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Thursday, January 27, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 82

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Final Fantasy VIII released for the PC; Ultima IX an A+ game

The Game Boy

By Brandon Franks

Howdy y'all! GB here in full effect with an entire column this week dedicated to you PC freaks! If you read my opinion article earlier this week, you know why I haven't done very many PC reviews, but that problem has been rectified. So here we go!

News to use

Let me get the non-PC stuff out of the way first. Sony's Gran Turismo 2 apparently has some bad bugs in the game, but instead of sending a patch like in PC games, Sony has agreed to send a replacement disc for those having problems. If you call the toll-free Sony customer support number (800-345-SONY) a representative will walk you through the game to the problem. If it can't be solved, Sony will replace the disc.

Sierra's Half-Life, along with its expansion missions, has been banned in Singapore because of complaints from parents.

Now on to PCs. Intel has cut prices of the Pentium III chip as much as 31 percent this week, so processors like the 733-MHz Pentium III that was $754 is now $594 -- a 21 percent drop. The 650-MHz, which was $562, is now $423, which is a 25 percent price drop.

Finally, Final Fantasy VIII has been released for the PC. The added bonus of having this one on the PC is the additional "Chocobo's World." That's the game Japan got to see with the PlayStation Pocket, which we never saw in America.

Review those games, boy!

Now remember, these are all PC! First up for review is Ultima IX Ascension from Origin. Even with the patches the game skips every once in a while, but it doesn't stop the game play. Britannia has never looked so cool.

There's so much stuff to do and use. You can even make bread! Although the graphics are splendid and the challenge is excellent, pointing, clicking and dragging constantly gets tedious. Ultima IX is grand in scale but a little choppy at times. The game deserves a B+.

Next on the list is Quake III Arena from Activision. The great thing about this one is all you have to do is survive by shooting anything that moves. As you go through each arena you must kill your opponent before he kills you.

The game's background graphics are awesome -- if you have the time to look at them. The challenge is very good even on the second difficulty level. If you want a game where all you do is mindlessly kill, then this one is perfect. A.

Half-Life Opposing Force from Sierra is the last one on the list this week. The action takes place around the incredible turmoil in the first one. You play a member of a special unit in the military sent to figure out what's happening.

This is a perfect addition. The feeling you get by being in a familiar place, yet in a different mode and with a different objective, is great. The graphics are the same as the first, but those were great also.

This version is a bit more challenging. You have to do a lot more jumping, crouching and tight escaping than in the first one. A great plot and cool weapons make this an ultimate 3D thriller. A+

That's all folks! I'll be back next week with more reviews and more game info. Check ya later!
 

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