Video games, Where I Read

Where I Read – Nintendo Power #38

On with the Nintendo Power recaps. We’re on to issue 38 for July of 1992. Our cover story for this issue is Street Fighter II for the SNES. I will not be doing a Quality Control for that game unless everything else stinks, because it’s Street Fighter, we all know it’s good. We’ve actually got some decent cover art this time, with Guile hitting a high kick. The letters for this issue are general slice-of-life stuff.

Panic Restaurant Guide

This is a bizarre little platformer for the NES, where you play a chef trying to beat up food and other cooking implements. It’s different, and I have to admit that most game designers wouldn’t take chances with such a surreal concept for a modern game – even in the independent scene. We get a map of every level in the game and the final boss fight.

Capcom’s Gold Medal Challenge Guide

This is another Olympic events game for the NES. We get information on each of the programs in the game. Some of the choices for the events in each program seem odd. For example, Program 1 has the 100 meter dash, the long jump, and then the 100 meter backstroke. That’s 2 track & field events and one swimming event. In between each program you take part in, you’ll also run a leg of the marathon. Anyway, we get advice for all the programs and all the events.

Might & Magic Guide

American Sammy has ported the PC role-playing game to the NES. We get maps of the first city and instructions on the first quest. I’m not going to make this my Quality Control pick, though if I did, I’d play the PC version of Might & Magic – since I’d purchased it from Good Old Games a while back and I still haven’t gotten around to beating it. I’d want to get the manual PDFs printed off first though, so they’re in a format I can reference more easily.

The Great Password Giveaway

We get password for a bunch of video games that have been covered previously.

Legend of Zelda Comic

After rescuing the fairy from monsters, the fairy leads Link to a Zora – one named Zora – Zora Exposition. Zora explains the state of the world to Link. Zora informs that several princess have been kidnapped, and one is held in a temple nearby. Zora also gives him a mask to use as a disguise. Link infiltrates the temple, beats the guards and rescues the princess. In the process the temple is destroyed. After he receives the “comm-fork” from the Princess, a rat faced man appears, demanding the Master Sword. To Be Continued.

Toxic Crusaders Guide

This is a platformer for the Game Boy based on the children’s animated series based on the the film The Toxic Avenger from Troma. I still cannot quite wrap my head around the idea of anything from Troma becoming something marketed for children. Anyway, we get some level maps of the first act and notes on the enemies in the game, as well as some general notes for later levels.

Jeep Jamboree Guide

This is a racing game from, basically, a first person perspective. I’m not to interested in this one, particularly because of the lack of peripheral vision.

Wave Race Guide

This is the predecessor to WaveRace 64 (or one of the predecessors). We get strategies for beating the various race types.

Centipede Guide

The most you can really get for a strategy guide for Centipede is advice for surviving levels – which is what we get here. However, you’re still stuck with a D-Pad instead of a track ball.

Super Mario Adventures Comic

Peach has come to the rescue. We get various cartoon slapstick antics as the Koopas and the Princess company clash. We even get an Ojo-sama laugh from Princess Peach. By the way, Princess Peach looks pretty good in overalls. I’m just saying. Anyway, this chapter ends with the bomb the Princess brought in going off while Mario & company are dropped down a trap door into the basement.

Technology Update

We get an run down of a bunch of new pieces of technology being used in upcoming SNES games. Of note is digitized images (to be used famously in Pit Fighter & Mortal Kombat, among other games). They show how the assets are made, using examples of the source images and the final results, from such games as Out of this World.

Magic Sword Guide

This is one of the games included in the Final Fight: Double Impact collection. It’s a fantasy brawler, with some platforming elements. I’ve played and beaten the arcade version in MAME, but I haven’t played the SNES version, but I can’t imagine it’s too different. We get items and power-up notes. We also get maps of the first 30 stages, going into the poster, as well as notes for the bosses on floors 36, 49, and 50.

Street Fighter II Guide

We get bios, move lists, and strategies for every fighter. Now, we don’t get combo notes, because, basically, combos were a piece of emergent game-play that came up as the arcade scene around Street Fighter II, and eventually the tournament scene was built up. We also get some advice for beating Vega, Balrog, and Sagat – but no information on M. Bison. They don’t even mention him at all. Sneaky.

NCAA Basketball Guide

Being that this is a sports game, what we get are general strategies for playing better, including notes on what plays to use when. We also get notes on the five conferences that are included in the game. Pac-10 and Big Sky aren’t included, so I’m gonna snub this game for Quality Control on general principle.

Nester’s Adventures

This issue, Nester tries to fly a Dragon in Dragonstrike. I really can’t see any hints here, nor can I see any connection to the Dragonlance universe.

Now Playing

This issue tweaks the format of the column a little – with clearer definition of when the review of one game ends and another begins. This also causes the column to lose some of its stream of consciousness feel. They think Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge is an excellent racing game and Might & Magic has too steep a learning curve. There’s a debate about Turbo functions on controllers are cheating in the review of Gold Medal Challenge ’92 (which also shows that the game is essentially a button mash fest). They think Panic Restaurant was fun, and they laud Knight Quest‘s inclusion of the ability to evade monsters if you’re weak. They find Jeep Jamboree a little frustrating, and Centipede was a good arcade port in their eyes. They also compare Wave Race favorably to R.C. Pro Am, and Toxic Crusaders to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They also applaud the inclusion of two-player co-op in Rival Turf, find Magic Sword a nearly arcade perfect port, bemoan the lack of strategy in Super Battletank, and they enjoyed Spanky’s Quest and Thunder Spirits for the SNES. Oh, and they loved NCAA Basketball and Street Fighter II.

Top 20

Mario still holds all the top spots this time, with Battletoads holding the #2 spot for the NES, Legend of Zelda holding the #2 spot for the SNES, and Metroid holds the #2 spot for the Game Boy.

Celebrity Player Profile

This issue we have a profile of Tori Spelling. Apparently there’s a lot of Mario being played during down-time on the set of Super Mario Bros. 3.

Pak Watch

We get a look at Super Mario Kart, Dinosaurs (a SNES platformer unrelated to Jim Henson sitcom), Super Star Wars, Super Double Dragon, Minor 2049er (a port of an old Atari 8-bit game for the Game Boy), Super Mario Land 2 for the Game Boy. In their import notes section they also mention the Dragonball Z RPG for the SNES which uses something of a card battle mechanic.

For my Quality Control pick for this issue, I’m going with something from the Now Playing column – Thunder Spirits for the SNES, a shump.


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