http://www.gamesetwatch.com/elite.jpg Honestly, Armchair Arcade, did you think you could talk about what a great game Ian Bell and and David Braben's Elite is and not have us link to it? Clearly, this was never going to fly.

Matt Barton notes: "If you were lucky enough to play Elite back in the mid 80s, you'll probably remember just how big this game felt. You literally had whole galaxies on a floppy disk, just waiting for your Cobra to make that hyperjump to them. There were suns and planets and moons, and an almost infinite expanse of unexplored territory."

He continues: "Of course, to some extent, all this size is merely an illusion. It's becomes pretty obvious that the near infinite number of planets is achieved by algorithms. Planet names might be randomly generated, as are their types of governments, populations, and exports. It's a pattern familiar to folks who grew up playing games like ROGUE and HACK, "role-playing games" that traded linear storylines for replayability."

Right, but as he points out: "Elite was and remains a masterpiece because of its grand vision, bold ambitions, and utterly uncompromising emphasis on building the player's own competence." In other words, Elite. Is. Hardcore.