Where I Read – GamePro #38
Our GamePro coverage continues to issue #38 for September of 1992. Our cover story is a whole bunch of comic book games, most of them with the Marvel licence. This issue’s getting up there in length, at 163 pages long.
Editorial: Well, GamePro TV is now on cable… on the Sci-Fi Channel! That’s right, the Sci-Fi channel showing programming that wasn’t Sci-Fi, like wrestling, is not a new development.
Mailbag: We get a question about whether PC CDs will work on the SNES CD or Sega CD. Bwahahahahahahahahahahahaha… no. There are also questions about getting virtual reality systems (most systems run $60,000).
Cutting Edge: Now adults are getting edutainment games. Specifically, we get coverage of games designed to help people manage their diabeties. Ooohhhhkay. I think I’d prefer modern “non-games” like My Personal Trainer over this. We also get some information on Bullet-Proof Software’s Virtual Reality system, and Sony’s new home theater system, the XBR2.
Hot at the Arcades: Hook and the Addams Family movie are both getting pinball tables, plus Williams has a couple “sequels” to existing tables – The Getaway: High Speed II and Hurricane, a sequel to Comet & Cyclone.
Cover Story: We start off with our comic book game previews with a moderately in-depth preview of Spiderman & X-Men in Arcade’s Revenge. We also get a bunch of short (as in 1-2 paragraph) previews of various other comic games, including most of the Batman Returns games along with Return of the Joker, Spiderman: Return of the Sinister Six for the NES, Superman games for the Genesis & SNES, and Captain America & The Avengers for the Genesis. There are a few games based on more obscure comics as well, like The Ex-Mutants, and Chakan: The Forever Man. Also of note is the upcoming arcade and SNES versions of Battletoads, Toxic Crusaders licenced games, various Disney, Warner Bros., Hanna Barbara, and The Simpsons licenced games.
NES Coverage: Speaking of Comic Book licenced games, we start off with the Toxic Crusaders licenced game. The game’s difficult, but they’d liked the control and gameplay, though they give it 3.5s for Sound and Control, a 4 for Graphics and a 4.5 for Fun Factor. Nintendo has a matching puzzle game (like Columns) on the NES with Yoshi. The game has annoyng music, but solid control (which is important with a dropping block platformer like this), and the graphics are average for the NES, so they give the game a 2.5 for Sound, a 3 for Graphics, 3.5 for Fun Factor and a 4.5 for control. FCI has ported SSI’s Dragonlance licenced dragon dogfighting sim DragonStrike to the NES, and the translation didn’t go so well, the control is pretty poor. The game get a 3 for Sound, 3.5s for Graphics & Control, and a 4 for Fun Factor. We’ve also got the review of Krusty’s Fun House which, as I’ve mentioned previously, tries to do a Simpsons style parody of Lemmings. GamePro doesn’t think it’s half bad – with the exception of the sound – giving it a 2.5 for Sound, 3.5s for Control & Fun Factor and a 4.5 for Graphics.
Special Feature – Peripherals: The SNES is getting an ActionReplay, the Game Boy is getting the Game Genie. The NES is getting The Aladdin System, which is some sort of modular power-up unit thingie for the NES that has it’s own graphics chip and battery save capaility, which you then plug in your special games (designed for this peripheral), which takes advantage of the built-in graphics card and battery backup chip. It also sounds fishy to me. The Game Gear has the Master Gear Converter that lets you play Master System games on the Game Gear (no word on how the accessory affects the Game Gear’s mayfly-ish battery life). Also, the Mega Converter and Super Converter lets you play imported Mega Drives and Super Famicom games on your Genesis or Snes (respectively).
Genesis Coverage: First up is Global Gladiators, an enviromentally themed game with a McDonald’s licence. Yeah. We get compliements on the graphics, though they comment that the sound is rather repetitive, with the game getting 5s for Graphics & Fun Factor, and 4.5s for Sound and Control. Sega has David Robinson’s Supreme Court, a full-court basketball game with decent sound, though they do have some problems noticing when players are tired so they know who needs to be substituted out. The game gets 3s for Control & Fun Factor, a 3.5 for Sound and a 4 for Graphics. Where In The World is Carmen Sandiego has gotten ported to the Genesis, and it’s apparently a decent port – and it does come with a World Almanac to help you get through the game, which is good. The game gets a 3 for Sound, a 3.5 for Control, and 4s for Graphics & Fun Factor. Smash TV has also been brought out on the Genesis, though it’s probably lacking in a few respects, you’ve only got a D-Pad on the Genesis instead of twin sticks on the arcade machine. The game gets a 3.5 for Sound and 4s for Graphics, Control & Fun Factor. The fishing game King Salmon is also coming out for the Genesis, which gets 4.5s for Sound & Fun Factor, and 4s for Control & Graphics. We also get a hardware preview of the Genesis’ upcoming light gun, the Menacer, and of Sonic The Hedgehog 2. There’s also a list of Sierra On-Line games that will be coming out for the Sega CD.
SNES Coverage: Prince Of Persia‘s SNES port is getting a review. They love the game, but it’s hard – you have a 120 minute cumulative time limit for the game, with 20 levels total. Now, there’s a password system in the game, but it’s not clear if the password system accounts for the time elapsed thus far in the game. Anyway, the game gets 5s across the board. Also, Faceball 2000 has been ported from the Game Boy to the SNES, and it got a decent review, with 4s for Sound & Control, a 4.5 for Graphics and a 5 for Fun Factor. We also have a review of the first (and only) James Bond Jr. game, which apparently has a nice variety of power-ups, and decent sound and graphics (though there are some slow-down problems on the shooter levels). The game gets 4s for Graphics, Sound & Fun Factor, and a 5 for Control. The next game is Dino City, which is an dinosaur themed platformer. The game gets a 3 for Sound and 4s for everything else. This section also has an very in-depth Strategy Guide for Street Fighter II, with bios, stage images, move lists, the works – even the endings. We also get previews for Super Star Wars, and the Super NES CD-Rom version of 7th Guest – I’m not surprised to hear the game was coming out for this system by the way. They have screen shots for 7th Guest, but they don’t say if they’re from the vaporware SNES CD-Rom version or if they’re from the PC version.
Bubsy Special Feature – Part 3: The articles discussing the making of the Bubsy games continues! This issue we get coverage of the game’s sound and audio design.
TurboGrafx-16 Coverage: Darkwing Duck has an action platformer for the TG-16. The game gets a 3 for fun factor (possibly because you have to beat a sliding puzzle mini-game after beating each boss to get the next piece of the game’s McGuffin – a stolen painting), 4 for Control, and 5s for Graphics & Sound. It also gets the very unforgiving strategy game Lord of the Rising Sun, a game based on the Tale of the Heike. By unforgiving, I mean that, for example, if your ninjas you send on a secret mission fail, not only does your commander have to kill himself, you also lose your game save. Otherwise the game looks good, sounds good, and plays okay, though there’s a lot of data to account for. The game gets a 3.5 for Control, 4s for Graphics & Fun Factor, and a 5 for Sound. We also get previews of Shapeshifter from the TurboGrafx CD. We also get general notes of games coming out for the TurboGrafx-16 & CD for 1993 and the end of 1992. Of note is Loom, Dungeon Explorer 2, the shump Dead Moon.
Overseas Prospects: We have previews of cockpit shump (a shump from a cockpit perspective), G-Loc, and regular shump Bonk’s Thunder Shooter. There’s also Afterburner III, and Rail Shooter Cobra Command. Sega also has the CD RPG Dark Wizard, which actually got a US release. Koei’s also porting their strategy games Gemfire, Uncharted Waters, and Romance Of The Three Kingdoms II to the Genesis.
The Sports Page: EA has put out a licenced Olympic Basketball game in USA Basketball, featuring the Dream Team. The reviewer has problems spotting the player he’s controlling out in a crowd, and he’s got a devil of a time getting rebounds. The game gets a 4s for Graphics & Control, a 4.5 for Sound, and a 5 for Fun Factor. Renovation has Jennifer Capriati Tennis, which gets 4s for Graphics & Sound, and 4.5s for Control & Fun Factor (though they don’t go into why it got those scores much). David Crane also has a tennis game, with David Crane’s Amazing Tennis. They love the graphics, they love the sound, but the controls are a major pain in the ass. THe game gets 5s for Graphics & Sound, a 3.5 for Control, and a 2.5 for Fun Factor (ouch). There’s also Wimbleton Tennis for the Game Gear. The game gets a 3 for Sound, a 3.5 for control, and 4s for Graphics & Fun Factor.
Neo-Geo Coverage: First up is King of the Monsters 2, which takes the Kaiju Fighting Game and turns it into a Kaiju Brawler ala Rampage. The game gets a 3.5 for Sound, and 4.5s for everything else. There’s also the Ikari Warriors style action game Ninja Commando – which is a 80s Direct-To-Video title if I ever saw one. The game has 4s for Control & Fun Factor, a 4.5 for Sound and a 5 for Graphics (not surprising, this is the Neo-Geo after all).
Game Boy Coverage: We begin with Star Wars, which is a mix of RPG style “open world”, combined with side scrolling platforming. The game gets 4s for Graphics & Sound, a 4.5 for Fun Factor and a 5 for Control. Next is Spider-Man 2, which puts Spidey against his most Iron Age opponent – Carnage. Thank you, Todd McFarlane! No major complaints are voiced in the review, and the game gets a 3 for Sound, 3.5 for Control, and 4s for Graphics & Fun Factor. There’s also a Tom & Jerry game with, again, no voiced complaints, but with 3.5s for Control and Fun Factor, and 4s for Graphics & Sound. We’ve also got a Swamp Thing licenced game, which appears to borrow some elements from Alan Moore’s run on the character, while combining it with the Dic animated series as well , with the character going into The Green (a concept introduced on Moore’s Run) to recharge his health. The game gets 3.5s for Sound & Control, and 4s for Graphics & Fun Factor.
Game Gear Coverage: We start this section off with a Spider-Man game, with Spider-Man trying to clear his name after being framed for setting a Nuclear Bomb in New York. Not that stopping the bomb would get J.J. off his case, but I digress. Anyway, the game is a port of the Master System version of the game, only they excised a bunch of the power-ups from the game to make it Nintendo Hard. The game gets 3s for Graphics & Sound, and 4s for Control & Fun Factor.
Lynx Coverage: The Lynx is getting a helicopter flight sim in Steel Talons, which only has a complaint about the game being single player. Otherwise, they like the game, they give it a 3 for Sound, 4.5s for Graphics & Control and a 5 for Fun Factor. We also get a few notes on upcoming games for the system, including Batman Returns and Rolling Thunder.
Short Shots: Of note in the titles we’ve got here includes Power Punch II, an unofficial sequal to Punch-Out, with Not-Mike-Tyson fighting alien boxers. There’s also the isometric action game Predator II, Streets Of Rage II, Wing Commander for the SNES. We follow this up with SwatPro, which doesn’t have much of note, except for the cheat to turn Street Fighter II for the SNES into the Champion Edition version of the game.
Game Busters: The game this issue is the Genesis Version of Spider-Man, which also applies (at least for the ending cutscene, if not the outright strategies) to the Game Genie and Master System verisons of the game.
Pro News Report: Nintendo has bought the Seattle Mariners, Battletoads is getting an animated series (which doesn’t last very long), Tecmo’s going to put out games for the Genesis. HAL Japan is going out of business (though HAL America is doing just fine).
Well, that wraps up the issue, we’ll have another movie review tommorrow.