Mean Arenas (CD32)



Title           Mean Arenas (CD32)
Game Type	General Action
Company		I.C.E.
Players		1
Compatibility	CD32
HD Installable  Yes
Submission	Courtesy of Sean Caszatt

Review
Yuck!

That was my first reaction to the graphics of MEAN ARENAS.  I thought to
myself, "When was this released?"  Scanning the box for a copyright date,
I found that, indeed, this was a new game.  So, I popped the disc into the
CD남 and prepared myself to be disappointed.

I wasn't totally disappointed.  In fact, I found myself rather
entertained. That's the sign of a good game.  Unfortunately, it's not all
good.

The major problem with the game is that it's in PAL video mode.  I played
the game on an NTSC CD남 connected to a Commodore 1084s monitor through
its composite jacks.  The CD남 defaulted to an NTSC screen when it booted
up. That caused the bottom of the screen to be cut off.  I had to get the
machine to boot in PAL to see the whole screen.  That wasn't a problem for
me because I had a mouse that I could plug into the second game port.
Using the "hold the two mouse buttons down when the CD남 boots up" trick,
the machine boots in PAL mode.  However, someone who's bought the game and
doesn't have a monitor that can display PAL or the knowledge on how to get
the machine into PAL mode in the first place is, basically, screwed.
Important information concerning gameplay appears in the area that isn't
visible to NTSC users.  That's a BIG minus.

Once that was straightened out, I discovered that the game has a certain
charm.  Combining the "TV show of the future" approach of SMASH-TV and the
maze chase aspect of PAC MAN, MEAN ARENAS is not going to win any
originality awards.  However, it does introduce a pair of comedic
announcers who cover the action and make comments that give the game a
real atmosphere.  That's a BIG plus.

So, what's the game like?  Well, basically, one moves around mazes picking
stuff up while avoiding the "bad guys".  MEAN ARENAS' "bad guys" come in
all shapes and sizes.  Part of the fun is finding out what things in the
maze do.  There are booby traps, power-ups and teleporters.  There are
even switches that move the walls, revealing even more stuff.

Controlling your on-screen character is relatively easy.  It's nice to be
able to get from Point A to Point B without worrying about an awkward
control system.  With the high number of enemies that are after you in
MEAN ARENAS, that's a real comfort.

I don't want to ruin the game by giving away too much of it.  Just be
aware that the game is not groundbreaking in concept or appearance.  It IS
fun to play.

I hesitate to recommend MEAN ARENAS to everyone due to the PAL display
problem.  To get the full enjoyment out of the game, one has to see the
whole screen.  A regular TV set cannot display a PAL signal.  Doing so
would render the game completely unplayable as well as unwatchable.

If you can display a PAL signal on your monitor then go ahead and grab
MEAN ARENAS.  If you can't view PAL on your monitor or if you are using a
TV set as your display device, wait for an NTSC version of the game.  If
you do get the PAL version, make sure you have an Amiga-compatible mouse
handy to put the machine in PAL mode by holding the two mouse buttons down
when the CD남 boots up and then selecting "PAL" from the Display Options
menu.

MEAN ARENAS is a game that you'll come back to again and again...as long
as you can see what you're doing.


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