[an error occurred while processing this directive] Video Games

Games heat up for the summer

By ROBB GUIDO

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 14, 1999


The summer heat is here, and the choices for video gamers are hot as well.

Gameboy Color

If you're holding off on buying a Gameboy Color, the wait is over. This summer offers several marquee titles, including more PokeMon:

* Conker's Pocket Tales: This most colorful of new Gameboy Color games features the soon-to-be N64 star Conker the squirrel and mixes action with puzzles to produce another winner from Rare.

* PokeMon Pinball: The first Gameboy Color game to use a built-in Rumble Pak, it combines pinball with your favorite PokeMon mini-monsters.

* Super Mario Bros. Deluxe: The original comes to GB Color and looks better than ever. Throw in versus and challenge modes, as well as the Lost Levels, and players could be in for a long ride.

* Ken Griffey Jr.'s Slugfest: Slugfest will remind players of the Super Nintendo version in terms of graphics. With Nintendo's magic, it should play as well also.

* New colors: Choose from teal, hot pink, lime and yellow.

Nintendo 64

It is no surprise that Nintendo 64 will offer a Star Wars game this summer, but there is also the system's first PokeMon game and new versions of both Quake and Duke Nukem.

* Star Wars: Episode I: Racer: Buckle up and get your Podracers ready for the first Star Wars game of the summer. It is fast and furious, and gives gamers a tour of some beautiful Star Wars landscapes.

* PokeMon Snap: Say cheese, Pikachu! In what is sure to be a pleasure trip for PokeMon lovers, players will explore PokeMon Island with a high-powered camera. Capture as many PokeMon as you can in their natural habitat, and you'll be justly rewarded.

* Ken Griffey Jr.'s Slugfest: This year's N64 Slugfest boasts some of the best graphics seen in a baseball video game.

* Duke Nukem: Zero Hour: Duke takes on the N64 this summer and should make you laugh, gape and cheer as much as his PC missions did.

* Jet Force Gemini: This gorgeous 3-D action game from Rare takes players into space with some stalky special forces soldiers. Gamers will love the variety of play and stockpile of weapons.

* Hybrid Heaven: As the name would suggest, Hybrid Heaven is a melange of action, adventure and role-playing with spectacular graphics. It could very well be the Metal Gear Solid for the N64.

* Quake II: The N64 incarnation of Quake plays fast and looks sweet. A four-player free-for-all is a given. Also on PlayStation.

* Rugrats Scavenger Hunt: Kids will enjoy this bright, cheery goose chase for the N64, though anyone who likes the show will probably dig this game.

* Starcraft: Finally, some substance in your video game diet! Starcraft transfers the profound depth of intergalactic colonization from the PC to the N64 with bolstered graphics to boot.

* WWF Attitude: The market has been flooded with wrestling titles, but Attitude's graphics make it worth a try. Attitude's other attributes include 55 wrestlers, specialty matches and a create-your-own Pay-Per-View mode. Also on PlayStation.

* Superman: The Man of Steel flies onto the N64, offering objective-based missions and lots of super-powered action. Also on PlayStation.

Sony PlayStation

Don't fret PSX owners: You also get a Star Wars game, a new Gex game and the sequel to the granddaddy of all racers, Gran Turismo 2. However, don't expect too many blockbusters until fall.

* Star Wars: The Phantom Menace: Visit scenes from the movie and play as one of four Phantom Menace characters. It should tide fans over until the Star Wars: Episode 1 -- Phantom Menace video comes out.

* Gran Turismo 2: More cars, tracks and rock music should feed the appetite of car junkies and speed freaks alike. Look for killer graphics beyond what you thought possible.

* Driver: Take a trip back to the 1970s, where you'll act as the driver for a ring of criminals. That means high-speed chases in classic cars with often death-defying results.

* Ehrgeiz: Take the role of martial artists, a pro wrestler or even Final Fantasy characters in Square's interesting twist on fighting games. The game also includes a puzzle and role-playing mode.

* Ape Escape: You're a baboon trying to escape from a zoo in this 3-D action game. Screenshots show nice graphics, huge enemies and lots of activity.

* Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko: Gex is back, and now he thinks he is James Bond. Don a tux and try to slither your way to the bottom of things in a 3-D environment.

* Croc 2: The tiny croc with a big bite is back with more moves and more enemies to chomp. Word is that Gummi Savers are Croc's food of choice in this one.

* Clock Tower 2: The first edition resembled a creepy game of hide-and-seek with a psycho. Could he possibly be back?

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