Video games, Where I Read

Where I Read – Nintendo Power #40

We continue on with the Nintendo Power recaps with issue #40, for September of 1992. The cover game for this issue is Felix the Cat for the NES. I find it interesting that so soon after the launch of the SNES, we still haven’t gotten many SNES games on the cover of the magazine. Most of our letters this issue are about where you’d like to take your Game Boy.

Felix the Cat Guide

We also get complete maps of the first 3 stages, as well as power-up notes and notes on stages 4 through 6.

Prince of Persia Guide

Jordan Mechner’s classic acrobatic game has come out on the NES. For those unfamiliar with the game, are the unnamed prince. You have one hour to rescue the Princess from the evil grand Vizier before he either forces her to marry him or kills her. We get maps of levels 4 through 14 and the end of the game.

Little Samson Guide

This is a fantasy platformer from Taito. We get detailed maps of the first 6 stages, as well as notes on stages 7 and 8.

A page from the Legend of Zelda comic.

They're watching you

Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past Comic

Link frees the princess at the water palace, and soon afterwards hears Zelda crying out to him from across a desert. He travels across it and finds a swamp, but is caught by a hag who tries to feed him to a creature made up of hundreds of eyes (which is probably pretty disturbing to kids).

The Jetsons: Robot Panic Guide

This Game Boy game has a series of mostly unrelated levels where for each level you control a member of the Jetsons family. I have a hunch that this game had a first life as something else entirely, and then had the Jetsons franchise plastered on top of it. We get maps for levels 1 through 3, as well as notes on levels 4 through 6 (which are all in the Cogswell factory.

Dr. Franken Guide

As a reminder – Dr. Frankenstein and his monster weren’t the same thing. This Game Boy game ignores that in favor of this exploration-based platformer, where you play as the monster, Dr. Frankenstein, attempting to find all the pieces of himself. Yeah. We get maps of the first 6 floors of Frankenstein’s castle, plus some notes on the 7th floor.

Kingdom Crusade Guide

This is an odd little action-strategy game, that looks like a mix of Tactics Ogre and Legend of Zelda. You move units on a map grid like the Tactics Ogre series (and Final Fantasy Tactics) – but the map grid is really an overworld. When you reach your destination square, you get a Legend of Zelda style sequence. There’s also a guide for a barbie game after this, but I’m ignoring that, because there has never been a good Barbie video game.

Super Mario Adventures Comic

Mario and Luigi find a mysterious house in the woods, that looks abandoned and very spooky. Naturally, they investigate. The house is, of course, haunted by Boos and is a cunning trap by Bowser. I still love the Boo’s reactions when they’re looked at, though they could be considered as prototypically Moe.

Nester’s Adventures

The game this time is Wings II, and again there are no hints to be had here.

Dino City Guide

Basically, the premise of this platformer is based around the concept of the portions of Super Mario World where you rode Yoshi. We get maps of Acts 1 through 4, continuing onto the back of the issue’s poster.

Soul Blazer Guide

This is an action RPG game (ala Zelda) from Enix. We have maps of the first few areas in the game. We get strategies for the bosses of those areas, as well as notes on some of the items and weapons.

Parker Brothers Games Guide

Monopoly and Clue have gotten ports to the SNES, and they get semi-strategy guides.

Super Bowling Guide

We have notes on the different game types in the game, as well as some useful strategies. Yes, there are some strategies to video game bowling, as you have a little more control over the balls.

Now Playing

George and Rob consider Adventure Island 3 to be more of the same. Danny Sullivan’s Indy Heat, which is like Super Off-Road except paved. They like Little Sampson. Tecmo Cup is actually an RPG take on soccer, which rubs them the wrong way – but which I think might work better on a portable system (and apparently the success of Inazuma Eleven proves this to be the case). They like the port of Dig Dug to the Game Boy. The second Spy vs. Spy game has also been ported to the Game Boy as a System Link game. I’m not sure what to think about that. Part of the fun with the Spy vs. Spy games has always been a certain degree of schadenfreude – planting a trap, and seeing your opponent trigger it, because of the split screen.

They like Dino City, and were split on Monopoly. They also say that Soul Blazer is a slow burn. Another shump makes the list of also-rans today, with Strike Gunner – and George and Rob are running into shump burnout.

Top 20

This month Mario only retains the top spot on the NES. Legend of Zelda holds the top spot on the SNES, and Metroid II holds the top spot on the Game Boy.

Celebrity Player Profile

We’re taking a step away from people who actively play video games this time, in favor of more recognizable people. The subject of the profile is Tim Allen, who apparently doesn’t play video games at all. As far as what Tim Allen’s up to, Toy Story 3 is coming out later this year.

Pak Watch

This issue, the games on their way to players (of note) include Super Star Wars, Bart’s Nightmare, Wing Commander, Dragon Warrior IV, and in Japan Ogre battle is getting released.

My Quality Control pick for this issue is Soul Blazer. I liked Willow, which tried to be a Legend-of-Zelda-alike in the 8-bit generation, it’s time to take a look at the 16-bit take.