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Presenting... The Annual PPM Holiday Handbook! This handy toolkit is loaded up with our best recommendations for how to navigate the complex holiday shopping season as well as the new year ahead. Whether you're a bonafide games player or buying for a TV-glued loved one, our guide is designed to make this Christmastime a memorable one. For all of the most popular systems we've catalogued a multitude of technical and pricing info, our own summaries, PLUS a rundown of three hot games.



Price: $139.99
Release Date: 1991
In-Box: Control Deck, 2 Gamepads, Super Mario Game Pak, Manuals & Extras
Features: Parallax Scrolling, FX Chip Capability, 32K Colors Available
# of Bits: 16


Nintendo's flagship console for the War of the Super Systems. A hot seller with great graphics, innovative developers, and a steady stream of great games on the horizon. The existing library is also massive with a wide array of genres available from action-platformers to role-playing games. It has garnered a kid-friendly reputation, which may be a plus or a minus depending on the player. The SNES is going strong is a solid choice for '94.


Star Fox -- $54.99

Pilot your arwing in a fast-moving space shooter. Stunning 3-D polyhon graphics and gameplay.

Super Mario All-Stars -- $59.99

Compilation of four Super Mario Bros. games upgraded to 16-Bit. Lots of Mario fun!

Street-Fighter II: Turbo -- $69.99

Take down your foes with special combos. An excellent arcade portover from Capcom.



Price: $89.99
Release Date: 1985
In-Box: System, 2 Gamepads, Super Mario 3 Cart, Manuals & Extras
Features: 52 Colors, Scrolling Graphics
# of Bits: 8


The former world champion of the video game world. The original Nintendo Entertainment System is undoubtedly in its twilight years, but it maintains a ginormous library of games and a vast assortment of accessories and gadgets. Despite its age, the Nintendo is just as fun as it was when it first launched nearly ten whole years ago. It's perfect for a young child as a "starter" system or a more casual games player on a tighter budget.


Mega Man VI -- $49.99 Import

As the title robot, blast Dr. Wily's evil machines to bits. Capcom platforming joyousness.

Battletoads & Double Dragon -- $49.99

A legendary team-up with loads of levels to enjoy. Two-player mode provides lots of enjoyment!

Kirby's Adventure -- $39.99

Fight off the baddies as a lovable, pink cotton ball. A cute adventure game, but not that challenging.



Price: $129.99
Release Date: 1989
In-Box: System, 1 Gamepad, Sonic 2 Cart, Manuals & Extras
Features: Arcade Graphics, Blast Processing, Upgradability
# of Bits: 16


The first, true 16-Bit system on the market, the Sega Genesis is still a hot commodity even on the heels of its fifth birthday. Its medicore sound chip is offset by a blazing fast processor, shown off brilliantly through the stellar pack-in, Sonic 2. Sega's all-new six-button gamepad makes for perfect fighting game action! The new "Model 2" even comes at a lower price! With tons of titles in stores and more on the way, Sega is an easy choice.


Gunstar Heroes -- $49.99

Guide the Gunstars on their quest to stop an evil empire. A+ showcase of blast processing.

Aladdin -- $49.99

Prince Ali, Mighty is He, right here on Sega! Fluid animations and perfect platforming all around.

Mortal Kombat -- $59.99

The best version outside of the arcades, truly a staple for all Sega owners. MA-Rated.



Price: $229.99
Release Date: 1992
In-Box: CD System, Three Game Discs Included, Manuals & Extras
Features: HiFi CD Audio, Custom Graphics, FMV Capability
# of Bits: 16


This CD attachment is an upgrade companion for your Sega Genesis. With it, you'll have access to a new library of CD games (75+ as of November) capable of trumpeting out quality full-motion video and digital audio. We've seen some developers go full throttle in their development for the system, and others not so much. There's plenty to love about this system, and as we move into an era of CD gaming, the Sega CD is absolutely worth the price of admission if you own a Genesis.


Batman Returns -- $49.99

Save Gotham City from the nefarious Penguin in this nifty Dark Knight title. Fun 3-D racing levels!

Sonic CD -- $49.99

The Blue Devil speeds by in this exclusive journey on CD. 70 Levels and Multiple Endings.

The Terminator -- $49.99

Tough-as-nails action game featuring Kyle Reese. Digitized cut-scenes and a killer soundtrack.



Price: $299.99
Release Date: 1992
In-Box: CD System, One Controller, Multi-Game Disc, Manuals & Extras
Features: Custom Graphics, 512 Colors, CD Audio
# of Bits: 16


The TurboDuo is the "Black Sheep" of the game market. Its base unit launched at the same time as the Genesis but was vastly overshadowed by its competitor's speed and graphical superiority. It lacks much third party support these days, and unfortunately many excellent games are locked in Japan. Turbo boasts a handful of entertaining titles, but it may not survive 1994 unless TTI can find a magic lamp and turn their luck around.


Bonk 3 -- $49.99

Bonk, TTI's Mario, returns for his third outing on the hunt for some jurassic butt-kicking.

Lords of Thunder -- $59.99

PPM's Top Scrolling Shooter. Fantastic combat game with amazing sound mixing to boot.

Vasteel -- $59.99

Command your own War Games in this heavy, hex-based strategy title. For more experienced gamers.



Price: $79.99
Release Date: 1989
In-Box: Handheld System, Earphones, Tetris Game Pack, Manuals & Extras
Features: Dot Matrix LCD Display
# of Bits: 4


Its green-and-black graphical interface may seem a touch antiquated as we approach an era of 32 and 64-Bit devices, but, heck, the Game Boy outlasted President Bush. Its popularity shows no signs of slowing as 1994 rolls around. With a library of hundreds to choose from and consistent support by Nintendo, the Game Boy lives on. Pick up a magnifier, though...and a flashlight along with a bunch of AA-batteries. You'll thank us later.


Super Mario Land 2 -- $28.99

Traverse six memorable worlds and defeat the evil Wario as everyone's favorite plumber.

Zelda: Link's Awakening -- $29.99

Save Koholint Island with your trusty sword and shield. Classic Zelda goodness plus a twist ending!

Final Fantasy Legend III -- $49.99

Explore mystical environments with a four-man party in this RPG. Excellent for older players.



Price: $129.99
Release Date: 1991
In-Box: Handheld System, Sonic Cart, Manuals & Extras
Features: 4096 Colors, Lighted Display
# of Bits: 8


Sega's Game Gear is, in some ways, above and beyond Nintendo's portable device. Game Gear offers 8-bit gameplay with a lighted, liquid-crystal display in a broad range of colors. Tons of games are available for the Sega handheld from Batman to Shinobi and you'll have no shortage of accessories, either. Expect brutal battery drain as the required 6 AAAs quickly peter out under the strain of the light-up screen, however.


Streets of Rage 2 -- $34.99

A perfect, miniaturized version of the brawler smash hit. Loads of replayability.

Shinobi II -- $34.99

Be a ninja master on-the-go with this addicting, little cart. Awesome 8-bit sounds.

Mortal Kombat -- $44.99

Stunning port of the monster arcade fighter. Far from flawless but it's portable Kombat!



Price: Varies
Release Date: 1993-4
In-Box: Varies
Features: 64M+ Pixels/Second, Millions of Colors On-Screen, CD Capabilities
# of Bits: 32


Of the next generation of gaming systems, two will have undergone limited launches by the time you read this handbook. The 3DO and the Atari Jaguar pioneer the next wave with upcoming releases by Sega and Nintendo sometime in the next year or so. Keeping in mind the small number of units for sale and the tiny game selections we cannot widely recommend either system at this point, but if you DO manage to get your hands on the $700 Panasonic or the $250 Atari, better snag 'em!



Price: $19.99
Release Date: 1993
In-Box: Electronic Handheld Game
Features: LCD Display
# of Bits: N/A


From Tiger Electronics comes a slew of all-new LCD handheld game devices. Claiming to understand "what's hot with kids," Tiger has prepared about eight versions of this gadget, utilizing acquired licenses from Jurassic Park, Aladdin, Sonic and more. It's cheap, and boy is it cheap. No graphics to speak of, nor much in terms of sound. In essence, these are enlarged versions of those calculator game watches. Fun for small children, at least for an afternoon.

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