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Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell lives up to the Clancy name. If you haven’t read one of his novels lately, this will make you want to crack one open. In the game you play Sam Fisher, an agent of USA’s new top secret-

Calling all D&D geeks. This is the game for you. As part of the immensely successful Baldur's Gate series, this is the first of the series to be released on Xbox. It's also available for PS2 and Gamecube. It's everything I thought it would be, and more.

intelligence gathering forces called Splinter Cells. This new elite "non existent" body marks a return to classical methods of espionage with enhanced leading edge surveillance and combat technology. The graphics are incredible, but the game play is what takes the spy/combat genre to a new level. With the crouching, mantling, shimmying, zip line, rolling, split jumping, rappelling, pipe scaling, interrogating acrobatics of a jaguar, a spy finally moves like a spy. You are also outfitted with the latest technology such as a laser microphone for snooping, an optical cable for looking under doors, night/thermal goggles that actually work, sticky shockers and many more bond-like paraphernalia.

It plays like Neverwinter Nights on the PC, but it's on a console. The game is based on Advanced Dungeons and Dragons rules. The only difference between this game and the pen and paper version is that the computer rolls the dice for you. You can play the game as a Human archer, a Dwarf fighter, or an Elven sorceress. Each species has their own special abilities and talents. The Dwarf for example depends on his blade to cut through his enemies, while the Elven sorceress counts on her magic abilities to rain fire on her foes. The graphics were some of the best that I have seen on the console. The game play is very fast and liquid.

About the only area where the game needs help is its mission control screens. The interface in that area was lacking and the ability to save only three points in your mission history was annoying, especially when there is a whole hard drive sitting on your Xbox for exactly that reason. Minor flaws aside, this game is must. Pure spy heaven.

The characters were great and the story was very true to the Forgotten realms Saga. I couldn't part with this game for the first 30 days that I had it.

   

Have you ever dreamed of being a Jedi? Well now you have your chance. You play as Jedi Knight Kyle Katarn in a story that takes place years after the Battle of Endor.

Maxis brings the house down with their newest installment to the Sim City legacy on PC. Sim City 4 gives you the opportunity to play God and mayor. As God, you can shape your own city terrain. You can make everything from beaches

to active volcanoes. As mayor, you control what goes into your city. You control the tax rate, job growth, and police protection. As mayor, you may even decide, what if any, social services will be available to your city. You decide where to build the hospitals, schools, and fire stations.

One really fascinating aspect of this game is the ability to play multiple cities at once. You can connect all of your cities through region play. Each city in your region has the chance to fight for limited resources. Cities within your region even have the ability to strike up deals with each other. Region play definitely adds to an already great game. All in all, I loved playing this game. The graphics are terrific and it is really simple to understand and play. My only complaint about the game is the system requirements. The game will lag from time to time depending on how much memory you have. We tested with 512MB of Ram, which should have been sufficient.

It's your job to track down and eliminate the last remnants of the Empire. You go on your quest well equipped with blasters, a light saber, and force powers. You might even see some recognizable figures, like the identity challenged storm troopers or possibly our hero from the original Star Wars trilogy. The game play is similar to that of Unreal Tournament or Halo. The graphics were fantastic and the story was the best I've seen in a Star Wars game. This game is a great addition to the Star Wars Universe. I liked it so much that I would give it 4 1/2 thumbs.

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