Zoo Tycoon (PC)

Zoo Tycoon (PC)

Zoo Tycoon (PC)
List Price: £29.99



Zoo Tycoon (PC)
List Price: £29.99
Your Price: £2.99- Zoo Tycoon (PC)

MICROSOFT, X08-47341, 2001

Zoo Tycoon bears more than just a title similarity to Roller Coaster Tycoon: it even looks as if it’s based on the same basic game engine. Building pens and paths, decorating, placing buildings and managing your staff, even the way your patrons look and how you tweak pricing all are extremely similar to the fun of Roller Coaster Tycoon. The game play consists of a series of inventive scenarios, sometimes building a zoo from scratch, and other times taking over a failing or failed zoo and bringing it back from the brink.

Specifically, you’ve got to build pens and habitats with an eye toward the needs of each animal species. For example, putting bears in a savannah setting results in depressed, possibly sick, bears. You also have to tend to your human animals by including gift shops, restaurants, drink stands and bathrooms. Then you’ve got to adopt animals and hire zookeepers to tend your creatures. All of this costs money but cutting corners can result in irate customers and unhappy animals. Unhappy animals bore people, and worse they make it difficult to adopt more exotic and finicky creatures, such as pandas. Happy and well-fed animals will cavort and play, making your guests very happy. And happy guests mean more money for you to improve your zoo.

It’s a balancing act, keeping all the animals, keepers and little wandering people happy, but the game is also a decorator sim. You’ve got to beautify your park and it’s easy to forget the specific scenario objectives and lose yourself in building the ultimate zoo. If you ultimately tire of the objectives, you can delete some of your fences and watch the animals run amok on your guests (sometimes, through negligence, they can break free on their own). The carnivores grab, pin, and fling your guests (no blood, and no killing here) and this lowers your zoo rating and dissuades people from visiting for a while. Still, it’s great fun to watch.–Bob Andrews

Your Price: £2.99 – Zoo Tycoon (PC)

SSX Tricky (Xbox Classics)

SSX Tricky (Xbox Classics)

SSX Tricky (Xbox Classics)
List Price: £19.99



SSX Tricky (Xbox Classics)
List Price: £19.99
Your Price: – SSX Tricky (Xbox Classics)

When Sony released the PlayStation2, there were only a few standout games. One of them, SSX, brought snowboarding to people who didn’t even like snowboarding. Now Xbox fans get a new reason to stay indoors during the cold winter months. SSX Tricky is the game, and it more than lives up to the moniker.

Tricky removes two characters from the previous game and adds five new ones. It adds two new race locations to the already beefed-up World Circuit (Garibaldi and Alaska). The developers also added features to the older tracks, effectively making them new again. Tricky improves the graphics a bit and refines the controls. The game even tweaks the basic gameplay by letting you upgrade your boarder’s stats in races, but also forcing you to attempt and master the showoff mode. And EA improved the challenge by evening out the learning curve. SSX tended to be a cakewalk until the later races in each set, but this time your rivals get more intense and aggressive depending upon the lap you’re taking.

As in the first game, personality is everything. This is true not only in terms of voice acting, but also in how you treat opponents. The game has a few basic attitudes. If you block and attack characters too much, they’ll remember and actively seek you out. If you help one or two of them, they’ll become your allies, warning you of danger or fending off attackers. The changes are deep enough to change quite a bit, and they’ll delight even fans who are tired of, or who mastered, the first game on the PS2. Maybe that’s the most impressive über-trick of them all. —Bob Andrews

Your Price: – SSX Tricky (Xbox Classics)

Syphon Filter 3

Syphon Filter 3

Syphon Filter 3
List Price: £17.35



Syphon Filter 3
List Price: £17.35
Your Price: – Syphon Filter 3

It was surprising to hear that the third game in the popular Syphon Filter series would be built for the PlayStation; we’re going to have to wait another year for the series to jump over to the PlayStation 2, but that’s all right, because playing Syphon Filter 3 on the PSone is like coming home again. You again play as Gabe Logan as he tracks terrorists, enemy spies, and the Syphon Filter virus; the story has Congress getting involved and trying to pin the virus problem from the first two games on Gabe and his partner Lian Xing, so Gabe must clear his name and save the world again. Interestingly, the missions are played out of order as Gabe and his team explain their past missions to the committee; this flashback structure keeps the game refreshing.

Syphon Filter has never been for the weak-skilled. It features location-based damage (a head shot is fatal), making it one of the more frustrating or exhilarating of games, depending on how you look at it. The controls are as responsive as they’ve always been, and the camera system doesn’t fail, which is a rarity in third person action games. The graphics are quite good for the PlayStation, if only slightly improved from Syphon Filter 2. The gameplay is extensive, with not only the story-based missions but also some mini-games and a multiplayer option that lets you gun for a friend in head-to-head combat.

Given the flashback nature of the missions, Syphon Filter 3 might be confusing for new players, so it’s best for fans of the series, or as something to buy along with the earlier classics. In many ways the game feels like an expansion pack to Syphon Filter 2, which isn’t a bad thing at all; overall, it’s a compelling game that proves there’s life yet in the old PlayStation. –Bob Andrews

Your Price: – Syphon Filter 3

SSX Tricky (Xbox)

SSX Tricky (Xbox)

SSX Tricky (Xbox)
List Price: £19.99



SSX Tricky (Xbox)
List Price: £19.99
Your Price: – SSX Tricky (Xbox)

When Sony released the PlayStation2, there were only a few standout games. One of them, SSX, brought snowboarding to people who didn’t even like snowboarding. Now Xbox fans get a new reason to stay indoors during the cold winter months. SSX Tricky is the game, and it more than lives up to the moniker.

Tricky removes two characters from the previous game and adds five new ones. It adds two new race locations to the already beefed-up World Circuit (Garibaldi and Alaska). The developers also added features to the older tracks, effectively making them new again. Tricky improves the graphics a bit and refines the controls. The game even tweaks the basic gameplay by letting you upgrade your boarder’s stats in races, but also forcing you to attempt and master the showoff mode. And EA improved the challenge by evening out the learning curve. SSX tended to be a cakewalk until the later races in each set, but this time your rivals get more intense and aggressive depending upon the lap you’re taking.

As in the first game, personality is everything. This is true not only in terms of voice acting, but also in how you treat opponents. The game has a few basic attitudes. If you block and attack characters too much, they’ll remember and actively seek you out. If you help one or two of them, they’ll become your allies, warning you of danger or fending off attackers. The changes are deep enough to change quite a bit, and they’ll delight even fans who are tired of, or who mastered, the first game on the PS2. Maybe that’s the most impressive über-trick of them all. —Bob Andrews

Your Price: – SSX Tricky (Xbox)