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.