VIDEO GAMES

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Mission: Impossible HH

Nintendo 64 When the N64 was first released, games such as Mario World and Golden Eye set a high standard, but recent releases have fallen way short of the mark. The latest offering is Mission: Impossible by Ocean. Apart from the first three (admittedly very entertaining) levels, the game has little to offer. The graphics are blocky and poor, the sounds and music almost non-existent and the gameplay is little better. Mission: Impossible has been hyped-up for almost three years, but sadly the game doesn't live up to it.

Ocean, 25 Sept, pounds 49.99

Ninja: Shadow of Darkness HHH

PlayStation Just when you thought you had seen the last of the Ninja action games, along comes Ninja: Shadow of Darkness. It's in the same style as Mario 64 and there is a vast 3D-gaming environment to explore and many opponents to defeat. The graphics are good, although blocky, and the gameplay lacks variation. However, it does have promise, especially the end-of-level bosses who get weirder as the game goes on. Ninja is a good game, but it's unlikely to put up much of a fight against the likes of Metal Gear Solid.

Eidos Interactive, 25 Sept,pounds 44.99

V2000 HHHH

PC CD-Rom When Virus was released on Amiga years ago it was one of the biggest-selling games. Ten years later, creator David Braben returns with the sequel, V2000. In this game, the player has to destroy aliens trying to infect the Earth with a red virus, and save all survivors. The graphics are in the same style as Magic Carpet, with some stunning 3D backdrops, and great-looking monsters. Your hovership, however, is awkward to control, which is a major drawback. Even so, it may recapture its predecessor's fame.

Grolier Interactive, Autumn, pounds 39.99

Unholy War HHH

Playstation Strategy games are few and far between on the PlayStation with Red Alert being the most recent and the most successful. However, Eidos - the masters behind Commandos - are due to release Unholy War. Graphics are decent, although a lot of the backgrounds are unconvincing. The strategy option is turn-based, but if you are not a fan of that game style, the mayhem mode allows you to fight an opponent one-on-one. The game lacks variation; the best option is to wait for EA's new title, Retaliation.

Eidos Interactive, October, pounds 34.99

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