ISSUES 10, plus Origins & three issues of The 16-Bit Pit

SEP 1993 TO SPRING 1997

Brian Pacula

Ramiz Monsef, Jeff Beedham, Jess Ragan, Tyrone Rodriguez, Travis Krause, Chris Dyer, Josh Lesnick, Arthur Peponis, Matt Lotti, Sean Pettibone, Dan Thomas MacInnes, Jeremy Statz, Alan Lanoie, Scott Boehmer

TMNT: Tournament Fighters
Super NES
Review by Brian Pacula

Sigh... another case of prozines hyping a mediocre product. Let's get this outta the way: Tournament Fighters is well made. The graphics are good, the sound is crisp and clear, and there's no faults with the control. Too bad I didn't like it.

I mean, to be fair, the game's all right, although it's far from a threat to Street Fighter II, as Electronic Gaming Morons, LameFan, and GamePwo have said. The main reasons for that are the same reasons no other fighting game has achieved this honor (let's pretend Mortal Kombat doesn't exist for now). The reasons are:

1. Lack of innovation and 2. Cheap CPU opponents (if you beat a CPU enemy to a throw, I'll give you one of my kidneys). Now let me address point #1. First off, contrary to what some have said, these are NOT the darker, tougher turtles from the original comic book series. These are the new, bastardized, mass market, pizza-eating idiots your younger siblings have festooned on their clothing and lunchboxes. Secondly, the "ultimate attacks" are pretty weak; they're NOT fatalities, and they don't make for cool comebacks like in Fatal Fury Special.

This game's most, uh, unusual feature is Aska's throw. Just what is she doing to you? So, in closing, let me say this: if you're a die-hard TMNT fanatic, seek professional help. If that doesn't do anything, then try Tournament Fighters... it's right up your alley.

Review by Brian Pacula

Okay, I know I'm gonna catch shit for this one, but... who cares! Heck, I'm the kinda guy who, upon hearing the Duran Duran song Dance into the Fire, douses himself in kerosene and gets in line! So, let's get on with it! I have nothing good to say about NBA Jam! Sure, digitized characters, announcer, BFD. I put a quarter in this last time I was at a nearby college arcade, and was pissed off that it took fifty cents and wouldn't regurgitate my two bits!!! So I played it anyways and quit before the first round was over! What's the big deal about this game? You just trot some hydrocephalic b-ball guy around a court and fling balls around. If Midway had kept in Godzilla (ooh, he's doing a lot of damage with those twin Chrysler buildings...) and Raiden, MAYBE I'd like this, but sheesh... I gave this game a six as opposed to a four or five because I know so many people go ape shit over it, but me, I'd rather play Time Killers! But hell, I like Time Killers! "Silly fan-ed... Time Killers sucks!" Wanna bet!?!? I like Time Killers! I do NOT like NBA Jam! I do not like green eggs and ham, I do not like them, Sam I Am!!! I'm outta control! I'm Regis Philbin! No! I'm Kathie Lee Gifford! I'm plugging a cruise line! If they could see me now... Going CRAZY over NBA Jam! I wanna see a sequel! NBA Jelly! NBA Chocolate Flavored Spread! Ha ha HAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!

Atari 2600
Parker Bros.
Review by Brian Pacula

I am a toad. Scaphiopus couchi. I at last am free; for the past six hours I was hostage to a group of hippies who were licking my back for psychedelic effects. Not that it was TOTALLY unpleasant, but at last freedom is mine, ha ha!

I take a deep breath. My life is rendered in vibrant colors, and decent music punctuates my existance. I drink it all in. I am free. Born free... free as the wind blows, but I am far from safe. A long highway and a creek impede my progress. In a mad sprint, I evade the Pacers, Mack trucks, and Miatas and escape to the creek. There, I must use turtles, alligators, and logs as stepping stones in my mad dash to sanctuary. My mind races. Should I risk a watery death to catch the fly? Do I confront the rattlesnake to aid my fellow toad? Only time will tell if I survive. Time... and the skill of He Who Controls Me. I can only hope...

Lunar: The Silver Star
Role-Playing Adventure
Sega CD
Working Designs
Review by Brian Pacula

Yeeeeeeeeee!!!!!! FINALLY, a game that makes the Sega CD seem mildly worthwhile! Working Designs knows just what in hell gamers want and BY GOD THEY GAVE IT TO US!!!!!

The control is smooth and efficient. The battles are handled in a manner similar to Final Fantasy II's, but better, and not only do battles move faster, you don't have to spend 427 hours building levels!

The dialogue is GREAT. Working Designs did more than translate; they redid the dialogue for Americans! Irritating grammatical errors are non-existant, and they seem to be replaced by funny pop-culture references and jokes. Liberal Sega allowed some risque stuff in, from cussin' to brief nudity when you win the game. I'd hate to see Nintendo butcher this game. The characters are all given a three-dimensionality that's very hard to create in electronic RPGs. The cinemas don't move much but they look good.

There are flaws. The control's a wee overresponsive, but hey, better than underresponsive. The plot twists are foreshadowed a little too much (as Crow T. Robot would say, "plot point!!"), whereas the actual goals are a little vague. That is easily remedied by getting Zach and Doug's Lunar hint book (don't cheat or peek ahead or I'll flog you!). Honest, Lunar is a terrific game, and it's something the Sega CD sorely needed. Please, check this baby out.

The Last Action Hero
Sony Imagesoft
Review by Brian Pacula

Ooh, this is PRICELESS crap. This game would be great as a "what NOT to do" guide for young upstart programmers. I can just see the conference where this game was spawned...

"Sir, we have a great idea for a game. It'll be an action/RPG that takes place in ancient Egypt, and-"
"What? Where's the selling point?"
"Well, sir, it's original and I thought-"
"We don't pay you to think you little bastard. First, we give it a license. A good one. How about that movie, uhh... uhh..."
"Return of the Jedi? Big Trouble in Little China?"
"Naww, that one from last summer. Last Action whatever."
"So the game will be-"
"Oh, and don't make it an action/RPG. Make it one of those games where you look at things from the side and hit things..."
"Well, OK. Give us a few months..."
"WHAT!? We need this out NOW. Just sacrifice the little perks we don't need. You know, like responsive control. Good graphics. Kids don't like detailed stuff anyway. Confuses them. Do away with good sound, too. Kids hate good music."
"So, a side-scrolling beat 'em up with the movie license and bad graphics, sound, and control?"
"Perfect. Kids'll eat it up like crazy."
"But... but they won't like it."
"WHO CARES? What matters is sales, fool. Now go away."

...well, that should sum this travesty up. Be sure to avoid it.

Corridor Shooter
Id Software
Review by Jeremy Statz

There is nothing, absolutely nothing, like walking into a room, firing a single rocket, and killing eight monsters with one shot. That's the lesson taught by Doom. But enough of this educational stuff. Is it a cool game? Yes. Is it ever.

Those of you looking for a way cool virtual reality fest, look no further. Doom provides a totally original universe, presented in such a way that you can almost suspend disbelief and just go along with the horrifying flow. The best way to do this is to turn the volumn of your sound card all the way up, turn off all the lights, and then sit about eight inches from the screen. It's surprisingly convincing.

Anyway, those of you who've played Wolfenstein 3D know part of what Doom is like, but not all of it. Mostly because, unlike Wolf3D, Doom doesn't restrict itself to ninety degree angles. This game has a layout that's totally realistic, which doesn't look pasted together at all. It's VERY impressive, especially on high detail. The scaling is top-notch (depending on the computer), and the animation is excellent. You're provided with several bloody, gory weapons of mass destruction. All of them exact a marvelous and very heavy toll on whatever they should happen to hit. Forget Mortal Kombat: THIS is where the parents' groups should be directing their attacks.

As far as sound goes, it's good. Depending on the sound board, you get to hear cool music, agonized wails of pain and torment, and inhuman shrieks that'll terrify anyone in the next apartment. It's worth getting a sound board just for this game.

The gameplay is excellent, although I feel that the mouse control is more sluggish than in Wolfenstein. I use the keyboard for control. The movement is very smooth, and even your on-screen weapon moves realistically.

This game is a milestone. If you have a PC with ten megs of hard drive space, get it. My only complaint is the extreme difficulty of some levels, but they can be beaten eventually. In reality, Doom has no flaws. Buy it. It's worth it.

Jungle Book
Side-Scrolling Platformer
Virgin Interactive
Review by Brian Pacula

This game genuinely offends me. And trust me, I'm very hard to offend. Anyway, I'll get to that in due time. Let's dispense with the pleasantries and get to the obligatory synopsis. Some little punk named Mowgli is prancing around the jungle picking up gems for no apparent reason. When he finds enough, he can move on to a new level, which he celebrates by doing some little cretin dance of shame. Jungle beasts are trying to stop Mowgli, so he fights back by killing them with fruit. His enemies die in a puff of smoke, leaving no messy corpse to remind Mowgli that he destroyed the delicate balance of nature. I got pretty far in the game, but in the last level I was killed by lightning and tigers, symbolic of nature's wrath.

This game offends me by insulting my intelligence. It's a total unmitigated rip-off of Aladdin, with virtually no changes or improvements to the game engine. Even the death scenes are similar. I think the only things they changed were the graphics, sound, and level design. I mean, it's terrible. They shouldn't be allowed to do this. It's immoral. If you've played Aladdin, there's no reason to play this game.

Earthworm Jim
Side-Scrolling Platformer
Playmates (Shiny)
Review by Brian Pacula

Oh, wow. Well, anyway, Earthworm Jim shore is purty. If some dumbfuck tries to tell you how glorious the Super NES's color palette is, and how Genesis graphics look like the fingerpaintings of a colorblind three-year old with cataracts, show them a slide of Earthworm Jim and tell them to shut the hell up. That said, let me tell you just what is wrong with EWJ: 1) Sadism and 2) Dave Perry. Although Earthworm Jim is largely an action game, there's a few puzzles scattered throughout. Trouble is, failure to solve the puzzle usually results in death. And repeating the level up to the point you died, over, and over, and over again. Fun. And the game really reeks of Perry. Mercifully, it's not as formulaic as his earliest titles (Aladdin, Jungle Book, everything else), but stiiill...

Aside from graphics and sound, what Earthworm Jim really has going for it are good characters. I particularly liked Evil the Cat, overlord of Heck. Jim himself is also a good character, and less revolting than all those wretched mammal games of last year. Earthworm Jim isn't bad, so give it a whirl.

Side-Scrolling Platformer
Review by Brian Pacula

In a depressingly predictable move, Interplay makes a stupid appeal to the psyches of preadolescent jerks with Boogerman. The name does a wonderful job summing up the theme- running rampant in this game is green stuff identified as snot, gaseous discharges, unpleasant bodily fluids, and puns that are so bad they make you regret your own existance. Because of all this gross stuff, the unfathomable VRC stuck it with a rating of MA-13. If anyone over thirteen finds this stuff funny, I fear for our generation.

The game itself, mercifully, isn't quite so distasteful, although there's nothing that sets it apart from the action-platform crowd- and it shows influences of Shiny's Earthworm Jim. The sprites and animation are good, but the backgrounds aren't that special. The sounds were good- Boogerman's clear cries of "Booger!" ring out with zeal.

Granted, I might be a little too hard on BM's (love the abbreviation) theme, but I can't say that any aspect of the game wowed me that much, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna recommend you spend upwards of $50 on it.

The Lion King
Side-Scrolling Platformer
Review by Brian Pacula

Lame. It's fucking criminal how often movies that don't even lend themselves to the video game medium are translated into slipshod games. Hold that. Take "slipshod" and replace it with "shitty". Since most of Virgin's previous platformers with a Di$ney motif have been playable, if uncreative, I was wondering why this one was so damn bad. Turn out Dave Perry wasn't involved. While I've never been a huge fan of Perry's games, I have to hand it to the guy... without him, Virgin's titles suck to hell.

Anyway, one of the main things that bugged me about The Lion King was its level design. The first round is way too short and uneventful (and has you killing small and nonthreatening critters dubiously branded "enemies". Seems odd, for such a [supposedly] family-oriented company), but the game then hurls you right into an awful second level. Remember those horrible automatic-scrolling obstacle courses that were so goddamn irritating in Tazmania and Battletoads? Prepare to relive them. Oog. Pretty hard for a game intended for kiddies, too. This is just a BAD game. Don't buy this. Hell, I don't even think you should RENT it.

Kirby's Adventure
Side-Scrolling Platformer
Nintendo (Hal Laboratories)
Review by Brian Pacula

Word up, homey, Kirby's like, totally stoopid phat or something. Sigh.

Kirby's Dreamland was always one of my favorite GameBoy games, but it sure took me a while to get his NES cart. It was worth it, though, especially for only $10. Everything about this game is high-quality, and it shows. There's good graphics and sound, good control, the whole deal. There's a game save option, tons of genuinely interesting bonus games, and other neat crap. Kirby himself is a wonderful mascot with tons of powers, most of which are gained by ingesting special enemies- and there's a lot of them, with tons of mini-bosses, good level bosses, and a three part final enemy.

For once I actually enjoyed the bonus games... there's a crane game, a quick draw shoot-out thingy, an arena, and a near little game where you have to suck eggs to win. Now THAT is cool. More games should have you do things like that. You should be required by law to get this game- it's the best NES cart I've played in a long time.

Now, what's sad is how Nintendo is handling this... Kirby is a good, appealing character, but the big N is cramming him into crappy pinball and mini-golf games, and some Tetris clone. Imagine Super Kirby's Adventure or something on the Super NES, utilizing those funky Donkey Kong Country graphics. Now THAT would be a "revolutionary" game I could get excited about.

Iron Soldier
Review by Brian Pacula

Well, folks, here's the proverbial pudding in which the proof is. Superior to (and more representative of those 64 bits Atari claims to have stashed in the Jaguar somewhere) Aliens vs. Predator and Tempest 2000 is Iron Soldier, the best Jag game I've played to date. Iron Soldier casts you as the pilot of a fourty foot mecha deployed to lay waste to The Man: in this case, a big scary corporation. I know, ya love it already, doncha? You get to stomp around, stepping on tanks and trees (fuck the environment), shooting down 'copters, and blowing up skyscrapers (all of which blow up in a beautiful shower of flames and debris). You win when the world's corporate powerhouse is a smoldering wreck.

The graphics are great- now THESE are polygons. Detailed enemies move like the real thing, everything scales 'n rotates all silky-smooth like, and you have complete control over your view- it's big juicy gobs of fun to look down as you step on a tank like filthy industrial beetle it is, crunching out human life like 'ya just don't care. In general I don't give a fuck about sound and music but Iron Soldier suffices in any case.

The control works fine (you may want to reverse it), which is good because Iron Soldier gets pretty fuckin' intense pretty early on. Too early on, actually, making this a pretty tough game. Imagine trying to lob a couple grenades (not too many!) into a battleship that's shooting at you and then switching to your gun to mow down the swarms of 'copters that are teeming around your head while half a dozen tanks fire at you from below and a stationary rocket launcher conveniently located at your blind spot spews hot death at you. For added fun, throw in an enemy mecha and little to no ammunition. All this can, and probably will, happen as soon as the second mission. On "easy". Iron Soldier is a game that's just screaming for a strategy guide. That aside, IS is worth your money, no doubt about it. If you have a Jaguar, BUY IT.

by Brian Pacula

Hello, folks. I'm back... ordinary cleansers just won't get rid of me. I'm starting PC coverage this time, and there's a bunch of new format changes. I scrapped the Resurrected column... now I'll review old games along with the new ones. Hi-Keeba isn't gone; it's just on hiatus. I dropped the decimals from the review scale. The 'Zine Looks section has increased in size and proportion ("I'm huge") and there's another letters column. Joy! Best of all, I got contributions! Now before I start editorializing, let me remind you to FILL IN THE SURVEY!!!!! Pleez!

So, has anyone called Sega's Eternal Champions hotline? How very arrogant of you, Sega, to call EC "the only fighting game you need." The funny part of the hotline is the goofy voices they got for the ten characters. Check out Larson, Slash, Blade, Jetta- heck, all of them. Oh, and has anyone seen the latest GameFan? Although I was glad to see them defend Time Killers a little, they re-reviewed Sonic CD... and I lost all shred of trust in them. Their original ratings for the game: 100% all around. Quite hefty. But in the re-reviews, the game scored between 73% to 84%. They blame it on the altered music in the American version. Uh, hello? Twenty-seven points lost over music!? I don't care what you say: music is the most unimportant part of a video game. Strike three for GameFan; such a shame.

In other news, it has become apparent that SNK removed the blood from Samurai Shodown, their best Street Fighter II rip-off to date. This is easily the stupidest thing a game company has ever done. Let's examine why. Here's a scenerio: A young, psychologically fragile child who would be influenced by blood to vivisect the cat or something- let's call him "Kenny" after the disturbed boy in the movie Gamera- desires to play Samurai Shodown. His parents give him a Neo*Geo instead of their care and attention. Now Kenny has the option to either pay $250 for the home version, where there is no blood to be found, or fifty cents at the arcade, and see some guy's artery cut open.

Uh, am I missing something? Shouldn't the arcade version be censored? EGM says the home version was to avoid the bad rap given to Mortal Kombat. You wish, SNK. As if the stupid senate fat cat dorks who don't even realize Sega already has a rating system even know what a Neo*Geo is! Doesn't it scare you that the gimps running our country are calling for games to be rated and they don't even realize there's already a fucking rating system in place!?!?! I mean, we pay for the upkeep of these bloated sacs of protoplasm, and for all this, they can't even go out to a Babbage's, look at a damn video game box, and see there's already a goddamned rating symbol plastered on the right-hand corner? Jiminy Christmas! Vote Kirby next election, or Sonic if you're a registered Segacrat. Smeesh!

Hey, did you notice the nifty editorial segue from trashing SNK to trashing the government? Don't hurt me.

by Brian Pacula

Hype, as you know, sucks. Here's a look at its more evil incarnations.

The dawn of Bubsy had been foretold since November '91, in GamePwo. And from there, it wasn't long before EVERY mag hyped it to death, put the game's star on their covers (with no pants!!!), and did feature reviews basically making it seem that Bubsy was somewhere between God and Joey Buttafuoco in importance. And what do we get? A mascot game. One with a typical cartoon voice that spouts HILARIOUS (sarcasm) catchphrases every time you die, which is often due to the poor control.

Um, my point is, why didn't anyone, like, play the Bubsy prototype and say, "Hey! This game's not so hot. Maybe we should use our cover to promote good games that don't receive much fanfare?" But nooo. Well, that's no surprise... I guess Accolade has a bit 'o cash to throw to the PR department, eh? EGM sez Accolade even sent them a cake on Bubsy's birthday. Eccch. You know why Kirby is my favorite game mascot (whoop- I've been meaning to get Kirby's Adventure for the NES... maybe by next issue)? Because Kirby succeeds on his own merits, not the merits a PR guy dreamt up for him. But for some reason, I don't think l'il Kirby's gonna pop up on the cover of EGM any time soon. Sad. Is that fair? Because we know Bubsy's birthday and not Kirby's, is Bubsy better? No! Why do games like Gunstar Heroes (which I haven't played but I heard is great) receive such little coverage? Gee, I wonder. Because Accolade spends more ad money than Treasure. Such a shame.

And another thing! VideoGames brought up a good point recently about Eternal Champions... Sega included such anally complete character bios with the game that it left no sense of mystery, one of the things that made Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat fun! I mean, we knew the characters' full names, jobs, favorite movies, shoe sizes, turn-ons, turn-offs, birthdates, social security numbers, political beliefs... the only thing we don't know is what they look like naked! In the case of Shadow, I don't think we need to! Corporate assassin? Yeah right, Sega. Suuure. Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more.

I'd actually like to commend Sega for not hyping Sonic 3 too much; likewise Midway and Mortal Kombat II. I actually played it before I read about it. Too bad Accolade blows it by already blitzing Bubsy 2. New villain... Oinker P. Spamm. Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha hee heeoohhh, my God, please tell me this isn't happening!!! Ooh, reeeeeeal clever, guys. This is NOT what I meant when I said I wanted to see Spam in a video game! Maybe they can have Bubsy say some other ULTRA-CLEVER cliche', too. OOOH, sign me up for THAT!!!

FYI, Aero the Acro-bat II is already in development. Kill me.

by Brian Pacula

Having consumed 75% of my body weight in free food samples, I aimlessly wandered the aisles of the Costco wholesale outlet in search of entertainment, which is not in plenty in a semi-isolated store the size of a small town. I wandered into the electronics section, where they had computers with the mouse balls removed so idiots couldn't fuck with them. However, intelligent people knew how to screw with the rollers in the mouse to use it.

It was there that I found...

The 3DO. Looking tame and innocuous near a television larger than I. In an attempt to stop us from actually playing it, the intro disc was loaded into the machine. And so, I killed time playing it.

After that, I retreated to the dark recesses of the store to purchase a drink. Being somewhat (physically) sick, I bought a cup of tea from a vending machine ("shareandenjoy"). I PAID for tea. What I actually got, however, was Satan's Piddle brand tea-like drink food and abrasive cleanser. It was, of course, hot enough to be used as a weapon, but being a typical teenager with delusions of invincibility ("I'm invincible!" "You're a loony."), I drank it. I imbibed the caustic liquid over a box of protective undergarments and reflected on the 3DO.

Let's start at the beginning. No, let's start at the control pad. Best described as the love child of the Super NES and Genesis controllers, it had seven buttons; three action and two optional, with L and R shoulder buttons a'la the Super NES. The cord was hella long, and to complete our little joypad we have a nine-pin socket for another controller and a headphone jack with volume control.

The 3DO console was nice looking; sorta utilitarian. Not sporty, like the Genesis, nor drab, like the old NES.

As for software, like I said, there was only the intro disc. There were three settings. One had a 3D-ish image of the 3DO, another coming attractions, and the last (read: interesting) one offered games 'n crap. It had the following: three cartoons (Thumbelina [ecch], Batman [yawn], and Two Stupid Dogs [sawright]), one soothingly hypnotic ("buy Panasonic... buy Panasonic...") color test, three games (PGA Golf, Road Race, and a Shell Game), and one annoying-as-hell snotnosed brat who asks you inane questions and keeps whining, "When can I playyy? Can I play nowww? Now is it MY turnnnn?" until you just want to TWIST the 3DO cord into a garrote and-

But I digress. That was an optional feature, I'm sure.

As for the games, let's blow past the lame-o Shell Game that could be done on a friggin' Fairchild Channel F, and move on to the golf game. It was OK, but for the love of Morris, does the world need another golf game? Road Race was cool, with multiple viewpoints and surreal backgrounds.

The access time on the 3DO was way too slow, the intro disc as a whole was weak, and, well, the 3DO doesn't seem to be getting any better.

After finishing my cup of now lukewarm flavored water, I left. I had seen the 3DO, and who really cares? Let the kinder have the damn thing. Of course, by now she was mucking up the Barney videos.

by Brian Pacula

Ancient Chinese secret, huh? Guess what, it's another book review. The literature here is Video Game $ecret$ of the Orient, and it's by Enrico del Mundo. This book is evil. It's full of information on how to basically cheat US game companies out the cash which they rightfully deserve by purchasing games at a large discount from Asian dealers, and clearly advocates peripherals and devices that fall into grey areas of morality.

...Naturally, I loved this book, recommend it, and plan to check out these Asian game dealers as soon as I can. The information about international system compatibility, the use of game copiers, and such are much more straightforward than the pro rags will give you, and there's detailed instructions on how to order from Hong Kong shops (including tips on how to two-step the US customs officials). There's also a nice listing (with pix) of clearly illegal games and such (you know, those multi-game dealies that Nintendo's so adamant about busting). Whether or not this book is worth the $15 depends on whether or not you're willing to go to the trouble of following the suggestions in it. Your call.

Prozine Reviews by Brian Pacula

I'm sure most of you can already tell where I'm gonna go with this, but shut up and read it anyway. Look, I need to fill space (this issue is so inspired!).

Electronic Games: With the removal of Relics and Fandom Central, there's hardly any reason to read this semi-highbrow publication. It was pretty good when it was first reincarnated; since then it's gone downhill fast. It's sort of surprising, really, since most of its writers are literate if nothing else. This, alas, is not something we can say about...

DieHard GameFan: Again, I used to like this, but no more. It used to be kinda cool; the staff actually seemed to care about gaming, the pictures were great, and they had nifty photo spreads of Japanese RPGs. Now it's devolved into a worthless hype rag for crap like Donkey Kong Country, Mortal Kombat II, and various arcade fighters from SNK and other mediocre companies.

EGM: Sort of the bloated, decadent, ineffectual king of prozines. Lots of reader input in the form of stupid letters and "What Ifs" (which invariably involve MKII characters getting into wacky situations). WOrth reading if you need industry news, but who really does.

EGM2: Like EGM, but seems more interested in promoting unreleased games than anything else. If EGM is bad, EGM2 is bad squared. Fandom Central looks oddly out of place here.

VideoGames: A horrible layout, tacky graphics, and way too many pictures highlight what is, depressingly, the best electronic gaming prozine. Decent reviews and articles (which, for once, contain a little humor and personality) from good writers like Zach Meston, Chris Bieniek, and Betty Hallock. Chris Gore shoulda stuck with Film Threat (which isn't looking too hot lately either), but whatcha gonna do.

Game Players': I like this one too, if only for its good mix of writing and pix, and write-in game counseling is always interesting is always interesting. There's a mild resemblence to UK gaming mags, what with the scattershot layout and staff photos.

GamePro: The writing would be great if it weren't geared toward little kids. The reviews are (as MacInnes proves) fixed, but that's hardly a shocker. Their news and fighting game moves lists are always outdated, but who cares. Ranks third on my list, after Game Players' and VideoGames.

Flux: No fucking comment.

NewType Gaming: I expected this to be good, since Tyrone Rodriguez and Ara Shirinian write for it, but sadly, it's another mag you can safely pass by. Get Ty and Ara's fanzines instead.

NEXT Generation: Multimedia and PC crap. Forget it.

All right, well, that should do it. Of course, you'd always be better off buying a good 'zine like MASTERminds or Digital Press than any of these rags. I know, I left out some mags, like SWATPro, Game Informer, etc. They suck, so don't fret about it. UK magazines are OK, but rarely worth the inflated price. And that's it! Avoid the newsstands...



Thanks so much for the neato Anna and Uni pic! I still need to find a poster version, large and in color, oh yeah, and cheap...

Sorry I didn't respond any sooner, but I've been a little out of the loop the last couple months, especially during the holidays, and I'm only now catching up. Yeah, what is up with GameBoy Space Invaders? Taito was going to release that a LONG time ago, like, when the GameBoy was first released. Finally, here it is. And isn't Battleship finally available? Sunsoft dropped Navy Blue, essentially the same game, about the same time Taito dropped our little friends.

So how come you didn't let us in on the "Lady from Nantucket" limerick? Me and Chris Kohler (Chris Kohler and I, you mean. -ed.) had to try to make one up. Also, as to your Milk and Cheese game you wanna see... please refer to MASTERminds, where Todd and I discussed the very idea (if you haven't already seen it). Do you have any good concrete ideas for the game? If so, please let me know!

You didn't catch on to Bart's droog costume right away? Shame on you! The Halloween episodes of The Simpsons have more references per minute than ten seasons of your average sitcom (and every one of them does a parody of A Christmas Carol at one time or another, and/or an It's A Wonderful Life rip-off).

I can forgive your slip, though, as I missed the "fundamental particle" description of QuarkXPress for a second or two... Top? Bottom?

Perhaps you should broadband the original version of your letter to TurboForce and the chopped up version so everyone can see how they bastardized you. I know other have had that happen, too, and I had a question in GamePro that (I suspect accidentally) made me sound dumber than I am...

Russ Perry, Jr.
Omro WI

Serious about that Puma sisters poster? Drop a line to Central Park Media- I hear they're starting to merchandise Dominion and Project A-Ko stuff. Oh, and by now I've probably sent you my version of the limerick (no, I'm not printing it).

I dunno about the Milk and Cheese game... anything where you get to just smash the shit out of stuff/people sounds pretty cool, but I haven't had any moments of divine inspiration with regards to its concept, if that's what you meant. Ask Renny Harlin. Finally, your idea to print the Johnny Turbo letters is a great one, and if I can locate the issue of TurboForce I'll do just that. For layout purposes I need to add a couple lines here, so I thought I'd let you know that I really liked Slap-Dash #4. Great ish. OK, that's enough.

by Brian Pacula

Disgruntled Enforcers
At last, you carry out the mothership's order to buy an Uzi and blow away your anti-Christ supervisors at the post office. Just be sure to turn the gun on yourself when the cops show up!

Tourist Trap
A controversial game wherein you save scantily clad tourists from nosferatu with the help of Danny Bonaduce.

Columbo: Consulting Detective
Heck, it couldn't be as bad as the abysmal Holmes games.

Klay Kombat
Like Clay Fighter, but with "claytalities".

Brady Fighter
WIth fatalities! Watch out for Sam the butcher!

Tonya Harding's Skate of Die
I am really, really sorry about that one.

Super Pennsylvania GP
Amish buggy racing!

Bjork: The Video Game
Bizarre Icelandic child-women, edible moths, bears on the moon, the perfect Game Gear game!!!

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers
I want to make it clear that I think the show SUCKS DONKEY BUTT but I think the game which will surely come would be sorta cool.

Bud Bowl VII
Am I wrong to want this more than Madden '95?

MST3K Game Genie
It like, goes between the console and cart, puts the silhouettes on the screen, and they comment on your game!

Sung to the tune of Roxanne by The Police
by Brian Pacula

You Don't Have to Put on the Red Light
You're Getting Older
You Don't Have to Sell Yourself to Games That Bite

You Don't Have to Get the Spelling Right
Yes, It May Look Funny
But Who Cares If It's "fIgt" Instead of "Fight"

I Love Your Pretty Screen Shots
You're Really Literate... Not
I Have To Say You're Obsequious
But That Doesn't Matter Much To Us
Postmeister, I Can See Through
Andy Cockburn Is the Real You
Bought You Once, I Won't Buy You Again

It's a Bad Game
You Don't Have To Say That It's All Right
You Don't Have To Put On the Red Light

And what would an issue of GB8B be without...


by Brian Pacula

10. Nude picture of the editor below each game review
9. Aspires to be "almost as good as EGM"
8. In a letter to the editor, Dennis Crowley complains of "undue hostility"
7. Jess Ragan refuses to write for it
6. Mascot: "Winkie the Crab Louse"
5. Editor claims to be a woman; is really a 63-year old Bavarian man
4. The comics are colored in with human blood
3. Uproar gives it a negative review
2. Editor refuses to bow down before our dark master Cthulhu. Ia! Ia!
1. Assistant editor: Mom

Anime Reviews
by Josh Lesnick

Golgo 13: The Professional
Review by Josh Lesnick

Not all anime is worth watching. Some stinkers will make you groan, sink into your seat, and come close to putting you in a coma. These would include Dog Soldier and Crystal Triangle. And then there are those that will make you want to jump out of your seat and just scream "THIS SUCKS!!!". And as you may have guessed, Golgo 13 would fit into this category. It's a very hyped anime. Many have heard of it. Few have actually seen it, and those who have were treated to one of the worst cinematic experiences in their entire life. Go ahead and rent it if you'd like to waste three bucks, but if I were you, I'd wait a bit and maybe we'll eventually see it on MST3K.

Here's the plot. Golgo 13 is an assassin. He shoots people and blood sprays out of them like water through a lawn sprinkler. He just goes around shooting people in the head and stuff happens. The "plot twists" are about as hard to predict as the quality of the next DTMC game. The plot line is so easy to follow, I guess the director did all he could to prevent people from understanding the movie.

Right when the movie started, I noticed something odd and repugnant about it. It used constant "tricks". Shadows were thrown on the characters, and there were tons of splitscreens. The camera would focus its attention on odd objects such as gun holsters and toenail clippings. The animators jumped at any chance to show the characters from an odd viewpoint. These "tricks" didn't just happen every so often. They occured CONSTANTLY. It already got on my nerves at the very beginning, but David and Ben seemed to like them, so maybe it was just me. I continued to watch... maybe it'd get better as the film went on.

It didn't. Soon all three of us were yelling at these damn "tricks". Some were somewhat impressive. A lot were tedious. There must have been at least 97 "freeze frames" in the flick, where they stopped the animation and replaced the current cel with a hand-drawn picture. Some of these effects were just plain absurd. The elevator fight scene had us laughing our frickin' heads off. By this time I was ready to throw a brick through the damn TV. There was also some sort of computer animated crap that was about as impressive as the graphics in Cybermorph. Granted, it's an old film, but it still accomplished nothing more than making the movie more sporadic than it already was.

And if that ain't enough, we have to deal with the "hero" himself. Golgo 13, my friends, is not even remotely appealing. For some reason, my twisted friend Ramsden-san found him to be pretty cool, but to me, he ranks right down there with Mitchell and the Paper Chase guy. I found myself cheering and applauding whenever he got shot, and was extremely pissed to find out that he didn't die in the end.

Just avoid this damn film at all costs. That's all there is to it.


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