Magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly - Mortal Kombat II V7 #7 (of 12) (1994_7) - Page 1We’re now at EGM #60 for July of 1994, with our cover story being more stuff on Mortal Kombat II. I have to say that the art isn’t fantastic. It’s great – but not fantastic. The issue weighs in at 194 pages.

Editorial: This issue’s editorial is from Danyon Carpenter, eulogizing over the death of the last 8-bit console system, the NES, as well as contemplating the glut of systems on the market.

Letters: Speaking of gluts, we have a letter about the growing glut of bad games on the market as we come to the end of the 16-bit generation, and the dawn of the 32-bit generation. Though, as a general rule of thumb, while we get some good games in the transitional period on occasion, a lot of times major developers have their best teams working on the launch titles for the new upcoming hardware, so they can try and get something good out of the new system. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Meanwhile, the developers and teams who aren’t putting out launch titles (and thus don’t have dev kits for the new systems) can’t be necessarily quite as ambitious, as whatever they put out won’t necessarily do as well on the market once the next gen starts building up steam. Oh, and then there are companies like LJN which put out shovelware on a regular basis anyway. (more…)

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Magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly - Virtua Fighter V7 #6 (of 12) (1994_6) - Page 1Our EGM recaps continue this week with a recap of issue #59, for June of 1994. Our cover story is what will become the first 3D Fighting game, Virtua Fighter – currently in arcades, and later for the Saturn. This issue is clocking in a 229 pages.

Editorial: The European Computer Trade Show has come and gone, and EGM has left with the award for best US game magazine, a reward that is well deserved in my opinion. Of the game magazines I’ve recapped thus far, EGM has been the better of the three. Now, once I finish EGM, GamePro, or Nintendo Power, I’ll have to move on to something else, and that could change things up some, but anyway, let’s move on.

Letters: We get a letter asking about the US release of Final Fantasy V, and apparently, according to their sources in Square, it will be getting a release outside of the Final Fantasy name, with Final Fantasy VI getting the US release as Final Fantasy III. Though, ultimately, Final Fantasy V doesn’t get released in the US as anything other than Final Fantasy V, and gets its first legitimate release as part of the Final Fantasy Anthology for the Playstation. Also, unfortunately the Duo is basically now dead. They’re not selling new systems anymore, and only selling new games in mail-order. If you can’t increase your install base, you’ve stagnated your market share. You’re dead, Jim. We have requests for more RPGs for the Neo-Geo and more RAM for the Genesis (to which I say, to quote Shane Bettenhausen, “It’s nice to want things.”) (more…)

Magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly - Super Street Fighter II Turbo V7 #5 (of 12) (_5) - Page 2We move on to issue 58 of EGM, for March of 1994. Our cover story is Super Street Fighter II Turbo. The cover art is great, except for the face, which doesn’t quite work based on the perspective. The issue clocks in at 232 pages.

Editorial: This month’s editorial by Ed Semrad is around, basically, the growing pains over the upcoming rating system for video games, with Sega and Nintendo fighting over whose system they would use. Sega’s is modeled after the ESRB’s ratings and would have both system’s games come out evenly. Nintendo’s appears to be designed in a more convoluted fashion, and would make just about every single game on the Genesis look awful. Ed describes this as being over “the most trivial of things” which, due to 20/20 hindsight, and California’s law over the rating system going to the Supreme Court, and Left 4 Dead 2 being banned in Australia, I’m having a bit of a chuckle at that phrase. To be fair though, Ed probbly couldn’t see this coming. Though, considering the outrage over Night Trap and Mortal Kombat, he probably should have seen this coming. We all should have seen this coming. (more…)

EGM #52 CoverAnother week, another hole I’ve discovered I can fill in my EGM Archive. In this case, it’s issue #52 for November of 1993. This issue is quite epic in its length – 324 pages long, and our cover story is Sonic CD. Oh, and there’s a Super Street Fighter II Strategy Guide that will probably pad this issue out a little.

Editorial: Christmas 1993 is coming up. So, there are so many consoles out, how do you decide? Basically they do a run-down of all the consoles on the market, and pick them all apart except for the SNES and Genesis. Not much else other than this.

Letters: Well, we get people not happy with Major Mike being off to the side for his reviews. We also get more letters about Project Reality (which the EGM staff dismisses as vaporware), Nintendo has a new top-loading version of the NES, which they also poo-poo. Personally, I like the Top Loading chassis, as that way I don’t have to worry about the pins getting bent as much. We also get a letter from a producer at Sunsoft covering issues with the World Heroes games, with the original letter being 3 pages long, and they had to shorten. I wonder what happened to the original letter. If Ed Semrad or Steve Harris reads this (as he was still the EGM publisher at the time), and they know what happened to the original letter, and want to do a full rebuttal to all the points in the letter that aren’t in their response here, please let me know. In the course of their response, they do take a moment to slip a shot in at GamePro and their frequency of Perfect Scores (across the board 5s), which I can’t argue with in the slightest (nor the lack of criticism in their critical reviews). As far as their criticism that the scores were two low, they refer them to Famicom Tsushin’s score, which is an overall 24 (7, 5, 6, 6), which is lower then their score. (more…)

Magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly - Bram Stoker's Dracula V6 #4 (of 12) (1993_4) - Page 1For this week’s EGM Recap we’re going to take a step back to fill another gap in the archive (hopefully I’ll be able to alternate these until all the gaps are filled). This issue I’m going back to April 1993 for issue #45 of Electronic Gaming Monthly. This issue’s of average size, about 183 pages, and our cover story is the game adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, directed by Francis Ford Coppela. Of all the Coppela films to get a video game adaptation, this is the one that needed it the least.

Editorial: Ed Semrad gives his thoughts on Winter CES, and he’s going to be a little outspoken here – you see, his game of the show isn’t Starfox, which was a cover story the previous issue, it’s Slipheed for the Sega CD. (more…)

Magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly - Beavis & Butthead V7 #4 (of 12) (1994_4) - Page 1Once again the EGM Recaps are going forward once more. The issue we’re covering today is issue #57, for April of 1994. Our cover story is (*ugh*), Beavis and Butthead. I grew up when that show was on the air, and I never found it funny. Anyway, it’s getting video games based on it, and if the history of comedy TV show to video game adaptations is any sign of the future, this is going to suck too. Anyway, this issue’s kind of long, at 212 pages, so we might as well get this over with.

Editorial: The price point of the N64 (still known as Project Reality) has been announced, and it’s going to cost $240. This leads to Ed’s editorial about how, basically, video game systems are expensive toys, and at this point in it’s history, I wouldn’t dispute that. I’d say the point where video game systems started to jump the gap from a “toy” to as much of a part of your home theater system as your stereo was, possibly, with the PS2, and it’s ability to play DVDs. Considering at the time the DVD format was pretty new, this helped get a lot of DVD players in people’s homes, in the same sort of way the PS3 helped get people Blu-Ray players. (more…)

Magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly - Street Fighter II_ Championship Edition V6 #5 (of 12) (1993_5) - Page 1We’re taking another slight step back with the EGM recaps to fill another hole in the archive. In this case, we’re covering Issue #46 for May of 1993, with a cover story of Street Fighter II: Special Championship Edition for the Genesis.

Editorial: Our editorial this week comes from Ed Semrad, and covers Review Scores, and basically re-iterating that they stand behind their review scores, even though various publishers won’t necessarily be happy with them, and that they will say what they think in their editorials, even if game publishers and developers won’t like it, instead of re-iterating the table of contents (take that GamePro).

Letters: So, the first question of the issue is “Is Street Fighter 2 coming out for the Genesis?” Well, if someone ripped the cover off your copy of this issue, yes. We also get letters saying how awesome Starfox is. Oh, and apparently their April Fool’s day joke the issue prior was a mock schedule for Atari Jaguar games (including Virtua Pong and Yar’s Revenge 2). We also get more letters in response to Phil Mushnick’s letter (this would be the Rupert Murdoch-owned NY Post’s Phil Mushnick) in the April issue. I still haven’t found the April issue, so I don’t know what he said, so I can’t re-but it on my own. However, apparently Muschnick’s main targets appear to be EA and the Madden games, and also appear to be from the perspective of someone who had never played a video game before (particularly considering the responses we get this issue all reiterate that last point). Anyway, Muschnik’s letter made the “Psycho Letter of the Month” column (which I usually don’t cover). Anyway, one of the other points that I’m picking up second hand from this column is that Muschnik feels that the Madden games encourage kids to be violent in sports – considering the enouragement given in terms of “sick hit” football videos that I recall from Middle School and High School (including ones featuring prominant ESPN broadcasters who, let’s just say, thought they were “Awesome Baby”) I’d say that it’s not Madden’s fault, or EA’s fault, but the sports media’s fault – which Muschnik is part of. Oh, and we get another letter about the changes between the Japanese Ranma 1/2 game and the US Street Combat game, a question about mature content in Japanese games being carried over to the US (particularly nudity), and the RPG Dark Wizard for the Sega CD, which is apparently supposed to come out July ’93. (more…)

Magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly - Star Trek_ The Next Generation V7 #3 (of 12) (1994_3) - Page 1This week we’re going to continue making forard progress in our EGM recaps, instead of filling holes in the back archive, with Issue #56. This issue has an even more reasonable length, at 187 pages, and our cover story is the Star Trek: The Next Generation game, with a great oil painting for cover art. Again, I wouldn’t mind hanging this (or any of the Star Trek movie posters) on my wall. I’m letting my Trekkie bias show, but I’d say this is my favorite cover of EGM thus far.

Editorial: Winter CES has come and gone, and Sega showed a lot of games. Nintendo… not so much, though what they did show was pretty good (Super Metroid). Further, Sega also demonstrated some new technology to, hopefully, lower game costs – rather than requiring publishers to bundle a new chip in their cartridges, ala the Super-FX chip. However, this technology takes the form of what will become the 32X add-on module, intead of raising the price of the cartridge, it splits the install base, which didn’t help the publishers as much as Sega would like to. (more…)

Magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly - Super Street Fighter II V6 #10 (of 12) (1993_10) - Page 1We’ve got another hole in our EGM coverage to fill this week, though it’s one that’s a little more recent. This week we’re recapping Issue #51 for October of 19993. Our cover story is Super Street Fighter II, and this issue weighs in at 229 pages. This also the debut their new visual look for the magazine, and they kind of herald or provide fanfare for the new look with an two-page spread of an image from Blade Runner.

Editorial: Ed Semrad has the editorial this month with his promotion to EiC, as Steve Harris has moved back a bit to just publisher instead of wearing both the publisher and Editor-in-Chief hat. This month the topic of writing is Nintendo delaying Project Reality (aka the Nintendo 64), shoving it back to 1995 – which doesn’t look very good considering how often both of Nintendo’s disk systems got shoved back over the past 3-4 years before finally dissipating like the cloud of vapor they were in the first place. At this point in Nintendo’s history they’ve become the master of the tease.

Letters: The editors of EGM were at CES and able to meet with readers, and the readers love that. Considering how good acclaim from people in general feels, the EGM staff probably loved it too. We also have some questions about playing the PC Engine version of Street Fighter II on the Turbo Express. Well, you will be able to do that, but you will need an appropriate adapter, but it can be done. However, you will need to use Select to toggle between punches and kicks. More questions wondering whether Phantasy Star 4 will come out in time or not (it will). We also have a question wondering if we’ll get more Menacer titles? Probably not – Sega only released 6 menacer games for it overall. There are also questions about getting compilations of the magazines (fortunately, Retromags is around for that – at least unless Steve Harris is able to get an archive of all the EGM magazines togeather, gets them scanned, and puts out a multi-DVD set, much like what’s been done for various Marvel titles. (more…)

Magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly - Legend of Zelda 3_ A Link to the Past V4 #12 (of 12) (1991_12) - Page 1Yay! This issue’s EGM recap gives us an opportunity to go back and fill one of the holes in the archive. In this case, we’re going back to issue #29, for December of 1991, and what a cover story we’ve got this time – Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Link’s first 16-bit adventure. This issue is a rather substantial one though, weighing in at 255 pages. Let’s get started, shall we?

Editorial: The editorial column for this issue is from Ed Semrad, and basically is looking back at the year that was. Nintendo has finally thrown it’s not-unsubstantial hat (it might even be described as a Nice Hat) in the 16-bit ring with the SNES, and Sega’s jumped into the handheld arena with the Game Gear. Oh, and the future of gaming appears to be CD Gaming (which is more true than you’d think at the time).

Letters: Well, we get questions about whether the SNES will get a release of Street Fighter II. No, I’m sorry, it will not get a release, it will get many releases. We get a question about whether the Sega CD will be compatible with import games (nope, sorry – it’s the second system to follow NEC’s lead in blocking imports through the use of software region locking, instead of just making the Japanese cart a little too wide or something similar. We also get complaints about slowdown on the SNES – particularly with shooters like UN Squadron. The editorial staff’s speculation is that it’s got something to do with the greater popularity of RPGs on home consoles in Japan, instead of shooters. That’s not unreasonable. (more…)

Magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly - NBA Jam V7 #2 (of 12) (1994_2) - Page 1So, the EGM recaps roll on, with another 2 issue gap, taking us from #53 to #55, for July of 1994. Our cover game for this issue is NBA Jam, Midway’s next big gaming franchise (though one that doesn’t last as long as the Mortal Kombat franchise. Anyway, this issue is considerably shorter than #53, running in at 231 pages – which is still a lot, but nowhere near 400 pages.

Insert Coin – Editorial: Much as Tipper Gore’s complaints about violent and sexual content in music lead senate hearings in the 70s and 80s, we now have our first set of Senate Hearings about violent and sexual content in video games. This will not be the last – we get another set of hearings after Columbine, and a third set of hearings after Hot Coffee. That’s correct – Video Games got more Senate hearings (that could have lead to federal laws censoring them) than Comic Books and Music combined, though they need 3 more series of hearings, though they need one more set of hearings to beat the movie industry. So, it’s time for Publisher Steve Harris (go Steve) to weigh on this whole mess. I agree with Steve Harris’ sentiments completely – and they’ve been expressed and re-stated by many game journalists since then, from EGM to GameSpot to GamePolitics. I’m going to put up a scan of Steve’s editorial and I encourage you to read it. I haven’t gotten to 1994 in GamePro yet, so I don’t know if GamePro takes a side on this or if Nintendo Power takes a side on this – I doubt it, as Howard Lincoln was doing his damnedest to force a victory in the Console War by kicking Sega under the bus. Specifically, he was claiming that all the violent content that people were objecting to was on the competition’s systems, notably Sega’s, whereas since Nintendo was already censoring the games that came out in the US for their systems, they basically were also already complying with the panel’s requests. (more…)

Magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly - Eternal Champions V6 #12 (of 12) (1993_12) - Page 1So, the EGM recaps continue with issue #53 for December of 1993 (yeah, I’ve got a bit of a gap again, so you might want to mind that). Our cover story this issue is Eternal Champions for the Sega Genesis – which is one of the first games designed to work with Sega Activator, their motion controller, which is great, if you have an Activator and can get it to work with this. Anyway, the issue is pretty big, about 392 pages long.

There are a few changes with this issue of the magazine (the re-organization having officially taken place 2 issues ago. As of this issue, Ed Semrad is now Editor-In-Chief with Danyon Carpenter as Senior Editor with the new positions of the Managing Editor, with Howard Grossman in that spot, and Joe Funk as the life-styles editor. Martin Alessi is no longer on staff. Steve Harris is still on staff though as the publisher (a position he held before anyway), and hopefully he’ll still be on the Review Crew.

Insert Coin: The 32-bit Generation is beginning, with the battle lines being drawn. Sega is working on the 32X and the Saturn. Sony is still quietly working on the Playstation, preparing their revenge against their snubbing by Nintendo with all the secrecy of Darth Sidious. 3DO and Phillips have their systems, and Atari is kicking it up a notch with the 64-bit Jaguar. Additionally, there’s all the CD systems either currently on the market or coming out soon. Meanwhile, Nintendo’s just sitting pretty with the SNES on the market, and the 64-bit Project Reality system in development (which would later become the Nintendo 64). However, we do get some suggestions here, rather than just analysis, from Ed Semrad – Sega should make the CD portion of their Saturn optional. Considering that when the Playstation comes out, basically everyone goes to CD systems after realizing how less expensive it is to put out a game on disks rather than on cartridges (something PC gamers could already tell you), I’d say that advice is probably (unintentionally) bad. (more…)

Magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly - Street Fighter vs. Mortal Kombat! V6 #9 (of 12) (1993_9) - Page 1The EGM recaps continue with isue #50, for September of 1993. Oh, what a cover story we have this issue! In this corner, we have Street Fighter II Turbo. In the other corner, we have Mortal Kombat – the two franchises that will define fighting games in the United States for the next few years. Once again, as a reminder, this issue is rather long at approximately 197 pages. So let’s begin, or, rather (considering the fighting game cover) – Fight!

Editorial: This issue’s editorial from Ed Semrad covers the differences between the SNES and Genesis versions of Mortal Kombat – the SNES version has all the good stuff (blood, some of the fatalities, etc.) removed, while the Genesis version is as close as possible to an arcade quality port for a home console system. Unfortunately, what is the gamer to do – shut up and take it. Unfortunately, the kind of multiple-console releases we see a lot of in the modern generation of gaming (and the one prior) had significantly more titles getting multi-platform releases than the 16-bit era, where, at this point in the generation, multi-platform releases were relatively new – not to mention the problems with Nintendo penalizing developers and publishers who went multi-platform. Now, this might be a good place to say that censorship places artistic restrictions on games – but at this point in gaming’s history the “Games as Art” movement didn’t exist particularly, so if you wanted to reference a title where content restrictions would restrict the kind of stories that could be told, you’d have to go to import games – for example, the Shin Megami Tensei series of games (which most US gamers wouldn’t know about anyway). So, we have a dilemma. (more…)

EGM_Issue_049Now we continue onwards with our EGM recaps, with EGM #49 for August of 1993. Our cover story for this issue is the mascot platformer Aero the Acrobat, and the issue is 181 pages long.

Editorial: Summer CES is coming, and with it our first glimpses at everyone’s christmas lineups (though Tokyo Game Show and E3 have taken this niche more recently, with game content kind of disappearing from CES, after CES went to one show a year, instead of two).

Letters: We get a letter talking about how great the last CES was, and how awesome EGM’s booth was (flattery will get you everywhere). Also, we get a question about Street Fighter II: Championship Edition for the Genesis becoming the Special Championship Edition instead (short version, they’re getting the extra content from the SNES version, like Cammy, Thunder Hawk, and Dee-Jay. We also have a guy complaining about Sega’s upcoming game rating system – they’re not censoring the games you dolt, they’re just putting ratings on them, like there are on movies. Oh, and get used to ratings on games, because Sega’s rating system, with a few alterations, is the rating system we have today. Tough rocks, pal. Also, it’s likely that the Turbo Duo version of Street Fighter II won’t be coming out in the states, which is unfortunate. If it had gotten Street Fighter II (and possibly Mortal Kombat), it might have helped help keep the system going longer (particularly if it was a good port of the game) (more…)

Magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly - Ninja Gaiden II - Dark Sword of Chaos V1 #12 (of 12) (1990_7) - Page 1Well, we’ve got another slight break in my unbroken streak of EGM. Alas, alack, the world is lost… er, no, not really. The reason we’re doing the break in the series of more recent issues is because I now have EGM #12 for July of 1990, which will fill some of that gap I’ve got between issues 6 and 16 (or at the very least, wrap up the first volume of the magazine. Just to give you a reminder of where we are, chronologically, the first ad of the magazine is from Tengen, with a 2 page spread, advertising releases (on the black, unlicenced cartridges) of NES versions of first party (and classic 3rd party) Sega games, like Shinobi, After Burner, Rolling Thunder, and Fantasy Zone. This amuses me to no end. Anyway, this issue is actually pretty short, only 82 pages long (shorter than some Nintendo Power issues).

Editorial: We’re starting off with further discussion by Steve Harris of the article they ran 4 issues ago (which would be issue 8, which I don’t have yet) comparing the Genesis and TurboGrafx-16, and explaining why they published the article. Now, I need to hunt down issue #8 so I can find out what all the fuss was about. (more…)

Magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly - Jungle Strike_Jurassic Park V6 #7 (of 12) (1993_7) - Page 1Well, we’re starting off this issue of EGM, number 48 (we have continuity again!) for July of 1993, off with one of the magazine’s first gatefold covers, featuring the sequel to Desert StrikeJungle Strike, as well as the upcoming Jurassic Park games, with the cover opening up to reveal basically a 2-page spread of Jungle Strike art. By the way, after the rather small last issue of GamePro, this issue of EGM is absolutely gargantuan, weighing in at 183 pages.

Editorial: This issue Steve basically has a discussoion of what he seeas as the state of the industry, commenting that bigger and better thigns are to come, and giving his thanks to the people who have helped the magazine get this far. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that Steve was moving on or something, from the tone of the editorial column – but I know better. (more…)

Magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly - Mortal Kombat V6 #6 (of 12) (1993_6) - Page 1Alas, we have another gap in our EGM reviews for this week, as we move on to EGM #47 for June of 1993. But, fear not, this issue has one heck of a cover story – Mortal Kombat. The cover art itself could be a little better though, but we’ll leave that aside. This issue’s a big one too – almost 197 pages long.

Editorial: The editorial this issue is about probably one of the biggest stories of the console wars, at least with regards to third party publishers – Capcom has signed on with Sega, specifically to publish Street Fighter II: Championship Edition (the current build in arcades) for the Genesis before putting it out for the SNES. However, just to convolute things further, Capcom also announced they’d be putting out the next version of Street Fighter 2, titled Super Street Fighter II: Turbo on the SNES exclusively – which could potentially undermine the Genesis version of the game. Well, we’ll see how this turns out, ultimately. Oh, and there’s still the matter of the difference between the home versions of Mortal Kombat, the red, wet version… (more…)

Cover of EGM #44
Cover of EGM #44

With this installment of my EGM recaps, I encounter yet another gap in my archive, 3 issues long this time, bringing me to issue #44 for March of 1993, and we’ve got one heck of a cover story – Starfox, which I would say is number 5 on Nintendo’s top 5 first party franchises. The others, would, by the way, be Mario, Zelda, Metroid, and Pokemon, in no particular order. Oh, and this little fighting game from the arcades called Mortal Kombat has come to home consoles, but that franchise isn’t going any where, is it? (That was, by the way, sarcasm.) This issue is 163 pages long, which is down a fair bit from the previous issues that were nearly 200 pages long.

Insert Coin – Editorial: Well, CES has come and gone, and Nintendo won. Sega didn’t particularly have any playable demos of their games there (particularly for the Sega CD), and the ones they did were ones with cartridge graphics but CD music (not that there’s anything wrong with that – I’m playing Suikoden right now on the PS1, and that description sums up that game fairly well). Further, their existing peripherals (the Menacer) isn’t getting any new games, and they didn’t have any games to go with their Activator motion controller (though, to be fair, the Activator is probably up there with the Power Glove in terms of ambitious motion controllers that didn’t quite work). (more…)

The Cover of EGM #40
The Cover of EGM #40

Next up on the EGM Recaps is issue #40, for November of 1992. The cover story for this issue takes us a long time ago, to a galaxy far, far away, meaning Super Star Wars for the SNES. This issue is pretty big, weighing in at (approximately) a whopping 277 pages long (not including Electronic Boutique’s catalog, which I’m skipping). Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael novel The Summer of the Danes is shorter than that (224 pages). Our first ad of note in the issue is for Contra Force, the last NES Contra game.

Insert Coin – Editorial: Well, the topic of the issue this time is Video Game Piracy. Thanks to new accessories that allow you to copy game information right off the cartridge, piracy has moved form the PC realm to the Console realm as well. However, EGM is taking a stand against piracy, and if you come across a retailer selling the hardware used to pirate games, send the information to EGM at a certain address, and they’ll do something unspecified. Now, as I’ve mentioned, most of my Quality Controls are recorded using an Emulator. Basically, my stance on emulation is this – if you can get the game legally, at a price you can afford, then do it. I don’t have a Wii, so Virtual Console is not an option for me. If I did have a Wii, I’d be using Virtual Console for any game on Quality Control that’s listed on Virtual Console, and I’d be recording the video using a capture card. But I don’t have a Wii, so I can’t. So, that said, buy the cartridge, if you can find it. You’ll be supporting your fellow gamer in this tough economic times, and it will also (hopefully) build the market for 3rd party retro console machines like this baby from Think Geek, that lets you play both NES and SNES games. Who knows – if this sells well, once the patents expire we might get a similar gadget for the TurboGrafx-16 (& CD-ROM), and Sega Genesis (and Sega CD, and 32X). (more…)

 

Cover for EGM #23
Cover for EGM #23

So, as some of you may have heard, EGM, like the Undertaker, cannot stay dead for long (which is, by the way, a good thing). Steve Harris, former EIC of EGM during the era of the magazine which I am currently recapping, has got EGM back from Ziff-Davis, and will start publishing new issues later this year. Does this mean I’ll be stopping my recaps, which I started in remembrance of EGM? Nope, because there’s a lot of history to cover, and, frankly, I like to think this recap series has branched out into something bigger, focused on the history of video game journalism in general. So, with that in mind, we move on to EGM issue #23, for June of 1991. This issue is about 133 pages long, and our cover story is a preview of the upcoming Hudson Hawk licenced game, with Bruce Willis getting his first appearance in a video game. (more…)

 

EGM Issue 37 Cover
EGM Issue 37 Cover

Alright, we continue with our EGM recaps with issue 37, for August of 1992. And our cover game for this issue is a biggie – Sonic The Hedgehog 2. Plus the list of previews for a boatload of other games. The issue clocks in a slightly more reasonable 149 pages – though fear not, this will later skyrocket to an old-school Computer Shopper level tome in the future. Our first ad of the issue is for the NES port of King’s Quest 5. I’ve played the NES’s more seminal adventure game (Shadowgate), and I have to say that adventure games don’t work too well on the NES, particularly ones like King’s Quest where you can die over, and over, and over again. This issue also features the debut of it’s Game Doctor column.

 

Insert Coin – Editorial: Our editorial column for this issue is discussing the system war. Oh, and they actually call it that, a System War. On the one hand, Sega’s price point for the Genesis is currently a little lower than the SNES’s price point, after a long series of price slashes by both sides, which is probably annoying the crap out of retailers – or to be specific, the clerks in the stores who have to re-mark the price over, and over, and over again. As of the printing of this issue the SNES runs $99.95 ($151.91 adjusted) It doesn’t help that both sides are over-estimating their sales figures, and since we don’t have the NPDs yet to give an actual verifiable figure, any estimates coming out of anyone has to be taken with a grain of salt. I don’t recall if Babbage’s had started putting out sales figures at this time. (more…)

Cover for EGM issue #36
Cover for EGM issue #36

This week’s installment of the EGM reviews takes us forward to Issue #36 for July of 1992. Our cover art for this issue is Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight in Batman Returns – new Batman movie, new licensed games. A trend that would continue until The Dark Knight, which didn’t have any licensed games on consoles (phones don’t count). Our page count (for this issue) is 133 pages, though on the cover they bill “over 160 pages” – so unless my copy is missing an ad-insert, something is up. If anyone knows if my copy is missing pages or if it’s a misprint on EGM’s part, please let me know.

Anyway, our first ads are for Super Castlevania IV again, and then an ad for the Toxic Crusaders games (as in the film by Troma) for the NES, Game Boy, and SNES. What I want to know is this – with Nintendo’s draconian licensing policy for content in games, how the hell did a game based off a Troma movie get on a Nintendo console. They became famous for their use of over-the-top gore to the deliberate point of comedy, as well as grotesque character designs. (more…)

Cover for EGM #16
Cover for EGM #16

We continue with our Electronic Gaming Monthly reviews with EGM #16, to fill some of that rather large gap we’ve got between issue #6 and issue #25. This issue, which came out in November of 1990, and is significantly shorter than the issues from #20 on – only about 97 pages in this issue. The cover art for this issue is for Super Mario World for the SNES, which currently has a working title of Super Mario 4.

Our first ad for the issue is for Pac-Mania from Atari/Tengen, which looks lot like Pac-Man with an isometric camera angle, different environments, and jumping. Tengen really seems bound and determined to run the Pac Man brand to the ground. We also get ads for the game Skull & Crossbones, where you play a pirate trying to rescue a princess from a wizard and his undead warriors. (more…)

EGM #35 Cover
EGM #35 Cover

We continue onwards with our EGM Recaps, with our review of EGM #35. I’ve also gotten EGM #15 as well from Retromags, but I’m going to hold off on that one for my next recap (as I’ve already unzipped this issue). Our game on the cover this issue is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4 – which has yet to received it’s subtitle of “Turtles In Time” though the time travel element is already evident in the cover art. Our page count for this issue is up from last issue, at about 180 pages. Our first ad of the issue is for Super Castlevania IV, and another ad for Hook for the NES. Now, before I get on to the articles, I just want to mention one little thing that either is an error on Sendai’s part, or a practical joke they did late – on the page for the editorial (Insert Coin), they have the credits for the magazine. For this issue, the credits are mirrored. Now, this issue is for June not April, so it’s not their prank. So, I have no idea what they’re doing here – hopefully they’ll explain later. Moving on…

Insert Coin – Editorial: Our column for this issue is by Steve Harris, about the upcoming Summer CES, which is for the first time open to the public. To Steve’s credit, he does not approach the news with the dread that you’d expect among modern game journalists, that the unwashed (sometimes literally) masses would flood upon the floor, and keep them from doing their job and playing the upcoming games so they could cover them (which is the train of thought that lead to the death of E3 in the first place). We’ll see the EGM editorial staff changes their tune. (more…)