'Heroes of Might #x0026;; Magic 4'

3DO's "Might &; Magic" series has run the gamut of spinoffs. Their champion horse, "Heroes of Might &; Magic," just keeps getting better, and the fourth installment is proof. The tried-and-true kingdom-building, turn-based battle formula is enhanced with a new skill system, isometric views and numerous game play tweaks. As always, the game play is extremely addictive, and the bounty of missions will keep gamers glued to their monitor. Unfortunately, the combat grid is gone, the graphics are still behind the times and there's no immediate multiplayer mode (although it seems a patch is on the way). But those few imperfections are but a nick in the armor of this solid title.

Grade: B+

Company: 3DO

Platform: PC

Price: $44.99


'Atari Anniversary Advance'

The Game Boy Advance seems to be a perfect portal for video games from the past. Konami recently released Arcade Advanced, a superb collection of '80s arcade games. And now Infogrames reaches back even further to bring gamers some of the best the '70s and '80s had to offer. Atari Anniversary Advance includes six classic arcade favorites: "Asteroids," "Battlezone," "Centipede," "Missile Command," "Super Breakout" and "Tempest." Each title is lovingly and authentically emulated on the hand-held game system -- from the simple vector graphics to the synthesized orbital sounds. As an extra bonus, there's a trivia quiz to test your game knowledge.

Grade: A-

Company: Infogrames

Platform: Game Boy Advance

Price: $29.99

'Deus Ex'

It was a great PC game, and now it's a great PlayStation 2 game. "Deus Ex" may seem like your average first-person shooter at first glance, but once you jump in, you'll see it's far from shallow. A massive, intelligently written plot keeps a strong grip on the player. As the story unfolds, the rich variety of game play mechanics bloom. Players can use sophisticated weaponry and get down and dirty, but the developers provided much more depth. As the player progresses, skill points are awarded that can be used to customize the hero's abilities. Whether you prefer to become a super, stealthy lock-picker or a direct, tough-as-nails combatant, the choice is yours.


Grade: A

Company: Eidos

Platform: PlayStation 2

Price: $49.99

-- Reviews by Cox Newspapers.

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