SCIENCE FICTION FANTASY PROMETI-IEA BOOK 1
Alan Moore, J. H. Williams III and Mick Gray (America’s Best Comics) 000
Alan Moore is an undisputed master of the medium. ll/atchmen. Slﬁ/(i‘flll) Thing. V For Vendetta. all classics. And \'.-’l‘.||(} he remains to this day far superior to most other comics ‘.'.’l’ll(}l'8. this is not one of his best. A lovely concept of a myth that must survive through the ages is set up in a parallel future New York. 'VllllillllS' rich and highly detailed art perfectly illustrates this magical story. Ho‘s/even; comics are a combination of ‘«.'.()l'(lS and pictures that x'iork to complement each other. and this is far too text based, which at times slows (l()‘.'.’ll the narrative to a plodding pace.
Kurt Busiek, Roger Stern, Carlos Pacheco, Jeses Merino (Marvel) 0..
One for £t‘.’l(l /-'Ivengers fans. this. Biisiek's constracted a plot which dumps a selection of the superhero team's members. culled from the past and present. into the midst of a ‘.'./ar bet-:xeen the scholarly time traveller lininortus and his younger. more iii‘vpetuous self Kang The Congueror. This deus ex ll‘féttLlIll‘iEt£1H()".’.’E3 Busiek to flit through the history of one of Marvels oldest titles. And this iii‘ashamed 'Iostalgia 'hakes palatable Stern's
106 THE LIST i fir-z, “-
gloriously outdated dialogue: ‘Attend us. Avengers - for we are the Time Keepersl' Stern's insistence on using dialogue for exposition is less easily defended. But Pacheco and Merino's artwork is as dynamic as any that has graced the pages of The Avengers.
BIOGRAPHY PORTRAITS FROM LIFE
David Collier (Drawn & Quarterly) 00
Diana/n & Quarterly can boast a varied range of
titles in their indie canon.
but here Collier stories fail to fully engage with a number of unusual lives. leading with the tale of Ethel Catherwood. a ‘.'.romen's high ltlllllXEI‘ from the titls. this is a diverse selection. Most familiar ‘.'.’|H he (Brey Owl
(see recent Richard AttenbOrough movie). an Englishman who fooled the world into thinking he was a native American and travelled the world preaching an ecological gospel. Collier's Robert Crumb- like fine pencil style is adequate if not hugely expresswe. but the main problem here is the stOrytelling is a little bit dull. (Mark Robertsoni
SATIRE CHICA Lucy Sweet 00.
.. .._..... g 8".“- t
Not a comic as such. this piss-take of girly mags (everything from Bunty to Cosmopolitan. not )an magsi does include comic-style line art and a photo-love story (which is really a comic strip with photographs). Closer still to the comic book sensibility is the knockat’)out humour. Features of the mag include: ‘Trash We Love (Vibrating knickersl. 'Celebrities Are Scum' (Geri Halliwelli, a 'Crush' confessions column. another from 'Token Boy' and the ‘Slut In The City' diary. It all adds up to so much breezy. cheeky fun. One for the girls who shunned classes to smoke fags round the back of the bike sheds.
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PS? CITY CRISIS (Take 2) £39.99 000
Some — short people mostly -- say that the best things come in small packages. But in the case of City Crisis this is far from true. Granted. the chance to fly a rescue helicopter around an accident-- prone city. \.'.irencliiiig civilians from the laws of death. is refreshing. And for a little while is a Joy to
PC MAX PAYNE (Take 2) £29.99 .0...
play. The copter is simple to fly and the city is teeming ‘.'.’|lll fantastic details like crutch- waving hospital patients and dancing school children.
But the experience does not last for long. Actually. to be honest. the experience lasts for maybe three hours before exeiyone is safe and the game is over. Cxtv Cris/s must be one of the shortest games in
history. which is a real shame because in full flow it rivals the best. City Crisis is worth the walk to the video shop for the hire but little else.
EXTREME G III (Acclaim) 239.99 CO.
\"Jhile .'.'e all wait for the next instal'i‘ent of the absurdly popular '~.'-/ip[§out series. Acclaim has kindly provided a play -alike to fill the gap. Extreme (3 IN is supercharged racing on two wheels over i‘.‘.‘l$3l|ll§). looping futuristic tracks while Ministry Of Sound dance beats thuii‘p over the mayhem. Or at least that is the plan.
In reality Extreme G //l fails to reach the heights of li'I/roniit for a variety of reasons. The bikes are indeed fast but. ‘.'./lll‘i()tli the drift of l'X/pFoiit. cornering is a pain. Opponents are
For an industry that claims to be maturing, that claims to be developing along with its audience, there are very, very few computer games that require more than a six year old’s mind to enjoy. A few dark and disturbing titles like Shadowman have an adult environment while others, Soldier Of Fortune for example, revel in adult violence, but it is rare to find a title that combines mature themes, complicated emotions and brutal violence into a
Max Payne tries to do precisely this. From the brutal beginning where the anti-hero Max finds his wife and infant dead, through some disturbing, and very criminal, situations to the bloody climax Max Payne remains slickly and refreshingly mature. The story is told effectively using a graphic novel style, sandwiched between some taxing third-person exploration and ultra- violence. It may be a tad linear but the quality of graphics, gameplay and scripting keeps you more than interested.
And if that wasn’t enough, the combat system is glorious. Max wields his deadly arsenal of projectile weapons with ease, making an impressively bloody mess of his enemies, and if any situation seems unsurpassable Max has one last trick up his sleeve - Bullet Time. Those who have seen 3The Matrix will be well aware of Bullet Time as everything slips into slowmo and bullets become visible. This is used to great effect in Max Payne as the game slows to a crawl and Max can pick his shots with care. Strictly controlled by an hourglass timer, which you replenish by killing, this ability is beautifully realised and lifts Max Payne above all its rivals.
Disturbing, inventive, infectious and deeply satisfying, Max Payne is a must for all PC owners. Just be prepared to see the pitiful shape of Max‘s murdered baby in your sleep. (lain Davidson)