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Game reviews

By ROB GUIDO

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 1, 1999


Chessmaster 2
Platform: PlayStation

If the world of video games moves too fast for you, consider taking things down a notch with Mindscape's latest version of Chessmaster. Chessmaster 2 is without a doubt the best chess game you can buy for a game system.

You can choose from more than 90 computer opponents, including Bobby Fischer, each with a unique playing style. You also can tinker with the game board -- playing on marble or wood -- as well as select your favorite style of pieces. I stuck with the good old-fashioned kind, but you also can attack with fantasy figurines or Scrabble chips.

For those who haven't a chess-playing bone in their bodies, Chessmaster 2 has the most extensive help options yet. For rookies, you can study how to move your pieces, while the computer will alert you of illegal moves during play. For more advanced players there is a best move feature if you're stuck, or you can press select and see the strategy the computer is hacking out. Can you say checkmate? Grade: B+

Tiny Tank
Platform: PlayStation

The world is in disarray! Robots have taken over and seek to suck the atmosphere off our beloved Earth -- oxygen causes rust after all. Our only hope is to call in that rebel among robots, Tiny Tank. He'll save us. He'll restore hope.

Too bad he curses like a sailor. What? You mean Tiny Tank isn't really as cute as he's made out to be? Don't get me wrong. Tiny's one of the most lovable new characters to grace the PlayStation in a while. It's just that his personality is distinctly South Park.

In fact this game, besides being a thoroughly enjoyable romp through 13 futuristic levels, has some serious attitude that will endear Tiny to both kids and adults. Tiny treads around on sand, ice and inside factories, shooting, hovering and spouting off at the turret. In addition he's got four gun bases, explosive, roving Teeny Weeny Tanks and a storage unit full of Nanometal that he uses to fix himself. But it's the sound that makes Tiny the freshest action game in quite a while. Rent Tiny and take a listen for yourself. Thankfully, the expletives are bleeped out. Grade: A-

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