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GAMES REVIEW.

Byline: Bob Low

The magic artsThe best way to use a computer mouse ..DISNEY'S MAGIC ARTIST DELUXE PC/Mac

IN the midst of all the mayhem, murder and mass slaughter currently running amok on computers, it's nice to get fluffy for a change.

And, let's face it, you don't get fluffier than Mickey Mouse and Peter Pan.

Sometimes, in the mad urge to flog units, the games industry forgets that there's an age group other than 12-35. Happily, Disney is there to sort them out.

The result is Magic Artist Deluxe, which is a smart little arts package. Okay, it's designed for six and upwards, but it puts no limit on where the upward stops. So, I am happy to footer with my Doodlebug in this.

The Doodlebug is a little bot which you can train to draw designs and even write your name - so that's what a graphic artist is! It's just one of the many features of this, which include the ability to add virtual wax to the canvas, use a shower-head paint effect, a glitter pen, crayons and hordes of patterns.

And, yes, there is a complete library of Disney characters - Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, Goofy and the rest.

It's great for young kids, because it connects to a special, closed Disney website - in other words, they can't go surfing from it - which lets them downloads exclusive animated bits and pieces.

Needless to say, the graphics are class - so, if you are one of those adults who borrow the neighbours weans just so you can see Atlantis, then this is for you.

DINOTOPIA: THE TIMESTONE PIRATES

GBA YOU only have to throw in a dinosaur and your TV, movie or computer epic is made it seems. TDK have gone one further and have launched James Gurney's Dinotopia on the GameBoy Advance with it's own TV mini-series to back it up.

The game boasts five levels of adventure where players can pilot a pterodactyl, navigate a submarine and ride a hadrosaur (no, I haven't a clue what it is, either). As young hero Clayton your quest is to find the magical Timestone and, on the way, rescue some T-Rex eggs from marauding pirates.

The Dinoptopia books, a complex fantasy world as rich as Tolkien's Middle Earth, provides a great backdrop and the GBA graphics hold their end up well. Coupled with a six-hour TV series, should make this a must for the handheld.

TOP TEN

on the N64

1. Pokemon Stadium 2

2. Mario Party 3

3. Mario Kart 64

4. WWF No Mercy

5. Pokemon Snap 6. Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

7. The World Is Not Enough

8. Pokemon Stadium

9. Conker's Bad Fur Day

10. Banjo Tooie

WESTLIFE FAN-0-MANIA

PS2/PC

THE ultimate challenge - everything you never knew about Britain's No.1 boy band.

Yes, five boys, 500 questions, one quiz. Developed, in close co-operation with Westlife, the questions range from the boys' music, videos, lives and loves, plus you get plenty of exclusive, and never-before-seen video footage.

Tara, your animated hostess, guides you through five different sections of Westlife's virtual lives including The Tour Bus, The Recording Studio, On Location, Live and Back At The Hotel. The PC version has a printable image gallery, including signed photos of the band.

If you happen to be a Westlife smartie and score top marks in any one round, you unlock an exclusive one-on-one moment with one of the lads.

Awww ...

Not too Tricky

DARK SUMMIT

PS2 SMART move, this. You take the familiar snowboarder genre and, instead of the usual collection of options, you add a twist. by turning it into a sort of Famous Five Get Gnarly.

The plot is simple - Mt. Garrick, a once quiet and peaceful ski resort has Chief O'Leary desperate to keep boarders off the slopes. But why ...?

A nice try to be something more, this has a ton of mission-based objectives and the graphics do kick - not as good as the X-Box version - wait a week, people - but still fast and consistent.

The controls are the game's real problem and there's a nasty lag between the time you press the buttons and when characters respond - try something fancy off of a grind and you're dead.

On the other hand, the plot's objectives waver wildly from laughably easy to frustratingly hard and the end result is a game that crashes between two summits - it is not quite a classy whodunnit and fails to be a good snowboarding game, because so much oomph has been invested in the plot that the graphics and sound both suffer.

The special tricks are just a few buttons long, which means you won't see a whole lot of them.

Instead, you'll see a lot of snatched tricks that you have to tweak to get anything close to Tony Hawk or Tricky level.

As it stands, this is entertaining but runs a long second to Tricky for snowboarding fun and just about any mystery game leaves it behind.

COMPETITION: RANGERS/CELTIC FOOTBALL COACH

Score a DVD winnerEVER fancied being O'Neill or McLeish? Well, in a few weeks time, you could be - the first EVER, officially endorsed Rangers and Celtic football coach computer games, in association with the Daily Record, will be in the shops from March 29.

Over the next four weeks we will be giving away copies of the game, plus Celtic and Rangers strips and a bag of electronic goodies, including a DVD player, a minidisk player and a home PC.

I'll give you a full review of the game soon - but, this week, the first prize winner will receive a DVD player, the team strip of their choice and a copy of the game. One runner-up will win a team strip and game. To enter simply fill in the entry form and send it to Daily Record Rangers/Celtic football Coach Contest, PO Box 955, Glasgow, G9 2EJ. Entries must arrive by March 20. Please also tell us, on a separate sheet of paper, on what date the game is released.
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 8, 2002
Words:1008
Previous Article:MIKEY AND ME WERE A REAL ODD COUPLE; Danny and Mike are the Little & Large of Tinseltown.
Next Article:Not too Tricky; DARK SUMMIT PS2.


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