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Capcom - For SNES
Mega Man Soccer
Sports | 12 MB
Release: Apr 1994
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Capcom has delivered a second Mega Man title exclusively for SNES systems, and this time it's war on the soccer pitch! Mega Man Soccer is a fun sports simulator with an arcade-like feel. It brings the Mega personality and colorful graphics of the titular series and loads it all up within this lighthearted soccer arena. Play control is not the greatest - a bit sluggish and cumbersome for a younger audience to enjoy. This cart does exhibit a wonderful four-player mode for party play as well as a password feature. A fine rental with some charm, but nowhere close to X.


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Nintendo - For SNES
Super Metroid
Act-Adventure | 24 MB
Release: Apr 1994
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After a long wait, Samus is here in all of her 16-Bit glory. Nintendo's first smash hit of 1994 has arrived, and boy does it deliver on all fronts. Super Metroid is an action-adventure title, chock full of labyrinthian exploration complete with nasty bosses and secret rooms. Fans of the NES original will find tons to love in this Super cart: Beautiful graphics, stellar music, an array of weapon types, and pinpoint control accuracy. Once you get sucked in, you may find yourself playing Super Metroid for hours and hours on end. Leave it to the Big N to remind us to cherish our SNES.


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Capcom - For SNES
Knights of the Round
Brawler | 12 MB
Release: Apr 1994
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Knights of the Round is the latest in a string of arcade rips for SNES. Looking past Capcom's bizarre choice to release the markedly similar King of Dragons right alongside this cart, it cannot be said that the developers did a poor job at translating this for home systems. Choose from three characters; Lancelot, Arthur, and Percibal, and bash your way through the shockingly unsafe Kingdom of Camelot. Albeit no Final Fight, Knights controls splendidly and has a great deal of replay value thanks to its cooperative mode. An excellent beginner brawler for all ages to enjoy.


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SEGA - For GENESIS
Virtua Racing
Racing | 16 MB
Release: May 1994
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Utilizing the all-new SEGA Virtual Processing (SVP) chip, Virtua Racing for Genesis has zoomed onto store shelves. Racing fans, arcade fans, and high-octane action game fans will all undoubtedly appreciate this hot new cart. Race to your heart's content with three courses, two transmission options, and high-flying speed. Cramming a state-of-the-art coin-op onto this home system was no easy feat. Indeed, the SVP chip was custom made for VR in order to help generate quick movement for the complex 3-D polygons. Even then, at a startling $100 price tag, this one may be reserved for super fans.


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Sunsoft - For GENESIS
Pirates of Dark Water
Brawler | 8 MB
Release: Mar 1994
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Sunsoft's Pirates of Dark Water is an action-adventure title based on the animated TV show. Your quest in this swashbuckling tale is to find the six Treasures of Rule in order to drain the dreaded Dark Water the high seas. The truth is, if you've owned a Genesis for a fair bit of time, chances are you've played several carts in the exact mold of Pirates. Grab your trusty sword, slash at your foes, jump across obstacles, etc. Nevertheless, Pirates shines best in the graphical realm, exhibiting detailed sprites and parallax-scrolling backgrounds galore. Good, challenging (but somewhat forgettable) fun!


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SEGA - For GENESIS
Asterix
Act-Puzzle | 16 MB
Release: Apr 1994
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The Europeans are at it again! Asterix and the Great Rescue is a puzzler with a color palette about as bright and saturated as any hit Amiga game. Guide our titular hero across a host of levels fraught with dangerous obstacles, pitfalls, traps, and bucking broncos, all without breaking his stride. Saving your kidnapped dog, Dogmatix, from the dastardly Romans is paramount to victory! Asterix may primarily appeal to younger gamers looking for a brain tease, but if thematic predecessors like Lemmings or Krusty's Fun House are your jam, then this Genesis game is an absolute buy.


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Arena - For SEGA-CD
Mortal Kombat
Fighting | CD
Release: Apr 1994
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That's right! Mortal Kombat has officially been released on SEGA-CD consoles. When starting this disc up, players will be greeted by a jaw-dropping two-minute trailer set to the addicting as heck techno theme song. Alright! Jump right on in and... uh oh. A loading screen. MK CD-edition, despite its inclusion of blood from the get-go and slight visual improvements, is not quite the leap forward we at PPM hoped for. It boasts of digitized sound yet retains the chunky cart music. Hearing "Flawless Victory!" is quite good, but not when sitting through lengthy load time for each fight. Pass.


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Core - For SEGA-CD
Soul Star
3-D Shooter | CD
Release: May 1994
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Soul Star is pure awesome. As the game's narrator explains in the neat opening cutscene, "Face your most ancient enemy in the battle for the soul of a star." Woah. Sounds intense! Next thing you know, you're in the driver's seat of a futuristic spacecraft blasting apart baddies in the depths of space. Soul Star is a 3-D scrolling shooter in the vein of Star Fox minus the polygons (I'll take detailed sprites over bland polygons any day. -Jet). Kudos to the sound design team as well for adding an excellent soundtrack to the mix. Mediocre play control is the only downside, here, in an otherwise fantastic game.


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Core - For SEGA-CD
Battlecorps
Act-Simulation | CD
Release: May 1994
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Core Design has graced our SEGA CDs with not one, but two killer titles! Battlecorps is a first-person mech simulator, and like Soul Star uses sprite scaling instead of polygonal graphics. The basic premise behind Battlecorps is very Terminator-like: Fight off an uncontrollable robotic security system and save the world. BAM, the Bipedal Attack Machine, can roam around the planetary surface as it pleases, shooting at anything and everything in its path. Once more, the sound engineers deserve praise for adding great blast effects and background sounds. Thumbs-up.


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Psygnosis - For 3DO
Microcosm
3-D Shooter | CD
Release: Apr 1994
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Psygnosis, the British game developers best known for bestowing Lemmings upon the Earth, are back with Microcosm on 3DO. Originally a FM Towns computer game, Microcosm has since been ported to the SEGA-CD and 3DO with an Amiga CD32 version on the way. This title is a 3-D shooter that takes place entirely within a human body. The player's ship stays on-rails for the duration of the game, a side effect of using computerized FMV backgrounds, so just fly, aim and shoot! Decent tunes and FMV, but the gameplay turns stale within minutes. Maybe worth a weekend rental.


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Taito - For Game Boy
Chase H.Q. II
Racing | 1 MB
Release: Apr 1994
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Seeing as the Game Boy cannot exactly handle the likes of F-Zero or Super Mario Kart, PPM must look to third-party manufacturers for solid, portable racing games. Meet Chase H.Q. II by Taito, a cart that practically begs Nintendo to release an updated handheld system. Drive down a series of long, lonely highways to find and corner the perp - then pummel them into submission! Players will be able to upgrade their vehicle, and the addition of minor cutscene messages was a nice touch, but Chase requires a hefty amount of imagination to get through it without losing your mind, or returning this game.


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SEGA - For Game Gear
Aladdin
Act-Platformer | 4 MB
Release: Apr 1994
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Prince of Persia, is that you? This, the portable iteration of Disney's Aladdin available now on Game Gear, looks and plays extraordinarily like a toned-down Persia. Run through maze-like stages, jump and dodge over obstacles, find keys and open locked doors, and escape those guards! As far as Game Gear games go, you could certainly do much worse than this miniaturized Aladdin. Character models are identifiable, backgrounds are well-drawn, and the music isn't half bad either. Our team found it easy with a capital Z, so less experienced players may be more entertained.


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