Games: International Superstar Soccer 2

Pirates: The Legend of Black Kat

Konami Arcade Game Collection

Zone of the Enders

International Superstar Soccer 2
GameCube, PS2, XBox (Konami)
£24.99–£44.99
***
For some people, there's no such thing as too much football. So, while they're waiting for the Ecuador vs Croatia kick-off they could do no worse than whack on their GameCube and have a dribble with this, another in the legion of football games currently available. ISS2 falls somewhat between the razzamataz of Fifa's impressive-looking official game and the extremely realistic gameplay of Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer. True, ISS2's animation isn't staggeringly impressive but it does sacrifice football realism in favour of a more intuitive control system and, therefore, an fast-paced arcade style game that you can just pick up and play. So if it's instant gratification that you're after, sit back, take the weight off your metatarsal and enjoy the quick fix. SC

Pirates: The Legend of Black Kat
XBox(Electronic Arts)
£35
**
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water along comes a howlingly awful 3D swashbuckler that will have you running for cover. In this adventure you take the role of Kat. She's buxom (yawn), feisty (well, she stomps around with her hands on her hips) and is set on avenging her father's death at the hands of bloodthirsty pirates. It's Lara Croft all at sea – a platform game in which you explore different islands, solve puzzles and pick up treasure.

It's derivative, repetitive and thuddingly average. Steer well clear of any more pirates until the eagerly awaited Galleon from Toby Gard, the creator of Tomb Raider, appears over the horizon. SC

Konami Arcade Game Collection
GBA (Konami)
£24.99
****
Retro packages can work if there is plenty of range to choose from, and Konami's cavalcade of arcade classics is a good way of keeping the kids occupied on long summer car journeys. Frogger and Gyrus are a bit too repetitive to be much fun, but the pack has three barn-stormers that do work extremely well on the GBA. Green Beret – a classic sideways-scrolling splatterfest – retains its old charm. Scramble explains why shoot-em-ups dominated the arcades for a decade, and Yie-Ar Kung Fu reminds you that there were quirky fighting games before Street Fighter came along. A nice selection at a price that makes it excellent value for money. LL

Zone of the Enders
GBA (Konami)
£34.99
****
Whatever your take on strategy games, Advance Wars convincingly proved that they work well on the Game Boy Advance. Zone of the Enders, where you control battling armies of mechanised fighters, is another success but for different reasons. The graphics and sound are lovely, and the game play is absorbing. The fight scenes have a novel control method that involves aiming a set of crosshairs and keeps the excitement high. For a bunch of droids, the mechs have lots of personality, which also adds to the fun. What stands out about the game is the story line, which gives the game an addictive quality that few strategy games achieve. Zone of the Enders is excellent value. LL

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