Old Video Game Magazines – Gamers 02/92

The April/May issue, released in March. Still written by a one-man “team”. As an improvement, a list of all reviews contained in the magazine was added to the content overview. In the reader’s letters area, they “backpedal” a bit on the note from the previous magazine about not reviewing “The Immortal” because of the violent content, citing lack of space in the issue and mediocre quality of the game as additional reasons, promising to mention if a game is violent in future reviews, but not factoring it into the review score.

Content

News

Spanning 3 pages this time, there are blurbs for Champions of Europe (MS), Super Off Road (MD), Air Rescue (MS), Test Drive 2 (MD), D&D Hollow World (MD), Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego (MD), Aerial Assault (GG), Pit-Fighter (MD), Desert Strike (MD) and Fire Shark (MD). Among the blurbs there’s one about Sega’s marketing campaign in the US being rather aggressive and one about a really big “Sports and Games” store opening that will have generous space for Sega games. The “Ultra Short”s mention a Swiss company creating a “Sega Club”, JVC making a Mega Drive / Mega CD combo console, the release of a cheaper Mega Drive (but without pack in game), a Mega Drive Action Replay and Sega adding region locking to the Mega Drive via a “security” chip.

Special Preview

Shortly before the issue got done, U.S. Gold was announced as the publisher for the official games for the Summer Olympics. 2 pages show several screenshots of the Mega Drive and Master System versions.

Complaints Corner

In the reader’s letters pages there’s a box titled (roughly translated) “Complaints Corner”, where the senior editor talks about bad ports from computer to console, citing Populous on the Mega Drive / Genesis as an example of what not to do, praising the Master System version. Other examples for bad or lazy ports mentioned are Kick Off (Master System), Dark Castle and The Flintstones (probably the Master System version).  Times haven’t changed that much, have they…

Reviews

Rating spectrum: 1 (best) to 6 (worst), with possible + and – modifiers

Mega Drive

Kid Chameleon: 1-
Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?: 2
Super Fantasy Zone: 2-
Hellfire: 3
Wonder Boy in Monster World: 2
Alisia Dragoon: 3-
Shining in the Darkness: 2
Phelios: 2-
Gynoug: 2-
Jewel Master (Mega Drive): 3
Master of Monsters (Mega Drive): 2-
WarSong (Mega Drive): 2
Rings of Power (Mega Drive): 4
Buck Rockers (Mega Drive): 2-
Marble Madness (Mega Drive): 3
Turbo Out Run (Mega Drive): 3-
Klax (Mega Drive): 2
David Robinson’s Supreme Court (Mega Drive): 2
Winter Challenge (Mega Drive): 3-
Mario Lemieux Hockey (Mega Drive): 3
World Cup ’92 (Mega Drive): 3-
California Games (Mega Drive): 2-

Master System

Darius 2: 2-
Running Battle: 3-
Laser Ghost: 4-
Populous: 1-
Alien Storm: 4
The Flintstones: 5
S.C.I.: 3-
Bonanza Bros: 3-
Out Run Europa: 4
Wimbledon: 2

Game Gear

Putt & Putter: 3-
Ninja Gaiden: 3-
The Lucky Dime Caper: 2
Sonic the Hedgehog: 2
Halley Wars: 2-
Aleste:
2-
Space Harrier: 3-
Crystal Warriors: 2
Chessmaster: 2
Slider: 2-
Out Run: 4

Racing Games Special

As an aside to the regular tests, this issue collects several short reviews of racing games in a themed special, with each review segmented into three parts: “the car”, “the mission” and “special features”. The games are RC Grand Prix (MS: 3-), World Grand Prix (MS: 2-), Super Monaco GP (MS: 3, GG:  2-, MD: 2), Enduro Racer (MS: 2-), Super Hang-On (MD: 2-), Chase HQ (MS: 2-), Battle Out Run (MS: 3-), Out Run (MS: 4, MD:  3-), Fire and Forget 2 (MS: 5) and Road Rash (MD: 2).

“On Topic”

As special asides to reviews, this issue featured a page on “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”, a page on Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher and a page on Wimbledon.

Infrared Joypad

As an alternative to the wired game-pad, Sega released wireless game-pads for the Master System and Mega Drive, using infrared to transmit the signal from the controller to the receiver connected to the console. As the one-page “review“ highlights, while you aren’t limited by the cable length anymore (optimal distance to between controller and receiver is about 4 meters, though up to 6 should be possible), this has a few drawbacks. The signal needs a little more time to reach the console, causing a slight input delay while playing. Additionally, the required batteries add some weight to the controller and they do run out after a few hours. While playing, you have to make sure to hold the game-pad the right way, so that the receiver doesn’t “miss” your inputs. In terms of price, the Master System version cost around 80 bucks, while you had to shell out 100 for the Mega Drive one.

“Unter der Lupe” / “Closely Examined”

At the time this issue was released, the Mega CD was out in Japan for a few months, this article describes the look of the console and the menu presented at startup. The four released titles each get a short description as well. People with an interest in the add on are cautioned against an early purchase due to the lack of software and the likelihood that software from different regions will not run. The price was estimated to be between 600 and 800 bucks for the German release.

Reports

Near the end of the issue are 2 pages on the Las Vegas “Consumer Electronics Show” talking about announced titles and the general outlook for the current systems. At the time the Master System was understandably getting notably less attention than either the Mega Drive or the Game Gear. Additionally, there is 1 page on the Nuremberg Toy Fair where Sega was also present.

The Rest

At the back of the issue there are several pages of Tips & Tricks, the “Nice to have”, “Toys” and “Music” pages with assorted non-videogame related stuff

Preview

The next issue is announced for May 12th, 1992 with the Olympics, cheat cartridges (“Action Replay” / “Game Genie) and the ECTS as topics. Reviews planned for the issue are “Champions of Europe” for the Master System, “Axe Battler” for the Game Gear and “Super Off Road” for  the Mega Drive.

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