Video Games

Virtua Fighter 4
PlayStation2 (Sega)
£44.99

Beat-'em ups have their cult followings, but occasionally there are some that are good enough to pull in the mainstream punters – the Soul Calibur is the best recent example. Virtua Fighter 4 just about manages to achieve that vaunted status and is a worthy adversary to Dead or Alive 3 on the Xbox. The graphics are as rich and creamy as you'd expect from the fourth outing of a Sega franchise, and the sheer number of special moves means it will hold the attention for a good long stretch. The game would score more highly if it weren't for two obvious flaws. The first is that the basic Dual-shock controller is a little fiddly when it comes to mastering the moves – you might want to get an arcade-style joypad. A bigger issue is the considerable imbalance between the characters – it's fun to play with all of them, but some are demonstrably stronger than the others.
***

NBA Courtside 2002
GameCube (Nintendo)
£39.99

Sports simulations are usually only fun if you care about the game in real life. Unfortunately, NBA Courtside 2002 probably won't even appeal to die-hard basketball fans. The game is Nintendo's attempt to redress the lack of sports titles on the N64, and it's a nasty misfire. The build-up to each game is nice and flashy, but it soon falls apart. The controls are easy to master but the gameplay is depressingly repetitive. That would be bad enough, but the whole thing is performed to a crushingly awful commentary and dreadful music. There is no doubt that the GameCube is capable of running a good sports game, but this emphatically isn't it.
*

Super Smash Bros Mêlée
GameCube (Nintendo)
£34.99

What made Mario Kart such a hit? Simple: a quirky arena where lots of players can knock seven bells out of each other. Super Smash Bros translates that into a straight fighting game and takes the formula to glorious heights. Unlike other fighting games, the characters, drawn from Nintendo's past games, are entirely different to each other – a punch from Donkey Kong looks nothing like a similar move from Princess Toadstool. The game works well in single-player mode (there is a built-in adventure game), but comes into its own in multiplayer – the mayhem is wonderful. If you tire of the main game, there are around 12 special modes, too. Perfect.
*****

Amped
Xbox (Microsoft)
£44.99

The Xbox is establishing itself as the destination of choice for extreme sports sims. Amped is a graphically rich and slick snowboarding game that makes good use of the hard drive. As with other snowboard games, you have jumps and stunts to perform, points to score and special modes. The controls are a bit of a fiddle, but in general it handles nicely. One complaint is that Amped is surprisingly hard – progression through the "world rankings" becomes a chore after about halfway. What makes the game special is that you can load your CDs into the hard drive and have the machine play them at random instead of the game's own (rather good) soundtrack.
***

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
Rooney celebrates with striker-partner Radamel Falcao after the pair combine to put United ahead
footballManchester United vs Newcastle match report
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation

Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...

Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operations Manager

£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - LONDON

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all