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May the force be with you - you'll need it; Phil Brown draws his light saber to tackle Darth Vader in a head to hea d, and lives to review.

We all love a bit of Star Wars action on the television and video, and the galaxies at conflict theme is used successfully by Playstation as a vehicle on which to base another hand-to-hand combat game.

The start-up sequence to Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi is great for the first few times and sounds brilliant through a good hi-fi; moving graphics are top drawer while the backdrops are faithful to the films.

Although characters can be a bit slow - when down, they take their time getting back up - the moves can get very fast. And some of the special moves are awesome.

It can take a lot of time and effort to find out how to play them so you either take the short-cut and find out about them in Playstation's Tips Mag, or, alternatively, you can sort it out on the game's practice mode which is excellent for the novice.

In the game screen, you have a power bar which starts off empty and fills up with power every time you hit an opponent.

When the power bar is full, you can pull off the special moves. This can be annoying in two-player mode when your adversary keeps hurling thermal detonators at you! Luckily, they only come in fours!

Teras Kasi employs fighting styles that are reminiscent of several different games, including the traditional joystick-type movements of Street Fighter to the rapid button tapping of Tekken.

Three levels of difficulty are available in the many modes available and that adds up to a lot of gameplay, for one or two players, with plenty of long combos and air moves.

And I have to admit, once I had been drawn into theTeras Kasi spell, it was deeply satisfying to earn the right to fight Darth Vader!

All in all a game that once learned (with the use of the very good instructions) is a force to be reckoned with.

Rating: 9/10

Price: pounds 39.99.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:May 19, 1998
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