Cover for the first issue of Analog Computing

Cover for the first issue of Analog ComputingHaving run out of issues of EGM for now, it’s time for something completely different. Specifically, we’re shifting focus from gaming consoles to computer gaming, with Analog Computing Magazine. For those unfamiliar with this magazine, it focused on computing on the Atari 400 and 800. Why am I picking this magazine? Well, because the first computer I ever used was an Atari 800, so Atari computers hold a special place in my heart over the Commodore 64. Fear not though, once I’ve gone through this magazine, I’ll see if I can find an old Commodore magazine and give that a run through – particularly since Commodore’s history is interesting in its own right. (more…)

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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. (more…)

I’ve found one more gap that I can fill in my Electronic Gaming Monthly Recaps – with issue 104 for March of 1998. Our cover story for this issue is Yoshi’s Story for the N64. This issue also has the absolute dumbest ad for Klonoa ever – in that it deliberately tries to draw a connection between the main character of the game and blood-borne pathogens of the sexually transmitted variety. Yeah. (more…)

We continue on with the Nintendo Power recaps with issue #47 for April of 1993. Our cover story for this issue is Starfox, after it played second fiddle to Tiny Toon Adventures last issue. Our letters column this issue has a bunch of letters asking the question of what column they’d like to get rid of, and what they’d like to replace it with.

Overall, most of the readers of the magazine would like to get rid of George & Rob’s column. I’m not too surprised – the column’s reviews aren’t necessarily as useful as the reviews in, say, EGM – though they’re more useful than the reviews in GamePro. A couple readers also suggest dropping the comics, Player’s Picks and Power Players. I kind of like Power Players. While I don’t report on the high scores listed in the magazine, when I was reading issues of Nintendo Power as a Kid, it always interested me. It was like the high score list on arcade machines, except with people from all over North America, instead of just local people. It provided me as a player with something to look up to. As it is, I wouldn’t mind if such leader-boards were built into emulators that supported high scores like, say, UberNES or, alternatively, on Wii’s Virtual Console. I wouldn’t mind dumping Nester’s Adventures though. (more…)

Cover for EGM #66I’ve finally found another issue of EGM to fill one of the holes in my back catalog, with issue #66 for January of 1995. Our cover story for this issue is Killer Instinct, and is looking positively ’90s-licious. We also get a look at the Virtual Boy on the cover. This issue’s editorial column is about the Virtual Boy, and to be short, Ed Semrad is not impressed with it, in terms of game quality, display quality, or quality of the controls.

Letters

This issue’s letter of the month is a cautionary tale to warn people not to let bug spray get on your compact disks – told from one reader who accidentally got bug spray on her Sega CD game, which ruined the game. We also get a question about upcoming CD based fighting games – they mention Samurai Shodown CD, Fatal Fury Special CD, Eternal Champions CD, and Brutal.

We also get a letter from a writer who wants to make his own Turbo Duo games, and thus continue to provide support for the system. Unfortunately, doing such a thing would be incredibly expensive, both in terms of chip manufacture, and in terms of licensing fees, and learning Japanese well enough to translate the documentation. (more…)

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 GiantBomb.com. 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. (more…)

After a little break to get some schoolwork done, I’m going to carry on with filling one of my gaps in the EGM recaps. This issue is issue #21 for April of 1991. The focus of this issue is on 16-bit systems, from Nintendo, Sega, and NEC. The Editorial column for this issue focuses on Sony and Nintendo’s announcement that they working on an optical drive for the SNES, one we all know never pans out, and ultimately leads to the development of the PlayStation.

Letters to the Editor

We get letters applauding EGM’s staff’s prior articles on the TurboGrafx-16, as well as a question about how they got their screen shots of Darius Super in a prior issue – they snuck them at a convention, how else? There are also letters about other magazines running tricks and news stories that they ran first, which they’re flattered about. (more…)

We’re continuing on with the Nintendo Power recaps with issue #45 for February 1993. Of note in the letters in this issue is one calling for the SNES getting Final Fantasy III, which they say we’ll get it as an adaptation of Final Fantasy V (sort of, we get Final Fantasy VI instead).

Cybernator Guide

Konami has a new mecha action game, and this is the guide for it. We get a map for the first stage, as well as notes and boss strategies for stages 2, 3, and four. Reading this, and seeing the plot summary – this feels like a Gundam game based on the original series. It’s probably not a Gundam game, but I suspect the plot similarities are deliberate for Japanese audiences. (more…)

This week we come to what will be the last of my EGM recaps, sort of – for September of 1999. I say sort of because there are some back gaps in my archive which I really need to fill, and once I get the issues to fix them, I will. However, as I’m not recapping any issues of EGM’s current run (the one that they’re currently publishing both online and in print), I won’t be recapping any issues chronologically after this one. Unless some get put up on Retromags. Have I confused you enough yet? Good.

It’s appropriate then that this issue’s cover story is the launch of the Sega Dreamcast, which is somewhat widely accepted as the last console to be considered “retro”. Now, eventually I suspect the retro game community to accept the GameCube and Xbox as being retro systems, but for now, the Dreamcast is the last retro console. Considering that this is the first console launch of the “next” generation, the EGM staff is understandably pumped. (more…)

We’re moving on to Nintendo Power’s 6th year, with our cover story for this issue being Mickey’s Magical Quest from Capcom. There’s letters about Mario Paint, but not much of note. Also, from the Table of Contents, we have a significant note – the SNES games have been moved to the front of the magazine, with the NES games being moved to the back. It’s doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a really big shift. (more…)

So, after filling a few holes in my recaps of EGM, we now continue forward again with issue 121 for August of 1998. Our cover story is most of the upcoming Resident Evil games for the PlayStation and other systems. Our Editorial column this issue is about the upcoming torrent of Dreamcast titles, as well as wishing John Ricciardi well in his new job of Editor in Chief at Expert Gamer, EGM’s companion strategy magazine. I’ve been somewhat considering doing EGM2/Expert Gamer for my next recap column after I get caught up with EGM, though recapping Die Hard Game Fan is also tempting as well. Also, now amongst EGM’s contributing writers are James “Milkman” Mielke, Tom Ham of Newsweek and the Washington Post (who still writes for the post), and Gary Mollohan. (more…)

We continue on to the last issue of Nintendo Power for 1992, and the cover game for this issue is Road Runner’s Death Valley Rally. The letters column for this issue has nothing of interest.

Batman Returns Guide

So, this is more of a brawler than a Ninja Gaiden style action-platformer. Oddly enough, we get maps of the whole game. It’s kind of odd – you really don’t need maps for brawlers. Boss strategies, certainly and maybe specific notes for levels, but not maps. Maps are considerably more useful for platformers. (more…)

This week, once again, we’re filling another gap in my archive of EGM recaps, with issue #42 for January of 1993. Our cover story for this issue is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyper-stone Heist for the Genesis. Our editorial column for this issue relates to CD Rom systems. In particular, Sega’s got the Sega CD, and while it doesn’t have a lot of great software, at least they have software. Nintendo’s CD system is still promises in the ether, yet they’re still attacking Sega’s system in press releases. Well, Nintendo of America is anyway – I haven’t finished reading Game Over, but thus far, Nintendo of America is the one that most often seems full of bull. (more…)

We’re continuing with our Nintendo Power Recaps, with issue 42 for November of 1992. Our cover story for this issue is Super Star Wars for the SNES.

Joe & Mac Guide

The first major cave man platformer has come out for the NES, and the art on this preview fails anatomy pretty badly. We get maps of the first 4 levels of the game, as well as notes for fighting the various bosses.

Crash & The Boys Street Challenge Guide

This is, essentially, a Track & Field game with a River City Ransom skin. We have Hammer Throw Golf, Water Slaughter (a swimming event, where both competitors can fight underwater if they so choose, and they do choose), Skyline Scramble (pole vault between the roofs of buildings), and Judo (straight-up fight). (more…)

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). (more…)

Moving on with the Nintendo Power Recaps, we have issue 41 for October of 1992. Our cover game for this issue is Super Mario Kart, which would go on to spring a very long series of cart racers (and, if you really think about it, also bringing about the Wipeout series). This issue’s letters are all on the topic of how readers got the money for their NES (aside from, you know, asking your parents).

Adventure Island 3 Guide

Master Higgins is back. We don’t get complete maps of each area, but we get maps of at least half the levels in the first two areas, as well as strategies for beating the final boss (which is part of the important part, as well as notes on Stage 3 through Stage 8. (more…)

My original intention for my next EGM recap was to do a recap of issue #117, but  my copy of that issue was incomplete. So, I’m moving on to issue #120. Our cover story for this issue is WWF Attitude, and it’s autographed by Stone Cold Steve Austin even. Now, while this is EGM’s 12th year, they’re calling this their 10th anniversary issue. That doesn’t quite make any sense with me, but I’ll leave that aside.

Our editorial column for this issue reflects on another of the string of school shootings the nation was contending with in 1998 and 1999, and the worst of the shootings at that – the school shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. On the one hand, while this was the worst of all the school shootings, to my knowledge any school shootings after that point either didn’t get any media attention, or they didn’t happen. However, this shooting, being the biggest, and because the shooters listened to heavy metal music and developed custom levels for Doom, brought the anti-video game hysteria to a pitch above that caused by the Night Trap hysteria, and wouldn’t be seen again until the Hot Coffee controversy. Thanks to some poorly informed and in poor taste remarks from Littleton’s sheriff that were jumped upon by the New York Times Magazine, it even threatened to resurrect the anti-D&D hysteria, that had died when Patricia Pulling had been discredited. (more…)

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. (more…)

Before going further ahead in my EGM Recaps, I’m going to fill another gap in my archive – the gap for issue #110 for September of 1998. Our cover story for this issue is Metal Gear Solid for the PlayStation. The cover art isn’t too bad in my opinion.

The editorial column for this issue is by John Davidson, and addresses the semi-maturing of games, in terms of the sexuality of characters, though not necessarily the maturity of the stories or the character designs. Well, there are some ways to go until we reach some of the more mature stories we have now, in terms of Mass Effect and Dragon Age (particularly their treatment of GLBT characters), but the game industry has to get the Moral Majority to a point that you can show two men kissing in Dragon Age without having congressional hearings. (more…)

We continue our trek through 1992 in Nintendo Power with issue #39 for August. Our cover game for this issue is Mario Paint. It’s safe to say that it’s not definitely not going to be my Quality Control pick for this issue. The letters selected this issue are about parents who play Nintendo games (some even from the parents in question). Not surprisingly, there are a lot of them, and they tend to prefer puzzle games. There are exceptions – we have one gentleman who has beaten Zelda, Startropics, Crystalis, and Final Fantasy.

Gargoyle’s Quest Guide

So, the spinoff to Ghouls & Ghosts has gotten a sequel. Ghouls & Ghosts, technically, has not. We get maps of the overworld map as well as some of the significant levels (including the training level – yes, there’s a training level to help you get the hang of the controls, which is rather progressive for the time). We also get maps of the areas leading up to the first castle. (more…)

On to issue #113 of Electronic Gaming Monthly for December of 1998. Yeah, that’s another gap in my archive, but that’s okay. Our cover story for this issue is The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time for the N64, which is still one of the best regarded Zelda games of all time, on par with Link to the Past. As a note, the masthead for this issue now includes James “Milkman” Mielke, Ryan MacDonald, and Mark MacDonald.

Our editorial from John Davidson for this issue is on some of the spectacular games they’ve gotten to play at EGM recently. Aside from Zelda, they’ve also gotten to play more of Metal Gear Solid, and they’ve gotten to play Virtua Fighter 3 on the Dreamcast. (more…)

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. (more…)

We have another gap in the EGM archives, which takes us forward almost a year, to issue #107 for June of 1998. Our cover story for this issue is Turok 2, and this issue also gives us some very nice cover art, in my opinion. Our editorial column for this issue is from John Davidson, who is now EIC for GamePro, which he has significantly re-formed. The editorial column is, as columns often are, about the shape of things to come. The Game Boy Color has been announced, and Sony has introduced some new technology to allow developers to push the PlayStation hardware even further then they had previously.

Letters

So in the several issue gap lay 1997’s April issue, and it’s April Fool’s Day joke, which was one of the most legendary jokes in EGM since the Sheng Long cheat – the All Bonds cheat. For those who are unfamiliar, the cheat was a fake cheat that let you, unlocked a series of skins for Goldeneye 007 for every single prior official James Bond – Connery, Lazenby, Moore, and Dalton. This issue has a series of responses to the “cheat” both positive and negative. (more…)