Video] DVD

Games there is much to keep


LOTUS CHALLENGE (Virgin) £34.99 000

The chance to drive a handful of the fastest. sexiest and most famous cars in the history of motorised transport must rank among most red- blooded mate's ultimate wish list. Well. crank up the testosterone boys because that chance has arrived courtesy of Lotus Challenge.

Every Lotus vehicle ever made is here for y0u to slide around in. from the early Suicidal open-top racers to the modern day. well. suicidal open-top racers. Unfortunately the game itself does not fulfil its salivating promise. This is mainly because the cars handle like snowbound buses. Getting them to turn is a laborious process and when they go. they just keep going. perpetually landing you in a pile of safety tyres. Practice makes perfect but those looking for a quick run around in James Bond's white Lotus should look elsewhere.


(Eidos) £39.99 0000

To say that Eidos's timing is unfortunate is an understatement. The fact that American gunships are Currently ‘in action' makes the release of Thunder/iawk Operation Phoenix a strange decision. Still. it there is no such thing as bad publicity then it should do very well. Thunder/iawk is a combat helicopter simulation that. due to its simplicity. allows we untrained many to fly one of the world's most

complicated pieces of

machinery in mock

battle. Except that. thanks to the impressive graphics engine. it is not all that 'mock'. Arcade in style. and explosively violent. this is satisfying and fun. finally displaying the worth of a helicopter sim. But to save any embarrassment. make sure that no one is watching as you try that mission in the Middle East just one more time.



Whether on two wheels. four wheels or eight

wheels. the street is the place to be if you're into

extreme gaming. No precinct or town square is safe from the maniacal trickery of young. chain- wearing dudes crafting their art. If only they would play the likes of Dave Mirra 2 more often. then janitors around the country would heave a large sigh of relief.

And thanks to some pretty impressive programming. that might just happen. OM? is a vast improvement on its predecessor and with 1500 tricks to learn over an infinite number of streets and parks. thanks to the level editor.


(Sony) £39.99 0000

the extremist happy. It plays like a dream and looks great. testing both fingers and brains with a carefully judged learning curve. The only real problem is that it is not skateboarding. Skateboarders look cooler. And at the end of the day. that is what it is all about. (lain Davidson)


Grand Theft Aut03 (P82 Take2 £39.99) Big. bad and back. Monopoly Tycoons (PC Infogrames £24.99) Who wants the Scottie Dog? Rock Manager (PC Pan $24.99) Be a Virtual Marti DeBerg. Smuggler’s Run 2 (PS2 Take2 $39.99) Watch Out for the 5-0!

90 Minutes (Drearncast Sega £34.99) The final kick-off.

For the last ten years or so, Electronic Art’s FIFA games have been top of the virtual football league. For the purist, Konami’s ISS series has won hands down on playability and depth, but for sheer quantity of both sales and titles, FIFA stands unchallenged. Then Sony decided to have a go and released This Is Football to a deafening silence of shrugging shoulders. It was OK. Not great. Not bad. 80-50. An admirable beginning. Well, the sequel has now been released promising more of everything.

And at first glance, there is indeed a lot more. Players have the choice of a gazillion teams, from full international sides to Junior League, as well as some pleasing ‘collective’ teams made up of the best players in Europe, Africa, etc. There are some new moves to annoy your friends with and a good number of competitions to take part in. The visuals have been given an overhaul too, resulting in an uncluttered, pure gaming experience, with

each player resembling their real world counterpart.

It also has to be said that the game plays very well. It feels pretty close to the actual game, with solid players, some neat animation and all the randomness of the beautiful game. Defenders can smack clearances into their team mates, resulting in unplanned shooting opportunities for attackers, while obstructions and meaty challenges thwart goal-hungry strikers. This Is Football 2002 succeeds as a semi-accurate simulation.

However, what it gains in this ‘realism’ it loses in sheer playability. It will take a long time to master and though goal-scoring chances are frequent actual goals are few. Control is often imprecise and some dodgy collision detection can lead to shots slammed into the hoardings being counted as


Nevertheless, This Is Football 2002 is worth the purchase and will keep all but the most ardent FlFA-phile happy for a long while. (lain Davidson)

WAR MOVIE PEARL HARBOR (12) 176 mins 0..



Elision of the facts in the name of entertainment

It didn’t take long for America’s commentators to compare 11 September with Pearl Harbor: a sneak attack on America, by suicidal militants in airplanes, on behalf of a foreign power, which prompted the Western superpower to go to war. It’s difficult to ignore the similarities, frightening to think the Pentagon is suffering from an attack of nostalgia. Or worse, that it might be taking its cue from producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Michael Bay and writer Randall Wallace’s syrupy-sentimental propaganda exercise. Far- fetched? The Pentagon has already been consulting Hollywood about further potential terrorist attack and response scenarios.

In the film, the Japanese military commander, having reluctantly masterminded a devastating attack on the US Navy fleet in Hawaii, concludes he has merely succeeded in ‘awaking a sleeping giant’. In the film, the US responds with a hastily prepared return strike on Tokyo that has more symbolic impact than anything else. In reality, the US bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, effectively wiping out Japan.

The elision of undesirable historical facts is nothing new in Hollywood, of course. In another film scripted by Wallace, the War of Independence epic The Patriot, slavery was written out of American history so that Mel Gibson could be a nicer hero. One of Pearl Harbor’s heroes, Ben Affleck’s fly boy, helps the Brits win the Battle of Britain. This serves two ends: special effects spectacle (they do impress) and self-conscious validation of American heroism, deSpite the nation’s refusal to join the conflict in Europe.

Elision of the facts is excusable in the name of entertainment; elision of facts in the name of real war is not. This is 2001, not 1941.

(Miles Fielder) I Available or; ll if; r M( )n :3 M

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