SHORT LIST 7 - March 1997
It's a sequeltastic month in the crazy world of games. Getting on a bit now, but still with a stranglehold on the charts, this follow-up to the hugely successful Wipeout is (unusually) a far better game. The fast-moving hoverspeeders are a deal easier to handle this time, and the game leads you a bit more gently into the nasty levels. The Prodigy/Chemical Brothers/FSOL soundtrack is popular with the youngsters, too.
(From Psygnosis for Sony Playstation, £45)
MOTOR TOON GP 2
Cartoon racing larks this time, and another sequel dedicated to ironing out the flaws in the original game. The cute characters and wacky powerups mean this isn't for hardcore boy racers, but that doesn't mean it's a pushover. And the Japanese theme tune ("GO! GO! Go Motor Toooon!") is stupidly loveable.
(From Sony for Sony Playstation, £50)
While everyone waits for Super Mario Kart on the Nintendo 64 (out here in about a month), Ubi Soft have been cleaning up with this likeable clone, boasting more cartoon characters in the kind of no-holds-barred go-kart race you dream of having when you come home from the pub with your chums. But have to do with supermarket trolleys instead. You blouses.
(From Ubi Soft for Sony Playstation and Sega Saturn, £45)
The fourth game in the prestigious Ridge Racer lineage marks a slight departure, with a bit of a tactical element creeping into the foot-down philosophy of the previous games. In truth, though, it's pretty much business as usual here, except better-looking.
(From Namco for Sony Playstation, £50)
Shockingly, there's also a new game out which isn't about racing. Possibly coincidentally, it's also one of the best games you'll see all year - an update of Tempest 2000, which was itself an update of a 15-year-old coin-op game, Tempest X is the most all-out nerve-shredding super-intense sensory assault ever seen on a games machine. The abstract geometric graphics won't blow you away, and while the searing techno soundtrack is impressive, even that pales beside the psychotic mania that is the all-blasting gameplay. If even that's not enough for you, then you can hunt for the secret "Trippy Mode", which transforms the whole thing into an insane psychedelic nightmare. Sound good? It should do.
(From Interplay for Playstation, £40)