esquire.gif (4173 bytes)

SHORT LIST 8 - April 1997

The computer and video games market traditionally goes into hibernation for three months after Christmas, so this month Esquire visited the Amusement Trade Exhibition International at Earls Court to see what was happening in the exciting world of coin-op games instead (The answer? "Lots more driving games and beat-'em-ups", surprisingly). Expect to see these on home consoles by the end of the year.


TEKKEN 3 (Namco)

Only 60% complete, this was still drawing some of the show's biggest crowds. Not sure why, though, as it appears so far to have added very little to the winning formula of Tekken 2, and visually looked palpably disappointing beside the older Virtua Fighter 3. New fighters and moves are, of course, present and correct, but the most interesting thing on display was the new look of half-man half-leopard fighter King, who, it seems, has finally put an end to one of life's enduring mysteries, namely "Who did eat all the pies?"



Still very hush-hush, this new racer takes place in the suddenly-omnipresent Neo Tokyo setting, and will carry the weight of considerable hopes from Sega fans after the severely disappointing Touring Car Challenge. Otherwise? Well, it's a racing game, you know?


AQUA JET (Namco)

Latest in a clutch of coin-op jet-ski games, Aqua Jet is primarily notable for being almost exactly the same game as the forthcoming Wave Race on new home console the Nintendo 64, except significantly less pretty-looking. A real first for arcade technology, there.


GTI CLUB (Konami)

The most inventive new idea to hit the world of arcade racing games in recent years (so, the only inventive new idea to hit the world of arcade racing games in recent years) is this sparky effort from Konami. The twist is that you get to navigate your own route around the city-street courses, and while the machine gives you handy hints, you can actually go wherever the heck you like. Practically the only thing at the show worth playing twice, so look out for it.


CRUIS'N WORLD (Williams)

Pretty, but horrible, racer. Help.



Seen not at the show itself but in Namco's Wonderpark arcade in the West End, this likeable oddity combines those great fairground mole-whacking games with the evergreen Street Fighter 2 to endless comic effect. And after a depressing day at the ATEI, you'd probably have wanted to hit things with big rubber hammers as well.

woscomms.jpg (23316 bytes)