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Southport Reporter

Edition No. 87

Date:- 21 February 2003

 New game starts next week!

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Command & Conquer Generals
(EA Games)
Review by Dominic Bonner.

COMMAND and conquer has been a game loved and hated over the years of this now long running saga. Similarly the take over by those boffins at EA games of this eagerly anticipated version of C&C has also shared that relationship.

The objectives of Generals reflect very much our own current global problems of the threat of terrorism and stamping out such problems by force. Obviously all sides of the factions of this virtual war can be played to your own needs. But after the many years of playing command and conquer the burning question to be answered was what new could EA do with this game? 

The initial look at this game suggests much has been done. But don’t let that fool you. EA may have glossed over this release with a paranoramic film experience but it is still pretty much the same old C&C. Even if the programming of this game is a little lazy via the poor coding, giving reason for its rather bloated specification of two gigahertz.

Predecessors to Generals certainly were high on game play and low on presentation. But this approach by EA sees a reverse approach, giving a rather lush solid feel to Generals landscape that heightens the sense of realism to this game. 

Indeed realism has been highly on the agenda for this release as the animation has been given a total overhaul. Whereby characters can now be seen moving in ways not available to say Red Alert of Yuri’s Revenge. And gives a greater bruising effect to the devastation laid waste by the spoils of battle.

Graphically Generals is almost faultless as it retains most of the spirit from the past. But poor rendering and overstated speech for the sake of a cinematic experience gives a dissonant feel that irritates and excites within the same awkward feeling. 

Indeed this move by EA to take a more platoon style presentation rather than the brute gaming experience of the saga’s past has slightly diminished it in ways that could deter you from buying it – due to the sheer processing power required and what possibly could have been done if an approach of stealth towards the coding of this 

game, mixed with the processing power it requires could have seen a greater result. 

But nonetheless the efforts of this release are spectacular, effective and plain awesome. Which fans will see as a welcome enough excuse to their addiction of this game further fused and EA forgiven for taking the title of a much beloved game, Buy it!
4 out of 5
AUSTIN POWERS PINBALL
(Global Star Software)
Review by Dominic Bonner.
 
THE flow of pinball games that sees a third review in as many months may become tiresome and overstated. But on this occasion, proof that comedy really can sell a product rings true.

Everything that characterizes Mike Myers and his projects appears to contain the Midas touch of success to it and it is carried through with this game. From the start we a greeted with the somewhat lush – dare I say it? Yes, lush tackiness of graphics that could trivialize such a release into oblivion. But breaks the mould with its sparkling colour in which two playable boards with fast-paced pinball provides allure and charm. 

The rendering of this game may leave a little to be desired as patience is tested due to slow loading time to a comparatively small game. But once it is in full flow the fast movement of the ball, the responsive flippers and game features that typify every pinball game kick in. Even the Austin Powers cut scenes delivered in such a typical arcade style mixed with Myers and Liz Hurley in typically hammy British scenarios gives it the ultimate feel of pinball play. 

But there are negative aspects. Again, we are graced with another pinball game carrying a theme from a movie that carries cynical marketing ploys similar to spin offs and by products from the film to maximize the film’s and many other movies success. But this should not deter you from buying this one. This really is a winner.
 
4 out of 5

Southport Reporter is Trade Mark of Patrick Trollope.   Copyright © Patrick Trollope 2003.