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DREAMCAST Hidden And Dangerous (Take 2) £39.99 it x at it it

Although Sega's decision to use a version of Windows CE to power its Dreamcast was initially exciting, promising an endless stream of quality PC games swiftly ported across to the console, the reality has proved somewhat different. Few titles have crossed from PC to DC and those that have rarely caused a ripple in the High Street. However, with both Quake III Arena and the legendary Half Life on their way, the cross-platform- pollination may finally be coming to fruition. And to herald their arrival we have Hidden And Dangerous.

When first released on PC this little World War II game caused quite a sensation. Obviously the

realistically grubby graphics and minimalist sound effects, both of which combined to effectively immerse you in the realm of Where Eagles Dare, helped win many friends. As did the compelling mix of map-based strategy and grenade-lobbing, mine-laying, sten-rattling action. Yet it was the surprise of Talonsoft, a virtual unknown, producing a ground-breaking game as if from thin air that really raised the rafters. Well Dreamcast owners have had plenty warning, but chances are they'll be just as impressed with the game.

Though controlled by gamepad rather than keyboard and mouse, your crack team of commandos are still

' '1; its... 17 a i " .A

A compelling mix of map-based strategy, grenade-lobbing and mine-laying action

farcically easy to command. The graphics have suffered not a jot in the transition to DC and, if anything, look more impressive on a large screen television. Indeed the only thing missing from the original is the back pain from hunching over a computer desk. Sofas are wonderful things.

Some may find the lack of instant gratification a problem, but for those who are willing to put in the time crawling on their faces through mud-filled ditches looking for the perfect sniping position Hidden and Dangerous will entertain for weeks on end. And remember, victory lies in the headshot. (lain Davidson)

PLAYSTATION Vib-Ribbon (Sony) £29.99 x a x

Here’s a strange one. Combine the frantic, rhythmic button bashing of Parappa The Rapper With the harsh black and white Wire frame animation of early Sinclair ZX81 games and, hey presto, Vib-Ribbon. Vibri is a crudely animated dancmg rabbit, Jlgglng his way along an infinitely long white line. Why? Lord alone knows. What matters Is that obstacles appear along the line loops, wiggles, troughs and blocks and Vibri must be gUided over them

104 THE lIST 21 Sep—S Oct 2000

With an appropriate button on the ioypad. However, to make things more interesting, these obstacles are generated by the music that is playing at the time, and though the game comes With a few crazy tunes, Vib- Ribbon is really designed to be played to yOur own chOice of CD. Therefore, every CD in your collection Will produce a different set of obstacles, thus a different game. See? Told you it was a strrange one.

Chase The Express (Sony) £29.99 "K it

Remember that James Bond mowe

where the bad guys steal a nuke and hide on board a train? You know, the one With the Circus and Roger Moore done up like a clown? Or was it the oneth Sean Bean as the double agent? Anyway, Chase The Express is like that. Bad guys have kidnapped a good guy and his family and are holding them hostage on a train. It’s your Job to go in and rescue them With maXimum bloodshed and minimum CiVilian casualties. Chase The Express feels like a very long extra level of Syphon Filter With the third-person control, multiple weapons and slightly dodgy graphic colliSion all in full effect. Not that this is a bad thing, indeed many people loved the Syphon Filter experience. However, most wrll feel they’ve seen and played this all before.

Nightmare Creatures 2 (Konami) £29.99 it:

The first Nightmare Creatures was high on Gothic and very, very low on playability so it was interesting to see how the latest in the series had improved. Unfortunately, little has changed. The ultra-dark horror still remains, personified in the bandage- dragging, leather-clad Marylin Manson hero, yet the gameplay is limiting to say the least. (30 through room after room, generally by bumping round the walls as it is far too dark to see where COTHdOT ends and crumbling wall begins, hacking the livmg daylights out of all manner of stumbling, moaning


creatures. It is the ambition of the title that is ultimately its downfall. The poor PlayStation cannot produce enough graphical nuances to make a rich, terrifying enVironment truly breathe, unless it is pre-loaded as backgrounds a la Resident Evil. The freedom allowed by Nightmare Creatures 2 results in crippling limitations. A real shame for a beautifully designed game.

PC Rugby 2001

(Electronic Arts) £29.99 air it *

Rugby Union is jUSl one of those sports that does not translate well to the computer game. Rules such as no forward passmg and the general slow- fast-slow-fast pace makes for complicated and often unfriendly gameplay. With Rugby 2007 Electronic Arts has had a very good try (sorry) at tackling (sorry) these problems and, to a degree, have succeeded in producing a playable rugby Slm. Details like pitches and strips that degrade according to the conditions and variable player bUlld make for a more realistic experience, while the gameplay is simple allowmg four people to crowd round a PC at once. The graphics are impressive and with a multitude of competitions to enter, there's a lot to get yOur teeth into. Yet the game, particularly for those who know their Rugby Union, never quite comes alive. Then again, it has virtually no competition so rugby fans Will do no better.

GAME BOY COLOUR Turok 3 (Acclaim) £19.99 tr fir

Some claim the Game Boy is the computer gaming world’s punk system. Small, easy to produce and highly profitable, it might produce a Sex Pistol-like Pokemon once in a while but the bqu consists of great ideas, r0ughly produced. Unfortunately, Turok 3 is a bit of a Toyah: colourful, frantic and ultimately annoying. Our hero starts out in a tank, is shot at by enemies who can see him before he can see them, before swnching to side scrolling leg power and fighting thousands upon thousands of lizard men. Those who have followed Turok’s progress Will find the story interesting and may persevere because of this. However, those new to his future-retro, loincloth-assault rifle world may skip the story to get to the action and find little to keep them amused. Roll on the New RomantiCism of the Game Boy Advanced. (Iain DaVidson)


i w t 1r * Unmissable

* t x a: Very ood

i i. i Wort a shot

* v Below average

You've been warned