I Like My Hrain. Really, I Do. It Serves me well on a day-to-day basis. It gets me through tricky conversations about nuclear thermodynamics at parties. It's what experts would consider to be a healthily adept brain in perfect working order. A little fuzzy in the short-term memory department, but otherwise Okay. So I could fully understand when it left me a little note on return from the offices, saying how it was going on holiday for a few months and wouldn't be back until 1 promised to get rid of all evidence that 3D Lemmings had ever been near my flat.
The last time I dipped one of my toes into the waters of Lemming-dom it was nearly bitten off by the hungry shark of addictiveness. Lemmings took over my life, my loves, my lunches and my laundry (it was that kind of game). Precious little work got done, deadlines passed me by like tourists escaping from Leamington Spa, and my life, basically, went to hell in a rather attractively-lined handbasket. Since then, we've had "More Lemmings", "Oh No, More Of More Lemmings", "My God, Even More Lemmings and If One More Bloody Lemming Shows Up". Finally, I went into therapy, came out a changed man, stayed clear of Doom and re-entered the community under the guiding hand of Virginia Bottomley. So I'm now fairly confident that I can approach the next wave of rodent ridicule without the need of a safety net.
Doom Doom Doomy Doom
"They're back and they're in three dimensions!" reads the advertising copy I just made up. Yes, as if seeing the buggers explode, drown, plummet and so on from a side-on perspective wasn't enough, now we can enter their world in the full glory of three-dimensional polygonia. Essentially, this is a cross between everyone's favourite game-with-a-gun (Doom) and everyone's favourite gaine-with-a-nuke-button. You can even enter "Virtual Lemming" mode and see the wonders of the world through the eyes of the hapless creatures. This is more than just a gimmick though; several of the puzzles actually require this function in order to leave the state of "unsolved".
Hmm, that all reads a bit like "glossy, hype-inducing preview" copy rather than "opinionated, critical review" copy, so perhaps I'd better throw in a harsh comment or two to balance things out. Where doesn't it work? For one thing, the cameras are a little tricky to control. Remember the old Ultima Underworld-style of movement? You know, the further you move the cursor from the centre of the screen, the faster you move around? Well it's like that, only the ratio between speed of movement and distance of cursor is immense.
Move so much as a millimetre in any direction and your view shoots off faster than Linford Christie from an Olympic press meeting.
What else? The music's annoying? Naah, that's hardly a reason to boil it in Mazola, and anyway, it's kind of jolly, especially when combined with the "speech" of the lemmings. The graphics are blocky? Again, not really. The 3D works quite well and has allowed the designers to come up with some clever puzzles, involving depth as well as height and length. The commands? Possibly. I mean, we've only got the original Lemmings to play with (blockers, diggers, floaters - always a bugger to flush - etc), although a new one, known as a turner, has appeared, but this is only natural for a game that uses 3D movement. So I guess I can't fault that either, Psyggy has even put in a handy way of selecting the lemmings - pick one ahead of time, then you just click on the action as soon as you want the lemming to change.
Basically, it's hard to be critical of 3D Lemmings since, from a gameplay point of view, it contains little more than the original did and the original was, is and ever shall be, good, addictive fun. The trouble is, we've already been there and this is just more of the same but viewed from a different angle. It's good, it's even challenging. It's Lemmings.
But you're not hooked again?
It's just that... well, am I the only one who's just a little bit bored of the damn things now? I mean. I've been playing with them since '89 and frankly, it's about time we moved on. You can keep updating the dratted things as much as you like but it's still Lemmings when you cut through all the gloss. Perhaps we should send a message to Psygnosis saying that this particular cow has been milked so much it's passing yoghurt and it's about time we had something else. Then again, maybe we should just wait until the next one and have one last bash with this lot. (That's it, I'm off for good. Paul's Brain.)
Download 3D Lemmings
Your favorite, mindless green-haired characters are back to wreak havoc on your PlayStation.
Lemmings 3D is packed with the same challenging mazes seen in earlier versions. but they added a twist to the previous sidescrolling title--3-D. In addition. you can also select to control a single Lemming using the new feature VR Lemming or command all of them from a third-person point of view. Third-person is the easier of the two to use. but it still requires practice to become proficient. L3D's most important feature is a free-floating view allowing you to move your cameras anywhere you want. The cameras are the heart of the game, and you must understand them to take full advantage of the 3-D experience. Don't give up without a fight! Lemmings 3D requires at least a few hours to become familiar with the view control and selection options. Only with constant practice will you be able to get anywhere in this Puzzle game extraordinaire. L3D contains a shocking 100 levels of daunting mazes that are broken down into four separate difficulty levels. Highly unusual cinemas featuring Lemmings in some very weird circumstances await your completion of every 25th level.
A new Lemming talent, "turning" is available to navigate your Lems into the Z plane. After selecting which Lemming to turn, you must choose a direction 90 degrees from the last position of the walkers. This new skill is used more than all others in L3D to complete the missions. This is the most important skill, for without it this game would be no different than any of the previous ones,
All the old familiar skills have also been brought into L3D. Watching the bashers and miners dig their way through obstacles is very impressive in 3-D. You can also walk along with climbers as they explore towers and hover back to Earth as a floater holding your multicolored umbrella.
A practice session is available for you to learn the Lemming talents and work with view control. They are kind of slow but worth every bit of effort. After graduating from the practice session, you advance to the standard stages that make the practice sessions look like child's play. Wandering through giant cargo ships, airplanes, high-tech futuristic bases, Egyptian pyramids, arctic wastelands and desktops outfitted with computers all await your arrival. Every stage encountered will engage your mind even deeper than the previous ones. The use of memory cards and passwords is a welcome addition to L3D. This allows you to attempt tougher levels at a later time. Watch out for the maze levels where you must find your way through an enclosed area where only Lemmings can go. Choosing the right path in these mazes is almost impossible.
Inexperienced players who may have enjoyed a few stages of earlier titles should cover their ears and run. L3D's childish-looking exterior hides a beast of a game that is just waiting to test your abilities to their fullest. Only players with exceptional talents and an unearthly drive to succeed should even attempt L3D. Clearly, this game has pushed the original concept to a level no one would have expected it to reach.
L3D has added an unusual feature called VR Lemming. VR allows you to take first-person control over any of the masses. From here you guide your comrades through the maze getting into places where your camera will not go. VR allows you to place yourself in all the horrible circumstances you put those poor Lemmings through in earlier versions. Traps, falls, drownings and mass nuk-ings have never been more fun!
- PUBLISHER - Clockwork Games
- DIFFICULTY - Hard
- THEME - Puzzle
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1
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