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July/August 1993


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Natsume - For SNES
Pocky & Rocky
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Shooter | 8 MB | June 1993
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Up for a real challenge? Don't be deceived by the bright colors and cutesy characters, under the hood lies a unique run-and-gun/platformer synthesis unlike anything we've seen here in the USA. Natsume presents Pocky and Rocky, starring a fierce heroine and her trusty raccoon sidekick. Voyage through four exceptionally difficult levels to save the land from a horde of mind-controlling goblins. This one is special, boys and girls. Whilst void of any Mode-7 scaling effects or FX-chip sparkle, beautifully detailed backgrounds, fascinating enemy designs, and memorable music makes Pocky the freshest SNES cart in ages.


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Atlus - For SNES
Run Saber
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB | June 1993
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Run Saber appears to be Horisoft and Atlus' answer to Strider and Contra. Available exclusively on the Super NES, this cart takes inspiration from an assortment of beloved games to craft a respectable side-scrolling fighter. Wacky stages? Check. Creative yet unsettling boss designs? Check-aroony! High difficulty to make up for short levels? Yup, check that box too. We certainly had a grand ol' time playing Run Saber in an afternoon (We did so with the awesome 2-player mode!) but it is indeed painfully short and left us hankering for a Contra 4. Definitely worth renting, however, to see for yourself!


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Seika - For SNES
Super Turrican
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Shooter | 8 MB | June 1993
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The advertisement for the game says it all: "Freakin' Awesome!" Featuring over a dozen unique and colorful levels, a multitude of power-ups, bombs, and lasers, and over 1,000 screens, Super Turrican is among best action-shooters thus released for the Super NES. The graphics are commendable for a cart, matching some of the better Turbo Duo offsprings, and yet everything is crammed into just 8 Megs of power. As a plus, Seika also adds support for Dolby Surround Sound! It's tough as nails, as the greatest run-and-gun shooters are nowadays, but you're missing out if you skip this one, players. Turrican is back!


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Sonic Soft - For GENESIS
Shining Force
Game Type | Game Size | Release
RPG | 12 MB | July 1993
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Off in the mythical land of Rune, our fearless hero, Max, is sent on a journey to put an end to the notorious Commander Kane and prevent the return of dragons. Shining Force is meant as a sequel to 1991's Shining in the Darkness, yet this cart is an entirely different beast. This RPG takes place on a grid-based battlefield, and has the player strategically move and interact with characters not unlike a chess board. Each party member has his or her own unique skillset, personality, and leveling system. If you enjoy titles like Dragon Warrior, then this will absolutely be up your alley! Give it a try!


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Sega - For GENESIS
Jurassic Park
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB | August 1993
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Making its roaring debut on the Sega Genesis, Steven Spielberg's dino-tastic film makes its way to the video game front. Jurassic Park is being advertised as an action-packed thriller matching the likes of Flackback, using state-of-the-art Silicon Graphics computer technology and stop motion photography. The game is quite fun but not Delphine level. This licensed title gives the player the choice to play as a human or a dino and set out on a platforming adventure either to rescue trapped visitors or escape the facility. Atmospheric graphical eye candy aplenty, but subpar gameplay and controls hurt its score.


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Sunsoft - For GENESIS
Blaster Master 2
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB | June 1993
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This sequel to the cult classic run-and-gun NES title, Blaster Master, has all of the welcome upgrades we expect from the latest 16-bit-ers without losing any of the original's charm. You control Jason, a small infantryman nestled inside of a lightweight tank named SOPHIA, and have the option of traversing the colorful, graphically diverse landscape either on-foot or in your vehicle. It does play far more like an NES game than a Genesis cart and chooses not to push the envelope in any department, but take that as you will. We've found this one is quite a fun and addicting arcade-like platformer.


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Konami - For GENESIS
Rocket Knight Adv.
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB | August 1993
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Move over Sonic and Bubsy, here comes a new face on the mascot scene. Rocket Knight stars an ambitious, speedy possum named Sparkster chock full of personality and abilities (and awful cuddly too). Our possum friend uses a special jetpack to boost across the screen and damage enemies, and like all possums, he can use his tail to hang upside-down! Konami's sprites are very well animated, the gameplay is exemplary, and with over 30 levels, there is plenty to work through on this cart. As far as action-platformers are concerned, Rocket Knight is among the best in our book. Highly recommended for all ages.


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Tengen - For SEGA-CD
Robo Aleste
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Shooter | CD | August 1993
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From the developers of MUSHA on the Genesis comes Robo Aleste, a gorgeous vertical shooter that feels straight out of the arcade. Backgrounds scroll lightning fast from the very start, giving the player a solid idea of how this game will play. You control a mechanized, steam-powered robot in feudal Japan and your mission is to enact revenge on the notorious Kurogane for destroying your home village. Story aside, the gameplay is challenging as all heck, but easily the most fun we've had yet on the Sega CD. Sporting a rockin' soundtrack and voice acted cutscenes, Robo Aleste gets our highest marks.


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Virgin - For SEGA-CD
The Terminator
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | CD | June 1993
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"I'll Be Back." No kidding! Terminator by Virgin is a side-scrolling, platforming adventure game set in the apocalyptic world of 1984. You take on the role of Kyle Reese, the ever-determined father of John Connor, on the road to defeating the dreaded Infiltrator-model Terminator. This one's a toughie: Just one life, no extra chances and no continues. Fortunately, Kyle is equipped with suitable weaponry and abilities to take down every threat which comes your way. The heavy-metal music fits the theming perfectly and gosh are we thrilled to enjoy it on a disc instead of a wimpy cartridge. Digitized cut scenes aplenty too!


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TTI - For TG16
Bonk 3
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB | June 1993
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From TTI comes the newest in the trilogy of games based on the supercharged caveman. On the positive side, Bonk 3 keeps the charm and fun of the original two titles on the Turbo, and TTI now includes 2-player support for some double trouble. Yet, this side-scrolling platformer ultimately does not take advantage of its 8-meg catridge - sporting stale backgrounds and 8-bit chip music. Its lack of stand-out features and unchanged cartoonish style leaves us wanting more. One wonders why Bonk was not awarded the same CD privileges of certain "Thunderous" wonders on the Duo.


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Capcom - For NES
DuckTales 2
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 2 MB | June 1993
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Leave it to Capcom to breathe new life into the ailing, 8-year-old NES. As was the case with the first iteration of DuckTales, the player controls Scrooge McDuck on a wonderful little adventure in the pursuit of treasures, taking on innovative puzzles and whacking away baddies with your cane. DuckTales 2, much like Mega Man 5, vaults the power of the NES to its absolute limits, and proves that graphics aren't everything in a video game. It isn't even truly that bad in its appearance either, but this one shines bright in its splendid gameplay. A no-brainer pick-up if you haven't sold off your NES yet.


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Nintendo - For Game Boy
Link's Awakening
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB | August 1993
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Nintendo delivers an excellent follow-up to A Link to the Past with the newest, monochromatic Zelda on the Game Boy. Our hero awakens on a deserted beach, and the player must guide him through a multitude of dungeons and perilous plateaus to learn the secret of the Wind Fish. Not dissimilar to Mario Land 2, the Big N manages to squeeze a 16-Bit-like cart onto the very tiny Game Boy screen, and yet again, we're amazed. Link's adventure is most enjoyable from start to finish, the new items and collectables keep us on our toes, and the sound design is wonderful for a portable cart. Well done, Nintendo.


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