PC WARRIOR KINGS (Microids) £24.99 00.00
A constant delight
It can’t be easy being a young prince in computer games. Take Artos in Warrior Kings. No sooner has he passed puberty than his father is murdered before his eyes, the land he grew up in is razed to the ground and he is shipped off to a safe but strange land. His future is now set. Artos must now return and unite his homeland against the invading forces, gaining supporters and worldly experience along the way. No going to the village pub and smoking drugs for this pnnce.
Warrior Kings is a beautifully paced real time strategy game. From the murderous beginnings, through gentle training in foreign lands to the climactic battles in the latter levels, the game constantly delights. Initially, it is the 30 maps that grab the attention. They are huge, lavish and play a large part in combat. However, though the changing scenery never loses its impact, it is the blossoming gameplay that comes to the fore.
The management element to Warrior Kings is simple yet effective (boiling down to ensuring you have enough grain and wood to produce combat units) and is where Warrior Kings truly excels. With new units emerging almost level by level, learning what to use where is a constant process. And learn you must, for each soldier has strengths and weaknesses while group formations severely affect how they fight.
Finally, just to keep you on your toes, there are three subtly crafted paths to follow. One gives you advanced machinery while another allows demons to be raised. Though not initially obvious, the moral choices that define these paths are fun and give the game an extra zing.
All in all, Warrior Kings is as enjoyable a challenge as you can buy at the moment. Just don’t expect it to be easy. (lain Davidson)
KNOCKOUT taking a fresh-faced KINGS 2002 pugilist up the ranks. (Electronic Arts) £39.99 gaining skills. stamina
9” and facial scars along the way. But they may feel a little confused at the latest in the series.
Gone is the training,
Those who played the previous Knockout Kings titles will know the joy of
108 THE LIST 25 Apr-9 May 2032
the long slog up the boxing ladder and the gradual improvement. replaced by a simple arcade game. It's a decent arcade game. with lots of blood. sweat and tears. The graphics are great and each fight
is meaty and compelling.
But there is nothing else to it.
Any who like a simulation should give KK 2002 a miss. Those that just want to get deep. down and dirty. slogging toe-to-toe with some of the ugliest examples of humanity will be amused by this for a short while.
pm BLOOD OMEN 2 (Eidos) £34.99 00
Were there is any justice in the world mediocre third person adventure games would be outlawed. Since the very first Tomb Raider title hit Olympian heights. there has been a constant drizzle of economical yet dull run around. hit things. find switches type games. And here is another.
Vampire Lord Kain has been woken from his slumbers and must regain his former strength to defeat those who now hunt the undead. lt transpires that the best way to do this is to run around a dark city. kill people. drink blood and be bored rigid. Blood Omen 2 looks OK, plays OK and. dire story apart. is so middle of the road it could be singing ‘Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep‘.
If you want better, stay
with its sister titles. the Soul Beaver series. At least they exhibit a little imagination. Blood Omen 2 has all the imagination of a wooden stake.
XBOX WRECKLESS: THE YAKUZA MISSIONS (Activision) £44.99 .0
Did you cringe at the bad pun in the title’? Well, remember that face because chances are you will be wearing it for a long time should you play the game. Wreck/ess is a driving game. based on the premise that the best job in the world must be driving a cop car against a ruthless gang. You drive big cars through a city at night. Sometimes you drive from A to 8. Sometimes you drive around banging into other cars. Sometimes you even think: ‘My. this game looks great.‘
But never. ever do you ever think: “My. this is a challenging game with longevity, imagination and a narcotic-like draw that will have me returning again and again.‘ Weekend gamers will enjoy the thrills for, well, one single weekend. Everyone else will wonder what else £44.99 could have bought them.
ALSO RELEASED Virtua Fighter 4 (PS2 Sega £39.99) Sega battling on Sony.
FIFA 2002 World Cup (XBOX EA £44.99) With all Beckham's bones intact.
Deus Ex (P82 Eidos £39.99) The pinnacle of cybercombat.
Hitman 2 (PC Eidos £24.99) Micheala Strachan not included. The Scorpion King (GBA Vivendi’ £24.99) Is the Rock a better actor on the GBA?
Given that the internet is such a rapidly expanding resource. it is becoming rapidly more diffiCUlt to find the information that you need. Of course a decent search engine w0u|d SOl't y0u out if you're reasonably adept. but what it you wanted to search across a series of solely dictionary sites or newsgroups? ltools is a bit of an internet one- stop-shop that harnesses the power of the internet with a very intuitive front end.
BOOK 2 NIGHT
For those familiar With the excellent www.5pm.co.uk. with which you can book a last minute restaurant booking. then this may seem quite familiar. It may be an extension of the famously failed dotcom industries such as Lastminutecom. but this one has real potential. At an amazing knockdown price. you can book a hotel room a whole day in advance. Brilliant if you know where y0u're going to be of an evening. Perfect for that last minute stop over.
VICTORIAN LONDON www.victorianlondon .org A site that has made a lot of press recently, not just because of its supposed authenticity. lt purports to be a snapshot of Victorian life. with apparently genuine personal j0urnal extracts from a plethora of archives. Quite a self- confessed definitive
Tim Burton’s Stainboy
archive about a subject so incalculable that WOuld have most modern historians quaking in their boots. Queen Vikky w0uld have wanted it this way.
CLASSIC COMEDY www.classiccomedy .net
Like the BBC phrase tria'. repeats 'another classic chance to see . . .'
is here for all to see. regardless of licence. Take the Classic comedy moments from your childhood and re- live the experience here. From Potty Time to Python. you can grab some claSSic scenes here and even keep them on y0ur hard drive. A very promising site that will no doubt build and build as contemporary comedy
' ets more czassic'.
STAINBOY atomfilms.shockwave. com/af/spotlights/stai nboy
When Tim Burton isn't directing bizarre. sick. tWisted renditions of Hollywood. he does have an online presence. This is his latest offering. and -t lives up to his dark expectations. Very much like The Nightmare Before Christmas. this series of animations continues his SubverSive vein of hum0ur_ with rudimentary line drawings. StainbOy has f0und itself .n an in a largely disturbing fashion. The rumour-mill reports that. on the strength. of this. he has scored a new TV series. Watch out Buttheao and BeaVis.