Video games, Where I Read

Where I Read – Nintendo Power #46

So, I’m continuing on with the Nintendo Power Recaps with issue #46, for March of 1993. I’m also posting this issue of my recap on Hello to you all! Anyway, this issue’s cover game is Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose. All things considered, the cover art for this issue is a little better then some of their earlier cover art for licensed properties (as opposed to licensed photographs).

Our letters column actually has stuff that’s worth mentioning this time. We have a letter asking about a code to play as the bosses in Street Fighter II (code? No. hack using a Game Genie or Pro Action Replay that they can’t talk about? Yes!) There’s also a letter about the trading cards that they have at the back of each issue that I haven’t been talking about (because it doesn’t really matter), and a letter about how you can get a job as a game counselor – live in Seattle, be over 16, have great skills at video games, and have better skills at communicating what you’re doing.

The Nintendo Power editors also give a little shout-out to a Canadian video game TV show called “Video and Arcade Top 10”. On the one hand, I’m tempted to hunt down some video of this out of historical curiosity. On the other hand, being that this is the early 90s, there are likely to be some crimes against good taste on display.

Starfox Guide

I cannot, for the life of me, understand why Tiny Toons is on the cover and not this. Starfox is the first game to take advantage of new technology for the SNES, it’s first party, and for the time it looked awesome. For modern audiences it probably looks pretty crappy, but you win some and you lose some.

We get a run down of the interface, and the two gameplay modes, as well as a look at our characters and their ship. While this game is an on-rails shooter, you have a decent range of motion on the track – a 3×3 screen square in which you can move. Mind you, the Arwing takes up a lot of space on screen, so that’s not as dramatic as it might be on modern console. We also get a run down of some of the stages you’ll go through, and we get an isometric map of the first stage, which is rather nice. Apparently next issue there will be more maps of later stages in the game.

Super Strike Eagle Guide

Micropose’s PC combat flight sim has come to the SNES, where they probably still had to heavily simplify the controls. We get a look at the four perspectives – cockpit view for dogfighting, an odd above-the-plane view for bombing runs, satellite view for when you’re going from point A to Point B, and a semi-isometric view for landing and takeoff. We also get a run down of the interface for each of these perspectives, as the interface changes between them

Super Conflict Guide

This is a hex-based modern military strategy game from Vic Tokai, with a Gulf War style setup. However, while the scenario’s vary, the objective of each mission is the same – capture the enemy’s flag, before he captures yours. While I like strategy games, you can only play Stratego so many times. Anyway, we get notes on the effects of different types of terrain, and different types of vehicles.

Wayne’s World Guide

Licensed game, based on the film, developed by Radical Entertainment, and published by THQ. This is, essentially, a platformer, with Wayne attacking enemies by playing guitar chords at them, and with Wayne having a digitized head of Michael Meyers on his shoulders. Anyway, we get detailed maps of the first stage, and some notes on later stages. We also get some really dorky fake dialog between Wayne and Garth to pad out the article.

Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Breaks Loose Guide

And here’s our featured “review”. We have notes on power-ups, notes on bonus stages, as well as maps for every stage in the game. Not a bad preview, in my opinion.

Nester’s Adventures

This issue, Nester is playing Wing Commander, leaves his wingman and ends up a POW. To be frank, Nester’s comics have just kept going downhill after Howard left.

King Arthur’s World Guide

This looks like some sort of side-scrolling strategy game. It’s like Lemmings meets Worms. We get notes for the training levels and maps of 4 of the other levels in the game.

Starfox Comic

Fox and his team steal the fighters while spouting lame one-liners and making terrible puns nearly non-stop.

Adventure Island II Guide

This is the second outing of Master Higgins on the Game Boy. Like the sequels to Adventure Island, this game takes a multiple path route, like Super Mario Bros. 3. Master Higgins has a few more dinosaur friends in this outing, and he can go back to past levels and grind for useful items. We don’t have maps for levels here, but we have basic notes for each area in the game.

Milon’s Secret Castle Guide

This is the Game Boy version of the NES game that ended up on the Angry Video Game Nerd’s show. That’s not a good pedigree by any stretch of the imagination. We get gameplay notes and not much more.

Krusty’s Funhouse Guide

We get some general tips to progressing in this reverse Lemmings clone.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Guide

We get a look at this port of the NES “Empire Strikes Back” game. They don’t go into too much detail, but they already did a very in depth guide for the NES version earlier, so in theory you could hunt down that back issue – if you weren’t new to the magazine. In all seriousness, it wouldn’t hurt to say, “This game is similar to the NES version, but it’s portable” and then wrap up the guide with “See issue $issuenumber” to wrap it up.

Alien3 Guide

They have not forgotten the NES with this sort-of Metroid clone, only scaled down from the 16-bit versions. We get maps of the first 4 stages, with notes on where all the prisoners are and what order in which to rescue them, as well as strategies for the first boss fight.

Dragon Warrior IV Guide

This game has been re-released for the DS with the subtitle, Chapters of the Chosen. We get notes for the first 5 chapters. We don’t particularly get a lot of stat information, related to the characters weapons and abilities, but we do get a few useful pieces of information, such as learning that when you get 8 slimes on screen after they call for reinforcements, they form a King Slime, which grants more XP and cash, as well as useful information about times of day. As with prior issues of Nintendo Power related to the Dragon Warrior/Dragon Quest series, they eschew the Akira Toriyama art from the Japanese games in favor of art more in the style of Frank Frazetta.

Mickey’s Safari in Letterland Guide

An edutainment platformer. Mickey must collect form words.

Widget Guide

A two page little guide for the game based on the TV series. It’s a relatively short game, only 5 stages long, and we get notes on each stage, as well as information on the various forms Widget can switch between to get past various puzzles.

Publisher Profile – Capcom

So, Nintendo Power’s staff would like to take a moment and tell you how awesome Capcom is. How awesome are they? So awesome. The article focuses mostly on Capcom USA, and only covers games that were released on Nintendo systems and arcades, so no games that got microcomputer releases are mentioned. They also give brief profiles on the Street Fighter, Mega Man, Final Fight and Disney games.

The Nester Awards

So, another year, another set of Nester Awards. I’ll post the pages and then give my picks among the nominees.

  • Graphics and Sound
    • SNES: Legend of Zelda – A Link to the Past – First Party Games tend to do well.
    • Game Boy: Super Mario Land II – See the NES Pick.
    • NES: Mega Man IV – Around this time, the Mega Man games were pretty popular, and popularity tends to carry votes over little played-but-good games.
  • Theme and Fun
    • SNES: Street Fighter II – The game ultimately brought a whole genre into popularity, which makes it more likely that the game will do well on the poll.
    • Game Boy: Kirby’s Dream Land – Kirby is still one of Nintendo’s most popular characters.
    • NES: Mega Man IV – See my earlier remarks about the blue Bomber
  • Challenge
    • SNES: Super Smash TV – While Zelda is nominated, I think Smash TV is more challenging than Zelda, due to the fact it’s an arcade port.
    • Game Boy: Double Dragon – I have to admit that I’m just guessing here.
    • NES: Prince of Persia – For those who haven’t played the original Prince of Persia, this Prince of Persia game had a time limit for the whole game, which upped the challenge.
  • Play Control
    • SNES: Contra III – This was a tough one, and I found myself split between Contra and Street Fighter. However, I feel that the control for the Street Ffighter games was more refined in later installments.
    • Game Boy: Kirby’s Dream Land – Part of the reason why the Kirby series lasted so long was because of its good control.
    • NES: Mega Man IV: The Mega Man games were always well known for their very precise control, as opposed to, say, Mario’s floaty jumps and skidding stops.
  • Best Hero: Link, though I’m shocked Ryu or Ken didn’t make the list – and I suspect he would have won, were they nominated, due to them being the first characters that everyone learned to play in Street Fighter.
  • Best Villain: M. Bison
  • Most Innovative: Mario Paint, since, as YouTube demonstrates, people are still getting a lot out of this software package.
  • Best Sports Game: I’m going to pass here, as sports games have never really been my thing.
  • Best Overall Game:
    • SNES: Between Legend of Zelda and Street Fighter II, I’m going to say, for now, that Street Fighter II is the stronger contender.
    • Game Boy: Kirby’s Dreamland is the most likely winner here.
    • NES: I’m just going to be an RPG fan and say Dragon Warrior IV, though it probably doesn’t stand a chance.

Top 20

Street Fighter II, Super Mario Land II and Tecmo Super Bowl still hold the top spots for the SNES, Game Boy, and NES respectively.

Now Playing

Of note in the lists of new releases is Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego, published by Hi-Tech, the aptly titled brawler Brawl Brothers published by Jaleco, Culture Brain has the fighter Ultimate Fighter – in no way related with the MMA promotion. They also are appropriately critical of the Terminator licensed game from Mindscape for the NES.

Pac Watch

The upcoming titles of note are Battletoads in Battlemaniacs, Railroad Tycoon (which I didn’t know got a console port), Super Bomberman, and a Mad Max inspired action game from Mindscape called Outlander. I wonder if it’s licenced from the series of post-apocalyptic novels? Anyway, from their CES coverage, we get mention of the upcoming Link’s Awakening game and Final Fantasy III. We also get a brief picture of the goombas from the upcoming Mario Bros movie, and if that isn’t a warning, then I don’t know what is.

Finally, it’s time for my Quality Control pick of this issue. For those new to my columns, this is where I pick one game among all the games profiled in this issue, and choose to review that game. This is partially to keep them “honest” by indicating a game that was featured prominently that may not have been as good they portrayed it as being. It’s also meant to hidden gems that might not have gotten the attention that they deserved. For this issue, I’m picking the cover game – Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Breaks Loose. For those reading this on Giant Bomb, the Quality Control review will be posted as a review. For those reading on my blog, it will be posted as a blog entry, like normal.


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