Our Nintendo Power recaps continue apace today with our recap of issue #23 for April of 1991. Our cover game this issue is Power Blade… and frankly I’m not too impressed by the art this time. I wonder if the brisk pace of the issues is making it more difficult for the artists to really bring the quality.
Letters: Operation Desert Shield is underway, and our Servicemen in Saudi Arabia love the Game Boy. We have a full page of letters from Servicemen who brought their Game Boy and are playing the crap out of it. I wonder how many Servicemen in Iraq now and in Afganistan brought their DSes and PSPs. Though, I suspect that you could probably bring more PSP games because of their size, but you could possibly lose them more easily for the same reason.
Power Blade Guide: The game is out, though the look has been re-worked to make the protagonist a bit more of a Ahnuld/Stallone Musclehead. We get a list of the moves and power-ups for the game, and we get maps of the all 7 sectors of the game. Scores: Graphics & Sound – 3.7, Play Control – 4, Challenge & Excitement – 4.2, Theme & Fun – 4.
Howard and Nester: This issue Howard & Nester are playing Deja Vu, with the hints being to watch out for Crocodiles in the sewer and for God’s sake don’t start up Siegel’s car!
Totally Rad Guide: Yep, it’s the 90’s. So, the premise of this game is you are California Dude Jake, who has been trained in sorcery, who has to stop an invasion of horrible monsters who want to destroy the earth. Something tells me that the plot got changed from the Japanese version to make it hip and edgy. (checks on-line). Yeah, the original Japanese version was a bit more generically shonen. Anyway, we get maps of all 5 stages plus strategies for the last boss. Scores: Graphics & Sound – 3.7, Play Control – 3.2, Challenge & Excitement – 3.6, Theme & Fun – 3.7.
Classified Information: We get stage select cheats for TMNT II & Adventure Island II. We also get an unlimited continues cheat for Silver Surfer, and we learn that in Metal Storm, if you wait long enough on the first boss (both times you fight him), he’ll blow himself up.
Sword Master Guide: Ooh, a new swords & sorcery game! We’ve got some cool art too. Okay, the sword’s not great, but it’s not horrible. I think I might pick this one. We get notes on the swordplay in the game as well as the spells. We also get level maps with notes on what enemies show up where, which is a nice touch. We get maps of all 7 levels, plus strategies for all the enemies. Scores: Graphics & Sound – 3.4, Play Control – 3.3, Challenge & Excitement – 2.9, Theme & Fun – 3.1.
Feature – British Developers: Our featured developers we get to see are Rare, Software Creators, Ocean, and Elite. Rare has become almost a household name amongst gamers. Software Creations isn’t quite as big (and isn’t putting out much, that I recall), Ocean does a lot of PC ports and licenced games (including the upcoming Darkman and Untouchables licenced games), and Elite Systems – well, they don’t go as in depth on them, because Elite just sends them the boilerplate press release. You’d think – considering this is about the time where Game Development studios started getting some weight behind them amongst gamers, they’d want to take advantage of that. Lord knows Rare and Maxis did, among other studios.
S.C.A.T. (Special Cybernetic Attack Team) Guide: This is a jetpack shump, with you playing as either Arnold or Sigorney (who, by the way, do look a lot like Ahnuld and Sigorney Weaver). We get maps for levels 1 through 5. Scores: Graphics & Sound – 3.6, Play Control – 4.1, Challenge & Excitement – 3.4, Theme & Fun – 3.1.
Game Boy Coverage: We get notes on Sword of Hope from Kemco (a wizardry style First Person RPG), Ultima: Runes of Virtue, one of the Ultima console ports that Richard Garriott was personally involved in and (from my previous E-Mail with Richard), his favorite FCI Ultima game. We also have a mini-guide for the Game Boy version of R-Type, which isn’t to dissimilar to standard R-Type. We have notes on Mickey’s Dangerous Chase, a platformer, and WWF Superstars. Oh, and there’s Pac-Man, and Caesar’s Palace a casino game.
Monopoly Guide: Not much to say about this one. It’s monopoly, it’s a decent game, and I played the crap out of it when I was a kid. As a general rule of thumb, the strategies that work for the board game work well for the video game and vice versa. Scores: Graphics & Sound – 3.5, Play Control – 3.3, Challenge & Excitement, 3.5, Theme & Fun – 4.
Councelor’s Corner: We have questions on The Immortal, Destiny of an Emperor, and notes on navigating the space ship in StarTropics.
- Super Mario Bros. 3 (8,020 pts.) – No Change (10 Issues)
- Mega Man III (7,112 pts.) – Up 2 (4 issues)
- TMNT II: Arcade (5,481 pts.) – Up 8 (4 issues)
- Final Fantasy (4,984 pts.) – Down 2 (5 issues)
- Dr. Mario (3,731 pts.) – Up 1 (3 issues)
- Dragon Warrior II (3,462 pts.) – Up 2 (4 issues)
- Crystalis (3,335 pts.) – Down 4 (3 issues)
- Legend of Zelda (3,332 pts.) – Down 1 (19 issues)
- Tetris (3,004 pts.) – Up 3 (9 issues)
- NES Play Action Football (2,956 pts.) – Down 1 (9 issues)
- Mega Man II (2,761 pts.) – Down 6 (15 issues)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2,440 pts.) – Up 2 (14 issues)
- Destiny of an Emperor (2,266 pts.) – No Change (4 issues)
- The Immortal (2,166 pts.) – New!
- Castlevania III (2,106 pts.) – Down 5 (4 issues)
- Wheel of Fortune: Family Edition (1,588 pts.) – Up 3 (2 issues)
- Maniac Mansion (1,544 pts.) – No Change (3 issues)
- Punch-Out!! (1,540 pts.) – Up 2 (4 issues)
- StarTropics (1,426 pts.) – New!
- Zelda II (1,324 pts.) – Down 2 (17 issues)
- Ultima: Quest of the Avatar (1,208 pts.) – New!
- Jeopardy: 25th Anniversary Ed. (1,169 pts.) – New!
- Battle of Olympus (1,150 pts.) – Returning (6 issues)
- Skate or Die II (936 pts.) – New!
- Metroid (935 pts.) – Returning (15 issues)
- Wizardry (920 pts.) – New!
- Rescue Rangers (917 pts.) – No Change (3 issues)
- One-On-One: Jordan vs. Bird (863 pts.) – New!
- Solstice (863 pts.) – No Change (3 issues)
- Baseball Stars (792 pts.) – Returning (5 issues)
Absent Items: Super Mario Bros. 2 (17 issues), Tecmo Bowl (13 issues), Rad Racer (5 issues), Mega Man (15 issues), Shadowgate (6 issues), Wrestlemania (3 issues), Bases Loaded II (6 issues), Super Off-Road (1 issue).
Now Playing: Of note this issue is Double Dragon III, Bart vs. The Space Mutants, and The Uninvited (another Shadowgate style adventure game).
Pak Watch: Of note here is Vice: Project Doom, which I previously reviewed, more on Battletoads, and we also get a look at The Lone Ranger. There’s also Bill Elliot’s NASCAR Challenge, F-15 Strike Eagle, and Ultimate Air Combat.
Celebrity Profile: This issue it’s Jeremy Miller, then of Growing Pains, and who has finally gotten back into acting after a 7 year break after 1993.
Howard’s Letter: Howard & Nester has gotten a new look, with a new artist – Art Nichols.
So, as for my Quality Control pick – I’m going to give Sword Master a try.