Look closely at the cover of the fourth issue of Electronic Games and you'll notice something rather interesting. A motley crew of video game characters, champagne glasses in hand, are toasting to the brand new year of 1993. Zonk, TTi's mascot, is featured prominently along with Sonic, Knuckles, Mario, Chun Li, Ryu, Mega Man, Link, Leisure Suit Larry, and... one of the Batteltoads. Throw in a Christmas tree to complete the scene and you have A Very Merry New Year. Notice the champagne glasses: they are all empty, yet only a handful of the party-goers seem to be enjoying themselves (in fact, it appears that Link doesn't even want to be there). Zonk, Knuckles and Sonic, on the other hand, seem to be genuinely having fun.
Neon Spandex TG-16 Gloves (Fingerless!)
As stated in the original article: "Champion Video Game Gloves are colorful gloves with a variety of popular license names and symbols such as Superman, Batman, Sega, Sonic the Hedgehog, TurboGrafx-16 and, most recently, Home Alone 2. Retailing for $13.99, they are made with leather palms, spandex back and a padded thumb for reduced fatigue."
Of course, NEC had been using neon for TG-16's branding and marketing long before these gloves appeared.
During the 1980's, we dressed, drank, swam, ate and kissed in flourescence. Flamboyant neon colors were part of our collective consciousness. Alas, all good fads must come to an end, as the marketers say, and by the late 80's many well-worn neon shirts had begun to fade. Remarkably, when designing the logo for TurboGrafx-16, NEC had the foresight to milk the teets of neon before they dried up. The TG-16 logo boldly embraced a rainbow of flourescent fantastique. And why stop there? NEC had chosen High-Energy colors for the Higher Energy Video Game System. These High-Energy colors electrified nearly the entire catalog of TG-16 clothing and accessories. Soon, all true turbo champions adorned themselves in flourescent fantastique. For this, they should be honored.
PADDED THUMBS FOR BRUISED EGOS
Champion Video Game Gloves. The padded thumbs helped reduce fatigue, according to the manufacturer. And yet, I have to wonder if these gloves might have hindered instead of helped players? Sure, Johnny no longer had blisters on his thumb, but at what cost? Could Johnny still beat his brothers and friends in MotoRoader? Or did the now-gloved Johnny resort to cheap tactics (i.e. buying lots of weapons) in a desperate attempt to maintain his rankings? As you know, the prize winnings for third place in MotoRoader are barely adequate to upgrade your vehicle. What would Johnny do? Would he play with the agony of aching, bruised, puss-filled thumbs? Or would he sacrifice his dignity for a pair of gloves? Tell me, what would Johnny do? WWJD?
In this issue, the editors at Electronic Games nominated a slew of video games across several genres and categories for their "1993 Electronic Gaming Awards". Then, they allowed the readers to vote on what the best games in each category should be. For lack of a better term, it was a "Reader's Choice Award":
"... we are turning the final decisions over to the best-informed and most experienced readers in the nation--the readers of this magazine. This article introduces all the award candidates and tells why we think they merit such prizes...
Now it's your turn. Just fill out the ballot, return it to Electronic Games by the deadline, and then check out the March issue of EG to find out how your favorites fared in the overall voting."
Now, Electronic Games had never paid much attention to the TG-16 or TurboDuo consoles, largely due to the fact that the magazine was resurrected* at the end of 1992, by which time TTi had already begun to wither away. (*Electronic Games originally ran from 1981-1985, long before TG-16 was on the scene.)
On the odd occasion TG-16/TurboDuo was covered within the pages of EG, the console and its games were rarely seen in a positive light. Some say that new years can usher in new perspectives. Lo and behold, the editors at EG nominated Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes (SuperCD) in the category for MULTIMEDIA GAME OF THE YEAR. Dragon Slayer was competing against Night Trap (Sega CD) and Loom (PC). Amusingly, the editors heap a tremendous amount of praise upon Dragon Slayer, claiming that it outshines Ys: Book I & II in every respect:
I do not know if most folks would have praised Dragon Slayer to the detriment of Ys: Book I & II back in 1993. I do not know if most folks would do it today, either. I'll let you, the patrons of this site, to decide. Get your votes in!
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