Where I Read – Electronic Gaming Monthly #64
This week’s issue of EGM, #64 for November of 1994, is a doozy – 398 pages (including the cover), just short of 400 pages. We’ve also got one heck of a cover story, the 32X version of Doom. Now, due to the length of this issue, I may end up skipping a few games if they’re games that just don’t interest me. In particular, I’m going to skip the sports section entirely, and for the system specific coverage I’m going to skip games that were reviewed earlier in the issue (and possibly games that don’t interest me).
Editorial: Since this is, basically, the second-to-last issue of 1994, it’s time once again to speculate at where the video game industry is going, particularly considering that the game industry going to enter the 32 bit era soon.
Letters: We get a letter asking if we’ll get the Street Fighter II anime (yes, we will, thanks to Manga Video – which is still fortunately in business, though I don’t know if they have the rights). We also get a call to start a letter writing campaign to get Bandai to bring some of the DBZ games to the United states (particularly since DBZ is gaining popularity in the US now). We also have complaints about the “64-bit” era bringing the 16-bit era to an end too soon. We also get a giant letter applauding the Crew for speaking the truth about the (thus far) eternal string of SF2 games and telling Capcom to, in the writer’s words, “eat excrement and expire.” We also a letter bemoaning the lack of support for the Atari Jaguar.
Review Crew: The crew still is Ed Semrad, Danyon Carpenter, Al Manual, and Sushi-X.
- Donkey Kong Country (Nintendo, SNES): This game impresses the hell out of Ed, who gives the game a 10. The rest of the crew gives the game 9s, and they find it spectacular, due to both excellent graphics and (in their opinion) control. Overall: The game gets 37/40 recieves the Editor’s Choice Platinum award and is Game of the Month.
- The Lion King (Virgin, SNES): Ed, Danyon, and Sushi give the game 8s, and Al gives it a 7, finding that the game ties in well with the plot of the movie, along with looking good and controlling well. However, Ed and Al had complaints about cheap hits in the game (with Ed specifically mentioning that some areas of the game require you to get hit to progress). Overall: 31/40.
- Shaq-Fu (EA, SNES): This is a fighting game/brawler featuring a certain successful basketball player. In general, the scores are middle of the road, with Ed giving the game a 6, Danyon and Al giving the game 5s, and Sushi giving the game a 4. However, the actual opinions on the game are a little more mixed. Ed, Al, and Sushi are wondering why this was made as a fighting game in the first place, while Danyon is a little more forgiving of the bizarre premise, though he still finds it very mediochre. Overall: 20/40.
- Pac-Man (Namco, SNES): It’s an adventure game featuring Pac-Man, instead of another maze game. That said, the crew finds it a solid transition, though some of the members of the crew feel it may be difficult for people to adjust to the new setup. Ed gives it an 8, Al, Sushi, and Danyon give the game 7s. Overall: 29/40.
- Boogerman (Interplay, Genesis): A gross-out platformer attempting to capitalize on the success of Earthworm Jim. The game gets 8s from Ed and Danyon as they find it a good solid platformer. Al and Sushi on the other hand gave the game 5s, finding it generic with the sole exception of the gross-out humor, which they weren’t too fond of. Overall: 26/40.
- Virtual Bart (Acclaim, Genesis): Another year, another Simpsons licenced game, and while Ed likes it and gives the game an 8, everyone else finds it very generic and mediochre (and with bad control), with Danyon giving it a 5, and Al and Sushi giving the game 4s. Overall: 21/40.
- Animaniacs (Konami, Genesis): An action/puzzle/platformer featuring the Warner Brothers and the Warner Sister. Danyon gives the game an 8 and the rest of the crew gives it 7s, finding it a solid licenced puzzle-action-platformer, much like Rabbit Rampage. Overall: 29/40.
- Mickey Mania (Sony Imagesoft, Sega CD): An new Mickey Mouse Action Platformer. The crew is very impressed with this one, with Ed giving it an 9 and Danyon and Sushi giving it 8s, as they find it superior to the cartridge version, and finding it an excellent reflection of the history of Mickey Mouse. Al gives it a 7, finding it only superior to the cartridge version only in terms of sound. Overall: 32/40, and it recieves the Editor’s Choice Gold Award.
- King of Fighters ’94 (SNK, Neo-Geo): Ed and Danyon give the game 9s, and Al and Sushi give the game 8s, with the main complaints being that you can’t fight outside of team mode, and some of the teams are unbalanced (I agree – though Team USA is considerably more unbalanced than the Ikari Warriors Team). Overall: 34/40 and it recieves the Editor’s Choice Gold Award.
- Burning Soldier (Panesonic, 3DO): Another FMV Action game, which kind of gets a mixed reaction. Ed isn’t too fond of FMV action games, but he likes this one enough to give it a 7 and to reccomend it as a “buy”. Al also gives it a 7. Danyon and Al give it 6s, finding it not too intense, but still fun. Overall: 26/40.
- Alien Vs. Predator (Atari, Jaguar): The Jaguar gets the first Alien Vs. Predator licenced shooter. Unfortunately the only member of the crew who likes it is Danyon, who gives it a 7. The rest of the crew gives it mediochre scores, due to cheap hits, a lack of a jump button, and rather odd complaints like the Alien leaving bodies lying around. Ed gives it a 6, and Al and Sushi give the game 5s. Overall: 23/40.
- Burn Cycle (Phillips, CD-I): A cyberpunk RPG. Ed and Danyon love it and give it 9s, with Danyon considering it a system-seller. Sushi gives it an 8, lauding the game’s story. Al isn’t so impressed, giving it a 6, finding the pacing too slow. Overall: 33/40 and it recieves the Editor’s Choice Gold Award.
- Sonic Triple Trouble (Sega, Game Gear): A collection of (sort of), the highlights of the Sonic series. Ed, Danyon, and Sushi give the game 7s, and Al gives it a 6, with the only complaints being that the game is essentially same-old-same-old. Overall: 27/40.
Gaming Gossip: Among the Q-Mann’s rumors this issue are a possible release for Mortal Kombat III for the Playstation when it comes out. There are rumors that Dracula X will come out for the Playstation, 32X, and SNES (not so much – though the Playstation does get Castlevania: Symphony of the Night). Oh, and Nintendo has bought Hasbro’s VR tech and is planning on using it as a new console this upcoming year. I presume that this will become the Virtual Boy, and will be the failure that destroys the once-prosperous career of Gunpei Yokoi.
Press Start: We’re starting off with a look at the Sonic & Knuckles add-on cart. EA also has a bat peripheral for home console systems, and apparently the saga of Data East vs. Capcom isn’t quite over yet. Capcom’s also working on an a Mega Man animated series which I watched as a kid and loved. I really should give it another watch to see how it holds up in hind-sight.
Arcade Action: Banpresto has a new Gundam fighting game with Gundam EX Revue. Sega has the tank simulator Desert Tank. Capcom has Super Saturday Night Slam Masters which is more of a traditional fighting game (unfortunately). Virtua Fighter 2 is also appearing in arcades.
International Outlook: Bandai has a G Gundam fighting game (no surprise). There’s also a Mobile Suit Gundam puzzle action game. Enix has Dragon Quest VI, which is finally due to get a US release for the Nintendo DS. Technos has a pair of fighting games set to come out for the Neo-Geo, one adapated from the Double Dragon series, and one off a new IP titled Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer. Banpresto has the mega-crossover shump The Great Battle IV. Myst is set to make its console debut on the Sega Saturn. There’s a Lupin III puzzle action game for the SNES, as well as a 3rd version of Super Tetris. We also get our first look at Ridge Racer and Battle Arena Toshinden.
We also get a little ad for the US release for Snatcher for the Sega CD. I’m still hoping that we’ll get a much belated release of Policenauts, and maybe even a re-release of Snatcher for those who don’t currently have a Sega CD.
Next Wave: We get a look at the Sega CD version of Samurai Shodown, and Rayman for the Jaguar.
Features: First up is a look at some of the new levels we’ll get in Sonic & Knuckles, as well as a look at Knuckles in Sonic 2 with the add on module. There’s also a preview of the anthropormorphic fighting game Brutal for the Genesis, Sega CD, and SNES. We also get part 2 of their multi-part feature they started in EGM^2 about the making of Mickey Mania. We also get looks at some of the titles from The European Consumer Technology Show, JAMMA (Japanese Amusement Machinery Manufacturers Association) and AMOA (Arcade Machine Operators of America) shows. We also get a big look at the 32X, including our look at the 32X version of Doom, along with Star Wars Arcade (which most of the readers of this know by a later version – Star Wars Trilogy Arcade). There’s also Virtua Racing, Cosmic Carnage, and the mecha action game Metalhead.
SNES Coverage: The first of the new titles we get a good look at this issue is Clayfighter 2: Judgement Clay. That title is groanworthy enough that I’d pass on the game even before seeing review scores. Anyway, there’s a Yogi Bear licenced platformer, which doesn’t have any continues or passwords (ugh), and a Looney Toons themed Mario-Paint style software package. There’s also the SNES version of Interplay’s Starfleet Academy, which also includes missions that weren’t in the PC version, such as missions based on various Star Trek films (like Star Trek II) and episodes (like Balance of Terror). Ocean has an Addams Family Values RPG, which gives me unpleasent reminders of Fester’s Quest. US Gold has an Incredible Hulk brawler that doesn’t look so hot. Viacom’s also got an Nick Guts licenced game, which looks interesting, particularly considering that I loved that show when I was a kid too. We also get a look at Clay Fighter Tournament Edition and Final Fight Guy which are remakes of their particular games which recieve rental only releases, with the former getting a tournament mode and the latter having Cody removed and replaced with Guy.
Genesis/Sega CD Coverage: We get more of a look at Ecco The Dolphin: The Tides of Time. There’s also Zero the Kamakaze Squirrel which looks rather bad. Fox Interactive has a game base of its Pagemaster animated movie. Time Warner has an very interesting Sci-Fi platformer in Generations Lost. Sega also has the FMV action game Masked Rider, which features a certain Tokusatsu hero (hint, “Kamen” is Japanese for mask… figured it out yet – fine, it’s Kamen Rider). Sega also has the shump Android Assault. There’s also a look at Lethal Enforcers II, and an in-depth preview of Stalker. There’s also a preview of the Sega CD version of Starblade by Namco.
Neo-Geo Coverage: Nothing here outside of stuff covered in the reviews.
3DO Coverage: We get a preview of Mad Dog McCree II. Other than that, not much of note.
CD-I Coverage: Nothing of note for the CD-I.
Game Boy Coverage: We get a look at the portable version of Contra: The Alien Wars.
Game Gear Coverage: We get a look at the portable port (ahem) of The Lion King, and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
Lifestyles: We have a series of artbooks for the Star Wars trilogy, including some of Ralph McQuarrie’s concept art. Unfortnately, these artbooks are out of print. We also have rumors of an second Jurassic Park movie coming out, as well as the impending start of the Age of Apocalypse Arc, which I remember reading some of when I was a kid, but I didn’t read all of the series. Meanwhile, in the DC Universe, Knightsfall and Knightsquest have come to an end, and Knightsend is starting, with Bruce Wayne finally returning as the Bat – where he’d stay (with a small hiatus) until Final Crisis. Also, Disney is starting off their darkest animated series, Gargoyles – which was one of their best animated series until they brought it to an end.
That wraps my EGM Recap. Tommorow I’ll continue my Nintendo Power Recaps. However, I’m stopping my GamePro Recaps as I’m starting a new job.