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                    PLAYING CATCH-UP WITH MINI-REVIEWS
                               Sean Caszatt 
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Hello again, Amiga game fans.  This time, rather than devote a whole column
to one game, I've decided to do some mini-reviews of a few recent Amiga and
CD32 games.

It's been a rather slow time for game releases.  [Nevertheless, in Europe,
Amiga game sales beat all others in the Christmas season!  -Jason] Some
games from the Christmas season may have been overlooked by those caught
up in the hype of games like MORTAL KOMBAT II and RISE OF THE ROBOTS.
Here's 3 that may have gotten past some of you, but didn't quite make it
past me.

SHAQ FU - (Amiga)
It must be nice to have enough fame and money to have a videogame created
about you.  Shaquille O'Neal, the current NBA media darling, is the star
of this very flawed beat 'em up.  (Why a basketball player is the focal
point of a fighting game is beyond me.) This game has problems any way you
look at it.  It's on 6 disks and is not hard drive installable.  It's
plagued by poor control and tiny character sprites.  It's also not very
fun to play.  If I were famous enough to have people wanting to make a
videogame about me, I'd at least make sure that it was fun to play when it
was done.

(Ratings out of 10)
Playability: 3	-  Graphics: 4	-  Sound:6  -  Overall: 4
Video Mode: NTSC		Manufacturer: Ocean/EA

DRAGONSTONE - (Amiga/CD32)
This role-playing/action game seemed promising at first but was a
disappointment upon further inspection.  Basically, there's not a lot to it.
You move around and solve puzzles (very simplistic ones, I might add) while
constantly fighting off various creatures.  It's very repetitive, not much
to look at and not something I'd want to play very often.  However, it might
serve as an introduction to the basics for a first-time adventure/action
player.  That is, of course, as long as you let them know that there are
much better adventures awaiting them down the road.  A noble effort that
falls on its face.

Playability: 5  -  Graphics: 5  -  Sound: 5  -  Overall: 5
Video Mode: PAL			Manufacturer:  Core

JUNGLE STRIKE - (Amiga/AGA/CD32)
This is the sequel to 1993's very popular (and very well done) DESERT
STRIKE.  EA opted to license the work on JUNGLE STRIKE out to Ocean.  As a
result, the graphics aren't quite as refined and smooth as they were in
DESERT STRIKE, but the gameplay is intact and that's a big plus.  The
action's still pretty much the same as in D.S.  except now you get to
venture outside the helicopter and take control of a hovercraft and a
stealth fighter as well.  The control is still a bit tricky, but once you
get the hang of it, you'll be having a blast (literally).  For some
reason, the game boots in PAL, but the screen is formatted for NTSC.  The
result is a big, blank area at the botton of the screen.  It a minor
distraction that doesn't take anything away from one of the best action
games to come along since, well, DESERT STRIKE.

Playability: 9  -  Graphics: 7  -  Sound: 7  -  Overall: 8 
Video Mode: PAL			Manufacturer: Ocean/EA