(Nintendo) £39.99 .0000

How do you improve upon perfection? When Mario 64 arrived on the Nintendo 64, it delighted and captivated everyone who indulged in its many charms. With addictive exploration dripping with humorous warmth, testing puzzles pitched at exactly the right level and a gnawing drive to see every detail the game had to offer,

Mario 64 remains, six years later, unsurpassed in

the platform world. With such impeccable parentage Super Mario Sunshine, really had to be something spectacular to surpass


First impressions are promising. The cartoon Isle Delfino is slowly grinding to a halt under constant attack from a nefarious graffiti artist, a paint-happy no-gooder who bears an uncanny resemblance to our heroic Italian plumber. Blamed for the ubiquitous daubing, Mario must clean the island as punishment. Armed with a clever hose system, the adventure begins.

Depicted in the familiar colourful style of Mario

64, each part of the island is carefully constructed to host a number of episodes.

These episodes involve a platform element and a

boss to defeat, with the water hose playing a large part as it gets rid of graffiti with its spray and lifts Mario with its hover power. Completion is rewarded by a Shine Sprite and soon the unlocked episodes become plentiful. It is challenging, fun and demands long playing


That is not to say that everything is rosy. The camera seems to wander aimlessly at times, the collision detection is occasionally suspect and, because of smaller areas of play, exploration is

not such a driving force.

But, despite falling short of admittedly astronomical expectations, Sunshine is indeed spectacular. A growing variety of hose nozzles keep the gameplay from becoming samey and the usual Nintendo ingenuity in level design is a constant delight. Not quite perfect but so very,

very close. (lain Davidson)

xeox CONFLICT: DESERT STORM (sci) 5:39.99 «0

With WWII. then 'Nain and now Kuwait. it can't be long until war Sims catch up With today and offer the opportunity to take part in a Current conflict somewhere in

the world. With troops knocking on the door of Iraq again. Conflict: Desert Storm may be more topical than intended. This is a third person/first person shooter in the Ghost Recon mould. though it concentrates more on the action than the

tactical experience.

For fans of the Rainbow Six series. it may feel a little light. but everyone else will enjoy the ‘drop-in and start firing' style. There are problems with enemy Al and the missions quickly become repetitive. but the death at a distance angle is pleasantly refreshing and on the console. who cares about tactics? Like scary ol' Dubya. we all want to dive straight into the slaughter.

PC MAFIA TTake 2) 5:29.99 .00

Do not believe the hype. Though billed as a 30s verSion of Grand Theft Auto III and admittedly initial impressions lead down that path afia: City of Lost Heaven is a completely different experience. Actually, it is a variety of different experiences.

Every mission. indeed every scnpted element of every mission. feels different from the last. You never choose y0ur battleground. the plot does that for yOu. Because the cars are realistic. there is no way you can fly around the impressive streets.

lndeed.oncethe spectre of GTAl/l is banished. the unpredictability of the game makes for a good time. If only a little more thought had been put into the many scenarios. Mafia could have been a real cracker. It bodes well for Mafia 2.

Unpredictability SOs-style in Mafia


CRAZY TAXI 3 (Sega) £39.99 .00

Crazy Taxi remains a uniquely enjoyable Slice of automotive nonsense in a sea of racing titles. Unfortunately. the inimitable joy of the title seems to have become a millstone around its neck. Changing anything would probably remove that X-Factor. yet without change the series begins to stagnate.

And so it is With C/‘a/y TaX/ 3. There is mere of everything, more routes. more special moves. more streetlife and a bunch more mini- games. As ever. the taXis are a delight to drive and the cities demand exploration. yet at its core this is no more enjoyable than the first title. If you have never sworn at every fareless second that ticks away. then this is the one to buy. but veterans of the genre will find little here worth the asking price.

(lain Davidsoni

ALSO RELEASED Burnout 2 IP82 Acclaim £39.99) Drivmg for dopeheads.

Colin McRae 3 (PS2 Code/masters £39.99) Slide axle-deep in mud. TimeSplitters 2 (P82 Eidos £39.99) Cartoon FPS.

No One Lives Forever 2 (PC VU Games £29.99) Guns. babes and bad guys. Battlefield 1942 (PC EA $29.99) Better than Medal of Honour?




visage of Michael Jackson has caused much mystery and mith over the years. Here we can see just how far Wacko's looks have been distorted since the days of Thriller thanks to the handiwork of showbi/ surgeons. Freak and or unique? I think we've already decided.


John Greenwalde Jr is a mere 21 -years-old yet has been running the Black Vault website for five years. There he publishes a vast array of material questioning the offiCiaI word on subjects ranging from 0 t 1 (how do you explain the UFO spotted just before the first aerial attack?) to Nessie leven Norway has one). Or you could just play some online chess. John's only friend is his older sister.

CHOKING CELEBS www.heimlichinstitute .org/celebrities.html

What do Cher. Ronald Reagan, HI/illXBIIl "layloi


and Goldie Hawn have in common? All were at one time saved from choking to almighty death by the Heimlich Maneuver. Since the procedure was introduced in 1074. an estimated 50.000 people have been spared a horrible and socially embarrassing demise. Quite where they got that figure from is uncertain.

LITERARY LUNACY www.BookCrossing .com

What are the three ‘Rs’ of BookCrossing? Read. register and release. If y0u find a book lying around in a cafe or a park. it c0uld be an experiment in BOOkCrossing. Pick it up and yOu c0uld well discover a strange karma or dubious fate awaiting you. Or you could run in the opposite direction really quickly.


Sewing Scottish idiots (their words not mine). this is a nice antidote to the lies told in papers. With bigger lies told on this 'webrag'. Latest news: a Rangers playei is distraught ()\'()l his lack of a nickname: a really big cat is spotted in Oban: Ant and Dec are believed to have played {til-SING in Shettleston. Must be more pointless things on the web. but where? (Brian Donaldson)

.i‘. on. THE LIST 109