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GAMES; Bear necessities.



Nintendo N64

TWO years have passed since Banjo-Kazooie put Gruntilda the Witch under a rock outside her lair.

Now the Bear is back - and his stupid Bird - in this long-awaited Nintendo offering, which starts right where the last one left off. In fact, the opening cut-scene features Grunty's long-time servant, Klungo anxiously trying to remove the large rock from Grunty in the pouring rain. Of course, being the failure he is, he doesn't have any success - but Grunty's sisters do.

Your adventure begins in the same overworld hub that was in Banjo-Kazooie and, while a lot has remained the same, some of the rules have changed.

This time, to get to Gruntilda and her two sisters, you're going to have to go through the almighty Master Jiggywiggy. He, and he alone, will open up new passages on your quest. Naturally he'll only point you in the right direction and open doors if you have enough jiggys.

There are eight primary environments, including an ancient jungle, a coal mine, an amusment park, a lagoon, an prehistoric wasteland, a factory building and much more. This time, all of them are connected and you can go back and forth between them with ease.

Equally impressive is the clever writing. In classic Banjo-Kazooie style, Banjo is still as thick as a rock and Kazooie is just as mean as ever.

All in all, if you're a fan of platform-based games. Banjo-Tooie is amazing. It continues to improve on the formulas set forth by Super Mario 64, the original innovator.

Rare has also gone the extra mile in an attempt to give Banjo-Tooie some replay value. It features full four-player support and plenty of options to go with it and, if there is a flaw, it lies in the inconsistent frame-rate, which stutters annoyingly now and then. RATING 8/10

The Count still sucks


THIS is a chunk of Dreamcatcher eye-candy inspired by Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula.

Apparently a sequel (which might explain the absence of Van Helsing) set seven years after the novel's end, you play Dracula's original whipping post from the novel - Jonathan Harker.

Here, though, the wimpy estate agent has been transformed into an Indiana Jones with a dash of Sherlock Holmes thrown in.

The game's bald simplicity is both beguiling and irritating in turns. There's no options screen; you can't adjust video or audio - or, worst of all, the install size.

Movement follows the age-old Myst tradition - you left-click where a small arrow cursor indicates a possible path. Move-ment is instantaneous, which is a dramatic improvement over Dreamcatcher's last effort, Beyond Atlantis, where you had to wait for the whole scene to load from the CD in real-time, one plodding Frankenstein monster step after another.

Though always stationary, you can mouse-look anywhere, which provides a terrific view, but also multiplies the possibility of overlooking one of the game's many pinprick hotspots.

Right-clicking brings up your inventory screen. Here, unless your CD-ROM is the speed of light, the experience really nosedives.

The screen and a close-up view of any item it contains (which you get whenever you select an object) load separately, painstakingly and, inexplicably, off the CD.

The lag is annoying and feels like trying to glue together contrary magnets, making lighting a candle akin to brain surgery. The puzzles seem difficult, but how are you supposed to know that you have to place your stethoscope over a tiny area to the bottom left - and left only - to pick up the clicking of the tumblers in a wall safe?

Or that you must answer Dr. Seward's phone exclusively from one side of his desk?

Answers on a postcard, please, to Count Dracula, Drac Castle, Transylvania. RATING 5/10

THE Microsoft/Dream Factory fight game for the Xbox, previously only codenamed Project Kakuto-X, has gained an official Bruce Lee licence. The beat-'em-up, showcased during Bill Gates' keynote address at the recent Tokyo Game Show, is to called Bruce Lee: Quest For The Dragon. The demo, which featured a Lee look-a-like, was the show's Xbox highlight.


PlayStation 2

FUNDAMENTALLY, this is a two-dimensional, vertical-scrolling game which has had the background spun and warped in real-time 3D.

It's a classic - a spaceship with weapons, shields and attitude lifted off into the PS2.

The effect is excellent, the CGI opening that lays out the story is one of the best I 've seen and there are butt ugly alien, tentacled things that need to be shot ... so far, a superb game.

The gorgeous graphics just love the PS2, there is a bit of slowdown, but not enough to be aggravating and the whole thing comes in six stages.

Silpheed was originally released for the PC8801, with a version later released for the Mega CD sometime in 1993, so we are talking vintage here and you might expect this to have reached its sell-by date.

However, the PS2 has given this a new lease of life.


PlayStation 2

WE'VE seen it in the Dreamcast, the Playstation, the PC and even the Mac. So it's the PS2's turn to get the world's best-known first-person shooter - but is this a Quake too far?

What can possibly be different about this PS2 version? Well, the most glaring differences are dis-appointing ones - no online options that made the Dreamcast version such a success and you can't play the game with a mouse and keyboard, an important presence on Sega's console.

You're stuck with the joypad control system, meaning that those USB ports once again go unloved and untouched.

What we have here is a slammed-out game to give the PS2 some big-name game support, but they have tried to provide a four-player mode and altered the single-player game to include character improvement.

If you have no pals, this is a great PS2 game for you. RATING 6/10




Invincibility - Enter the name ROCKSTAR. Press Start to pause the game and enable the "Invulnerability" option.



Master code - LEANEST.

Level select - MME WEB or MIME WEB.

Invincibility - ADMNTIUM.

Full health - WEAKNESS.

Unlimited webbing - GLANDS.

Big head mode - EGOTRIP.

All comic books - KIRBYFAN.

Comic collection - FANBOY.

All FMV sequences - CINEMA.

All gallery characters - RGSGLLRY.

Storyboard - ROBRTSON.

What If Contest mode - UATUSEES.

Stickman Spider-Man - STICKMAN.

Cartoon Spider-Man - FUNKYTWN.

Quick Change Spidey costume - Enter the code SM_LVIII. This costume allows two webbring cartridges. - On the ''Press Start'' screen press: Up, Down, Down, Right, Right, Right, Left, Left, Left, Left, Circle+Start Remember to press the last two buttons together.

UNLOCK THE SUDDEN DEATH MODE - On the 'Press Start' Screen, press: L1, R2, L2, R2, L2, Triangle, Circle, Triangle, Circle, L1+Start. Remember to press the last two buttons together.

UNLOCK THE SUDDEN DEATH, TRIAL, AND MAX POWER MODES - To get these modes beat the game on hard. Max power mode gives you infinite ammo.



Press (tilde) and enter one of these codes at the console window to activate that cheat.

God mode - xgod.

Fly mode - xfly.

No clipping mode - xghost.

Disable fly and no clipping modes - xwalk.

Full ammunition - allammo.

Kill all enemies - killpawns.

Spawn indicated item - summon (item name).


Nintendo N64

Level select - Enter the code FORGEOFF.

View development team - Enter the code CHEESE!!.

Expert mode - Enter the code REALHARD.

Hidden level - Get 1500 IQ points to unlock the hidden level Return to Peru.OPERATION WINBACK PlayStation 2 UNLOCKTHETRAILMODEOnthe ''PressStart''screenpress:Up,Down,Down, Right,Right,Right,Left,Left,Left,Left, Left+Square. This will give you a mode in which you can select the level you want to play. Remember to press the last two buttons together. UNLOCK ALL THE VS CHARACTERS On
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 4, 2001
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