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Byline: MARTYN LEEK leek: see onion.

Hardy, vigorous, biennial plant (Allium porrum) of the lily family, native to the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. It has a mild, sweet, onionlike flavour.

Super Monkey Ball This article is about the first game in the series. For information on the series as a whole, see Super Monkey Ball (series).

Super Monkey Ball is an arcade platform game developed by Amusement Vision and distributed by Sega featuring a cast of humorous monkey
 2 (GameCube, Sega) SOME games are good because of their plots, their intricate and finely balanced gameplay. Others are good because of their simplicity. And it's the latter where Super Monkey Ball 2 scores highest.

You can just imagine the meeting at which designer Toshihiro Nagoshi Toshihiro Nagoshi is a video game producer and designer for Sega. Nagoshi is in charge of Sega's New Entertainment R&D #1 studio. Nagoshi headed Sega AM4/Amusement Vision before NE R&D #1 was formed.  pitches the idea for the game: 'Well Mr Sega, it's about a monkey that's stuck in a ball... You can't control him so instead you control the environment he rolls around in!'

This game is sheer genius. If you want realistic graphics, forget it. This is colourful Crayola.

And anyway, who needs realism for a monkey in a ball?

The main game has a strange Japanese plot but basically you're in a ball and you have to get from one end of the level to the other. You control the monkey's movements by panning and tilting the ground.

When you've finished with that - and it'll take a while - there are bonus games. How about monkey billiards, bowls or golf? These are graced by the same excellent gameplay and physics as the main event itself. Pure unbridled fun!

Graphics .................9/10 Sound ...................8/10 Gameplay ...............10/10 Overall ..................10/10Defender (PlayStation 2, Midway) DEFENDER was a 1980s classic simply because it took you out of the confines of Space Invaders Space Invaders

Trademark a video game in which players try to defend themselves against attacking enemy spacecraft
, where you were rooted to the base of the screen, and allowed your spaceship to zip across the screen at will, blasting aliens.

Okay, so the wire frame graphics are rubbish by today's standards but if I ever see it in the corner of a chip shop or taxi office, it's worth 10p of anyone's money. The modern day 3-D remake unfortunately isn't. Rent it instead. 5/10 TOCA Racedriver (PC, Codemasters) THE excellent touring car racing Touring car racing is a general term for a number of distinct auto racing competitions in heavily-modified street cars. It is notably popular in Britain, Germany, Scandinavia, and Australia.  game with a twist from the Midland games company eventually arrives on the PC. The PS2 game introduced a roleplay element, allowing you an insight into the driver's life.

But it's for the driving that this series of games is known. This instalment proves no different and on a high-spec PC just turn up all the settings and drive! 9/10
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Apr 27, 2003
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