Games:Smash Court Tennis Pro Tournament

F1 2002

Frequency

007 Agent Under Fire

Smash Court Tennis Pro Tournament, PlayStation2 (Namco), £49.99

It's strawberries-and-cream season again and, in a cunning piece of timing, Namco has stepped up to give the PS2 its first decent tennis sim. As it's from Namco, the game has the look and feel of an arcade game, but it also manages to hook the player long-term. A classy package, its razor-sharp realism means that it dramatically improves with practice. They have cut a few corners as far as the graphics are concerned: the famous players' faces are unrecognisable, and the replay mode highlights other minor flaws. But all this is rescued by the gorgeous animation, which captures the exact playing style of the big-name stars. The sound is great, too, and the game has a wide variety of play modes to keep interest levels high.LL

****

F1 2002, PS2 (EA Sports), £39.99

Is EA's latest F1 foray going to provide any surprises? Well, not really. True, the game takes pole position where detail is concerned. But the trouble with racing games is that they're frustrating to play with a joypad. EA haven't done anything to alleviate this problem. While the game is packed with features, the handling is a devil. And with a straight-forward racing game, the enjoyment of the drive is key, surely. SC

***

Frequency, PS2 (SCEE), £39.99

Music-based games are not for everyone, but don't let your judgement be clouded by titles like Parappa the Rapper. Frequency is put together well and is plenty of fun. The gameplay involves guiding a cursor through a tunnel and hitting the sides to produce different sounds. The game is visually appealing but it can get a little dull on the eyes: half an hour in and you still seem to be careering down the same tube. It is one to rent before buying. LL

***

007 Agent Under Fire, Xbox, GameCube (EA), £44.99

Can a Bond game ever match the genius of GoldenEye? EA are determined to give it their best shot. This installment in their Bond series includes all the usual Bondisms – gadgets galore, weaponry that Charlton Heston would be proud of and even a few of Bond's drooling ladies. But it's just too easy. There are guns and ammo everywhere and you're babied through the entire game by M's instructions. Bond wouldn't stand for it, I tell you. SC

***

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