Where I Read – GamePro #37
Alright, the GamePro recaps continue with issue #37 for August of 1992, with another movie licenced game on the cover – Universal Soldier, based on the Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle. Remember when the Muscles from Brussles had a career? Okay, that’s a cheap shot, particularly since JCVD might revitalize the man’s career (I’ve heard very good things about it) – but basically from here, and maybe Street Fighter 2 on, the man’s career goes into a steady decline.
Editorial: Summer CES has come and gone, and they saw a bunch of new games that they’ll be talking about this issue. And no – they won’t be doing any discussion of anything other than the contents of this magazine in the Editorial section.
The Mail: We get a request for tips on older games, or more in-depth strategy guides for games that have been out for a bit, and get pointed towards GamePro’s SWATPro Magazine. For the record, I think there might still be a market these days for a “strategy guide subscription” Particularly if we can get something like the Kindle with color. GameFAQs has it’s merits, but a well laid out strategy guide with label maps and pictures of relevant areas of the game is still helpful, and might help me with situations such as, when the Flood was introduced in Halo 1, my getting lost – which actually ruined the emotional impact of the level. We also have another question about getting into the game industry – alas, the internet is not wide spread enough at this time where you can put an FAQ on GamePro’s home page with an answer to that question and put a link to it on the very front. We also get a request for more Master System coverage, since Sega hasn’t officially stopped supporting it yet (the problem is that many of the new games for the Master System are taking a hop, skip, and jump over the US and heading to Europe, where the Master System generally did well).
The Cutting Edge: This issue the new gadget of choice is the “Interactive Network” – a gadget that hooks up to your TV and lets you play games based what’s on the television. This is a subscription service that basically has little multiple choice games you can do with certain shows (like LA Law or Murder She Wrote), or lets you guess along with the questions on game shows. Basically, it’s the sort of interactive stuff that Web TV was hyping when it first came out, and that some Blu-Ray disks let you do with the movie. It’s certainly interesting and innovative – but if you see one of the units at a garage sale, at Goodwill, or Value Village, give it a miss. Interactive Network, the company that was providing the service, merged with Two Way TV in 2002, which took this business model to the web (if it wasn’t there already).
Hot at the Arcades Feature: We’re getting review scores for these, and after much deliberation, I’ve decided that when listing the reviews, I’m going to drop discussing the difficulty, unless I’ve played the game and find the score to be wrong – or unless you guys want it back. Midway has a sequel for Smash TV, titled Total Carnage which gets 5s for Sound & Fun Factor & 4s with Gameplay & Graphics. Sega has a helicopter flight sim shooter in Air Rescue, which is a sort of 3D choplifter, with decent sound effects, but good graphics & controls, with a 3.5 for Sound and 4s for Graphics, Sound & Fun Factor. Atari has an arcade baseball game in Relief Pitcher. The game’s got very nice looking graphics and good sound and control, with 5s for Graphics, 4.5s for Sound & Fun Factor, and a 4 for Control. Sega’s got a F1 racing game in F1 Exhaust Note, which has decent graphics & control, but doesn’t have as many customization options as other F1 racing games, and gets 5s for Sound & Fun Factor, and 4.5s for Graphics & Control. We also get an in-depth strategy guide for Street Fighter II Championship Edition which is now in arcades – and by in-depth I mean they cover the changes between the editions, as well as the move-lists for the bosses.
Nintendo Coverage: We start off with the latest of the Adventure Island games, Adventure Island III – poor Master Higgins – not only is his girlfriend constantly getting kidnapped, but he also is apparently incapable of finding a decent pair of pants. The game gets 3.5s for Sound & Fun Factor, and 4s for Graphics & Control. Taito’s got the mascot platformer Panic Restaurant, which looks very bizarrely Japanese, without being too surreal. We’ve got a top down NASCAR racing game (which I think is the first NASCAR game I’ve seen for the NES), which gets 5s for Control & Fun Factor and a 4 for Graphics. The sound isn’t so hot though – it gets a 2. Matchbox has a Noah’s Ark platformer… I think that’s an error on their part (and, by the way, they’ve been running corrections every issue for getting devolopers wrong for the past few issues) – because I distinctly recall that game being put out by Wisdom Tree, and the Angry Video Game Nerd reviewing it. Anyway, this game gets a 2 for Sound, 2.5 for Fun Factor, 3 for Control and a 3.5 for graphics. I’ve seen that game, and that score is a little high. Camerica has a bee themed shooter titled Bee 52. The game gets a 3.5 for Sound, 4s for Control & Fun Factor, and a 4.5 for Graphics.
Genesis Coverage: The Genesis coverage begins with a review of Taz-Mania, which was the cover story a few years ago. Not unsurprisingly, the game gets a good review – a 4.5 for Sound, and 5s for Graphics, Control & Fun Factor. Wolfteam has Syd of Valis, which (as I’ve mentioned previously), is the Super-Deformed version of the Valis games, which gets 4s across the board. Flying Edge has Arch Rivals, a more street-ball style basketball game (with no fouls) but on a formal basketball court. The game gets a 3 for Graphics, and 4s for everything else. We now come to the Lemmings review, and here the longer format helps – the review lets us know that while the SNES version of the game allows you to warp to specific sections of the map to control things a litle better, the Genesis doesn’t have that option. The game gets a 2.5 for Graphics, 3.5 for Control, and a 4 for graphics and 4.5 for Fun Factor.
Flying Edge has another Formula 1 racing game in Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge, which doesn’t do so well, geting a 2.5 for Fun Factor, 3s for Graphics & Control, and a 4 for Sound. Flying Edge also has a basic Lemmings clone of their own with Krusty’s Fun House, which has better graphics than Lemmings, 4 for Graphics & Control, 3.5 for Fun Factor, and a 2.5 for Sound. We also get a preview of the Sega CD mecha fighting game Black Hole Assualt, the sequel to Heavy Nova, which apparnetly has a hidden Pong mini-game.
Universal Soldier Feature: We’re starting off with a review of the Game Boy version of the game, which gets a good review, but looks really bad (even for the Game Boy). The game gets 4s for Control & Fun Factor, a 4.5 for Graphics, and a 5 for Sound. We then get a preview of the SNES version of the game, and a preview of the movie.
SNES Coverage: We’re starting off with a review of Street Fighter II, and because this is such a big title, they give it two reviews – both with identical scores! Next up is Super Double Dragon, which adds a Super Bar to the game, and is generally good. It gets 4s for Graphics & Sound, a 4.5 for Control, and a 5 for Fun Factor. We then take a short break from the reviews for a mini-guide for Legend of Zelda: A Link to The Past (which they lift a score for anyway, with 5s across the board). We move on to Super Axelay, a shump that’s been covered in my prior EGM recaps, and still looks good. The game gets 5s for Graphics & Sound, and 4.5s for Control & Fun Factor. Parker Brothers has also ported Monopoly and Clue to the SNES, with Monopoly getting 3.5s for Sound & Control, and 4s for Graphics & Fun Factor and with Clue getting a 3.5 for Sound and 4s for everything else.
The Making of Bubsy – Part 2: In the last installment of this series, we got through designing the look and feel of the main character. Now we get to the creation of the character in the game and the level design.
TurboGrafx-16 Coverage: We start off with a home console flight sim (which isn’t going to do so well without a stick), with Falcon from Spectrum Holobyte. The game gets a 2.5 for Sound, a 3 for Fun Factor, 3.5 for Graphics, and a 4 for Control. We also get an Overseas ProSpects review of Shadow of the Beast from Psygnosis (which, the article fails to mention, is British).
The Sports Page: We’re starting off with Bulls vs. Lakers from EA, which gets a 3.5 for Sound, 4 for Graphics, 4.5 for Control & a 5 for Fun Factor. Nintendo’s got NCAA Basketball, which gets 5s for Fun Factor & Graphics, and a 3.5 for Sound and 4.5 for Control. The TurboGrafx-16 has TV Sports Baseball which gets a 3 for Sound (for clear actual sound effects and umpire calls but horrible music), a 4 for Control, and 4.5s for Graphics & Fun Factor.
Portable Coverage: The Game Boy is getting Rolan’s Curse II from American Sammy, which is a bit of a Zelda Clone kind of thing. The game gets a 3 for Sound, 3.5s for Graphics & Fun Factor, and a 4 for Control. Centipede is getting a hand-held version as well, which isn’t so hot – it gets a 2 for Graphics, 2.5 for Fun Factor, and 3s for Sound & Control. The port of Missle Command fares a little better, getting 3s for Sound & Control, and a 3.5 for Graphics and 4 for Fun Factor). The Game Gear is getting an adaptation of The Terminator from Virgin, which gets 4.5s for Control & Fun Factor, a 4 for Sound and a 5s for Graphics. We also have a review of Shadow of the Beast for the Lynx, which gets 4.5s for Graphics & Sound, and a 3 for Control and 3.5 for Fun Factor. We’ve also got a review of Kung Food for the Lynx, which looks like a horrible game, and gets a 2.5 for Control, 3s for Fun Factor & Sound, and a 4.5 for Graphics.
Game Busters: We get strategies for the final boss fight and the final cut-scene for Splatterhouse 2.
ProNews: We get coverage of the Sega Menacer, Camerica Aladdin (aka the Game Genie), and some notes on release dates for the Sega CD, TurboDuo, and the Super Nintendo CD (*snerk*). We’ve also got various pictures & Screen Shots from CES, but not much in terms of impressions. And that concludes the issue, tomorrow we’ve got another movie review going up.