TRAIN SIMULATOR (Microsoft) £49.99 0..
You‘ve had a hard day at the office school
pitface dole office and you return home to the (i()llllf)lllllf) warmth and
familiarity of your ()Nli couch and televisicn. Unfortunately. there is nothing on the box so you look elsewhere for a relaxing mental
m; ssage. a stressbuster. an escape from the realities of life. The PC! Of course! You flick it on and while it boots up. you try and decide wnat mind numbing Virtual pleasure you Will partake in.
Well. beware. Under no Circumstances; should you get Involved in Train Simulator. for it is exactly that. It simulates trains. lt simulates them very. very well. from the fantastic real world routes flashing by the Window to the intricacies of getting a steam engine rnovrng. There are the bones of a mission-based system that slaps you for being late or missing a platform, but essentially this is start-speed up slow down—stop. Train Silllll/(llOI’ is beautifully realised. executed wrth style and is exactly like work.
40 THE LIST .‘ El Aug 700‘
DREAMCAST CRAZY TAXI 2 (Sega) £39.99 0000
Cra/i Taxr is a great example of the difference between Sega and Sony. While Sony struts around rrmjestically. recommending (3T 3 as the ultimate drivrng experience. Sega offers the guick fix. cartoon nonsense of Crazy Taxi 2. G T 3 is the 24-hour
l e Mans. Cra/v Taxi 2 is a night at the hanger racing. Both are great. it's rust a matter of personal taste at the moment you decide to flick on a console.
(Ira/y Taxr 2 follows the same routine as its predecessor. Race around a city. pick up punters and deliver them to their destination before the time runs out. Gone is the laid-back waterside enVironment. it is replaced by the
hectic rat race of New York. replete With layer after layer of rooftop shortcut. To help get you through the city. you now have a jump button that allows you to take your yellow cab into the most ridiculous of places and helps shave those essential seconds off your journey. It is fast. addictive and fun. Whether you want to shell out for it if you have the first one is another matter.
PS2 GRAN TURISMO 3 A-SPEC
(Sony) £44.99 00..
Some games are just that; games. Others are worldwide phenomena. The Gran Turismo series is definitely in the latter category. Never mind that they stand head and shoulders above every other racing title out there, or that as simulators they are unsurpassed in their wealth of detail and depth of gameplay. GT is a mark of quality that any games producer would kill to have attached to its product. So it is no surprise to see Sony throw so much weight behind the third instalment,
particularly as it currently stands as the only ‘killer title’ for its P82.
But what is it like and does it offer anything new? Well, a quick look at the games' subtitle, A-spec will give you a clue. GT3 is even more nerdy and geeky than before. Not just in the bewildering amount of upgrades and add-ons that can be purchased to make the fastest of cars go even faster but the whole driving experience itself has been refined to the point of — shock horror — boredom.
To say that the cars are unforgiving is an understatement. Every corner must be negotiated with pinpoint precision or even the slowest of hatchbacks will slide majestically
BALDUR’S GATE 2: THRONE OF BI-IAAL
(Interplay) £19.99 0....
There are many reasons why Expansion Packs are the bane of a gamer's existence. Often they are little more than a patch that fixes errors in the original game code. a source of new graphical touches or five minutes more gameplay. Throne of Bhaa/ is none of these. It is a whole new adventure requiring upwards of 40 hours to complete.
Not only that but it is the final instalment in the hugely successful Ba/der's Gate series. the king of RPGs and as such is a must-buy for
all 86 fans. The slor‘, that has taken years to unfold finally comes to a stunning climax as the now familiar cast of fantasy characters complete their destiny. To give away anv of the story would be saciilegious. suffice to say it is worth every single penny of the twenty guid asking price. With Nevenwnter Nights on the horizon
The graphics are stunning, but the cars are unforgiving
into walls and sandpits. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, realism is a much sought after attribute in simulators, but one of the joys of the first two titles was the gentle learning curve that kept you playing. GT3 could very well turn people off before they can afford to buy even the average cars.
That said, everything else in GT3 is perfect. The menu system has been re-organised and is now simplicity itself to use. The graphics are stunning and the Al of your opponents seems aggressive but believable. And as ever, there is more gameplay here than in the rest of the P82 catalogue put together. (lain Davidson)
this is ,our last r'hanrte to enioy one of the best games in the world.
GAME. BOY /\[)V»’\N(Jl SUPER MARIO ADVANCE (Nintendo) £34.99 0....
If any proof were needed that computing power has exploded beyond rational thought. have a look at Super Mario Advance. Featuring two separate titles Super Mario 8 and Mario Bros on a cartridge the save of a keyring. this level of gameplay was orin available on a foot- sguare console. Indeed these two titles ()flgllldlly’ appeared on previous Nintendo machines yet play perfectly on the new handheld.
Arid lilo”, are an ad' fittine as ewr Mario [in is is the one sr‘reert platform game that rust gets tougher and tougher while .‘Juper i'l./f.'i.'/o .” is a f;<‘l()l|lll(_) platform adventure that is still ranked among the As usual. the level of invention is unsurpassed and each level will provike a smile
as you work out what is regiiired. lhis is sheer gaming Joy in the palm of your hand. llain [)avidsoni
ALSO RELEASED Flogian Brothers lDreamcast Sega S‘flllflf); Humorous cartoon insanity. Outrigger .‘lJreamcast Sega S‘filiti‘li A multiplayer to ’llf: for.
Mutant Aliens, Dogtown and Z-boys,
Medium Cool, Bangkok Dangerous
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