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Games; Wacky racers.

SPEED FREAKS

PlayStation

EVER since Mario Kart was first released to help SNES become a world best-seller console, there has been a sad lack of silly, fun, racing games.

There have been attempts, including the lamentable Ayrton Senna Karting, but nothing has ever really got close to challenging the crown held by Mario Kart. Until now, that is.

Speed Freaks is a totally worthy challenger and, what's more, it's on the PlayStation - a format well known for its wide range of boy racer disc, but sadly lacking anything playable on the lighter side of virtual motor sport.

Learning from its famous ancestor, Speed Freaks follows almost exactly, the formula that made Mario Kart such a wow. The characters in Speed Freaks are certainly a lot less cute, with big bulging heads and spiky haircuts, but they have a certain charm and are all well defined.

There are also the traditional range of tracks, set in different fantasy locations and it's here that Speed Freaks beats Mario Kart handsdown.

All the tracks have been designed with both intelligence and imagination. Not only do they look great, with a range of racing surfaces, but they are also a challenge.

The earliest courses aren't too difficult, to let you get used to thecontrol of your karts and the best ways to race against the other competitors.

But,as the learning curve starts to climb, the game comes to life.

It's actually quite a simple idea. But it has a bunch of gags and a load of playability, from single to four-player.

A really nice game that should prove to be a hit with Playstation gamers of all ages.

RATING 8/10

Menaced again

EPISODE 1 INSIDER'S GUIDE

PC CD ROM

JUST when you though there could be no hype left, Lucasarts find another Phantom Menace spinoff.

Not a game,. this is more of an 'Everything You've Always Wanted To Know about Episode 1, But Couldn't be Bothered to Ask', electronic compendium.

Yes, it is an anorak special, but Star Wars buffs will love it.

Those famous trailers, which did the rounds on the Internet before the film was on general release, are here, as are production sketches, interviews with the key creative people and a full screenplay. This CD covers every topic you could ever want to know about and even has the Lucas seal of approval.

Find out what alien is who and more with this.

RATING 9/10

Rotar-blade runners

RC STUNTCOPTER

PlayStation

THIS is a weird and tough game. It is also is the kind of game that could find you threatening to throw your PlayStation out the window unless it does what you want it to.

Very frustrating stuff ... but worth persevering with and keeping your PlayStation in one piece

The challenge is to learn and fly a model helicopter over a number of different courses.

Sounds rather dull and pointless. But it isn't, because model helicopters have the same control system as their real-life big brothers and flying one of them is always going to be a challenge.

The controls are split into two, with half your joy pad controlling the helicopter's throttle and the other the movement from side to side. The result is a bit like trying to pat your head and rub your tummy at the same time, while riding a unicycle. Over a tight wire.

The control system is the heart of what this game is all about. Each of the levels are made up of what, on paper, look like a relatively easy challenges - fly from point A to point B, avoiding a few poles and other obstacles.

When you actually get your hands on the controls of your tiny craft the result can be a lot more messy. Overshooting your landing point, careering out of control and clipping the poles and, all too often, crashing into the ground.

And it's here that the frustration begins to set in.

If you are on a level that should be straightforward, but keep crashing into the same slalom pole game after game, the temptation to give up and have a quick bash on Quake is over -whelming.

But the whole point of RC Stuntcopter is that it is a tough game. It is part simulator, part puzzle game, but the one thing it isn't is an action game.

Great to look at, and actually great fun to play if you can get part the high frustration levels, it would have been nice to have a free-fly section,where you could just dart around in your nimble chopper without worrying about a challenge.

Even without that, RC Stuntcopter is different and worth a look.

RATING 7/10

CHARLIE BLAST'S TERRITORY

Nintendo N64

THE latest in a long line of appalling 'graphic puzzle'games, this reaches new levels in getting it wrong.

This is so far off the mark that it's not even on the same target as Tetris or Bomberman, which were fairly poor.

Charlie is a builder who has to clear a number of play areas by blowing bits of them up. Nice enough, if a little simple.

He goes about this rampant demolition job by finding bombs and positioning them carefully before hitting a switch to detonate them and clear the area.

Once the area's cleared he goes on to another to do the same thing, all of this against the clock.

Problem is that the controls are sluggish and you feel that Chaz is wading through treacle most of the time.

The positioning of the bombs can be annoyingly pedantic and the long-term appeal is hampered by the fact that every level is exactly the same as the last, only harder.

This was a simple idea that, with imagination and decent coding, might have worked. But it doesn't. Avoid.

RATING 3/10

GameBoy 2000

IT'S been a long time coming, there have been plenty of rumours about what it's going to be like - but Nintendo have now announced details of the machine that will take over from their mega-successful GameBoy.

Developed in conjunction with software giants Konami the new pocket miracle, which goes by the code name Game Boy Advance will be an all colour machine with a 32 -bit processor and, most exciting of all, complete Internet access via a mobile phone.

Nintendo have promised a whole range of portable on-line games to back up this online access.

The Game Boy Advance is all set for launch in Japan next August and in America by Christmas 2000 - but there is no date for a UK launch and no price either.

NINTENDO'S latest 64DD title is simply known as DT and details are as sketchy.

It is a digital card collection and trading game.

While this may not be exciting to many, what is interesting is that this will be the first product ever to make use of the 64DD/Game Boy link.

According to Nintendo, game data that has been collected on the Game Boy can easily be transferred to the 64DD or uploaded to Randnet - and vice versa. It's scheduled for release in 2000.

CHEATS CHEATS CHEATS CHEATS CHEATS CHEATS CHEATS CHEATS CHEATS CHEATS CHEATSLevel 3 - YYYYLCKBMMQSXM

BOSS - QZSXLFPKDVRQNG

Ending - BDROUKJGQHZDCI

THE DRIVER

SONY PLAYSTATION

A GAME everyone should own if only to use these great cheats. Enter any of them on the main menu and, once you've got the confirmation sound, you'll be away.

To make yourself invincible:

L2, L2, R2, R2, L2, R2, L2, L1, R2, R1, L2, L1, L1.

Get rid of the police:

L1, L2, R1, R1, R1, R1, L2, L2, R1, R1, L1, L1, R2.

Get mini cars:

R1, R2, R1, R2, L1, L2, R1, R2, L1, R1, L2, L2, L2.

QUAKE 2

NINTENDO N64

IF you want to get your hands on an extra special hidden level in this excellent version of the classic game of blood and guts, then all you have to do is go to the Load menu and select DO NO TRY. Then type FBBC VBBB FBBC VBF7.

Get that right and you'll have 99 seconds to get rid of a huge number of robots all armed with rail guns. Sure you've got a rocket launcher - but, if you don't do it, the whole level explodes.

VIGILANTE 8

SONY PLAYSTATION

IF this excellent 70s retro game has you with your flares in a twist, try one of these hip cheats.

Level 2 - LZHDKGXTWACOWJ

Level 3 - HSEIBUPGNXWRLU

BOSS - DZPFMXFKJQBQSW

Ending - RAOOAYHPBGBIZB

Or, to play as one of the other characters why not try these

Level 2 - DTQAGYFKJQBQSW

WWF WARZONE

NINTENDO N643

AS long as people still like to get to grips with overweight men wearing too much Spandex and boasting bad haircuts, there will always be a market for some top-flight wrestling games.

But it can get extremely boring after a while and, until they decide to do women's wrestling, the only way to gee up the interest in this is to get a few extra characters.

To do that, go to the main menu and press

C-Up, A, A, B, Z.

Get that right and you can select the likes of Hitman Hart and Dude Love to name but two.

CASTLEVANIA LEGENDS

GAME BOY

The Game Boy still produces the odd moments of magic and Castlevania Legends certainly is one of the them. It is the nearest you will get to a decent interactive Hammer Horror movie with one major difference - the ending was predictable in Hammer Horror and here you are just as likely to end up with holes in your neck.

If you are having problems getting beyond the first couple of levels without succumbing to Dracula's bite all you have to do is enter this very simple cheat.

Meat, Candle, Candle, Meat.

Do that and you will be whisked off to the last level with all the items and all the weapons, perfectly prepared to do battle with the Dark One himself.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 10, 1999
Words:1653
Previous Article:PREVIEW; Bernard's solo flight of fancy.
Next Article:Last laugh for little drummer boy Talvin.


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