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Game reviews

By ROBB GUIDO

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 25, 1999


Um Jammer Lammy, Platform: PlayStation

If you never played Parappa the Rapper from Sony, this is your chance to make up for lost fun. Um Jammer Lammy is essentially the same game with a bumped-up challenge factor and more great songs.

You are Lammy, a guitar-stroking lamb, living in a bizarro cutout world. In Parappa, your mission was to establish yourself as a rapper, while in Um Jammer, Lammy is late for her big gig.

The stages are a series of comical situations in which Lammy must follow a teacher's example. Players have to pound out a series of button combinations in step with the music, which ranges from rock to punk to funk.

It's not that Um Jammer Lammy is revolutionary, or even much of a game at all, but the tunes are high quality, some worthy of radio play, and this aspect combined with the strange and funny story line make Lammy worth a try. The battle and team modes don't hurt either.

Grade: B

NCAA Gamebreaker 2000, Platform: PlayStation

On the heels of EASports' NCAA Football 2000, 989 Sports has released its college football title, NCAA Gamebreaker 2000. All I can say is: Call it in the air. It's a tie.

Or it's nearly a tie. Both games come off very well overall. It's just that each game does some things better than the other.

Most obvious are a drop in graphics quality in Gamebreaker compared with NCAA Football and fewer options -- no create-a-school, no fight song sampler and a slimmer recruiting process. But Gamebreaker easily is the better of the two as far as what you can do come game time.

There are more offensive moves, such as diving over piles, high stepping and shoulder charges, and more defensive moves, such as special ball-jarring tackles, high tackles and receiver bumps. Plus you can get away with running on offense, dragging linebackers down the field.

Picky college fans will probably want NCAA Football, but game lovers will probably enjoy Gamebreaker more -- even if it is technically inferior.

Grade: A-

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