Last Updated May 15, 1999
Finally some new titles have started to filter onto the marketplace for 1999. There's a distinct lack of quality new titles on Playstation and Nintendo 64, but the PC has seen some excellent software appear in the last few weeks.
Starsiege:Tribes has finally gained an official UK release, albeit as part of a box-set including the mediocre Starsiege. It's online following goes from strength to strength. There are now several UK Tribes and a league and cup competition is now well under way. Look out for the Banana Republic!!!
Tribes is about to face it's biggest competition in the form of Quake 3 Arena. The test version is now available and plays brilliantly.
Be aware that some of today's PC titles need some hefty kit to get the best out of them. Here's my current recommended playlist:
|Quake 3 Arena Test (PC) - id
Software finally released the Win32 version of this pre-release test. The 22 meg download
is well worth the effort, assuming you have the hardware to run it. Those without 3d cards
need not apply. The test version includes 2 maps. One is largely based indoors while the
other is a frenetic battle on an arena floating in space. The majority of the weapons from
the final game have made it in too. The exceptions being the flame-thrower, grenade
launcher and the BFG.
The pace of gameplay is fast and furious. This is mainly because fast weapon switching is back in. Making it play far more like the original Quake/QW than it does Quake 2.
|X-Wing Alliance (PC) - With The Phantom Menace just around the corner it seemed likely this was going to be a cash-in by Lucasarts. Gladly it's far from it. This is the latest in the long series of X-Wing / Tie Fighter games and it's also by far the best. XWA Uses an updated version of the XvT graphics engine with 3d card support out of the box. It's truly stunning to watch - the gap between video game and film is most certainly narrowing. The single player game has a challenging mission based structure, whilst for the online gamer there are multiplayer options aplenty. You also now have the ability to fly some of the larger Star Wars vessels including the Millenium Falcon (complete with an operational gunner's turret). One to keep you busy until Episode One arrives.|
|Championship Manager 3 (PC) - Having not played a Football Management game in quite some time I was fairly sceptical about this. After several late nights my fears were over. It's hard to describe how looking at page after page of stats can be addictive. but when all those hours of training and tactics come together, and your club starts to rise up the table, you start to get great satisfaction out of this title. The info for just about every player and club around the world are included and up-to-date. Beware this is tough. My first four seasons resulted in relegation (and the sack) from Charlton, Barnsley, Southampton and Carlisle. Now I'm on the up with a defensive 4-4-2 and Plymouth Argyle. European footy at Home Park? - we'll have to wait and see.|
|TOCA 2 Touring Cars (PC) - This has been available on PlayStation for a while now. The PC version has been well worth the wait though. As with the original, this faithfully recreates the British Touring Car Championship, however the physics and graphics engine have been extensively overhauled. Combine this with a far more extensive array of cars, tracks and other options and Codemasters have produced the best arcade/sim racer on the PC today. It's incredible how far the gaming industry has come since Namco's Pole Position.|
|Starsiege: Tribes (PC US Import) - The build up to this has been very quiet in the UK. This is a 3d multiplayer shooter / strategy game with its roots firmly based on teamplay. Several single player training levels teach the basics but going online for the first time is initially daunting and confusing. After several hours of getting used to the controls, this gets really addictive. The 3d engine handles the vast outdoor terrains perfectly, while internet lag never seems to be an issue (even on a modem) thanks to the great network code. As a player, you can totally customize your armour and weapon options, as well as the ability to pilot vehicles. This game is very deep and it will be weeks before you can master it. If you've got an Internet connection and are a fan of CTF then you'll love this. Give up that Clan and join a Tribe today. For more info on Tribes check out Gamespot UK's Play Test and for newbie players, my very own Beginner's Guide.|
Game Review Sites
The Adrenaline Vault - Previously a PC only site. Now multi format with a lot more than just game reviews.
Buying Software Online In Europe
Special Reserve - You'll have to join for a nominal fee but the prices are excellent once you become a member. (All formats)
Online CEX - The Computer Exchange online. Updated regularly with what's happening in the import games world.
Just CDs - If you are looking for an old or hard to find title, there's a good chance you will find it here (PC CD-Rom).
Software First - Games, videos and music too (All formats)
Game Online - The online version of the high street store (All formats)
Buying Import Software Online
Strategic Plus Software (UK) - The only UK importer (as far as I'm aware) of PC software.
EBWorld (US) - Stock US releases and deliver worldwide (All formats).
UK Release Dates
Release-Dates.co.uk - A new site that may succeed where others have failed.
|All above is copyright 1999 Steve Griggs. If you really want to steal it (and you must be really desperate) then please ask and ye shall more than likely get. Any feedback is welcome and should be sent here. Alternatively ICQ me on 7623682. To see what else is on offer at GriBBsY's, go here.|