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Video game reviews

By ROBB GUIDO

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 21, 2000


X-Men: Mutant Academy

SYSTEM: PlayStation

PRICE: $39.99

MAKER: Activision

Hot on the heels of the hit movie, Activision comes through with what's sure to be a hit game. Usually, these movie-to-game conversions are anything but good, but this fighter is as unique as the mutants. In addition to solid controls and an abundance of special moves, the graphics pop off the screen.

Grade: B+

Ball Breakers

SYSTEM: PlayStation

PRICE: $9.99

MAKER: Take 2 Interactive

When you pay 10 bucks for a game, you don't expect much. But surprisingly, the crassly named Ball Breakers is an addicting and innovative offering. The game serves up one level after another of arena competition in which your character, a robot attached to a giant marble, must run gauntlets, thrash skate parks and play a game called powerball. Imagine American Gladiators circa 2510.

Grade: A-

Virtua Tennis

SYSTEM: Dreamcast

PRICE: $39.99

MAKER: Sega

I love tennis games for their resemblance to Pong. Why someone has never made a Pong update is beyond me, but in the meantime Virtua Tennis fits the bill. Pick from eight pros including Jim Courier and play it alone or with up to three friends. The world circuit mode has some remarkably fun training challenges, not to mention some stiff competition.

Grade: A-

Kirby 64

SYSTEM: Nintendo 64

PRICE: $49.99

MAKER: Nintendo

For all of Kirby's unusual moves, this action game from Nintendo comes off a bit fluffy (if you've ever seen the pink squishy guy, you get that). It's neat to see what off-the-wall power Kirby will gain from swallowing this guy or that, and the ability to combine powers is an entertaining prospect. However, the levels are too easy for big kids to enjoy.

Grade: B

- Robb Guido is an avid gamer who lives in Tampa.

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