Where I Read – GamePro #42
We’re on to issue 42 of GamePro, the first issue of the magazines 5th volume, but not it’s 5th year (it’s been publishing for 3 and 1/2 years), which means that they’ve been doing some creative accounting in the counting. Not that any publisher would do such a thing, right DC, Marvel? Anyway, our cover story is Battletoads, and since the art assets are not provided by Tradewest or Rare, much as the art of Chester Cheetah was provided by Frito-Lay last issue. Anyway, this issue comes in a 224 (approximate) pages, though we’ve got another Street Fighter II insert so that will pad that somewhat. They had another insert last issue, but I skipped it, because if you really want the Street Fighter moves, that’s what GameFAQs is for (and Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix has a move-list option on the pause menu).
Editorial: We have content! The TurboDuo’s coming out, as is the SegaCD, and they’re going head-to-head. The Duo’s got a somewhat more substancial library of games, but the Sega CD has Sega’s slick marketing machine (can you say “Sega does what Nintendon’t”?) behind it.
Lettters: We get a letter asking them to combine their Street Fighter II Strategy inserts into a book. I’m glad you asked, because that’s what they’re doing! Now we can get paid twice for the same content! Admittedly, they’re adding some additional content so if you subscribed so you totally didn’t get screwed. We also get questions about the Action Game System, a portable system that will play NES, Super NES, and… Genesis games? You’re kidding. Maybe now such a thing might exist, but then? No way. Nintendo would come down on it with a lead baloon, as would Sega. I call bullshit at best, con scam at worst.
Cutting Edge: The featured hardware is the 3DO which, if you remember from your contemporary Gaming Gossip columns in EGM, is still in development. From the sounds of things, basically, this article is taking a lot of the rumors (with some fact checking) and compiling it into an article. We also get coverage of QSound, which is basically sound recording technology for use in compact disks, particuarly a bunch of arcade games, and albums (including Pink Floyd’s P*U*L*S*E, which is my favorite Pink Floyd live album). Oh, and Baton Technologies in Arizona is still working on technology for online multi-player for home consoles, particularly the NES and the Genesis.
Hot at the Arcades: We’ve got pictures of Sega’s new racing game, Virtua Racing, the first installment of their Virtua series which would become most well known for the Virtua Fighter series.
NES Coverage: Mega Man V is out! I’m not saying they’re churning out a Mega Man game very year… but it’s pretty close. That said, they’re getting some consistant quality there, with this installment getting a 5 for Control, 4.5s for Graphics & Fun Factor, and a 4 for Sound. Camerica has another four pack compliation game thingie called Quattro Arcade. This is an unlicenced game, and, to be honest, it’s a compilation of 4 mediochre games, so I’m going to skip it. I’m not going to do this often (if it all) – only for Camerica multi-game packs. Anyway, next is the strategy game Overlord, which is a base building game where you have to build, basically, a moon base, one that will support its population but also protect it from enemy attack, and then conquer enemy planets (which you must then develop) as well. It almost (but not quite) sounds like a 4X game! The game gets a 3 for Sound, and a 3.5 for Control, plus a 4 for Fun Factor and a 4.5 for Graphics.
Also, the NES has gotten a Simpsons game. Since we’re getting a bunch of super hero games, we’re going to take advantage of Radioactive Man and Bart’s alter ego Bartman, thus Bart Meets Radioactive Man, the popular super hero character. The game’s an action platformer, and apparently they like it? The game gets a 4 for Fun Factor, a 3 for Sound, and 3.5s for Graphics & Control. We’ve got an “not-a-game” for the NES too in Tiny Toons Adventures: Cartoon Workshop, which is basically a kind of comic book creator program. They like it though – it gets 4s from Sound and Control, and 5s for Graphics & Fun Factor. Micropose also has another flight sim in F-117A Stealth Fighter. The Game gets a 2.5 for the very poor sound, and they’re not too fond of the graphics in the review either, giving it a 3 for Graphics (which I would consider to be more average). However, it does gets 4s for Control & Fun Factor. We’ve also got a Young Indiana Jones licenced game from Jaleco which gets a 2.5 for Graphics, a 3 for Sound, a 3.5 for Control, a 4 for Fun Factor.
Genesis Coverage: Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is out, and they’ve got a review! Why is this not on the cover. Sonic 2 should sell magazines, particularly next to the word “Review”. They think the sound could have used a little worse, giving it a 4.5 for Sound, and 5s for everything else. Speaking of sequels, Road Rash 2 has come out as well, and it’s now got similtanious multi-player. It gets a 4.5 for Graphics, a 4 for Sound, and 5s for Control & Fun Factor. We’ve also got Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist (a redress of Turtles in Time with a few new assets) coming out for the Genesis. The game got 4.5s for Sound & Fun Factor, and 5s for Graphics & Control. Mindscape has the sword and sandal action game Gods, which similarly gets 4.5s for Graphics & Control, and 5s for Sound and Fun Factor. EA’s got another fantasy action game in Galahad, in the vein of Wizards & Warriors, but with more knights in shining armor to it. It gets a 3 for Sound, and 4s for Graphics, Control & Fun Factor.
We also have a review of the previously heavily hyped (as in it got a cover story) Universal Soldier from Accolade, which gets a 2.5 for Control (eek!), a 3 for Graphics, a 4 for Sound, and a 3.5 for Fun Factor. I’m sorry, but for me, if the graphics were bad enough to merit a 2.5 from GamePro, I’d probably give it a lower score for Fun Factor (because, well, I wouldn’t have found it very fun). Super Battletank has been ported to the Genesis now as well, however, as the Genesis has a three button controller instead of the SNES’s 6 (particularly considering the lack of shoulder buttons), the game doesn’t play as well. Consequently, the game gets a 2.5 for Control, 3 for Sound and a 3.5 for Graphics, and a 4 for Fun Factor. How is the Fun Factor score higher then the highest other score, particularly considering that Control did so poorly? We also get a preview of Flashback.
Sega CD Coverage: First up is Wonder Dog from JVC. In short, they loved it. How much did they love it? They gave it 5s across the board. That’s right, it scored higher than Sonic The Hedgehog 2. It escapes me too. Sega’s also put out Namco’s on rails shooter Cobra Command. It got a 5 for Sound, a 4 for Control & Fun Factor, and a 3 for Control. Sega has also started that which will become a trend with them – compiling their own games onto a medium with more storage and selling them that way. In this case they’ve now got the Sega Classics Arcade Collection which complies Columns Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, and Revenge of Shenobi. These have all been reviewed before, and don’t have their scores listed here. We also get a list of upcoming Sega CD games, with notable games including Out Of This World (a port), as well as ports of Secret of Monkey Island, and Wing Commander.
Battletoads Feature: We have featured our Battletoads feature, with includes screen shots of the Arcade version of the game (which is significantly more violent than the home console version), along with screen shots of the SNES version of the game.
SNES Coverage: We have the dark future mecha action game (aren’t they all?) Cybernator. Well, they love it, and give it 5s across the board. Wing Commander for the SNES has also come out as well, and it doesn’t score as highly but it does have a good score, with a 5 for Fun Factor, a 4.5 for Graphics, and 4s for Sound & Control. We also have another Application Cart getting reviewed this month with Mario Paint which introduces the NES mouse. The game gets 5s for Graphics & Control and 4.5s for Sound & Fun Factor. There’s also the the very Japanese action game Musya gets a 3 for Sound 4s for Graphics & Fun Factor, and a 4.5 for Control. Robocop 3 has also gotten an adaptation in, well, Robocop 3. The game gets a 5 for Graphics, 4.5s for Sound & Control, and a 4 for Fun Factor. Just so long as it doesn’t have the problem the first Robocop game had where it was impossible to avoid getting hit – you either took 2 marks off your health meter or 1 depending on whether you were blocking or not.
We also have King Arthur’s World a sort of fantasy strategy game that features support for the Mouse to control the game. The game gets a 3.5 for Control, a 4 for Graphics, and 4.5s for Control & Fun Factor. There’s also King of the Monsters a Kaiju fighting game, which gets decent scores, although they say that there are some control problems – it gets a 3 for Graphics, 3.5 for Control, a 4 for Sound and a 4.5 for Fun Factor. Oh, and the SNES is getting Dragon’s Lair. However, as the SNES CD is vaporware, and the cartridge can’t handle the full motion video, we’re getting an action platformer. The game gets 3.5s for Control & Sound, and 4s for Graphics & Fun Factor. We then get a graphical preview of Bubsy, so we can finally see what the game actually looks like!
Super Scope Software Feature: So, we get a collection of reviews of games that use the Super Scope. Kemco has X-Zone, which has you trying to save the world from an evil computer system. It gets 4s for Graphics & Sound, and a 4 for Fun Factor, and a 4.5 for Control. There’s also the mecha action game Battle Clash, which is kind of similar to Death Duel but without the dismemberment. They like it though, with the game agetting a 5 for Control, and 4s for Graphics, Sound, and Fun Factor. There’s also, of all things, a light-gun game based on The Hunt For Red October. I have no idea how that works. They’re not sure either, as they give it a 3 for Control, 2.5s for Graphics & Sound, and a 2 for Fun Factor. We also have a preview of the SNES port of Terminator 2: The Arcade Game, which will be unfortunately missing the arcade version’s awesome light gun. It will have mouse support though, and Bandai has the mecha game Bazooka Blitzkrieg.
TurboGrafx Coverage: Dragon Slayer has gotten a Turbo CD release, though this game has been out for quite some time – this is the first game in the bizarrely ordered Dragon Slayer series, and was originally released for PCs in 1984. They kind of like it though, and give it a 3 for Graphics, a 3.5 for Fun Factor, and 4.5s for Sound & Control. The Turbo Super-CD is also getting (as is everyone else) a port of Prince of Persia. The game gets 3.5s for Graphics & Control a 4 for Fun Factor, and a 4.5 for Sound. There’s also the jetpack shump Forgotten Worlds which was orignally put out by Capcom but was ported by Turbo Technologies Inc. (which is a sort of partnership company thing between Hudson and NEC). The game gets 4.5s for Control & Fun Factor, and 5s for Graphics & Sound. There’s also the adventure game Somer Assault, which could basically be described as an adventure game in which you play as a slinky. The gmae gets 4s for Graphics & Sound, and 3.5s for Fun Factor & Control. Chase HQ has also been ported to the Turbo Duo as a chip, and since it is a chip game, the sound isn’t as good – it gets a 2.5 for Sound, 3s for Graphics & Control, and a 4 for Fun Factor.
Overseas Prospects: The games getting covered here include the brawlers Sonic Blastman, The Great Fighter II: Last Fighter Twin (featuring Gundam F91, Kamen Rider RX, and Fighter Roa). They also bring up the first Ranma 1/2 fighting game, and they get the premise of the series totally, totally, wrong (and completely omits the comedy aspects of the show – which is significant, because this probably was one of the first comedy fighting games).
The Sports Page: Our cover story is EA’s latest basketball game, Bulls vs. Blazers. Finally, the Blazers get the respect they merit, especially as this was one of the Blazers best lineups ever. They’re not the biggest fan of the control, with it geting a 3.5 for Control, but 4s for everything else. LJN has their own basketball game in NBA All Star Challenge, which doesn’t do quite as well as Bulls Vs. Blazers overall, but it does better in certain respects. The game gets a 3 for Sound and a 3.5 for Control, as well as a 4 for Fun Factor. However, it differs by getting a 4.5 for Graphics. Speaking of basketball games, Tecmo’s stepped onto the court as well with Tecmo NBA Basketball for the NES. The game gets a 3.5 for Graphics, a 3 for Sound, and a 4.5 for Control and a 5 for Fun Factor. There’s also working on a SNES version as well, which we get a preview of, along with Konami’s NFL Football for the SNES. On the rink we have a preview of NHLPA Hockey ’93 from EA – though I haven’t gotten to far into hockey games.
We also get a couple baseball game reviews as well. Roger Clemens MLB Baseball for the SNES, it gets a good reception, though they like the fielding more than the pitching. The game gets a 3.5 for Sound, a 4 for Control and 5s for Graphics & Fun Factor. Mindscape has Cal Ripken Jr. Baseball, which has some problems with graphics, particularly with the graphics making fielding difficult, and generally doesn’t do well. It gets a 4 for Sound, a 3 for Control, and 3.5s for Graphics & Fun Factor. On the links we’ve got Irem Skins Game, whcih gets a 5 for Control, 4s for Sound and Fun Factor, and a 4.5 for Graphics. US Gold has another golf game at World Class Leaderboard, which does significantly better, getting a 4.5 for Graphics, and 5s for everything else. Not bad, not bad at all. We also get a glimpse behind the scenes of Madden ’93. While the Madden games aren’t as in depth at this point in their lineage as they are now (with mapping stadiums to the length of the end zone lines), the game’s are trying to be very accurate – and because of John Madden’s own input they’d been doing that. But even more, NFL players have started playing Madden games, and been passing feedback on to John.
Game Boy Coverage: First up is Mega Man III (as Capcom has been putting out Mega Man games on the Game Boy with the same regularity that they’ve been putting them out on home consoles ever since the GB came out). They give the game a 5 for Control (one of the series strong points), and 4.5s for everything else. Hudson has brought Bonk’s Adventure to the Game Boy as well. It’s apparently a faithful port, though one with a few faults, with the game getting a 3.5 for Fun Factor, a 4 for Control, and 4.5s for Graphics & Sound. I can’t help but feel that porting the Bonk games, particularly when Bonk is the TurboGrafx mascot, to 3rd party consoles, is undermining the TurboGrafx consoles somewhat. Accolade has the Gradius style shump StarHawk, which doesn’t do very well, getting a 2.5 for Sound, 3s for Graphics & Fun Factor, and a 3.5 for Control. There’s also the falling blocks matching puzzle game Yoshi, which gets a 3.5 for Sound, a 4.5 for Control, and 4s for Graphics & Fun Factor.
Game Gear Coverage: We have a review of the game adaptation of Predator 2 (which was not my favorite Predator movie – I actually like Alien Vs. Predator more). They run into some problems with small sprites, slow player animations, and bad music, leading to 3s for Graphics, Sound, and Control, plus a 2.5 for Fun Factor.
Lynx Coverage: The Lynx is getting a port of the ultra classic game Joust. Anyway, the review is generally favorable, with the game getting a 3.5 for Graphics, 4s for Graphics & Control, and a 5 for Fun Factor.
Short ProShots: The games of note include Best of the Best (a kickboxing game), Valis IV for the SNES.
Hardware Helpers: The Game Genie is now available for the SNES, and there’s a new arcade stick for the SNES as well, along a bunch of other controllers.
GameBusters: This issue the game they’re covering is Super Star Wars, with advice for the Death Star run, as well as the ending cutscenes. Though if you don’t know how this game ends, then I’d reccomend you go re-watch the movie – you have seen the movie, haven’t you? Anyway, we also get a continuation of the Death Duel strategy guide.
ProNews: Sony and Nintendo are working togeather again on their new CD-ROM system. They’ll break it off again in 3… 2… 1… there it went. Meanwhile, Accoloade won it’s suit against Sega, preserving the right of 3rd party publishers to reverse engineer software that’s compatible for a particular piece of hardware. This opens things up, ultimately for unofficial 3rd party drivers for various hardware applications, particularly open-source drivers to make certain pieces of hardware (graphics cards, printers, etc.) compatible with Linux. Sega has teamed up with Archie Comics to start publication of a Sonic The Hedgehog Comic Book, a comic that is still in publication to this day, and a comic that I read a lot of when I was in Middle School, and I own every single issue of the Princess Sally miniseries. What? Anyway, a Super Mario Brothers movie is being made… from the director of The Killing Fields? I didn’t know who the director was before now, and now that I do know, I’m poleaxed. I’d heard amazing things about The Killing Fields, and I also haven’t heard about anything else from that director. Hopefully the movie didn’t kill his career.
Anyway, that wraps up the issue, and I should have another movie review up tomorrow, unless I put something else up instead.