Where I Read – Electronic Gaming Monthly Issue 113


On to issue #113 of Electronic Gaming Monthly for December of 1998. Yeah, that’s another gap in my archive, but that’s okay. Our cover story for this issue is The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time for the N64, which is still one of the best regarded Zelda games of all time, on par with Link to the Past. As a note, the masthead for this issue now includes James “Milkman” Mielke, Ryan MacDonald, and Mark MacDonald.

Our editorial from John Davidson for this issue is on some of the spectacular games they’ve gotten to play at EGM recently. Aside from Zelda, they’ve also gotten to play more of Metal Gear Solid, and they’ve gotten to play Virtua Fighter 3 on the Dreamcast.

Letters

The Letter of the Month is from a Girl Gamer who really isn’t that offended by the depiction of buxom bad-ass babes like Lara Croft in video games. Basically, her argument is that as long as the games are fun, she’ll play them, even if they feature women who are sex objects, so long as they’re not passive sex toys, or depicted in a misogynist fashion. Besides, girls get their guys who are sexualized ideals too, like Cloud, Squall, or any of a number of bishounen (my word, not hers).

However, she says that if you don’t like the current crop of video games, then games probably aren’t for you, and you shouldn’t ask for games that fit your taste. I disagree with that statement. Video games should be, ideally, someplace where all walks of life can come and play together on common ground. What I mean by that is that no matter who you are, what gender you are, what kind of music you like, what ethnic group you are, what income class you are, there should be something that you’ll like. This doesn’t mean that all video games should appeal to everyone – but there should be something for everyone.

Anyway, we get a bunch of other letters from girls as well applauding Lara Croft as a positive role model for girls. I also notice that they’re publishing readers E-Mail addresses. That seems like a bad idea nowadays, particularly considering that they don’t publish readers home addresses for privacy reasons. It kind of shows something about how privacy on the internet has changed over time.

On other notes, we get letters responding to the cancellation of Thrill Kill, saying that EA was in the wrong to cancel it (no, they weren’t – they really, really weren’t), and another arguing that if EGM prints a letter they must agree with it, thus they hate Sonic and are horrible people (in response to a letter printed in an earlier issue). I don’t get that at all. We get a letter asking if your video game console can damage your TV (it can, if you leave a stationary image on the screen for too long).

There’s a companion column to letters that I’m going to lump in with the main letters section, titled “Ask Sushi X”. The questions Sushi gets this issue are about his impression of Ehrgeiz (he likes it, and considers it a good successor to Tobal No. 2). There are questions about importing games for the Saturn, using a 4-in-1 adapter. Of particular note, there’s a question about why EGM hasn’t written a review of Turok 2 yet, even though an unnamed competitor has already written a review, in their September 1998 issue. I wonder who that is. To my knowledge, the only magazines that EGM has beefed with were GamePro and DieHard Game Fan, though it’s entirely possible that they could end up beefing with Gamers Republic, as it was founded by DHGF alums. I’ll have to find out who reviewed it. Anyway, EGM hasn’t reviewed the game because the game isn’t done yet – which means the people who reviewed the game weren’t working with a finished verison of the game. This is significant because they gave the game an extremely favorable review. Now, any review score wouldn’t be fair, because the game isn’t done. However, this is reviewing a game which is quite possibly very bugged, and assuming in your review that all the bugs would be fixed, when it’s quite possible that there are some major ones that won’t get fixed, for various reasons.

Press Start

The Dreamcast launch is almost upon us – Sega has boxes of systems coming into warehouses, and have finished disks ready, with box art and everything. The Dreamcast is also going to be the first console that’s going to ship Online enabled with a modem available at launch (as opposed to the NES and later consoles, which released Modem add-ons later). Also, as was mentioned in the letters section, Thrill Kill has been canceled by EA, who still owns the engine, which they’ll use later for Wu-Tang Shaolin Style. Meanwhile, Japan’s annual Arcade Machine Show features Konami’s latest rhythm game, one which sets the world on fire, at least for a time, Dance Dance Revolution. Also, Pokemon has been released for the Game Boy, and the animated series is out too, and has been released in the US. I’ve heard that the Japanese versions is actually funnier than the US version, even for Western audiences, but I haven’t been able to find fansubbed versions of Japanese episodes.

Also, Tokyo Game Show has come and gone. Among the highlights were Sony announcing their PocketStation (which was never released in the US). We also get a look at Sega Rally 2 and Virtua Fighter 3TB (Tournament Battle). SNK is also getting into the portable market with Neo Geo Pocket Color.

In Quartermann’s column, we have reports that the PS2 will be announced end of 1999, and that it won’t have backwards compatibility. I’ll give them the first half, as it’s announced in March 1999, which is ahead of expectations, but they’re dead wrong on the second half. Infograms is rumored to be working on new Alone in the Dark game, which becomes Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare. We also get a column from Nikki Douglas of GrrlGamer.com (now defunct), about what girls like in video games – which contradicts everything we read in letters from girl gamers in the Letters column. For example, girls get turned off by sexualized females in games – specifically citing Lara Croft. According to Nikki, girls also don’t like games with no plot. Nothing’s cited here, but the implication here is Doom & Quake. “They” (according to Nikki) also don’t like it when you don’t get to choose your character’s gender (which leads to some plot limitations, but I’ll leave that aside). Also, “they” don’t like bloody gory games. I’m tempted to run Nikki’s claims past RPG.net to see what they have to say about it, since we have a considerable number of Girl Gamers on the site – well, we’ve got a reasonable sample size.

Previews

I’m just going to stick with the games I find notable or interesting. First up is a rather freaky looking bowling game called Milo’s Astro Bowling, which is a sort of fanciful sci-fi bowling game, which looks interesting. Interplay’s working on Earthworm Jim 3D, which isn’t being worked on by the developer who created the game, Shiny. That’s not a good sign in my book. 3DO is working on the tank combat game BattleTanks for the N64. I had a strategy guide poster for the game on my wall for some time as a kid – even though I didn’t own the game, or a N64 for that matter.

We also have an incredibly optimistic preview of Superman 64, in that they’re confident that ll the game’s control problems will be cleared up before release (they’re not). We also get some screen shots of Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, which looks good, and Castlevania 64 which doesn’t.

Meanwhile, on the PlayStation front, we get a look at Twisted Metal III, which I played and I thought was more or less okay. We also get some information about Tomb Raider III, and a bizarre 3D version of Asteroids that Activison is putting out. There’s also a look at R4: Ridge Racer Type 4, Namco’s response to Gran Turismo, which in turn kind of reminds me that I haven’t unlocked all the cars in Ridge Racer 7 yet.

We also get our first look at Guilty Gear, which is being published in the US by Atlus. I haven’t played the first Guilty Gear, but XX Reload is one of my favorite fighting games of all time, and I really need to pick up the PS2 version of the game. Also, Activison is publishing the PlayStation port of Quake 2. There’s also a Xena: Warrior Princess game due out for the PlayStation, and 989’s own Techno-thriller action game Syphon Filter is previewed. We also get a few screen shots of Final Fantasy VIII and Silent Hill. We also have some previews a Saturn title that will probably never see a US release – Shining Force III – Scenario III. In arcades we have Area 51: Site 4, Gauntlet Legends, and Star Wars Trilogy (just in time for the release of the Special Editions). We also get screen shots of House of the Dead 2.

We also get a series of ads for some of Square’s upcoming games, particularly Parasite Eve, Bushido Blade 2, and Xenogears. I actually owned Bushido Blade 2, but in a fit of insanity I traded it in and I’m still kicking myself over that. Also, I’d really like to play Xenogears eventually, if I can ever find a copy. They’re really nice pictures too. I’ll just post ’em all.

Square's Christmas ad for Parasite Eve
Square's Christmas ad for Bushido Blade II & Brave Fencer Musashi
Square's ad for Xenogears.

Feature Articles

We get an article here about how to mod your console so you can import games. This article is a little dated now, in one major sense – modding your console is now, after the passage of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, a felony, which could get you some serious jail time, and practically make you unemployable. Depending on your state it could even cost you the right to vote. So, don’t mod you system, import a Japanese console instead. Or you could just get a PS3 since PS3s aren’t region coded.

That said, there still is some useful stuff here, such as information on the difference between Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji, as well as a useful Katakana chart. Now, this doesn’t help you with basic Japanese stuff like sentence diagramming, or anything that would really help you make head or tail of a RPG or Dating sim, but it might help you with a fighting game or a shooter. For those, if you don’t know the language yourself, they recommend GameFAQs.com, which (thank God) still exists. We also get some recommendations for sites to get Import games from, most of which still work – EB Games doesn’t sell import games anymore (now that its become GameStop), and TheRage.com is no more. We also get some recommendations of some Saturn Titles to import (including Grandia, which gets a PlayStation release, and Radiant Silvergun, which is also finally getting a US release really soon). They also recommend R-Types and the Final Fantasy IV & V collection, along with Tobal No. 2.

Our second feature is a run down of all the gadgets in Metal Gear Solid, checking to see which ones exist in real life, all photographed on the woman who modeled for Sonya Blade in the Mortal Kombat games – Kerri Hoskins. She’s also a former Playboy Playmate. Most of the gadgets apparently do exist in real life, aside from stuff like the cloaking device, the CODEC, Nikita Missiles, and of course, the Metal Gear. That’s not a bad track record, to be honest.

We also get a feature article about Ocarina of Time. EGM staff got to play for two day and night cycles of the game, and see what it was like. In short, they love it. In addition to running down some of the environments they encounter, they also mention the mysterious character of Shiek, and how they have no idea who he or she is. Ohhhh, what I would give to have a look at their face when they found out who Shiek is. We also get some comments on the Character design for Old and Young Link, as well as Zelda and Ganondorf. Basically, they love this game in almost every possible respect. We also get a retrospective of the Zelda series up to now.

There’s also a little compare and contrast article, featuring WCW/nWo Revenge and WWF Warzone. While Warzone has less wrestlers, it has a proper Create-a-Wrestler mode. However, Revenge does better in most other categories, including control (Warzone requires you memorize Ryu-esque controller movements for various wrestler’s moves). However, even at this time, the Fire Pro Wrestling franchise leaves both games in the dust. Six-Man Scramble had been released in 1996 for the Saturn, which meant it could be imported without the need of a mod-chip. Anyway, interestingly, both games have Bret “Hitman” Hart, which is interesting because the Montreal Screwjob happened a year prior. I wonder how the inclusion of Bret worked out.

Review Crew

The rotating crew for this issue is even larger than before. Crispin Boyer, John Davison, Dean Hager, Dan “Shoe” Hsu, John Ricciardi, Shawn Smith, Sushi-X, and Jay Silvey (who is getting to be a guest member of the Crew thanks to the Make A Wish Foundation).

  • Crusin World (N64, Nintendo): If you’ve played Crusin’ USA, then you know what kind of game this is. The general consensus is that the game is an improvement over USA, particularly with the addition of Championship mode, though Arcade Mode is too easy. Dean & Crispin give the game 6.5s, John R. gives the game a 7, and Shoe gives the game a 5.5. Overall: 25.5/40.
  • NBA Live 99 (N64, EA): Dean and John R give the game 8s, commenting that while the game is fun and a solid addition to the N64’s library, the AI is an absolute pushover. Sushi gives the game a 7.5 for a similar reason. Shoe gives it a 6.5, adding that the animation is choppy due to an erratic frame rate. Overall: 30/40.
  • Rush 2: Extreme Racing USA (N64, Midway): Shawn finds this racing game dull, generic, and boring, and gives it a 4.5. John Davison likes it a little more, finding the game-play better, though the controls are totally wrong and there are some notable graphics problems, and he gives it a 6.5. Dean and Dan enjoyed the game considerably more, and give it an 8 and an 8.5 respectively. Overall: 27.5/40.
  • Top Gear Overdrive (N64, Kemco): Going from the single screen-shot here, this racing game doesn’t look that bad. Shawn considers it one of the best racing games for the N64 and gives it an 8.5. John R and Dean give it 7.5s, generally agreeing with Shawn, though they find that there are some problems with your cars blowing up at even the lightest tap with something in the environment. Sushi also had this complaint, though he found it big enough that he gave it a 6.5. Overall: 30/40.
  • Twisted Edge Snowboarding (N64, Midway): Shawn, Dean, and Crispin agree that this downhill snowboarding racing game, with Shawn and Dean giving it 6s, and Crispin giving it an 5.5. John Davison is considerably less impressed, and gives the game a 3.5, particularly due to the slow game-play and the pathetic “attitude” the game puts forward. Overall: 21/40.
  • Wipeout 64 (N64, Midway): The Crew loves the game, though they disagree about how bad the game’s pop-up issues are, which in turn leads to the variation between scores. Shawn gives the game an 8. John Davison, John R, and Shoe give the game 7.5s. Overall: 30.5/40.
  • Activision Classics (PlayStation, Activision): It’s a collection of various Activision games from the 2600 era that haven’t aged well. Crispin gives this a 5.5, Dan gives it a 4.5, John R & Dan give it 3s. Frankly, a lot of these classic arcade collections work better now as now they can add in online multiplayer, or even just online leader-boards. Overall: 16/40.
  • Assault: Retribution (PlayStation, Midway): 3D third person shooter, in the Contra vein. Dean finds the game fun, though it gets monotonous over time, and gives it a 6. Shawn considers the game too easy and too short, giving it a 5.5, while Crispin gives it a 5 for similar reasons. Sushi is a little less impressed and gives the game a 4. Overall: 20.5/40.
  • Backstreet Billiards (PlayStation, ASCII): Pool simulator with a rather lame story. Dan gives it a 7, considering it the best pool game on the market at that time, though it’s not great. Sushi gives it a 6.5, wishing that the AI had been a little bit tougher. Shawn & Dean, on the other hand, wish the game hadn’t been quite so hard, and give it 6s. Overall: 25/40.
  • Bomberman World (PlayStation, Atlus): Another console generation, another Bomberman game. This one tries to add some 3D with an isometric camera angle. Considering the fact that everybody on the Crew for this game cite the camera angle as one of their problems with the game, I’d say they didn’t pull it off. Shawn gives this a 7, saying it’s closer to classic Bomberman than most revivals, though it’s still not great. Dan gives it a 6.5, finding it disappointing, and considering the Saturn Bomberman game superior. John Davison gives the game a 6 for a similar reason. John Ricciardi gives the game a 4.5, accusing Hudson of running the franchise into the ground. Overall: 24/40.
  • Bushido Blade II (PlayStation, Square): While Bushido Blade itself was highly regarded, the Crew is more split on the sequel. Crispin likes the new two-button control scheme more than the controls on the original, though he doesn’t like the pop-up and smaller arenas, and gives the game an 8. Sushi also likes the game more than the original, even liking the decreased music and ambient noise in environments, though he doesn’t like the removal of location based damage and the ability to fight on the ground, and gives it an 7.5. John Davison and Ricciardi give the game 6s, as in their eyes the game doesn’t quite appeal to them.
  • Cool Boarders 3 (PlayStation, 989 Studios): Dean likes the this game more than the original, though he finds doing tricks too easy, and gives it a 7.5. Shawn & Crispin give the game 6.5s, Crispin finding the game-type getting stale while Shawn has faults with the difficulty of doing tricks, as well as the game’s collision detection. John Davison considers it just another boring snowboarder, and gives it a 5. We’ll see what they think of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater in 1999. Overall: 25.5/40
  • Dead Ball Zone (PlayStation, GT Interactive): This futuristic sports game (kind of a mix of Soccer & Hockey) is highly regarded by the Crew, with John Davison giving it a 7.5, while Crispin & Dan give the game 7s due to the game’s depth and the degree of customization available to the player. Dean isn’t as fond of the game due to the lackluster single player, giving the game a 5.5. Frankly, I’d like to see more futuristic sports games take this level of depth on modern consoles, particularly through services like XBLA and PSN. Overall: 27/40.
  • Dragonseeds (PlayStation, Jaleco): This is a monster breeding and battling, one that the Crew doesn’t like too much. John Davison, Shawn, and Shoe feel that the game leans more to the mediocre, with Shawn and Shoe giving the game 6.5s, as the combat isn’t so hot and Shawn doesn’t like the monster raising thing. John Davison gave the game a 6 for similar reasons than Dan. Sushi-X on the other hand, gave the game a 2. Sushi considers the combat to be an absolute joke, the monster designs atrocious, and the graphics pathetic. Overall: 21/40.
  • Duke Nukem: Time to Kill (PlayStation, GT Interactive): Since we’re not getting Duke Nukem Forever, this game and it’s sequel are probably the only chance you’re getting of getting more Duke. This game isn’t a first person shooter – it’s instead a 3rd person shooter/platformer ala Tomb Raider, with the addition of two-player co-op. The game does have some pixelation and control problems, but Shawn thought it was fine, and gives it an 8.5. John Davison gives the game a 7.5, saying that the game has a strong Duke vibe, and the game’s issues are relatively minor. Sushi gives the game a 6.5, due to mediocre sound, grainy visual, and the attitude tamed down. Shoe is hardest on the game, because of it’s floaty jumps, sluggish and unresponsive controls, which also makes the game’s two-player co-operative mode practically unplayable. The only thing he likes about the game is the graphics (which everyone else thought was grainy), so Shoe gives it a 4. Overall: 26.5/40.
  • The Fifth Element (PlayStation, Activision): A licensed game based on the awesome Luc Besson movie. Unfortunately, the game turns out poorly. Everyone agrees with Crispin’s opinion on the game, the main difference is the score – so I’ll just run down the main arguments against the game. The game’s built using the engine from Nightmare Creatures, which was a piece of crap anyway, so it’s already off to a horrible start. The characters (you can either play as Corbin Dallas or Leeloo) control horribly, basically having tank controls. It doesn’t help that it takes multiple button inputs to block or walk slowly instead of running. Enemies get incredibly cheap hits in, because of those controls, yet the AI is dumber than a bag of hammers, making the punishment you take more aggravating. The “puzzles” are hunts for keys and switches, the camera sucks, hell – there is nothing good about this game. If Crispin could give the game a 0, he could – but he can’t so he’s giving it a 1. Shawn gives it a 2, Dean gives it a 2.5, and Sushi gives it a 3. Overall: 8.5/40.
  • Guilty Gear (PlayStation, Atlus): Sushi isn’t going to call this the best fighting game on the PlayStation, as he likes Alpha 2 more, but number 2 isn’t anything to sneeze at. He doesn’t like that the instant kill moves are too easy counter, because the screen flashes red – but I consider it a good way of balancing the moves. Speaking of which, he’s concerned about the balance problems, though I’ve also noticed that games like Guilty Gear do a great job of balancing the characters out by not trying to balance them, and let the players pick fighters they like. So, because of that, Sushi gives the game a 7.5. Shoe gives the game a 7 for similar reasons. Shawn thinks that veteran fighting game players would find it too simple, and John Ricciardi agreed – Shawn gives a 6.5, and John gives a 6. I never found the game too “simple”, and if Street Fighter II has shown anything, it’s that players will find depths of game-play that the designers had never intended in the first place. Overall: 27/40.
  • Hardball 99 (PlayStation, Accolade): The consensus on this game from the Crew is that Accolade is trying to play catchup to all the other major baseball franchises and failing due to poor graphics, sound and control. Dean gives it a 4.5, Sushi and Crispin give it 4s, and John Ricciardi gives it a 3. Overall: 15.5/40.
  • Lucky Luke (PlayStation, Infograms): A platformer aimed for kids. Shawn likes the game, giving it a 7, saying it’s easy, but not too easy for younger people. John Davison also thinks it isn’t bad, but probably too simple for some younger kids (though if you think about it, Mario’s a pretty simple game), and gives it a 6.5. Dean had fun playing the game against his better judgment, and gave the game a 6. Crispin finds it too easy for most young gamers, and gives it a 4.5. Overall: 24/40.
  • Medievil (PlayStation, Sony Computer Entertainment): This is a sort of comedic horror themed action platformer (if that makes any sense). Crispin and Shawn give this game 8.5s, due to the game having some serious character to it, which is more than a lot of contemporaneous platformers have had. Sushi gives it a 7.5, and Dean gives it a 7 for similar reasons – though Dean had some problems with the camera. Overall: 31.5/40.
  • Metal Gear Solid (PlayStation, Konami): In short, they love this game. How much do they love it? The Crew (Crispin, John Ricciardi, John Davidson, and Shoe) give the game 10s across the board. Overall: 40/40 and it receives the Editor’s Choice Platinum Award and Game of the Month.
  • NHL ’99 (PlayStation, Electronic Arts): While the animations, control and lots of other major things have improved from the previous year’s iteration, it runs into a problem with it’s frame rate – because they improved the ice effects. That’s right, because they did the ice better, the framer4-ate drops. How about that. Anyway, this is the main thing that leads into the game’s scores. John Ricciardi & Dean give the game 8.5s, while Shoe and Sushi give the game 7s. Overall: 31/40.
  • NHL FaceOff ’99 (PlayStation, 989 Studios): The crew generally feels the game compares strongly with the NHL ’99, but it’s still a bit behind in some major respects. John Ricciardi,2 Dean, and Sushi give the game 7.5s, and Shoe gave it a 7. Overall: 29.5/40.
  • O.D.T. (PlayStation, Psygnosis): I have no idea what ODT stands for. Dean finds this a very ambitious game, but it fails in realizing it’s ambitions, and gives it a 4. The rest of the crew expands on this, adding that the game has poor control, and even worse graphics, so Dan, Crispin, and John Davison give it 3.5s. Overall: 14.5/40.
  • Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus (PlayStation, GT Interactive): This is a semi-sequel to Abe’s Oddyssey. The Crew really likes the game, with Sushi and Shawn giving the game 9.5s, and Crispin and Dan giving the game 9s, for keeping up the good work. Overall: 37/40 and it receives the Editor’s Choice Gold Award.
  • Pool Hustler (PlayStation, Activision): Another pool game. Sushi and John Ricciardi say that this is one of the best pool games on the PlayStation, giving it 7s. Crispin however points out the game’s steep learning curve, and gives it a 6. Dan isn’t impressed, finding the control scheme unintuitive, and being disappointed by the lack of different game types, and gives it a 5. Overall: 25/40.
  • Running Wild (PlayStation, 989 Studios): It’s a running racing game featuring anthropomorphic animals. Fortunately, furries haven’t gotten any form of mainstream visibility, so we don’t have any cracks against furries in the review. As someone whose gotten so tired of the stupid cracks about furries that I automatically dismiss the arguments of anyone who adds a crack about furries to a theoretically more “serious” criticism, particularly in reviews of stuff like Avatar or even recent Sonic games (there are enough real flaws with those games that you don’t have to add the “flaw” of the game’s appeal to furries to build a case against it), I’m pleased by that. Anyway, the main complaints about the game relate to it’s generic gameplay. Shawn gives it a 6.5, Crispin gives it a 6, Dan gives it a 5, and Dean a 4. Overall: 21.5/40.
  • Small Soldiers (PlayStation, EA): Action platformer based on the movie with some significant hit detection problems, as well as some clipping problems, leading into stuck-in-a-wall problems, plus tank controls. Consequently none of the Crew is impressed. Shawn gives it a 4.5, Crispin gives it a 4, Sushi gives it a 3.5, and John Davison gives it a 2.0. Overall: 14/40.
  • Streak (PlayStation, GT Interactive): This is sort of a mix of a snowboarding racing game with Wipeout, by which I mean it’s on hover-boards. Sushi finds the hit detection a little sloppy, but otherwise thinks the game is incredibly fun, and gives it an 8. Dean & Crispin also enjoy the game and think it’s fun, and gives it 7.5s. John Davison is getting sick and tired of all the extreme sports games and doesn’t want to see any more of them, and gives it a 5. Look, this is why you a rotating Crew of critics, so you can take the guy who doesn’t like extreme sports games in general, and put him on something else, and put the guy who either is knowledgeable about extreme sports, and/or likes them (or at least is indifferent about them), and let him review the game. This is the same problem that EGM had back in the early 90s and late 80s with their reviews of Wizardry-style RPGs. Overall: 28/40.
  • Test Drive 5 (PlayStation, Accolade): I remember playing this as a teen, and I remember hating the rubber band AI – I could never win a race in this, but I could win races in Gran Turismo. In part because I’d wipe out, and the AI Racers would get so far ahead of me that I wouldn’t stand a chance. This is the same problem that Dean has with the game, but it’s not enough of a problem for him to give it below a 7.5. The Johns give it 7s, though Davison found the game more dull than Ricciardi did. Shawn finds the game pretty poor because of the unforgiving AI, and various graphical problems, and gives it a 6.5. Overall: 28/40.
  • Xenogears (PlayStation, Square): Square’s probably most infamous RPG, in part due to the fact that, well, they didn’t have time to finish the story properly, so had to have someone feed exposition to you. Sushi gives the game an 8.5, and Johns Ricciardi & Davison, along with Crispin give the game 9s. Overall: 35.5/40 and it receives the Editor’s Choice Silver Award.
  • Wild 9 (PlayStation, Interplay): The crew for this game features our Special Guest Reviewer, Jay Silvey. As a quick mention, Jay is, last time I checked, still doing fine, recovered from his kidney problems, went to college to study game design, and managed to guest on EGM Live for December 17th, 2007, which can be found here. Jay and Shawn gave the game 8s, with Jay enjoying the many ways in which you could torture your enemies, though he found a few problems with controlling your character and his “rig” at the same time. John Davison and Shoe give the game 7.5s, faulting the fact that you have to get 99 Gears in each level to get a continue, which means if you miss so much as one gear, you’re SOL. Overall: 31/40.
  • Pokemon (Game Boy, Nintendo): John Riccardi and Sushi find this to be one of the best games for the Game Boy, and just a solid game in general (and Sushi, as we all know, hate’s the Game Boy). John Davison and Crispin give the game 8s because of the strategic gameplay and the massive amounts of game-play in the game, from collecting and training Pokemon, to earning all the badges. Overall: 34/40 and it receives the Editor’s Choice Silver Award.
Ad for Gamespot TV on ZD (Ziff-Davis) TV
Before there was X-Play, there was Gamespot TV

We get an ad for GameSpot TV on ZDTV – the show, hosted by Adam Sessler, later becomes Extended Play, and then when ZDTV becomes Tech-TV, then merges with G4 and becomes G4-Tech TV, the show becomes the X-Play that we now know and love.

The Final Word in this issue comes from Crispin Boyer, talking about how even though the Dreamcast is on the horizon, we could see some significant increases of graphical quality on the N64 and PlayStation, as we get more games designed using the PlayStation Analyzer and the N64 expansion pack. Well, and there’s that whole matter of the PlayStation 2 coming out in 1999.

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