This is one of my favorite issues of TurboPlay, in no small part due to the coverage of the Summer 1991 CES and Tokyo Toy Fair 1991. We get a glimpse of some really neat PC-Engine hardware at the Tokyo Toy Fair, so let's start there. For the first time, readers saw pictures of the soon-to-be-released DUO console (a.k.a. TurboDuo in North America), the PC-Engine LT (a strange beast, basically an LCD screen stuck onto a PC-Engine, an idea that was borrowed by Sony for their PlayStation + LCD monitor combo), the DUO LCD TV (a collapsible, top-of-the-line, yet insanely expensive $600 monitor!), the Super System Card 3.0 (for folks who wanted to upgrade their older PCE + CD hardware to play the new CD•ROM2 format titles), etc…
And yet, while the hardware was fresh and exciting, a bunch of lemons spoiled an otherwise decent batch of new software. Yes, I purchased Power Gate (a disappointing shooter). And how many folks bought Super Metal Crusher based solely on the fact that the title sounded so goddamn kool? Too many, I fear. Thankfully, I didn't waste my time with Hatris. UPDATE: As it turns out, Hatris is the best title, by far, of the three! I could not have been more foolish than buying Power Gate instead of Hatris. Ughh.
Table of Contents for TurboPlay #8▲
- 01 Cover: TG-16 Sports. Artist: Alan Hunter.
- Alan Hunter's final cover, this montage invokes several HuCARD titles featured at the 1991 Summer CES, such as Andre Panza Kickboxing, Cadash, Davis Cup Tennis and Champions Forever Boxing.
- 02 TurboMail: Letters from our loyal readers. 02 15
- "All the letters that fit, we print. This issue we cover more of the subjects that prompt TurboPlay readers to put the pen to paper and stamp to envelope. Topics include: Will Ultima, Dragon Warrior or Final Fantasy franchises appear on TG-16? What does "NEC" stand for?, Are Japanese CD games (or manuals) in English?, etc.
- 03 Table of Contents for issue #8.
- "Hello again, TurboFans!"
- 04 Advertisement: FMV on the TurboGrafx-CD. 04 05
- "Announcing something never seen in a video game. Video. And remember, if you're not playing real live action video, you're just playing games." Featured titles: It Came From the Desert, J.B. Harold's Murder Club, Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective."
- 06 Feature: TG-16 at the CES - Summer 1991. 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13
- "Victor Ireland recently attended the Summer Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago and came back with a detailed report on what's coming to the TurboGrafx-16."
- 14 TurboNews: Hardware prices slashed. Bonk SuperSet introduced.
- "Extra, extra. Read all about it: NEC lowers the price of TurboGrafx-16 and TurboGrafx-CD; creates a new "Bonk SuperSet" (console + two controllers + TurboTap + Bonk's Adventure HuCARD)."
- 16 Closer Look: TurboChip & TG-CD Game Reviews. 16 17 18
- "On the review slate this month are in-depth looks at Yo, Bro! and TV SPORTS Hockey."
- 19 TurboTips: Codes, Tips and Tricks.
- "Impress your friends! Be the TurboStar of the neighborhood. Try these tricks for Bomberman, Devil's Crush, World Class Baseball and Ys Book I & II."
- 20 Games Around the World. 20 21 22 23
- "They say that long distance is the next best thing to being there. This month's peek at international fare turns your attention to Cadash, Cyber Combat Police, Out Run, S.C.I. (Special Criminal Investigation) and St. Dragon."
- 24 Feature: Tokyo Toy Fair - Summer 1991. 24 25 26 27 28 29
- "Donn Nauert traveled to Japan to give TurboPlay readers an exclusive look at what was shown at the Tokyo Toy Fair, including the wild PCE DUO."
- Hardware: Super System Card 3.0, PC-Engine GT rechargeable battery pack, PC-Engine Duo console, DUO battery pack, PC-Engine LT, PC-Engine LCD TV monitor.
- Software: Cobra II, Daisenpu Custom, F1 Circus '91, Ghost Warrior Spriggan, Hatris, Magical Chase, Mesopotamia, Neutopia II, Might and Magic, Power Eleven, Power Gate, Racing Spirits, Rayxanber II, Splash Lake, Super Metal Crusher, Super Quiz: Heart of Stone, Valis IV and World Jockey.
- 30 Advertisement: Bonk's Revenge (1991, HuCARD). 30 31
- "Prepare to butt heads. Again. The ultimate headbanger is back. Bigger, bolder and better than ever. Brace yourself for serious cranial impact: The headbanging cave dude has returned."
- 32 TurboPlay Contest: New Contest & Previous Winners.
- "Yep, it's another chance to win wonderful prizes if you put your mind to work. We also announce the winners of the Super Star Soldier high-score contest from our April/May 1991 issue."
END OF AN ERA: ALAN HUNTER…▲
This issue also marks the end of an era: it was the last TurboPlay to feature a cover illustration by Alan Hunter. Having created six of the past eight TurboPlay covers, Hunter was responsible for giving the magazine a distinctive, consistent look from one issue to the next. His compositions rarely regurgitated the source material—in fact, he took many liberties in his interpretation and portrayal of characters from the TG-16 universe. Now, whether this was a conscious decision on his part (artistic license), or the result of poor planning on TurboPlay's part (i.e. failure to provide relevant source material) has yet to be determined. Regardless, Mr. Hunter's cover (and interior) art helped define TurboPlay's character during its first year of existence.
I should also point out that Hunter had played a similar role for Video Games & Computer Entertainment (VG&CE) prior to and during his tenure with TurboPlay. VG&CE, of course, was TurboPlay's "parent" magazine. Hunter's artwork can be found on the covers of and within the pages of countless issues of VG&CE.
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