Video games, Where I Read

Where I Read – GamePro #8

Cover for GamePro #8

Cover for GamePro #8

This week we’ve got GamePro Issue #8, for March of 1990. Our page count has dropped a little bit to 85 pages. On the bright side, the cover art isn’t total crap anymore. Nothing new on the opening ads – just the same ad for Demon Sword we had last issue.

Editorial: GamePro’s Editorial columns are still, well, less talking about the state of the industry, or what they will be doing in the future, but instead telling you things you could have learned if you paid attention to the Table of Contents. I must admit that I always found GamePro to be inferior to EGM in most respects.

Letters: We start things off with a letter asking for more information about Phantasy Star II. Well then, you’ll be pleased to know they’re having a featured ProView this issue. Also, apparently Golden Axe is being ported to the master system, and they have a “Review” this issue – but is it a real review, or is it still a glorified Preview. We get a letter asking them not to run tips and tricks because it spoils the game. Well, if you’re concerned about the tips and tricks section, just skip over it (or even rip it out of the magazine and stick it in the recycling/garbage). If you’re concerned about the ProTips – well, in general they’re not telling you anything that’s particularly secret (such as knowing when to hold them and when to fold them in poker last issue). We get a letter from a mother in Redmond saying how much she loves their cover design – I must admit I don’t know what the covers between issues 2 and 6 look like, but issue 7 was an absolute load of crap.

The Cutting Edge: The PC Engine is basically getting a couple of re-skinned versions – the PC Engine Shuttle and the CoreGrafx – both of which are, essentially, the standard PC Engine but with a sleeker, re-designed frame – with the sole difference between the two is that the CoreGrafx also supports CDs and the Shuttle doesn’t. Oddly enough, the CoreGrafx has a smaller footprint. NEC is also coming out with the SuperGrafx, a suped up version of the PC Engine with more memory – and it also splits the install base by having games being put out exclusively for it, though it has backwards computability with older PC Engine games. It doesn’t help that the SuperGrafx isn’t compatible with the existing PC-Engine CD, so you’ll have to re-buy the new CD-ROM drive too.

Overseas Prospects: In keeping with the coverage of the SuperGrafx and other new SKUs we get a preview (not a review – they’re honest about it this time) of Shinobi for the Turbografx-16. The preview doesn’t say anything about this game being developed by Sega.

The Adventures of GamePro – Chapter 7: This issue GamePro must survive in Ghouls ‘n Goblins. We get a few strategies for some of the generic enemies, and one of the bosses.

ProViews: We start off with Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which has finally come out for the NES. We also have ProViews for (on the NES) Ghostbusters II, the first X-Men game from LJN (and the first console X-Men game in general), and the Drive-‘N-Shoot game Road Blasters. On the Master System was have a port of Golden Axe – which they have nothing bad to say about at all. For the Genesis we finally have a review of Phantasy Star II. We also get coverage for the rather gonzo shump Forgotten Worlds for the Genesis. I say “gonzo” because (as I mentioned previously about this game) instead of playing a space ship, or a witch on a broom, you’re just a guy in a jetpack. On the one hand, it gives the game a distinctive look. On the other hand it gives you a rather large hit-box.

The Turbografx-16 is getting the turn-based strategy game Military Madness, one of the first console games in this genre to come out in the US (Fire Emblem had come out previously, but was only released in Japan), as well as Space Harrier – a 2nd party port by Sega, whose name doesn’t show up at all in GamePro’s review. The Atari 7800 is getting a port of Ikari Warriors, and I must admit it looks like absolute crap compared to the NES version of the game. I’m not too impressed by the 7800’s graphics in general, actually. But, moving on – the Game Boy is getting maze game Kwirk: The Chilled Tomato, a maze game that has an aura around it of everything wrong with the 80s, the mascot character is a tomato with sunglasses with gigantic frames (sort of like the glasses from the video for “Never Going To Give You Up”, plus gigantic sneakers, and a green semi-mohawk.

SWAT – Hot Tips: Again, not much of note, except for a cheat to help you turn off the music in the game.

Ask The Pros: So, GamePro has taken up after Nintendo Power in another respect, a Q & A column with tricks & strategies for the game. Nothing I’d really call notable here.

Short ProShots: Again, a bunch of short previews of various upcoming games – presumably games coming out far enough in the future not to merit a full page or more or coverage. MTV’s got a trivia game coming out based on their quiz show Remote Control.

ProArtist Series: This is a new one – a contest where the competitors are challenged to make a piece (or pieces of art, depending on the challenge) based on a specific theme or game. This issue it’s basically doing a game design. The winner this issue is an isometric action game called Insect Invasion.

ProNews: Well, Winter CES has come and gone, and now to see what came out of it. For starters, NEC has announced their portable Turbografx system, which is compatible with just about all Turbografx-16 games. The only other official hand-held system that I’m aware of which was fully compatible with games for a home console system (in terms of their cartridges or disks) was the battery hogging Sega Nomad. I’d be interested to see how the battery life for this baby worked out. Also, Codemasters from the UK is first in line of what will become a list of many hardware developers to develop the Nintendo CD peripheral, though this iteration of the device is meant for the NES – remember, this is 1990, and the official line from Nintendo of America (not Nintendo World Headquarters in Japan) is that 16-bit is a fad. However, worry not Codemasters, your next peripheral, the Power Pak, will work a little better – it’s a peripheral that basically serves as a go-between for the console and the game, tricking the game into giving various benefits (or detriments) like extra lives, no damage from bullets, etc. In the US the device will be released by Galoob, and be called the Game Genie.

And that will wrap up this issue of GamePro.