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Mummy's tomb should be left alone; FIRST BYTE with Barrie Mills.

WHILE The Mummy Returns was never going to win any Oscars, it did tell an entertaining story through exciting cinematography and special effects.

So it's strange that the game of the film, for the PS2, disappoints largely because of its appalling camera angles and bad voice acting.

In case you've spent the last two millennia wrapped up in a casket full of embalming fluid, here's the plot.

Archaeologist, adventurer and all-round American hero Rick O'Connor is back on the trail of ancient Egyptian artefacts relating to the Scorpion King.

With a name like that most people would confine their research to the textbooks, but Rick takes his family - beautiful headstrong wife and stupid child - exploring, only for the kid to go plummeting into the bowels of an underground catacomb network crawling with evil spirits and graverobbers.

Then the adventure is on to rescue him, find the treasure, defeat the Scorpion King and save the world.

The action takes place from a third-person perspective and works in a similar way to Tomb Raider.

If your leanings are towards the dark side you can play the game as Rick's evil nemesis Imhotep.

Playing as this rotted mummy earns you a different storyline with different levels and new powers, so instead of bullets you can acquire and fire magic at your opponents.

Unfortunately, the "two for the price of one game" idea isn't enough to make The Mummy Returns any more than a mediocre action adventure.

The camera angles from above leave you screaming for more longrange information. There is a firstperson perspective, but this can only be used when you are standing still, which doesn't help when you are under attack.

But the word attack is probably too flattering for the bad guys, blessed with Artificial Stupidity rather than the customary Artificial Intelligence.

To make matters worse, they reappear when you leave their area, so any backtracking means another dull punch-up.

This is one game that's best left undisturbed.

RATING: 4/10 - Pyramid selling.

IF YOU'RE an expert on soccer trivia, then Sky Sports Football Quiz is your kind of game.

The game, for the PC, boasts thousands of questions arranged into categories based on teams, eras, divisions, tournaments, stadiums - everything is covered.

There are four quiz modes that can be played solo or by up to four contestants.

Dream Team sees you assembling a first eleven by answering quiz categories for each position on the field. So to win a goalkeeper you might have to answer a series of questions on Manchester United.

The quicker you get the right answers, the more money you have to buy a goalkeeper from the transfer list.

The winner is the person with the most valuable team. The other three football-themed categories are Penalty Shootout, Man of the Match and League Championship.

The game is neatly presented in the Sky Sports livery, complete with commentary and condescending remarks from presenter Kirsty Gallacher.

Kirsty's speeches can sometimes feel a bit like a stilted platform announcement, but that's practically traditional in the football game genre.

If you can live with that then Sky Sports Football Quiz is quite an interesting game, especially if you are the sort of person who knows what happened in the 1956 FA Cup fourth round.

You really have to know your soccer to get any fun out of this. After all, what's the fun in humiliating defeat?

RATING: 6/10 - Questionable fun.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 2, 2002
Words:570
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