(nintendo) N64

Games come and go, and most are forgotten. But Goldeneye is different. A first-person adventure/ shoot 'em up, the game puts you in the shoes of the one and only James Bond as he takes on most of Russia in his quest to neutralise the Goldeneye weapons system. Over the course of 20 missions, you'll be expected to blow up canisters full of deadly gas, take photographs of secret satellites, plant bugs on helicopters, destroy communication links and even drive a tank. And, of course, Bond is equipped with a licence to kill, so you are free to execute as many Russian soldiers as you like.

All you really need to know about Goldeneye is that you should go out and buy it immediately. However, some people might like to know what they'll get for their money. The graphics are the best you will see anywhere, and the gameplay is well-paced and incredibly addictive. There is also a multi-player option which allows players to run around trying to blow each other's brains out. There are loads of neat touches which put it in a class of its own; like the watch which allows you to access your inventory and the view which centres as soon as you start to move. All this, and it's Rumble Pak compatible, too.

There is not the space or the superlatives to do this game justice, but suffice it to say I enjoyed it as much as any game I've ever played. If you can only afford one title this Christmas, this is the one to buy.

Released: now, pounds 49.99


(fox interactive) playstation

The days of the two-dimensional platformer are numbered; Nintendo started the revolution with Mario 64 and now Sony have their own real- time 3D extravaganza in Croc.

The star of the show is a young crocodile called - you guessed it - Croc. It's his job to travel across five different worlds and more than 40 different levels freeing his furry little chums, the Gobbos, from the evil clutches of Baron Dante. Along the way, Croc must also try to collect the five special coloured crystals hidden on each level which allow him access to a secret room full of goodies.

Everything about this game is cute, from the sound effects to the end- of-the-level bosses. The sight of the Gobbos is sure to melt the heart of even the most hardened gamesplayer. Everything about this game is also, technically, very impressive. The 3D environment gives you plenty of room to move around in, although admittedly not as much as Mario 64, and the cartoon-style characters are superbly animated. It's very playable, too - up to a point. While it is entertaining, for a time, to jump from platform to platform and solve the various puzzles which come your way, it does become rather repetitive. This, in addition to the sameness of many of the levels, means that it won't be too long before your interest starts to wane.

As platformers go this isn't bad. In fact, it's quite good. Sadly for Sony it's still no match for Mario.

Released: now, pounds 39.99