Where I Read – Electronic Gaming Monthly #41
This week we’re going back to fill another gap in my archive. Specifically, issue 41 for December of 1992. Our cover story for this issue is Road Rash 2 from EA. For those unfamiliar with the series, Road Rash is a motorcycle combat racing game series. Our editorial column from this issue is from Ed Semrad, hyping the changes to EGM. Basically, the magazine is now bigger and better. No information about whether it’s more badass.
In the letters column we get several letters about whether or not there is a boss code for standard Street Fighter II. Capcom says there isn’t, but Capcom also says that there isn’t a character vs. same color character code either, and they’re running that code this issue. That said, I don’t see why you’d want to both be playing characters of the same color, because then it’d be harder to tell which character is yours. We also have a letter hoping for more Star Wars games, and another letter from a reader who figured out, entirely on his own, why the names for Vega, Balrog, and M. Bison were switched around in the American version of Street Fighter II, and he wants to check to see if he was right (he was).
We now return to the classic lineup – Steve Harris, Ed Semrad, Martin Alessi, and Sushi-X.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Genesis, Sega): The crew likes the game, but Steve and Martin feel that the game is too linear and give the game 8s, without more options for exploration. Ed and Sushi-X though feel that the multi-player makes up for it, with Ed giving a 10 and Sushi giving a 9. Overall: 35/40 and it receives the Editor’s Choice Gold Award and Game of the Month.
- Death Valley Rally (SNES, Sunsoft): This is a kind of speed based platformer (ala Sonic), where you play as Road Runner. That the style of platformer certainly lends itself to some of the more speed based Looney Toons characters. Steve, Martin and Sushi find the game really good though Martin and Steve found the controls a little sloppy and the gameplay a little too fast, and they give the game 8s. Ed absolutely loves the game, particularly with how they use Mode 7 for the Coyote falling sequences, and gives it a 9. Overall: 31/40.
- Desert Strike (SNES, Electronic Arts): So, Sushi X’s response to the game can best be described as “America, FUCK YEAH!”, and gives it an 8. Steve and Ed give it 7s, finding the control a little choppy (get it, choppy – it’s a chopper game, yeah), though they otherwise like the game. However, Martin is a little less impressed with the graphics and gives it a 6. Overall: 28/40.
- Q*Bert (SNES, NTVIC): Ed was concerned about the game’s control, but he’s satisfied with the game and gives it a 7. Martin’s also a little satisfied and gives it a 6. Sushi finds the game repetitive and tedious and gives it a 5, while Steve isn’t fond of the controls and gives it a 4. You know, I suspect that Q*Bert would work great for something for Xbox Live and Games for Windows Live’s Game Room, with online leader-boards and challenges. Overall: 22/40.
- Super Valis IV (SNES, Atlus): Gets 7s across the board for not having the same sound quality and cutscenes as the CD-ROM versions of the game, but it’s still a solid action platformer. Overall: 28/40.
- Spider-Man and X-Men in Arcade’s revenge (SNES, LJN): It’s a Marvel licensed game from LJN. They’ve been hit-or-miss in the past. Ed and Sushi like this game, thinking the controls are good and the characters have excellent variety and give it an 8 and a 7 respectively. Steve and Martin are a little less impressed with the lack of the ability to select your character, and they give it 6s. Overall: 27/40
- Mega Man 5 (NES, Capcom): Another year, another Mega Man game. Steve thinks the series really should have gone to 16-bit, and gives it a 6. The rest of the Crew agrees, but they still think the game merited a higher score than that, with Ed giving a 9 and Martin and Sushi giving 8s. Overall: 31/40.
- Batman Returns (NES, Konami): It’s a Batman themed Beat-em-up. They consider it a little more iffy and repetitive than Sunsoft’s earlier Batman games, with Ed giving a 7, Martin and Sushi giving 6s, and Steve giving a 5. Overall: 23/40.
- Madden ’93 (Genesis, EA): It’s Madden, and it’s 1993. It’s well executed, though Ed is a little uncertain about whether this annual roster update and minor gameplay tweak thing will work out. *Looks over at his shelf of games and his copy of Madden ’09* I think Madden will fare just fine. Steve and Ed give the game 8s, while Martin and Sushi give the game 9s. Overall: 34/40.
- Crue Ball (Genesis, EA): It’s a glam metal pinball game with Motley Crue’s music. The main complaints are with the sound quality – Martin says this game would be a better fit with the Sega CD, because of the capabilities of the Sega CD. Martin and Steve give the game 6s, Sushi-X also gives the game a 7, while Ed liked it and gives the game a 9. Overall: 28/40.
- BioHazard (Genesis, Sega): New Shump from Sega. Unfortunately, it’s a little lackluster. Ed and Martin give it 6s, while Steve and Sushi give it 5s. Overall: 22/40.
- Sewer Shark (Sega CD, Sony): The crew’s kind of split on this one. Martin and Sushi find it a FMV game with very shallow gameplay, and they give the game 6s. Steve likes it a little more and gives the game a 7. Ed loves the game and gives it a 9. Overall: 28/40.
- Black Hole Assault (Sega CD, Bignet): This is sort of a mecha fighting game. Sushi finds it just average and gives it a 5. Steve thinks it works okay for two-player, but isn’t so good in single player, and gives the game a 6. Ed and Martin liked the game a little more and gives the game an 8 and a 7 respectively. Overall: 26/40.
- Night Trap (Sega CD, Sega): Before Grand Theft Auto 3, a series of mods for Doom, and then another mod for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas would bring video game companies to Congress, Night Trap brought them to Congress to answer for the horrific depictions of women hung on meat-hooks that the congress-critters had been told were in the game by trustworthy lobbyists and other people in the moral majority. Anyway, Steve, Martin and Sushi aren’t too impressed, and give the game 5s, except for Martin who gives it a 6. Again, Ed likes considerably more, and gives it an 8. Overall: 24/40.
- Cobra Command (Sega CD, Sega): This is a on rails FMV action game which they like considerably more than Sewer Shark, possibly because the FMV is more executed. Ed, Martin and Sushi give the game 7s, and Steve gives it an 8. Overall: 29/40.
- Loom (Turbo Duo, TTI): The Lucasarts adventure games has been ported to the Turbo Duo, with CD Audio and everything. The crew enjoys the game, with Steve, Ed, and Martin giving the game a 7, while Sushi gives it a 6, as he doesn’t find it very exciting and would prefer to wait for the sequel (which never comes). Overall: 27/40.
- Dead Moon (Turbo Duo, Natsume): Another shump for the Duo. The crew thinks this is a solid shooter among many solid shooters on the Duo. Steve, Martin and Sushi give it 7s, and Ed gives it an 8. Overall: 29/40.
- Hit the Ice (Turbo Duo, Taito): This is a hockey game. The crew is kind of split about whether it’s a mediocre hockey game (Steve and Martin) or a great hockey game (Ed and Sushi). Steve and Martin give the game a 5 and 6 respectively, and Ed and Sushi give the game a 8 and 7 respectively. Overall: 26/40.
- Alien 3 (Game Gear, Ocean): I can’t imagine this sort of pseudo-Metroid style game working on the Game Gear, but the Crew think it works well. Martin gives the game an 8. Steve, Ed and Sushi give the game 7s. Overall: 29/40.
- Bonk (Game Boy, Hudson Soft): Hudson’s mascot comes to the Game Boy. Aside of Sushi, like normal, hating it because of the limitations of the Game Boy platform and giving it a 5, the rest of the crew liked it. Martin gives the game an 8, and Ed and Steve giving the game 7s. Overall: 27/40.
- Ren & Stimpy (Game Boy, THQ): Again, Sushi gives this a 5, as he didn’t like it or the platform. The rest of the crew finds it a bit more mediocre, with Martin and Steve gives it 6s, while Ed gives it a 7. Overall: 24/40.
- Pit Fighter (Lynx, Atari): I’m not impressed with the graphics in the screen shot – it’s slanted toward red – like Virtual Boy red. Aside from Steve giving it an 5, but the rest of the crew liked it. Ed gives it a 6, and Martin and Sushi give it 7s. Overall: 25/40.
Development has begun for games on the 3DO. There’s also an ad in Variety for the Double Dragon movie, which Q-Mann think looks nice, but we all know that it’s total absolute crap.
We have sketches of Sony add-on for the SNES, where they become the PlayStation after Nintendo kicks them to the curb. We also have information on the launch of the Sega CD. We also get notes on the launch titles for the system (including Time Gal and Rise of the Dragon).
We get a look at the arcade version of Golden Axe III, as well as Street Fighter II Tournament Edition, which now lets you play the bosses. Dogyuun is also an interesting looking shooter, there’s also Lethal Enforcers, and the semi-3D polygonal shooter Space Lords.
Konami’s working on Gradius III, with even more freaky bio-mechanical enemies to blow up. There’s also Road Blasters FX for the Mega CD-Rom. Media Rings is working on the racing game Zero 4 Champ II for the TurboGrafx CD-ROM. We’ve got Annet Again, featuring the return of Annet Evans. Unfortunately it doesn’t get a US release. Misawa Entertainment has the bizarre shump Christopher Columbus, where instead of steering a space ship or a witch on a broom, or a flying potentially homosexual bodybuilder, you’re piloting a sailing ship.
There’s also the first Ranma ½ Fighting game and Cosmic Fantasy 3 (which has already been licensed, with the licensed version being advertised in this very issue). Speaking of anime licensed stuff is Gunbuster for the PC Super CD-ROM (the Turbo Duo). Konami has Snatcher, the latest big project for Hideo Kojima, which I wouldn’t mind seeing getting a new release in the US. There’s the game Super HQ, the sequel to Super Chase HQ for the Genesis.
We get a big special look at Bubsy, which considering the big behind-the-scenes series of articles we got in GamePro from about the same time, shows that the developers and publishers of the game are doing their best to hype the hell out of this game.
Of note in this issue is a Jaguar licensed racing game for the Sega CD. Batman: Revenge of the Joker is getting ported and up-rezzed for the SNES. There’s a bad licensed Dracula game (based on the Coppela movie) for the Sega CD. We have a sequel to Smash TV titled Total Carnage for the SNES. EA has the Turbo Lotus Challenge racing game, which much like the Jaguar game features licenced cars, but only from Lotus.
We have an article with their wish-list of what they’re hoping for in Street Fighter 3. I’ll be considering this in context with Street Fighter 3 and Alpha, as opposed to the long iterations on Street Fighter 2. First, they’d like to see some faces return from Street Fighter 1, specifically mentioning Birdie, Adon, and Gen, who we all get in the Alpha series. They’d also like to see some super-moves and/or desperation moves, which we also get later in the Alpha series and the Street Fighter 3 series. The writers would prefer that holds become harder to pull off, which doesn’t happen. They’d also like to see some sort of tag match, which we don’t really see until the Versus series of games.
Of note this issue, we get a look at the new brawler Rival Turf 2. Konami has the mecha action game Cybernator for the SNES. We finally get a screen shots of Power Moves, after they have gone quite some time without screen shots in the very ads for that game. There’s also a side-scrolling platformer adapted from Dragon’s Lair. I suspect that if the disk add-on for the SNES had been released, we probably would have gotten a proper disk-based version of this game. Ultima: the False Prophet is also being released for the SNES. Koei’s putting out their business strategy game Aerobiz for the SNES.
Titles for the Genesis of note (aside of ones featured in the reviews) is Shinobi III. There’s also World of Illusion. There’s also also Road Rash 2 for the Genesis (which is featured on the cover). There’s also a look at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist, which is essentially a re-skinning of Turtles in Time. There’s also a Captain America & The Avengers brawler, which features a fair number of members of the Avengers’ Rogue Gallery in the boss roster… and a Sentinel, which I find odd as none of the Avengers in this game are Mutants.
On the Duo we get a preview of Exile, which is a disk-based RPG for the Duo. There’s also Samurai Ghost, which looks a bit like Altered Beast, with swords instead of punching. The NES is getting Robocop 3. The NES has Best of the Best: Championship Karate. The Neo-Geo has the isometric shooter Viewpoint. The Game Boy has Spot’s Cool Adventure. The Game Gear has a port of Prince of Persia, along with Super Off Road.
Disney is working on Aladdin, those shoes with lights in the heels are brand new, the Sci-Fi channel has been launched to wider audiences, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has been launched as well. Dark Horse has launched the Alien vs. Predator series of comics, and the Super Soaker has just appeared on the market for the first time. As a kid who lived in an apartment complex as a kid, I always wanted one of those, since the rest of the kids in my complex also had squirt guns, and having the super-soaker would be like bringing “Old Painless” from Predator, or even Tony Montana’s M-16 from Scarface, to the gunfight at the OK Corral. Finally, Image comics has launched, and now Todd McFarlane and Rob Liefeld can write and draw about whatever they want, giving us Spawn and Youngblood, starting a new wave of absurdly grimdark across the comic landscape. However, we wouldn’t have Witchblade, The Darkness, or Danger Girl without them, so I’ll cut them some slack. Well, I’ll cut Todd some slack. Rob Liefeld still sucks.
We wrap up the issue with advice for beating everyone in Street Fighter II in Single Player as Ryu or Ken, and the ending cutscene in Soul Blazer, which is nice to see as that was a Quality Control pick.