SEP 1993 TO OCT 1993

Tabitha Indigo Paige

Russ Perry, Jr., Eric M. Frederick, Jeff Bogumil, Sharon, Jeanne (no last names were given for the last two staff members)

E.V.O. The Search For Eden
Super NES
Review by Paige

FEMALE CHARACTERS?: Didn't see any appendages...

The premise behind this game is really cool. You start out as a lowly creature and must fight your way up the ladder of evolution to become strong enough to take on the boss character at the end of each level.

Although I was entranced when I started playing this game, it starting wearing thin when I found myself running back and forth trying to collect enough "evo points" so I could evolve my creature and continue. Problem is, in the later levels you need LOTS of points to upgrade yourself and become tough enough to reach the end of the game.

As you'll discover, game music is very important to me. Since this title was from the people who brought us the early Super NES game Actraiser, I expected some incredible instrumental choruses to play by, but aside from the opening theme, the music is uninspired most of the time, and some of the tunes are unbelievably irritating.

Graphically, the game's not bad. Although the cartoony look doesn't exactly fit the kill to survive theme of the game, the different upgrades for your creature are amusing and serve to keep the game somewhat fresh.

Okay, so what does this all boil down to? Well, I wanted to like E.V.O. more than I actually did, but I lost interest in this game really quickly. One more thing... what does E.V.O. stand for???

Alisia Dragoon
Sega (GameArts)
Review by Paige

FEMALE CHARACTERS?: It's the name of the game, boys.

Hey, look at this! A game with a female main character! Wowee! Okay, Alisia Dragoon is a little old, but I must say that it's one of my all-time favorite Genesis titles so far.

Alisia is a powerful warrior who uses lightning magic to repel all enemies. Apparently Sega decided that having a female hero was enough of a handicap so they programmed Alisia's lightning blasts to automatically home in on any enemy within range; all you have to do is aim. Unfortunately, there's one of those annoying power meters that runs dry if you fire your lightning for too long, so you need to rest to let it refill (resting means running from enemies while it refills).

Alisia also has a gaggle of pets that help in her quest by adding their firepower to hers. The drawback? They can be killed, and fairly quickly, too.

This remains one of my favorite Genesis titles. It's definitely a sleeper hit... I paid $19.95 for it just a little while ago, and it's worth that if you can find it.

Kirby's Dreamland
Nintendo (Hal)
Review by Paige

FEMALE CHARACTERS?: Kirby... I think it's a guy.

I don't buy GameBoy games all that often; I don't travel much, and why would I bother straining my eyes on the GameBoy's teensy screen when my Super NES and Genesis are in the same room? I like the system, but I didn't buy it- it was a gift- and I only have four games for it, Super Mario Land, Tetris, Super Mario Land 2, and Kirby's Dreamland. I might run out of GameBoy reviews quickly, 'cuz I'm not reviewing Mario or Tetris (talk about beating a dead horse!). I will buy the Zelda game, though... it's out, but I don't have the money right now. I pre-purchased Mortal Kombat yesterday... the Genesis version, in case you were wondering. I'll tell you why later.

Woah, talk about getting off the subject! Okay, back to Kirby's Dreamland. You play as a cute little... uh... well, I'm not really sure WHAT Kirby is, but he's cute, and he's way cool (heh heh). You run around EATING enemies (yeah, you're probably saying "Pac-Man rip-off!!!", but I never liked Pac-Man so fuck off) and spitting them back out at other enemies.

For the GameBoy, Kirby's action is as easy to see as it gets, but I definitely recommend playing under a strong light (as in Sun). Kirby runs, jumps, and floats (oh yeah, did I mention that he can inhale big gulps of air and fly around?) though the game's various stages. Each level is fairly straightforward, so people like me who absolutely HATE mazes in action games won't be tempted to destroy the cartridge in a PMS fit.

I'm off the subject again, but NEVER play video games during PMS. Never, never, NEVER! I threw my GameBoy against the wall once because I didn't get to level four on Tetris.

Kirby is easy to play through, too, so average players (like me) stand a good chance of seeing it through to the end... although the last guy can be really uncool at times. And hey, if you liked this game, check out the new NES title Kirby's Adventure (God, I sound like a Nintendo advertisement!).

Top Secret Episode: Golgo 13
Vic Tokai
Review by Paige

FEMALE CHARACTERS?: Yes, but you don't play as them, you sleep with them!!!

This is a really old game, I know, and the main character is a real bed-hopping stud, but for some reason I find myself coming back to it on lonely winter nights.

Actually, this is an original game, almost as rare as a female fan-ed these days, and its many mode of play keep it unique and interesting, not to mention HARD!!! You play as Golgo 13, a secret agent-type guy, who spends a great part of the game searching for his custom made gun (typical male phallic symbol), so he can snipe people in a frustrating gunsight view assassination scene. For a professional killer, this Golgo guy has amazingly shaky hands!

Most of the game is played in side-view scenes, in which you must gun down bad guys, move from building to building, and meet with contacts, many of whom you spend the night with upstairs. These scenes are humorous- you see the hotel room go dark and Golgo's life bar refills completely.

Upon entering a building you must negotiate a first-person perspective maze, which is usually filled with nasty traps and such. Also thrown into the mix are scuba diving scenes, a plane flying shooter scene, and first person gun battles.

All of these different mini-games come together to make a very good game with a cool plot that unfolds as you play. Golgo 13 has one MAJOR flaw, though- it's long and has no password or other continue option, so you're forced to start from scratch every time you play. Also, you can't bypass the numerous text exchanges, which quickly become annoying after the first time (like lots of things, huh?). I'd still recommend this one, though, just for its originality.

Mortal Kombat
Arena (Probe)
Review by Paige, Jeanne, & Sharon

FEMALE CHARACTERS?: One out of seven. Hmmm... where have we seen them odds before?

Yep, I was in line on Mortal Monday and I zipped home to try this game out. It lived up to my expectations, for the most part. The graphics, while somewhat choppy, are good. The music and sound effects could have been done better, and are the weakest part of the translation. The control is very good, and all the special moves are simple to pull off.

I miss Liu Kang's funny yipping from the arcade version, and there are very few screams, but for the most part this is a fun, cool, and involving fighting game. It's not as good as Street Fighter II, but original enough to stand apart. And what do the lackeys have to say?

Jeanne: Hey, that guy (Johnny Cage) looks like my ex-boyfriend! And you say I can rip his head off? I'm gonna like this.

Sharon: Those look like real people, Paige. This is sorta neat, but really scary. I don't like the death scenes. I guess it's a good game, though, if you like this sort of thing.

Night Trap
Full-Motion Video
Sega CD
Sega (Digital Pictures)
Review by Paige, Jeanne, & Sharon

Night Trap is a decent attempt to move video gaming to a new plateau of gameplay. Although not perfect, this is a very interested idea that could be rounded out with more options and a real 3D interactive environment, instead of just watching the same thing every time you play.

You play as a special agent who is hidden away inside the Martin household, attempting to thwart the hideous Augs, those guys with nylons over their heads who are trying to make vintage beverages out of a gaggle of nubile airheads who are spending the night. Night Trap's real flaw is that you can't stay in one place for long, and in order to successfully negotiate your way through the game you have to miss out on a lot of cool video clips. Night Trap boasts "over 1 1/2 hours of real video!", and yet, the game only lasts about a half hour... you get the idea.

Final line... decent first try, great campy humor, and some classic moments. Guys?

Jeanne: This is kinda cool. Isn't that Kimberly from Diff'rent Strokes? Where are the guys in underwear?

Sharon: Wow, this is like a playable movie. It would be better without all the fuzziness, though.

by Paige

Throughout gaming history we're seen hordes of games with titles like Mega MAN, Low G MAN, BatMAN, Super 8 MAN, and on and on, but my favorite characters have always been women, as rare as they are. Recently, companies have started to add token female characters in many games, usually falling into the "weak but quick" category, but they're pretty tough anyway. Here's a rundown of some of my favorite Femme Fatales in video games.

SAMUS ARAN: Who can forget the biggest surprise ending EVER in a video game? The revelation that the gun-wielding, armor-suited hero of Nintendo's Metroid was a woman is one of the best stereotype-breaking events to happen in gaming. I did find the "prize" of playing the game as a bikini-clad Samus a bit sexist, but I can't complain.

ALISIA DRAGOON: Heroine of Sega's sleeper hit of the same name, this energy-shooting babe is a force to be reckoned with, and she really kicks ass in this adventure title.

CHUN LI: Street Fighter II is overhyped in my humble opinion, but there's no denying that the long female World Warrior can whip the tar out of the rest of the gang, especially in the latest edition (Street Fighter II Turbo... I actually bought this one!).

BLAZE: Only mediocre in the first Streets of Rage, Blaze really shows her strength in the sequel, which has her cracking skulls with flaming fists and super-quick flip kicks. Sexism still rears its ugly head, though... that mini-skirt isn't ideal fighting attire, Sega.

THE DARK QUEEN: Hey, who said anything about these girls being the good guys? Although I personally hated the Battletoads games I've played (for the NES, Game Boy, and Genesis), their nemesis is a very hip chick. And since the Battletoads games are so very impossible to actually beat, she always wins. Cool.

NEI: Even though she's destined to die later in the game, the level jumping Nei is invaluable to your early success in Phantasy Star 2. Too bad you can't choose to play as her for the entire game and have the blue haired fighter eat dirt later on.

AMAZON: I can't remember the name of the warrior woman in Sega's Golden Axe... does she even have one? Anyway, the game's designers actually made the female character the best one, outdoing two males. Cool. She's got the best magic, and she's speedy, which helps you avoid enemies and strike strategically so as to stay out of danger.

TIME GAL: Fully animated and packing an attitude, the star of Renovation's Sega CD game of the same name laughs, screams, jumps, and runs through this totally outrageous cartoon adventure. Silly at one moment, deadly serious and blazing away with her gun the next, Time Gal is a breath of fresh air in the overly testosterone soaked world of electronic games.

by Paige

Yeah, I know that the whole Street Fighter II deal is overhyped, but I'd like to present my favorite strategies, insights, and tricks for this cool fighting game.

Let's start with my favorite character, Chun Li. My friend Paul, who is also my designated SFII opponent, hates it when I play as Chun Li, especially now that she can throw fireballs. You see, I like to play "keep away from Paul", which means hitting his character once or twice and then just staying out of his way. Also, her two new flipping kicks are great for my hit and run tactics.

Paul figured out an easy way to make me lose, though... he just has to pick Guile and do his new knee thrust attack, which is guaranteed to send me into uncontrollable fits of laughter because it's so funny looking!

I like to play as Dhalsim, too, because his teleport is waaay cool. It's tough to pull off, but really neat if you can. I like how he says "Yoga" when he does his funny noogie move, too.

Blanka and E. Honda are too silly for me, but Paul likes to play as the "fat sumo boy" and he can really put on the hurt!

The new characters are pretty cool, too. My favorite is Vega, 'cuz he's so fast and my hit-and-run offense is even more effective with him. Don't play as him in Spain, though... he's way too vulnerable after he climbs the fence (he can't be hit on the fence, but he gives the opponent plenty of time to prepare a counterattack). I like to slide, then go into a rolling claw attack immediately afterwards... pretty nasty.

Since I'm not going to give this game a full review, I'd like to just say what I think of it now. I love the speed settings- playing on the fastest one is intense. All the new moves and strategies are awesome, and some characters (Ken, Sagat, M. Bison) are really evil. The worst is Ryu, though- on level seven he's nearly impossible to beat! I like the new voices and the cheering crowds are neat too.

Another cool feature is the option to play with regular or Turbo rules, and the new endings... the full screen digitized pictures you get when you beat it on level seven are a nice touch. I didn't buy the first Street Fighter II; I rented it a few times and begged a friend to buy it for me for Christmas, to no avail. So I broke down and purchased this one, and I think it was worth it.

One odd thing... Paul thinks that the characters, especially Ryu and Ken, are smaller than they were in the first Super NES game. Is this true? I can't see any difference, but I haven't played the original in a while. I suppose they might have had to make them smaller to get the game to move so quickly, but I don't have any other theories (to make the end bosses look bigger?).

Dear Paige,

Ew! It's a girl!!! Just kidding! So, you want to be a fanzine editor? Trust me, you're going to have a ton of fun. Wait a minute- I forgot to introduce myself. Hi, I'm George Wilson, head editor of Video Universe.

I know you want to be successful, so I'll give you some pointers. The first step you took was very good... sending letters to probably tons of fan-eds. Now your name is around and your 'zine will probably be reviewed a lot.

Don't get discouraged! If you love what you're doing, keep it up.

Now, a little about myself. I have a Super NES, GameBoy, TurboGrafx-16, Lynx, Game Gear, and Neo-Geo. The Super NES and Neo-Geo are my faves. I sold my Genesis because I found that I wasn't playing it enough. My staff and I went to the Summer CES in Chicago this past summer. It was awesome. You can read all about it in Video Universe #6. I'm also a freshman in college.

Must-see fanzines? OK, here we go... Video Views, Hyper'zine, Digital Press, Paradox, Project: Ignition, Fantazine, In Between The Lines, The Shape Of Gaming To Come, and New World News come to mind. There are others, but these are really good. I've probably forgotten some... oh well!

Now for some info about yourself. What will your fanzine be like? What systems do you like? What games do you like? Do you like the word "like"? What music do you listen to? I love speed and thrash metal.

Oh well, I guess that's it. Write back or call if you want to. I'll be happy to answer all your questions.

George Wilson
Macungie PA

PAIGE: Uh... I think I've already answered all of your questions elsewhere in this very issue. Thank you for the issue of Video Universe- it's a very ambitious fanzine; the biggest one I've seen yet. I have to disagree with the guy who writes Deep Space, though... he cut on the editor of my favorite 'zine, Project: Ignition, a little too much. Also, I read a rebuttal of his back cover argument in Fantazine and I tend to agree with it, although with a fanzine as large as yours, I guess wasting a piece of paper is no biggie. Ta!

by Paige

For the last installment of About Me, here are a few more questions about me that Russ Perry, Jr. just couldn't live without knowing the answers to...

INNY OR OUTIE: I do hope you're referring to my belly button, Russ... let's see... I'm an Inny.
DRINK OF CHOICE: The commercials are silly, but Zima ain't bad.
HAIR COLOR(S): Red, more blonde in the summer.
INTROVERT OR EXTROVERT: Definitely the latter; you know us redheads.
STRANGEST PLACE YOU'VE HAD SEX: The hood of a car in a mall parking lot.
PRETZELS OR NUTS: Big, hot, soft pretzels... I HATE nuts.
SHAKEN OR STIRRED: Depends on how good he is.

by Paige

Let me tell you where I stand politically... I HATE politics! The lying, cheating, backstabbing, mudslinging, and policy-murdering antics of those asses in D.C. are enough to make me sick, but now that Clinton's actually in office I can't stay quiet. This guy goes directly against EVERYTHING I believe in, plus he's doing absolutely horribly as president. I can't even play Electronic Arts' Desert Strike because I get to the part where you're supposed to protect Clinton's limo and I always destroy it...

Let's talk abortion first. Even though it's not really a political issue, Clinton's stand on and meddling with it really has me steamed. First off, let's not mince words... Clinton and his crew are pro-abortion, not pro-choice. Anybody who tries to tell me that there's a difference between the two is an idiot! The reason for the term "pro-choice" is so they don't have to actually use the word abortion. Such hypocrites!!! As you've probably guessed, I'm very anti-abortion. Murder is a crime.

Did you see the Pope nail Clinton in Denver? Oh, it was great!!! Clinton was standing right there when the Pope gave a great speech about how we need to fight to protect the most helpless among us- the unborn. I think Clinton even nodded once or twice during the speech; oh, I'm sure he wasn't even listening, just probably thinking up new ways to tax us into non-existance.

Speaking of taxes, how in hell did Clinton get this retroactive tax plan passed?! It's constitutionally illegal! Why has nobody opposed this? It's called ex-post facto, as in "Congress shall pass no law..."! My only question is this- can we all vote to make Clinton's resounding defeat in 1996 retroactive to last November?

Now, as much as I despise the guy we unwittingly put into office (I voted for Bugs Bunny), there's one thing that I don't like about attacks on the Clinton family. Bash Bill, humiliate Hillary, and attack Al all you want, but leave Chelsea alone! I mean, is it her fault that her dad is an asshole, her mom's power hungry, and she has to live with them? It can't be easy to see your parents slowly turning into the most hated people in the country, but she didn't have anything to do with it.

And what about Rush Limbaugh? As much as this guy is trying to help by bringing Clinton's failures into the public eye, he also gives Clinton supporters a handy excuse to use against Clinton's critics- anybody who voices an opinion that matches Limbaugh's is labelled as a mindless sheep in the radio host's flock, with no real opinion of their own. To Clintonites, they're simply zombies programmed to repeat his message. So I think Limbaugh may be doing more damage than he thinks... to the wrong people. I absolutely HATE having someone tell me that my opinions have no validity because Rush Limbaugh said the same things on the air.

Al Gore? Who cares. The VP vanished after the election, only to resurface to cast the deciding vote that passed Clinton's tax plan. Environmentalist? What kind of wood IS that furniture, Al? Tsk tsk...


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