Okay, our EGM recaps continue with issue number 61 for August of 1994. Our cover story is Super Return of the Jedi, and this issue weighs in at 181 pages in length. Well, then, let’s get started.
Editorial: Our Editorial this issue is from Ed Semrad, and covers the latest incarnation of Street Fighter II. The general consensus is that in the EGM offices the thrill is gone out of the relationship with Street Fighter II. Nobody’s playing it in the EGM offices anymore. To be fair, there aren’t particularly any new characters in the game, the stages are pretty much the same, and the moves are pretty much the same. All in all, they don’t think it’s worth the $70-80 it would cost (in 1994 dollars) to get this game new, and for future reviews, they will be taking into account re-releases of the same content with a fresh coat of paint – like with the Street Fighter II re-releases.
Letters: Once again, in the letters column, we have the question being asked that is on the hearts and minds of gamers across the country – “Which console is better?” Of course, if they give a straight answer to that question, they’ll then get the response of “You’re biased towards that console!” so they don’t give a straight answer. We also get questions about promoting your Fanzine (contact other Fanzines or use their Fanzine central column in EGM^2). Speaking of which – we then get complaints about their review scores. We also get questions about the blood in Mortal Kombat II for the SNES (yes, there will be blood – because Sega’s rating system has won, and Nintendo is going along with it for fear of government intervention). We also get complaints about Nintendo censoring their games, and some jingoistic “Made in the USA” crap about Jaguar games.
Review Crew: Ed, Danyon, Al, and Sushi are still on the crew. Mike Wiegand is still doing sidebar reviews but I’m not getting into those because we don’t have the same amount of information behind the reviews.
- Donkey Kong (Nintendo, Game Boy): This is just a port of the original Donkey Kong arcade game. Ed gives it a 9, finding it a solid port, though it really shines on the Super Game Boy, and the rest of the crew gives it 8s for similar reasons. Overall: 33/40 and it gets the Editor’s Choice Gold Award.
- Super Street Fighter II (Capcom, SNES): Sushi gives the game an 8, finding it the best fighting game out to date, but he’s really looking for something new. Danyon and Al give the game 7s, also finding it fun, but really wanting a more significant change – you know, like Street Fighter III. Ed’s Street Fightered-out (as you saw from the editorial) and gives it a 6. Overall: 28/40.
- Super Godzilla (Toho, SNES): Ed and Sushi give this game 7s, as they’re fans of the movies, though they find the games slow and lumbering (like certain rubber monsters). Danyon and Al give the game 5s for its pacing (but, from the sounds of things they’re not fans of the movies either). Overall: 24/40.
- Battletech (Extreme, Genesis): Rather than taking a 1st-person action take like with the Mechwarrior games, this one has more of a 3rd-person action take like the Desert/Jungle/Urban Strike games. Ed gives the game a 9, finding it a good adaptation of the miniatures game to consoles (though he doesn’t like that you don’t get to choose your Mech), while Danyon and Sushi give it 7s, and find it fun (though not for everyone). Al, on the other hand, gave it a 6, finding it dull, boring, and tedious. Overall: 29/40.
- Brutal (GameTek, Sega CD): Ed gives this furry fighting game an 8, as he enjoyed the game’s story and graphics, but not so much the gameplay. Danyon, Al, and Sushi aren’t as forgiving, with Danyon and Sushi giving it 6s, and Al gives it a 5, as they don’t find that the story carries the game that well. Overall: 25/40.
- Top Hunter (SNK, Neo-Geo): This game, from the one one screen shot, looks a lot like Metal Slug to me. Ed and Sushi give the game 8s, as they really like the graphics, sound and control in the game. Al and Danyon give it 6s though, as they don’t feel that the amount of time and skill it takes to beat the game makes it worth a purchase. Overall: 28/40.
- Shock Wave (Electronic Arts, 3DO): This is a sci-fi shooter. Ed and Danyon give it an 9 and 8, resepectively, finding it a solid shooter, while Al and Sushi give it 7s due to the very sensative controls. Overall: 31/40.
- Microcosm (Psygnosis, 3DO): This game gets panned heavily, getting 4s across the board for a boring plot and boring graphics. Overall: 16/40.
- Dragon’s Lair (Phillips, CD-I): The general consensus that this is the best prot of Dragon’s Lair on the market at this time. The game gets 8s from Ed and Danyon, and 7s from Al & Sushi. Overall: 30/40.
- Sonic Spinball (Sega, Game Gear): The crew does not find this to be a good port in the slightest. Danyon gives it a 5, everyone else gives it 4s. Overall: 17/40.
- CES is transitioning to a more big-content focused setup. Hit! Sort of. Anymore, the game coverage at CES is minimal, having been supplanted by E3, with more gadgets taking over.
- StarFox 2 is coming out next year! Miss No, it doesn’t. The game is canceled in favor of Starfox 64.
The verdict – Not a lot of rumors this time, with instead a lot more announcement parroting, or observations (such as Atari’s game demos being very, very buggy) – 1 out of 2.
Press Start: We have more info on the Sega Saturn, including it’s upcoming games, and a 6-button arcade stick for the system, and games based on the anime series Blue Seed and Magic Knight Rayearth. We also get more tech demos of the Playstation, and some of the upcoming games for the Sega 32X, including Star Wars Arcade. We also have a look at the Neo-Geo CD-Rom unit.
Arcade Action Atari’s got Primal Rage, Sega’s Virtua Cop, and Data East has Joe & Mac Returns.
International Outlook: Of note this issue is Spacenauts (which is later re-titled Policenauts), which is Hideo Kojima’s latest game – which unfortunately doesn’t get a US release. There’s also Ristar (which does), Super Parodious, The Firemen (which does to The Towering Inferno what SOS did for The Posideon Adventure). There’s also a Yu Yu Hakusho fighting game. There’s also an in-depth preview of Feda: The Emblem of Justice, which I believe is a Fire Emblem game. Unfortunately, the preview is missing a chunk because the other side of the page had a mailer for something, which a previous owner of this magazine cut out. Bugger.
Feature – Super Return of the Jedi: We get screen shots of many of the stages in the game.
Feature – Donkey Kong Country: We also get some screen shots of Rare’s first game to be published by Nintendo, instead of Tradewest.
Team EGM: Apparently this is a sports game focused insert – and apparently there was one last issue but I didn’t have it in my copy. We get discussion of various upcoming games, but nothing more in-depth than a paragraph about most of them. We do get some more in-depth stuff on Stunt Race FX from Nintendo, Tecmo Super Baseball, Troy Aikman Football from Williams for the SNES, as well as a port of Rock & Roll Racing for the Genesis. Sega has the collegate spinoff of Joe Montana Football titled College Sports National Championship (I take it they couldn’t get the rights to use the BCS trademark). The Jaguar also has Redline Racing and Brutal Sports Football. The Game Gear has World Series Baseball.
SNES Coverage: Moving away from the sports games, we have a preview of Blizzard’s new action game Blackthorne, a Sci-Fi fantasy game with a very 90s badass hero, which they found easy to get lost in. There’s also another Ren & Stimpy Show game which is apparently new enough that they didn’t want to pass judgement. We also have the first version of Starfleet Academy for consoles – and while they liked being able to command a starship, the game’s got a way to go – when you’re controlling Romulan and Klingon ships, you can’t cloak – and the AI needs work. We’ve also got more screen shots of Super Godzilla. We have a look at Enix’s new RPG Brain Lord.
Genesis Coverage: We have a look at Dynamite Heady from Treasure, which they like. There’s Escape from Mars, featuring the Tazmanian Devil, which apparently has some difficulty problems with the level 2 boss. There’s also Boogerman from Interplay, taking it’s influence from the mid-90s gross-out cartoon characters, instead of the edgy mascot video game characters like Sonic.
Sega CD Coverage: We now have an behind-the-back shump in Soul Star from Core Design.
Neo-Geo Coverage: We have more screen shots of Top Hunter – and it definitely looks like a precursor of Metal Slug but without the military theme, and with more attack variety, and less gore.
3DO Coverage: We have a preview of Microcosm from Psygnosis, which is basically a shooter based on Innerspace.
CD-I Coverage: The CD-I is finally getting a port of Dragon’s Lair.
Game Boy Coverage: We have a preview of Mega Man V, which they react to favorably.
Game Gear Coverage: Dynamite Heady is also getting a Game Gear version, and we’re getting a Shining Force gaiden game as well, titled Shining Force 2: The Sword of Haija (though the person writing the preview isn’t too fond of the game’s Super Deformed character designs).
Fall 1994 Preview + CES Coverage: We get a list of 100 titles that are set to come out in Fall of 1994. I’m not going to give the whole list, as we’ll get to them in time. We do, though, get our first look at Rare’s fighting game Killer Instinct, and Cruisin’ USA for the Project Reality/N64.
Lifestyles: The Toranto Raptors have a dinosaur for their logo! Apparently that’s a big deal in 1994. Simon & Schuster Interactive has the interactive CD-ROM Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual – I own the first edition of the print version, which is very well worn, as I read the crap out of it and Mr. Scott’s Guide to the Enterprise when I was a kid. We get a discussion about the lack of recent comic movies (wait until the 21st century – it’s worth it), as well as a look at Ahnuld’s (then) upcoming action film “True Lies”.
Alright, tomorrow I’ll have another Nintendo Power issue – the first issue of NP without Howard Phillips. How will the magazine fare without him? Will Nester be able to cope on his own. Find out tomorrow!