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DREAMCAST 4 Wheel Thunder (Midway) £34.99 t 1r ir
Oh those wacky Americans! They can’t see a motorised vehicle Without thinking ’I wonder what that would be like With giant wheels on?’ or ’Why are there no flames shooting out the exhausts?’ Because of this, thOugh, we get to play games like 4 Wheel Thunder, big pick-up racing like you’ve never had before. Visually, 4 Wheel Thunder is neat and tidy, yet sparse. The indoor arenas are fun but the outdoor circuits could so easily have been fantastic. Obstacles are ObVIOUS and uninteresting and a flat Nevada plain is not exactly Jaw- dropping in its compleXity. Still, there’s little or no pop-up and the trucks do look great. They also handle adeQuately, not really feeling like big powerful machines but enjoyable to bounce round a track nonetheless. 4 Wheel Thunder is big, stupid fun that doesn't tax the brain. And nobody does that better than those crazy Yanks
(Sega) £34.99 * w
Jon Bon low appears to have been wrong when he sang ’l’m gonna sleep when I’m dead’. lf games are anything to go by, the dead are up and about more often that a somnambulist With a bladder infection. Unfortunately, the corpses in Zombie Revenge should have stayed buried. This is Streets Of Rage With the undead, one set-piece combat section followed by a little walk to another set-piece combat section. Pick up bullets, health and weaponry from fallen foes and generally do what yOu are told. A huge blue arrow waggles to hurry ini along and shOuld you ignore it and dawdle, a counter starts, leaVing you no chorce but to em the area before it rips a life from you. The City looks fine and the zombies move well but there is never the feeling of dread imposed by Resident Evil or the like.
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Ecco The Dolphin Defender Of The Future
(Sega) £39.99 a
Few games are truly, genuinely original. Some plagiarism here, a little bit of homage there and often some downright nicking all over. Therefore, it is understandable when critics, if not always gamers, are thrown into fits of ecstasy when something familiar yet unclassifiable comes along. Those old enough to remember the original Ecco The Dolphin can testify to this. Sure it borrowed from the likes of Lander or even the classic Scramble but the gentle, flowing, non-aggressive gameplay created an experience that has yet to be equalled. Until now.
The first thing that stands out in Ecco The Dolphin Defender Of The Future is its looks. The marine environments are simply breathtaking, with seaweed fronds waving to and fro, fish darting for safety and undulating sand banks kicking up clouds of particles as you pass. The first hour or so of play is spent swimming randomly around the bays and coves of Ecco's home, marvelling at the light dappling on the surface. Ecco himself is also a joy to watch, swooping and cruising, leaping and turning with amazing fluidity. If poo- pooing friends doubt the Dreamcast's graphic potential, five minutes in the company of Ecco will have them
Complex plot and roleplay in one
But wait, there is a game to play and a world to save. Ecco is the only dolphin who can find the pieces of the shattered crystal that Earth needs to protect itself from the faceless Foe, and you are the only one who can guide Ecco through level after level of difficult exploration. It is here that Ecco The Dolphin eventually goes belly-up. Ecco is never very easy to control and each challenge often requires repeated attempts to fulfil; if you can work out what is being asked of you that is. The need for lateral thinking can generally be overcome with relentless out-and-out guess work, though this can lead to switching the Dreamcast off in frustration. Dolphins are obviously very patient creatures.
Stunning to look at yet sometimes unsatisfying to play, Ecco The Dolphin is a unique gaming experience
gasping in wonderment.
that may not be for everyone. (lain Davidson)
Walt Disney wor|d Quest: Magical Racing Tour
And the Winner for this year's longest game title goes to _ . . Marathon moniker aside, WDWO: Mag/cal Racing Tour is a hugely unimaginative, yet very enjoyable go-carting romp. Featuring both a solo player adventure mode and a hate-your-friends multiplayer, this has all you would expect, and have seen before, in a cart racmg game. The characters are instantly recognisable and lend the
game a friendly atmosphere While the Cichits are weird and wonderful, set as they are around Disney World, With many a pitfall, tunnel and secret route to catch out the unwary driver. Power- ups are plentiful and reqciire a JUdICIOUS use of the fire button to get the best out of. If you own any other carting game, such as Crash Team Racing or Speed Freaks, then Magical Racing Tour Will feel like very old hat. Newbies to the field, or mad Disney fans, however Will find much here to enjoy.
The Misadventures 0f Tron Bonne
(Eidos) £29.99 l
The unspoken misconception about gaming is that everyone wants to be a hero. Plotlines revolve around world- saVing, unselfish, truth-and-Justice deeds of sacrifice and hardship. Yet, in our most honest heart of hearts, we all want to be the bad guy. Somehow, it’s cooler. Tron Bonne recognises this and delivers it With some dastardly underhand cuteness. The Bonne family are futuristic pirates and as its leader Tron, you must con, Win and steal a million zenny to pay back an unpaid debt. With levels ranging from action- packed pillaging of innocents to trea5ure ma7es and puzzle-based stealing, Tron Bonne has a little gameplay for everyone. Helping you are your cuddly Servbots, each With its OWn ability to be utilised if progress, and money, is to be made With varied and genuinely different gameplay, Tron
Bonne may be too obscure for some but anyone who has secretly dreamt of wearing a black Stetson should give it a go.
Tomb Raider (THQ) £19.99 .,
The undisputed queen of computer gaming now appears on her fifth platform, the evergreen GameBOy. Though she has lost a dimension, now raiding two dimensional tombs, Virtually every other aspect of Ms Croft has survrved the trip to the hand held machine. Yes, including the unfeasibly pert frontage. Tomb Raider on the GB is essentially a reworking of the classic Prince of Persia. Huge levels covering many screens scroll past as walls are climbed, spiked pits are Jumped and matches are pulled There are dangerous critters crawling around but a few shots from the famous Croft pistols despatch them With ease and though death is frequent, progress is steady The animation is great for such a small machine With her handstand making a freQLient appearance. Tomb Raider is pure platform heaven. And Who WOuIdn't pay £20 to have Lara Croft in the palm of their hand?
Wort a shot
Below average You've been warned