davrdson)


*‘kitt Unmissable

t 9: at t Very ood

* * * Wort a shot

it * Below average

it You’ve been warned

Totally Wired

The world of the Web. BBC Musuc Live

Keep up to date wrth the best of the BBC’s national festival. Typical BBC efficiency ties in all the scheduled broadcast events on TV and radio, With full details of the non-stop musicathon on Monday 29 May. Also submit an old mu5ical instrument to be donated to children.


(ll fictive

25-29 May 2000

Toilet Tea Leaves

Apologies for this site in advance. Fed up with horoscopes? Try this variation on the popular theme of tea leaf reading. Contains all you need to know to

interpret your very own 'torlet tea leaves’. You'll wonder how you ever got on without it, especrally if you get a particularly moving reading.

Mr Hankey Construction Set

And while we're on this theme, try out this South Park animation in which you can make your own Mr Hankey. If you don’t know who that is, then definitely don’t go. After a truly hysterical (if gross) introduction, you go on to c g the collecting, then the construction phase.

Chemikal Underground Records<

The home page for The Delgados’ own label. All the latest on some of Scotland’s best indie bands. Latest news, reviews and tour information for Mogwai, Arab Strap etc. For fans, this is a site to be cherished.

Virus Myths

Until recently, anyone receiving a note saying I Love You would be pretty chuffed. Viruses like this make world news, and Will almost inewtably be on the increase in the months and years to come. However not all virus scares are really Viruses if you’re already one of the truly paranoid, then a quick perusal of these hoax Viruses gathered over the last couple of years might just tip you over the edge. They're almost as prolific as real Viruses, but are completely harmless a sheep in wolf's clothing. People somewhere are laughing loudly.

The Daily Script


This is another nugget of gold. Possibly the largest, and almost certainly the most eclectic online database of movre and TV show transcripts. There's a fabulous wealth of variation here Twin Peaks, The Young Ones, 52 episodes of B/akes 7, Saturday Night Live, Frasier, Eastenders and that’s just the TV section. The movie section is vast beyond words, and it’s all being added to all the time. I c0uld spend the rest of my life here.

Banned Books

This UniverSity of Pennsylvania hosted site lists a selection of books that have been banned from the public domain, mostly in the States. From Ulysses to Little Red Riding Hood, it lists the various reasons why they were banned, and when (or if) they were reinstated. Very interesting reading. (Steve Blair)

25 May—8 lu-n 2000 THE “ST 125