Grand Stand
Copyright/Publisher: Domark, Release Year: 1991, Genre: Various, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

GAZZA'S SUPER SOCCER
Wowzer! Here are just some of the things the press said about Gazza's Super Soccer when it was first released. 'A delicious frenzy of multi-cultural flavours, served up in their own exquisite styles.' - Egon Ronay. 'Sleek, stylish and unassuming. And yet you know that inside there lies a core of total and unchecked power.' - What Car. 'Bouncy, beautiful, Brenda lives in Bolto... (That's quite enough quotes, thank you - Ed).

Still, you don't want to know what other people said about it, you want to know what we think, ' and we think it's pretty poor. There, so now you know.

Basically it's yet another attempt at simulating soccer that settles for average. The controls are unresponsive, the graphics are merely adequate and worst of all, it's just like the quadrillions of other humdrum footy games that litter software shelves up and down this fair isle of ours.

If your only reason for buying this compilation is that Gazza Super Soccer caught your eye, forget it. You could have a more realistic footy experience buying two drinking straws and a marble and playing blow football until you're blue in the face.

WORLD CLASS LEADERBOARD
Any compilation with this on can't be all bad. This golf game looks a little dated now but the gameplay is so engrossing it hardly seems to matter.

At the start of the game you can choose to either play alone or with up to four friends. Next choose how many holes you want to play from a choice of 18, 36, 54 or 72. Next stop, the golf course.

A panel on the right hand side of the screen gives you all the relevant data on the current hole such as yardage, wind speed and direction and par. The left hand side of the screen gives you a caddy's-eye view of the golf course from just behind your golfer. A movable crosshair enables you to give your shot a left or right bias and you can choose a club from a full selection.

By pressing and holding fire, you can see the power of your shot increasing. When you're happy with the strength you let go of the fire button and the power bar starts to plummet towards the snap meter. If you manage to stop its descent (by pressing fire again) exactly on the guide marks, your shot will be good. If you mess it up and it stops either above or below the guides, you have sliced or hooked the ball and it will veer off right or left.

At the end of each hole you are given all the info on how well you're doing and whether you're under or over par. As I've already mentioned, the graphics are a little basic by today's standards but frankly I couldn't give two hoots. It's great fun to play on your own and bloomin' brilliant with friends.

CONTINENTAL CIRCUS
After years of racing to hone your driving talents you feel you are now ready to take on the big boys in the Formula One arena. But these things are rarely as simple as we would like, so to be eligible to hit the racing big time you need to prove yourself in the Continental Circus, a series of qualifying races over eight different world famous racing circuits.

At the start of each race you are given a qualifying position, 60th for example. If by the end of the race you finish outside that position you're out of the running and have to start from square one. If you manage to qualify, it's onto the next circuit. Things get harder as you progress though. The qualifying positions get harder and harder to achieve. By about the fifth race you have to finish in fifth place or better.

You are also given a time limit in which to complete the race. It's nowhere near long enough to do so, but at certain stages on the track you pass checkpoints which give you extra time.

Controls have mercifully been kept to a minimum. Move left and right with the joystick and change from low gear to high then back again with a quick tap of joystick button. Pushing the joystick forward and backward accelerates and decelerates your vehicle.

Crashing is also incredibly easy. Hit another car, the crash barrier, road signs, or simply go too fast around a corner and you're history. But don't worry, if you do any damage a quick pit stop should remedy the situation.

It's a bit basic but it all runs and plays smoothly. The trouble is it's all rather dull as well. When you're actually playing the game you start to feel that there's something missing, like fun, or enjoyment, or challenge. You could carry on a phone conversation and play it at the same time without losing any of the pleasure.

PRO TENNIS TOUR
It's time to prove yourself in the four major world tennis tournaments: Wimbledon and the Australian, French and U.S. Open. You play to win the tournaments but even if you fail, you can still improve your overall ranking simply by winning individual games.

But what if you're completely useless? Well even this revolting happenstance has been catered for. There's a built in training mode in which you can either practise your service or go up against the terrifying ball machine, which randomly rockets balls at you so that you can practise returning them.

When you play a proper game you can either do so against the computer or a human opponent. The court is viewed from behind your player and when you serve, you have to position a crosshair in the opponent's half, thus dictating the point to which you want to serve. Once you get involved in a rally it's simply a case of fast reactions, correct positioning and well-timed swings.

If you're doing particularly well, there's a handy save game option so that you don't have to lose all your hard work. The game looks good and plays even better. The sprites are well animted and the action is very fast. If you want a tennis sim (and don't have this on another compilation) then PTT is the one to go far.

SUMMARY
You definitely need to give this one careful consideration before buying it. WC Leaderboard excellent, and Pro Tennis Tour is good, but as you're paying for the decidedly average Gazza Super Soccer and the dull Continental Circus, we can't give it an outright recommendation. More terraces than grandstand.

POWER RATING 90%


'Fore'-play in
World Class Leaderbord
Continental Circus:
awful arcade spin-off
Pro Tennis Tour
serving up some action


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