By count_zero 4 Comments
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.
What people want it replaced with is more interesting. We get one letter from a reader suggesting a “pen pal” column of some sort. Another reader suggests expanding the existing columns, including expanding the Top 20 to 25 or 30 games. We also get a recommendation for an “At The Arcade” feature, and recommendations for collections of tips and cheats for classic games, as well as guides for older games. I wouldn't mind an Arcade round-up feature myself. We also get a little note on the Battle of the Champions event at Winter CES, which was rematch from the last Nintendo World Championship match, with Terry Funk and Paul Heyman (as Paul E. Dangerously) in attendance. What makes this notable is that this happened after Heyman had left WCW, and before he became booker at ECW. I'm unsure if he was just working at ECW as a manager around this time.
We get a reprint of the map of the first stage, 1-1, as well as detailed maps of first stages of the next 2 courses, as well as notes on the next 5 stages of each course. No advice for the final fight against Andross though. They're probably saving that for a later strategy guide.
Upcoming Fighting Games
We get a look at a bunch of upcoming fighting games and brawlers. For each game, in addition to the plot information, we also get notes on the number of playable characters, the difficulty (which I find to be an arbitrary rating), if you have some way to save, the number of continues you have and how good the hit detection is, which is a nice touch.
First up is Brawl Brothers, an appropriately titled brawler. The game looks okay, and I'd seen interesting stuff about it before. After that is Doomsday Warrior, a sort of post-apocalyptic fighting game with a level-up system of some kind, going from the screen shots. They don't go into detail about it though. The game also includes a password-based continue system, which is a nice touch. Saves are nice too, but the fact that they gave you a way to continue the game if you're not able to beat it in one sitting is a nice touch.
Next up is the home port of Fatal Fury. Like with the first Street Fighter game, the first player has a limited number of playable characters he can choose from (3 – Terry & Andy Bogard, and Joe Higashi – the Legendary Trio of Garou), while player 2, if there is a player 2, has a broader variety of characters. There's Street Combat , formerly Ranma ½. The game apparently has pretty poor hit detection and generally isn't fun, according to the article. I wonder if re-doing the sprites for most of the characters without changing their move list and animations is part of the cause of this? Culture Brain has the fighting game Ultimate Fighter, no relation to the MMA promotion, which looks kind of generic.
Pocky and Rocky Guide
For those unfamiliar with this game, you play either a Tanuki armed with leaves (named Rocky) or a Shrine Maiden armed with ofuda (spells written on pieces of paper), which they use to fight monsters, in what is essentially an Ikari Warriors clone. We get maps of the first half of the game.
So, FCI has ported Will Wright's previous attempt at a world-building simulation (before he made Spore). The guide gives us some advice on manipulating the interface to get the most out of your planet.
Congo's Caper Guide
Caveman themed platformer from Data East, where you, as Congo, must save your girlfriend who was, wait for it, kidnapped by an evil villain. The catch on this that makes it different is that you can turn into a monkey, who can jump higher, but has a shorter attack reach and does less damage. We get maps of the first few areas, as well as individual areas from later stages. Yeah, for some reason they're reversing the Area/Stage description with the game.
This issue Nester is playing Starfox. The tip this issue is to go through the first 4 arches to get the double shot laser. Sigh. Nester just isn't as funny without a straight man like Howard to work of. He needs a tsukkomi to his boke (or, for those who aren't familiar with Japanese comedy, think of a John Stewart to his Stephen Colbert) in order for the humor to work.
Super Black Bass Guide
That's right – we have a guide for a fishing game. We get notes for good areas to fish in the first three stages, as well as lure recommendations, and advice for reeling them in.
Well, the guide gives a shout-out to the RPG the game is based on, which is nice. We also get a run down of the game's plot (which is before the Clan invasion, so you're just squaring off with the various Houses in the Inner Sphere). We also get a run down of some of the pre-mission screens: your home base, the loadout screen, and your message screen. You also get a run-down of 8 of the mechs you can pilot in the game – which variants on mechs from the game with, bare minimum, their names changed. For example, the Phoenix Hawk was changed into two different variants, the Fujin and Majin.
We also get advice on haggling on how much you want to get paid for your work – start slow when you're a rookie, and then get more aggressive in your bids as you build up a rep. There's also a plug for the chain of BattleTech Centers, which unfortunately are no longer running. That's kind of a bummer, as I always wanted to go to one of those when I was a kid.
I'm going to skip the Starfox Comic in my recap because it's just so bloody-damn-dumb.
Kid Dracula Guide
Moving into Game Boy territory, we get information on what mini-games are the best for racking up extra lives, and advice on beating the first 4 bosses.
Joe & Mac Guide
For the Game Boy port of Data East's earlier Cave-Man Platformer, we get maps and boss strategies for the first 4 stages.
Top Rank Tennis Guide
We get general notes for customizing your character, what the different types of court surfaces do to the ball. The game also apparently supports 4-player doubles with the System Link, though it would probably be tricky to find 4 players for the game now, but it was nice of them to include it.
The New Chessmaster Guide
I'm kind of biased in favor of this game, as The Chessmaster is probably one of my favorite game series ever. We get some general “rules of chess” notes, including stuff like Pawn Promotion. Most of the chess games I played never got to Pawn Promotion, because once most players learned about it, they would do everything in their power to prevent it. After all, most players promoted their pawn to a Queen given the chance, and if they already had a queen on the board, having two queens out there basically sealed your fate.
And here are your Power Player challenges for the issue. If you want to give one of them a try, feel free to post your scores and/or a screen shot in the comments.
Duck Tales 2 Guide
Now we're on to the NES. We get maps of the Niagara, Scotland, Mu, Egypt, Bermuda Triangle stages, as well as a map of “The Underground”.
The Koei Connection
We get a rundown of a bunch of Koei's upcoming strategy titles – L'Empererur (an Napoleonic Wars strategy game), Genghis Khan, Uncharted Waters (a Pirate game), Nobunaga's Ambition II, and Romance of the Three Kingdoms II. Remember when Koei made strategy games instead of myriad Dynasty Warriors knockoffs? Good times.
Anyway, rather then discussing the gameplay of the various games, they instead discuss the various historical periods in which the games are set. They also slip in a little teaser for Pacific Theater of Operations and Liberty or Death.
Yoshi's Cookie Guide
New Yoshi themed puzzle game, this time for the NES. We get a run down of how the game is played – you try to get complete rows of different kind of cookies, while more and more rows of cookies come from both above and from the side. Your ultimate goal is to clear the board. The game looks pretty fun, and I like puzzle games, so I may give this a try.
That is the dumbest pun I've ever seen in a video game title ever. That is just awful. I'm willing to forgive groan-worthy puns, but I won't forgive stupid puns. That is an abomination in the eyes of God. I feel like that game title made me dumber for even reading it, and I would never touch this game for any reason based on that title. I'm not even going to bother recapping this game's guide.
I'm going to re-do how I do the Top 20 again, this time doing them a page at a time, to see if it flows a little better. Street Fighter II still has the top spot on the SNES. Super Mario Land II has regained the #1 spot on the Game Boy, and Tecmo Super Bowl retains the top spot on the NES.
Of note in the also-rans is Battle Grand Prix from Hudson, which they kind of liked. There's also the casino game Vegas Stakes on the SNES. Ocean has a licensed game based on Cool World, and Taito has the hockey game Hit The Ice.
For upcoming titles, we have Aero the Acrobat, Super Turrican, a SNES version of Yoshi's Cookie, which I may review instead of the NES version, Kemco has First Samurai, which inspires me to rant, not because of the game itself, but because of something Nintendo Power writes.
I quote: “This Samurai game isn't going to help this game in the Competitive US Market.” Really? Look, I get this is the early 90s. I get that at the time this magazine is hitting news stands, the in thing in American popular culture is to be insanely freaking racist about Japanese people, because “Ther Stealin' Ar' Jarbs,” due to their bubble economy. I get that you could get away with being even more racist about Japanese people then than it is “in” for certain conservative pundits to be racist against Hispanic people now, because the Japanese were on the wrong side of World War II.
However, Nintendo, you, of all companies, should be the ones saying to all that racist garbage, “Fuck That Shit.” You, and Sega, and NEC with the TurboGrafx, should be saying to developers that if you want to put Asian themes in your game, you should go ahead. This is a multi-cultural world motherfuckers, and if you don't like it, you can go build yourself some space colonies and start the Duchy of Zeon, because we're just going to let you get away with that shit. Oh, and then you play “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” by the Dead Kennedys on your stereo full blast.
Also, apparently Final Fantasy Adventure II, by which we mean the latest game in the SaGa series, is coming to the SNES. By “coming to the SNES”, we mean “only in Japan”. Ah, well.
Finally, as I've mentioned earlier, my Quality Control pick is going to be Yoshi's Cookie, and I'm going to play the SNES version, if I can find it – which shouldn't be too hard.