Video games, Where I Read

Where I Read – Nintendo Power #35

We’re moving on to Nintendo Power issue #35 for April of 1992. Our cover story is WWF Super Wrestlemania, and for those not keeping track, Hulkamania is still running wild in the WWF, and will continue to do so for at least another year or so, before jumping ship to WCW. Our letters column asks, “What would you do for an SNES?” There responses err on the side of the insanely absurd.

Captain America & The Avengers Guide

So, Iron Man & The Vision have been kidnapped by the Red Skull, and only Hawkeye and Cap can save them. The game is kind of non-linear and has a sort of EXP system. In levels you can collect power stones that you can use to power up your character. You can also go back to the same area over and over again to collect more power stones. Thus you can grind for EXP. Anyway, we get maps of the Tampa level which almost looks more like the Everglades, except for the whole “waterfall” thing in each stage–which anyone who’s seen Florida knows is out-of-place, due to the fact that Florida’s competing with Kansas for the title of Flattest State. Next is Miami (a more urban environment), the District of Colombia (an entirely indoor stage), Montgomery AL (also all indoors), Mississippi (a swamp stage that’s almost identical to the Tampa stage), New Orleans (an urban stage that’s almost identical to the Miami stage), Charlston, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Philiadelphia & New York. Of all those stages, the only ones that aren’t a variation of a stage that came before it are Philadelphia (a building under construction) and New York which has the New York skyline in the background).

T&C II: Thrilla’s Safari Guide

A surf company is making a skateboarding game. Yeah, it makes no sense to me. Anyway, we get a map of the first level, as well as the first chunk of the 2nd level of the game. We also get notes for levels 3, 4, and 5.

Yoshi Guide

This is a falling blocks puzzle game. The idea is that you trap monsters together between the top and bottom halves of Yoshi’s egg. When the halves line up, then all the monsters in between are eliminated, and the more monsters in between, the more points you get. However, if the blocks reach the top of the screen, you lose. Standard risk management stuff.

Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past Comic

Link defeats the monster from last issue and ends up learning about the Dark World. I really like this comic, and if they put out a trade paperback or other collected volume of the comic, I’d pick it up. Anyway, now he finally gets the Master Sword.

Star Trek Guide

So, Starfleet built a special weapon to defeat the Doomsday Machine (even though it was defeated the first time the super-weapon appeared). However, the Klingons captured it and dismantled it, taking the pieces to different parts of the Empire so (sigh) the Enterprise must retrieve the chunks. The game has horizontal shump stages, while you’re traveling to whatever planet you need to get to to get the chunk of McGuffin, then top-down adventure/action stages when you’re looking for the chunks on the planet’s surface. I’m not impressed with this and I’m passing.

Comparison – Turn & Burn and Top Gun

This is basically a compare & contrast for two Game Boy combat flight sims.

Ultra Golf Guide

The Game Boy has gotten a golf game, and it’s even got a battery backup, so you don’t have to beat 18 holes in one commute.

Boggle Deluxe & Missile Command Guides

One puzzle game and one arcade port get brief, one-page strategy guides.

Super Mario Adventures Comic

Princess Peach attempts to escape the Koopa Kids, while Mario and Luigi look on, helpless.

Technology Update – The Super NES CD-ROM

This is quite possibly the biggest article about a piece of (ultimately) vaporware, I’ve ever seen.

The Addams Family Guide

A new Addams Family movie means a new Addams Family video game. We get information about where to start in the hub area, and what overall paths to take, since the game is kind of non-linear. We get specific paths for rescuing Granny, Morticia, Pugsley, and Wednesday.

Super Wrestlemania Guide

We’ve got our first 16-bit wrestling game. We get the match types (singles, Tag Team, and the Survivor Series), as well as strategies for each wrestler in the game, provided by the actual wrestlers… which means they’re highly questionable.

Super Smash TV Guide

Big Money, Big Prizes! Basically, they’ve adapted the twin-stick controls to the D-Pad & face buttons.  We get notes for the first 3 levels in the game.

Nester’s Adventures

Probably for the first time in the series history, they’re giving advice for a game that’s already in this issue. In this case, they’re pointing out the shortcut in the Kitchen in The Addams Family.

Now Playing

First up for review this issue is Pool of Radiance. This is one of the first PC RPGs I ever played, after Gateway to Aphasi. However, the didn’t get very far in it, and what they saw didn’t impress them. That said, I got a little further, so I was a little more impressed, particularly with actual plot points involving NPCs, such as the treason of Cadorna on the city council of Phlan. They liked the Captain America game, as well as Koei’s fantasy strategy game Gemfire. What they’re not impressed with, though, is the NES and Game Boy adaptations of the film Hook. They also like the racing game Race America which has semi-realistic gear shifting… I wouldn’t call that a feature that I’d put on the box. They’re kind of ambivalent about the Toxic Crusaders game. They thought the Wacky Races game had some character to it, and the Missile Command port was pretty decent. They thought the port of Smash TV was solid, though they were split on Addams Family, and didn’t like Prophecy: The Viking Child at all.

Top 20

For the Top 20 this week, Mario holds the top spot on the NES and SNES, but Samus Aran has finally gotten the top spot on the Game Boy.

Celebrity Player Profile

Now we have a player profile for someone who is fairly A-List… okay, B-List… well, he’s in a movie instead of a blink-and-you-miss-it sitcom. Specifically, it’s Eddie Furlong, who plays Young John Connor in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. He’s apparently been a video gamer for quite some time, and his career when this article came out was picking up, with an upcoming role in a Jeff Bridges film. He later went on to be in American History X, and has done various other film roles since then, and is still active–he’s apparently going to be in the upcoming Green Hornet film as Tupper (whoever that is).

Pak Watch

First up is a biggie, Street Fighter II. That’ll sell some arcade sticks. Konami has TMNT IV: Turtles in Time, Kemco has Top Gear, American Sammy is working on a port of Might & Magic, Ocean has Robocop 3, and Sunsoft is porting Batman: Return to the Joker to the Game Boy.

For my Quality Control pick for this issue, I’m going to pick Thrilla’s Safari. It looks like a fun little twist on the downhill racing genre.


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