Where I Read – Nintendo Power #48

We’re moving on with the Nintendo Power Recaps with issue #48 for May of 1993. Our cover story for this issue is the beat-em-up adaptation of the Batman Returns film. Our letter themed topic for this issue is suggestions for contests. The prizes that are printed seem pretty reasonable. We have one writer who suggests a Wrestlemania themed contest, with the winner getting a trip to Wrestlemania IX, second prize being a Super Wrestlemania Game Pak and a years subscription to WWF magazine, and the runners up getting Nintendo Power jackets. Another reasonable one is a trip to a snowboarding championship (have the X-Games started yet?), with the winner getting a meet-and-greet with the contestants, as well as snowboarding lessons from the winner.

The Lost Vikings Guide

We have the first appearance of Blizzard Entertainment in Nintendo Power. Okay, that’s not technically true – at this time Blizzard was known as Silicon and Synapse. For those unfamiliar with the game, you control three vikings, Eric the Swift, Baelog the Fierce, and Olaf the Stout. They were abducted by aliens and now need to escape. Eric can run fast and bash through walls with his head. Baelog is the main combatant, and Olaf is very hard to move, but he can also glide using his shield.

We get a run down of various character combinations and tricks that can be done. For example. Olaf can be used to ward off enemies, while Baelog kills them with arrows. Baelog can also use his bow to trigger buttons from afar. Eric can reach higher areas by standing on Olaf’s shield. Characters can also leap down onto Olaf’s shield to cushion their fall. In certain levels, Baelog can also set his arrows on fire.

We get a map of Stage 3 from Stages 1 through 4, which make up the stages on the space ship. Stages 5 through 11 are set in the prehistoric period, with the Vikings fending off various dinosaurs and other enemies, and from this section there’s a map of stage 9. Stages 12 through 17 are set in ancient Egypt, and from here we get a map of stage 12, and introduces guards who can leap over Olaf, which means the position of Baelog behind Olaf is important, and he’ll have to do more sword-work than archery. Stages 18 through 25 are set in a modern factory, and has more automated environmental hazards. From this section we get a map of level 18. Stages 26 through 33 are set in “Wonderland,” a world which follows something closer to cartoon physics. Our map is of stage 26. Finally Stages 34 through 36 are back on the alien space ship, and conclude with the vikings taking on the alien’s leader, Tomator. Our map is of stage 34.

The Sports Scene

This is a feature article giving brief previews over various sports games, without doing a full in-depth review.

We get a run down of some more upcoming sports titles, including Tecmo Super NBA Basketball. The game has 27 teams and a battery backup for saves, which is nice, though password support has it’s advantages – namely it makes it easier to play any match-up whenever you want, if you know the password. Acclaim has an American Gladiators game which apparently isn’t very good. We also have Magic Johnson’s Super Slam Dunk from Virgin Games – which apparently has two gameplay modes – exhibition and playoff, but you can’t choose your teams in playoff, which doesn’t make any sense to me.

There’s also a profile of Test Drive II: The Duel, a racing game where you have a choice of three different licenced supercars – the Porsche 959, Lamborghini Diablo, and the Ferrari F-40. I played Test Drive V and thought it was okay except for the rubber band AI but I never played a SNES racing game. This sounds kind of fun and I might give it a try.

Hudson Soft has Super Battle Grand Prix, a Formula 1 racing game. Midway has Super High Impact, an arcade style football game, which I’d describe as an 16-bit NFL Blitz, but without the NFL license. There’s also American Sammy’s arcade style football game The Pound and the Fury, which is quite possibly the dumbest pun I’ve ever seen in the title of a football game, and it doesn’t even make sense in the context of a football game. Seriously, whoever came up with that pun needs to get dope-slapped, and I like puns. Finally, we get a look Konami’s NFL Football, which kind of gets semi-panned as well, but they’re not too down on otherwise.

Shadowrun Guide

Here we go. This and the Genesis Shadowrun game are probably two of the best adaptations of game by FASA out there. I absolutely loved this game, and it’s a game I beat – I used an emulator, but I beat it. (I didn’t use an invulnerability cheat, but I did use an unlimited ammo and money cheat). The article does erroneously refer to Shadowrun as being a “board game”, but it otherwise provide appropriate credit. Plus, to be fair, at the time the other game FASA was famous for, Battletech, was a miniatures game.

My main complaint with the game is that some fights and puzzles are pretty pixel-bitchy. However, from a narrative standpoint, it’s better then the Genesis version, which trots out a Deus Ex Machina solution for the end of the game, where your hoop gets saved by an NPC you worked with earlier in the game – essentially the GM’s pet NPC. Anyway, the guide takes us through to the Drake Building, but not much further than that. To be fair though, that’s pretty far in the game.

Batman Returns Guide

We continue on to this guide for the new Batman brawler, though I’m not totally sure why we need a guide for a brawler. We get a run down of the different types of enemies (Thin Clown, Fat Clown, Biker, Bazooka Clown, Fire Clown, Tall Clown, Swords Swallower, and Knife Thrower), and power ups (health power-ups, explosive grenades, and extra points). We get maps of every stage in the game and their respective bosses.

We get a really big poster for Bubsy, before we get to another Nester’s Adventures, this time for Mechwarrior, where Nester learns the importance of watching his heat levels.

1992 Nester Awards Nominees

Well, in the last issue of EGM I recapped we had that year’s game of the year’s award ballot. Well, this issue of Nintendo Power has the nominees for the year’s Nester Awards. This time, since there isn’t a lot of analysis to do at the moment, I’m going to just post the relevant pages then give my picks.

  • Graphics and Sound
    • SNES: A Link to the Past
    • Game Boy: Super Mario Land II
    • NES: Mega Man IV
  • Theme and Fun
    • SNES: Street Fighter II
    • Game Boy: Super Mario Land II
    • NES: Mega Man IV
  • Challenge
    • SNES: Super Star Wars
    • Game Boy: Mega Man II
    • NES: Prince of Persia
  • Play Control
    • SNES: Street Fighter II
    • Game Boy: Super Mario Land II
    • NES: Mega Man IV
  • Best Hero: Mega Man
  • Best Villain: Dr. Wily
  • Most Innovative: Out of this World
  • Best SNES Spots Game: New York Abstains, Courteously.
  • Best Overall Game:
    • SNES: Street Fighter II
    • Game Boy: Kirby’s Dream Land
    • NES: Dragon Warrior IV

We get the continuation of the Star Fox comic, but it’s still dumb, so I’m just gonna skip it.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Guide

We get a run down of the new characters in this game, as well as the new gameplay mechanics (the ability to jump, and a block option). We also get a brief description of the goal of the game – to retrieve the 8 musical instruments required to wake the wind fish.

Zen: Intergalactic Ninja Guide

This is a Game Boy port of the NES game, which, for those who don’t recall, can essentially be described as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles meets Captain Planet. We get maps of all five levels, as well as strategies for the boss fights.

Ring Rage Guide

This game is sort of an odd mix of MMA and pro wrestling. It almost feels like the kind of odd mix that would come out of the Fire Pro series, but not really.

Great Greed Guide

This is an RPG from Namco with a name that Gordon Gekko would love. It also doesn’t look particularly interesting.

Super Mario Bros The Movie Preview

This is your first look dear reader, at the Mario Bros. Movie. The article also sends one message, and sends that loud and clear – “Run away, run away!” That said, for some bizarre reason, someone bothered to give this film a budget, like

Kirby’s Adventure Guide

Moving on to the NES, we’ve moved on to Kirby’s first home console game. We get maps of the first 4 stages, as well as advice for boss fights, and there are 3 more levels after that.

Incredible Crash Dummies Guide

This is based on the line of licensed toys which appear to be designed so you lose pieces. We get maps of the first two Worlds.

Super Turrican Guide

This is a NES port of the SNES game. We get a map of the first stages of Worlds 1 through 3 (but not the subsequent stages of each World).

Top 20

Our number one games for the SNES, Game Boy, and NES respectively, are Street Fighter II, Super Mario Land 2, and The Legend of Zelda.

Now Playing & Pak Watch

Of note in the also-rans is the anime-style action game Kendo Rage, which looks interesting. In Pak Watch we get a look at Final Fight II, Alien 3, which I’ve discussed previously.

Finally, my Quality Control Pick. I know the Test Drive series gets a bunch of sequels, so I’m not going for that one. Instead, I’m going to take Kendo Rage, just because I haven’t played something really different for some time.

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