Pandemonium. Yes it's that Playstation game that started the "it's not real 3D" debate. And they're right because it isn't really proper 3D, just 'sort of' 3D. Or even NiGHTS 3D if you like. It's a platform wait, come back........I don't really like platform games either, but this one is actually quite good so bear with me.

You have a choice to play as Nikki or Fargus who are both pretty similar except Nikki has a double jump move while Fargus does this cartwheel spinning thing. I won't go in to the plot too much but it basically involves collecting coins and reaching the end of the level. Now at this point if you saw the Playstation version you're probably thinking that the Saturn version will look crude and ugly in comparison, but you'd be wrong because Pandemonium is one of the most graphically impressive titles you're likely to see. It's in a similar style to the aforementioned NiGHTS. Everything is brightly coloured and textured and they've even managed to pull off some real transparancies too. Light sourcing plays a part and is especially apparent on the lift section at the end of the first level which looks utterly superb. This is probably the best Playstation to Saturn conversion yet.

Gameplay is pretty standard fare, jump on enemies to kill them etc. but there are pick ups to collect that give you extra weapons or open up different routes through a level and if you collect enough coins there are some nifty bonus games to try out. It's all quite easy to start with so it doesn't get too frustrating but sooner or later you're sure to encounter that age old platform game annoyance of repeatedly falling off the same ledge again and again, of repeatedly falling off the same ledge again and again, of repeatedly falling...know what I mean!? Fortunately, that doesn't happen too often and if it does, it's your fault, not the game's. Most of the levels are extremely well thought out with enough variety between them to keep you interested and there's even some morphing fun to be had in later levels.

Ok, so I don't really like platform games. Having said that, I wasn't really expecting to like Pandemonium very much, but Crystal Dynamics have added enough variation and other cool stuff to make even the most ardent platform hater get some enjoyment from it. Certainly the younger generation who haven't yet experienced platform game overkill will lap it up. The best platformer on the Saturn? Oh yes.


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