GAMES: Llama drama; THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE PC CD ROM.
A GAME where the hero spits at his enemies might not, at first sight, be a winner with mums.
This is Disney, though and, surprise, surprise, the game is the latest release to coincide with Walt's new movie moneymaker.
The Emperor's New Groove is a simplified, but not stripped down version of the film, where Kuzco, the jaded young Incan emperor ends up as a llama and has to sort his life out.
Players must make their way across jungles, villages and rivers in order to reclaim the crown. Kuzco's world is a Disney one, so new friends are made along the way and the obligatory lessons about modesty, respect and compassion are learned.
Not to mention just what a llama is and how to operate four feet instead of two.
Gameplay is traditional - you run, you jump, you kick and you learn to collect coins and unlock doors even though you have hooves.
The level changes are smooth as the game progresses and it is a nice balance - not easy enough for kids to sneer at, but it will rarely leave them stumped.
There's enough action to keep the kids from being bogged down in puzzles.
Kuzco has a wide range of skills and attacks. In addition to running, jumping and head-butting, he has the dubious ability to spit grape seeds, punch with his forelegs and perform the sort of karate kick Jackie Chan would envy.
These and the rest of the game's intricacies are explained in the first level - tips and tricks are imparted to an inattentive Kuzco from the mostly benevolent villagers.
Although most of Kuzco's in-game time is spent as a llama, a variety of potions change him into other, equally unappealing forms - such as a turtle, which grants him access to a No-Llama zone and precipitates one of those essential Disney moments, a zippy race with players sledging downhill on their shell.
A frantic chase from a pack of recently roused jaguars is gorgeously illustrated and in-game cutscenes are a cut above the usual.
This is not nearly as difficult as some platforming peers and, if kids' attention spans for games were as short as they are for anything else, they'll probably find this one a bit repetitious.
More seasoned gamers will find it an enjoyable treat.
All Trekked out
STARFLEET COMMAND II: EMPIRES AT WARPC CD ROM
SOMEONE stop them, please - they are no longer boldly going where no-one has gone before.
The predecessor of this was inspired by the legendary tabletop game, Star Fleet Battles and it was a good effort.
The sequel looks and sounds excellent, but for all the changes it's basically just a slightly improved version of the original.
The biggest change is the inclusion of a persistent online universe - which sounds great, but they seem to be waiting for a Big Bang, since this feature isn't actually fully functional yet.
The concept of actually commanding a ship, completing missions, progressing through the ranks and competing against (or co-operating with) fellow human players in a virtual Star Trek universe online is something that Starfleet Command players have wished for ever since the first game was released.
The fact that they can't deliver that in time for the release of this simply makes it look like a cynical attempt to make a fast buck.
Which is a shame, since Starfleet Command remains the single best attempt to capture the spirit and style of Star Trek and translate it into an interesting strategy game.
Taking the trivia and in-depth ship management of Star Fleet Battles and making a real-time 3D combat game out of it was risky, but it worked.
The resulting game, while it isn't an exact copy of the board game, has all the elements - a starship with a fixed amount of power to allocate to all sorts of functions. You can even fake the turn-based sequence of the board game by cranking the speed setting way down - and, in the solo game, you can pause and issue orders.
The sequel looks as good as the original, the graphics are slightly improved and there are two new playable races - the Mirak and the Interstellar Concordium.
For all that, this is the same as the original and the best part doesn't work yet. RATING 5/10
WHAT is it about 16th century Japan? We've had Shogun for the PC, Kessen for the PS2 and now this, yet again for the PS2.
Unlike the other two, though, this isn't a warlord strategy game with massed samurai. The game's story blends historical fact with fiction, following samurai Samanosuke as he battles demon hordes in an effort to rescue a kidnapped princess.
Some 50 to 70 people laboured over this and it shows - Onimusha has an extremely fluid look to it. While Samanosuke's appearance is based on popular Japanese actor Takeshi Kaneshiro, chosen to broaden the game's appeal in Japan.
In addition, the 3D rendered backgrounds offer environmental effects - wind rustling trees, fog, light, shadows, and water ripples. This is Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in which you get to run the heroes.
The core of the gameplay is Capcom's Resident Evil style. It will take your breath away. RATING 6/10
THIS follows the Disney film almost to the letter - asteroid crashes on Earth, three dinosaurs head for safe territory by following a herd heading for another continent.
The gameplay strongly resembles that of an RPG - each dinosaur has unique abilities and each one will be called upon to perform certain tasks, so that your whole team can progress through the level.
While all of this sounds great, the game's execution leaves much to be desired. Dinosaur boasts 12 full levels, but each is pathetically short, not to mention extremely easy.
The CG sequences from the film look great, load quick - and leave the in-game graphics looking poorly as a result.
With Disney expertise and money, plus the Dreamcast's abilities, there simply isn't any excuse for this.
Dismal graphics and poorly designed levels make this a disappointment of T-Rex proportions RATING 4/10
A NEW mod has just been released for Half-Life. Day Of Defeat is a class-based multiplayer mod best described as Team Fortress meets Saving Private Ryan. With such familiar settings as a Normandy-like beach invasion - and a tendency to die from blood loss - it should be a big hit. You can
download it at www.dayofdefeatmod.com.
CHEATS CHEATS CHEATS CHEATS CHEATS CHEATS CHEATS CHEATS CHEATS CHEATS CHEATS PROJECT IGI
PC CD ROM
START the game and, at the main menu, type in 'Nada'. During gameplay, enter one of the following codes:
ALLGOD - god mode for entire tea.
ALLAMMO - unlimited ammunition.
EWWW - kill enemies.
RENON ENDING SEQUENCE - Purchase more than $30,000 in items from Renon during the game. Then a battle with Renon will appear at the end of the game.
CHARLIE VINCENT ENDING SEQUENCE - Use more than four cards during the game, or take an excessive amount of time to complete the game and a battle with Charlie Vincent will appear at the end of the game.
INFINITE MONEY - Defeat the bull in the Castle Center, then return to the white crystal save point. Locate and open the large crate to collect $2000. Then, save and load the game and open the crate again. Repeat this action to gain an unlimited amount of money.
DAVE MIRRA FREESTYLE BMX
PC CD ROM
BIKE SUSPENSION MODE - Complete the game with Chad Kagy to unlock the bike suspension option at the cheat screen.
BIG CRASHES - Complete the game with Leigh Ramsdell to unlock the big crash option at the cheat screen.
ALL BIKES - At the bike selection screen in pro quest mode press Up Left Up Down U Right Left Right Modifier Airs to unlock all bikes.
ALL STYLES - At the style selection screen in pro quest mode press Left Up Right Down Left Down Right Up Left Modifier Airs to unlock all styles.
AMERICAN McGHEE'S ALICE
PC CD ROM
ENABLE the "Console" window in the "Game Options" under the "Settings"
selection. Then while you are playing a game press [tilde] and enter one of the following codes.
ALL WEAPONS - wuss.
ALL WEAPONS AND FULL AMMUNITION - give all
TOGGLE GOD MODE - god
SET HEALTH LEVEL - health [1-100]
Disable Enemy AI - notarget.
ARMY MEN: SARGE'S HEROES 2
YOU may have to wait till 3DO releases Portal Runner to see Vicki in her own game - but for now, you can at least play as her in Sarge's Heroes 2. Simply select the Enter Code option on the main menu, then type inthe "Green Girl Rocks"code: GRNGRLRX.
102 DALMATIANS: PUPPIES TO THE RESCUE
GARAGE LEVEL: Enter BONE, BONE, PAWPRINT, TANK and you will be taken to the Garage Level. RATING 5/10
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|Publication:||Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||Jan 19, 2001|
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