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Dragon battles are damp squib; Computer Games.

Byline: LACKING PUNCH... Legend of the Dragon is only for diehard fans of the TV cartoon.

MARTIN SMITH

LEGEND OF THE DRAGON

PS2-pounds 19.99

YOU would have to be a serious fan of the TV cartoon series to spend much time with this one - and even then it would be a challenge.

For me a game has to grab you from the beginning, and this one failed to deliver. You are faced with a screen like a board game where you move your character across the dots to points such as pagodas.

Once there you get to challenge an enemy in battle, a lot like the old arcade fighting games, with punch and kick movements, but it is not that easy.

You have to master the controls in a tricky series of combination moves which can vary from character to character and after pressing square, triangle, square for the 12th time in a row, I felt like pressing quit, quit, quit, eject.

For enthusiasts of the series, you will battle through to maintain the universal balance between darkness and light with all the popular characters you know and love from the Dragon Dojo.*****

MARIO PARTY 8

Wii-pounds 39.99

IT'S party time again, so bring out the cake, stupid hats and bright balloons. You can normally guarantee that the Mario Party series will put a smile on your face - and your pals' - with its cutesy, addictive range of stylistic mini-games.

While the addition of the Wii-mote technology makes for some perfectly-created pumping and lassoing activities, much of the games featured here feel like re-works from earlier titles, which has a serious impact on your desire to play through them time after time.

The board designs are clever, but it is the real meat of this game that feels lacking, making it an essential purchase only for those with a serious addiction to the series. *****

FLAT OUT 2: ULTIMATE CARNAGE

Xbox 360 - pounds 39.99

THE Flat Out franchise has remained steadily popular, perhaps lacking the hype surrounding Burnout and Gran Turismo, but offering its own special driving experience.

Ultimate Carnage has been rebuilt from the ground up, building on next-gen technology, and it provides a breathtaking experience. Seeing your driver fly through his windscreen in full HD glory will put a warm glow in the pit of your stomach. Yes, you may lose the race, but it looks spectacular.

It's the number one destruction racer and the development overhaul has been well worth it. -*****
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jun 22, 2007
Words:415
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