GAME REVIEWS: Sid Meier’s Pirates!

2K Games (Xbox)
Game •••• Graphics/Sound½
Ahoy, matey! Go ahead, shout it out loud - rum-soaked drawl and all. After a few minutes with Pirates!, you'll be hooked, Captain. Sid Meier, the Spielberg of interactivity (and the creator of Civilization), doesn't dabble. He cuts to the core of high-seas fun, giving you only the best parts of a career in swashbuckling. You sail. You attack ships. You raid villages. You avenge your family. And you get jiggy with fair maidens. It's that simple, yet utterly enthralling. Too bad that such straightforwardness also had to mean ditching Dolby (a measly 480p picture is hardly compensation). Nah, you shouldn't start a mutiny over that - but it's definitely worth an aarrgh!