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Bubble and Squeak Sega Genesis Sunsoft As the name implies, Bubble and Squeak isn't your run-of-the-mill action/adventure video game. In fact, it's unlike most games because there's no clear purpose, enemy or even order of levels. Everything seems normal at first, beginning with the first two Stardust Caverns levels. Then you play one Neverglades level, followed by another Stardust Caverns level. It only gets more confusing from there as far as levels go. If you think that's strange, the other details of the game are even more odd. The whole point of the game is for the
NHL '96 EA Sports $59.99 The National Hockey League season is far from over, but if you're looking for the excitement of hockey in your own home, you can get it with NHL '96 from EA Sports. Pretty much any video game system will run this game, and it's a good one. Previous games from EA's NHL series have been superior in every aspect of the game, but this game is icing on the cake.
How the game works: In the role of Maverick, Tom Cruise's character in "Top Gun," you first listen to actor James Tolkan, who returns as Hondo, the film's squadron commanding officer. Then, this CD-ROM puts you into the cockpit of an F-14 fighter jet. If you've got the nerve, you'll graduate from the "Top Gun" flight academy and eventually battle enemy aircraft around the world in more than 40 missions. You, as Maverick, are ordered, as part of a carrier escort off the coast of Cuba, to intercept Cuban air force pilots trying to bomb the Guantanamo naval base. You then go head-to-head with MiG-21's and MiG-29's and Soviet-made bombers.
Mario's second adventure on the Super Nintendo, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, has busted its way into the market. It's by far the strangest and most incredible game in the series of Mario adventures. Instead of being a sequel to the many other Mario games, Yoshi's Island has been deemed a "prequel." The cheesy story begins with Mario and Luigi being taken to their parents by the stork. On the way, they are attacked by Kamek, the Magikoopa from the other Mario World game. Magikoopa manages to grab Luigi and the stork. In his desperate kidnapping, though, Kamek misses Mario, who is plummeting toward the earth. When he lands, Mario falls onto the back of Yoshi, who feels he has to help. Yoshi takes Mario to the other yoshis, who in turn feel the need to help. They plan to get Luigi back and, with Mario's sixth sense, they think they can find him.
How the game works: You're the Orlando Magic's Penny Hardaway with six seconds on the clock. You steal the ball from Derek Harper, pass it to teammate Nick Anderson, who drives to the three-point line and nails a shot at the buzzer for a one-point victory over the Knicks. That's what can happen when you play the most realistic-looking basketball video game yet created. You and up to seven others can play at a time by picking players from all 29 NBA teams, but there may be some missing, such as Shaq, Michael Jordan and others because of their own NBA basketball video game contracts. But no matter: You may not get all the players, but you get a great game, like in the arcade hit "NBA Jam." Shooting, dunking, layups and 3-pointers are easy to do, but hard to defend. Good points, bad points: State-of-the-art 3D graphics create lifelike movement and show faces of real players, but more importantly, you play like one, using true abilities of NBA professionals during play. Features include playing combinations in which up to eight people can play at once, using multiplayer controllers; enjoy the game's "smart" defensive and offensive players who execute specialty moves - such as rebound dunking, fade-away shooting and alley-oop dunking - that no other game offers. The verdict: "Hey, man, I love this game!"
Aero the Acro-bat 2 Sega Genesis Sunsoft When Sunsoft first released the original Aero the Acro-bat, it was a no-name video game company. But with the success of its first major release, Aero became Sunsoft's trademark and base of operations. Sunsoft has made a second Aero game, in what promises to be a trilogy, with the release of Aero the Acro-bat 2. The play control has vastly improved, and without the limits of a clock, added bonuses are easier to get at the end of each level. Aero 2's graphics and sound are much better than its predecessor. Aero has cooler weapons, like ninja stars, and he jumps on his enemies. Also new is a cup game that can be played with Ektor at the end of every level. When you pick up the four letters that spell out Aero's name in
If you've been dreaming of a video game machine that can produce computer graphics as smooth as the best animated cartoons and serve full-screen video clips that look as sharp as your cable TV reception, it's time to wake up and smell the coffee. Sony Playstation, newest of the 32-bit game systems, is clearly the best of the breed at jamming complex action onto a CD-ROM disc and onto your television screen. The Playstation proved significantly better than 3DO in direct comparisons of games programmed for both platforms and marginally superior to the Sega Saturn. (Game developers suggest Saturn can do as well as Playstation, but it takes more programming work to pull it off.) All three systems are now selling for $300 with a controller; game software is extra. Not surprisingly, the first games out for the Playstation are first-person perspective adventures that send you zooming into the great unknown. Not only do such action titles show off the speed of Sony's custom microprocessor - capable of crunching 500 million bits per second, versus 250 mbs for Saturn - action titles also give immediate gratification, being relatively easy for the early acquirers to get up and running without reading those pesky operating instructions.
The Death and Return of Superman SNES Sunsoft $74.99 The famed comic book hero Superman is back, or is he? In "The Death and Return of Superman," our hero is out to save Metropolis from Doomsday, the ominous villain who is out to get Metropolis. You get to fight Doomsday in the second level, and if you win - here's the weird part - it will be fatal to both of you. But dying allows you to pass on to the next level.
The first virtual-reality experience for the masses hit retail stores last week. It's Nintendo Virtual Boy, which puts you inside an absorbing, 3-D gaming experience that isn't possible on regular screens. Virtual Boy is a self-contained, portable, pod-like system that you set up on a table top. Tilt the pod to your head position, focus the eyepieces for optimum viewing and blast off into worlds unknown! The system is built around a fast 32-bit microprocessor and densely programmed game cartridges, but Nintendo keeps things relatively inexpensive - $180 - with its monochrome display. (The stereo image is made up of dancing red LEDs bouncing off a mirror and magnified by a lens.)
Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel SNES, Genesis, Sunsoft, $49.99-59.99 Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel, a baddie from the Aero the Acro-bat games, is on his own and on a mission. Zero's homeland has been taken over, but when he tells his boss, Ektor (the villain of the Aero the Acro-bat games) that he is leaving, Ektor threatens him and tells him that his job is with him and the Circus. Zero leaves anyway and the game begins when he is shot down over the coast of his homeland.
"Star Trek: The Next Generation 'A Final Unity"' Spectrum Holobyte, about $60 retail Plugged-in Trekkies rejoice. The voyages of the Starship Enterprise have boldly gone into yet another dimension: cyberspace. Capt. Picard and crew leap from television and film onto your desktop in "Star Trek: The Next Generation 'A Final Unity"' (Spectrum Holobyte, about $60 retail).
Troy Aikman NFL Football Super Nintendo/Sega Genesis $54.99 In football withdrawal? If you are, then you need Troy Aikman NFL Football for Super Nintendo. With all of the plays written by Aikman himself, it is a definite winner. Aikman has included plays that he used to win two Super Bowls. Before every game, there is an analysis by Troy, and during his analysis you have the ability to change the salary of the players, which improves their skill level.