Well, here it is, the final issue of TurboPlay. Surviving for over two years during the brutal 16-bit console wars, TurboPlay Magazine was retired at the most inopportune time—literally on the eve of the launch of the TurboDuo, the new console from TTi and worthy successor to the TG-16 + TG-CD hardware.
The introduction of the North American DUO breathed new life into the entire TG-16 universe: while the new Super CD•ROM2 format games garnered the most attention, the older catalog of TG-CD and HuCARD titles were being exposed to a new audience and gained a second lease on life. With all of this renewed interest in TG-16 (and, in turn, a larger pool of potential subscribers) you would think that TurboPlay was poised for continued success—at least in the short term. Surely we could expect to see a few more issues to take us through the holiday season and into to the new year, right?
Table of Contents for TurboPlay #14▲
- 01 Cover: Shape Shifter (1992, Super CD•ROM2). Artist: Unknown.
- Cover art: "ICOM Simulations was kind enough to provide us with one of the beautiful pieces of art that were digitized into Shape Shifter, one of the new TG-16 games we review this month." Artist: uncredited.
- 02 Advertisement: Cosmic Fantasy 2 (1991, CD•ROM2).
- "Beyond Reality. Beyond Imagination. Beyond Belief. An immense RPG only for the TurboGrafx-CD. Believe it."
- 03 Table of Contents for issue #14.
- "The Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago at the end of May brought about some wild news for TurboGrafx-16 owners. Our new Senior Editor, Chirs Bieniek, has detailed all the late-breaking stories in this issue's TurboNews…"
- 04 TurboMail: Letters from our loyal readers.
- "As always, you can count on our "mailman" to delve into the questions you need responses to. This issue, find out about pinball games, Super CD•ROM2, heavy metal, sports games and rentals."
- 05 Advertisement: TurboGrafx-CD, Lords of the Rising Sun & Splash Lake.
- "Mighty CD power. Mini price. $149.99. Once you've got it, test your new Compact Disc player with two equally incredible CD software titles."
- 06 Advertisement: TurboGrafx-16, Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu & Falcon 3.0. 06 07
- "You can stop waiting. The TurbGrafx 16-bit system is only $69.99. If you've been chomping at the bit to get your hands on TurboGrafx 16-bit gaming intensity, you can stop chomping. Because at $69.99, the TurboGrafx-16 has never been more affordable than right now. What kind of fast action gaming power can you expect from TurboChip technology? Check out Falcon 3.0 and Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu. And let the games begin!"
- 08 Advertisement: TurboExpress + 4 Free Games.
- "TurboExpress yourself for $199.99. Now, when you buy a TurboExpress, get your choice of four great games free. Choose any four of the following six games: PacLand, Victory Run, Alien Crush, Fantasy Zone, Vigilante, Power Golf."
- 09 Advertisement: TurboPlay Magazine Subscription.
- "Subscribe to TurboPlay Magazine! 6 bi-monthly issues for $9.95"
- 10 TurboNews: TTi changes Duo Pack-in & much more… 10 11
- "Did you know that the TurboExpress has come down in price? How about a way to hook a TurboDuo to a PC? Or how you can get a free video? We don't have film at 11, but we've got all these stories for you now…inside."
- 12 Feature: Tokyo Toy Show 1992. 12 13 14
- "Last year, this feature was one of the most popular articles in TurboPlay, because it gave TG-16 owners a look at what could come to the U.S. At your request, we've journeyed to Japan again for a sneak peek at this year's crop of PC Engine games."
- Games featured: Bomberman '93, Bonanza Brothers, Capcom World: Adventure Quiz, Color Wars, Cosmic Fantasy III, Daisenryaku II: Campaign Version, Dodge Ball, Dungeon Master, F-1 Circus Special, Power League V, Power Sports, Ranma 1/2: Defeat the Former Champion!, Rayxanber III, Record of Lodoss War, Slime World, Soldier Blade, Snatcher, Super Schwarzschild II, Taikouki, Tecmo World Cup Soccer, Terra Cresta II, The Supplementary of Momtarou, The Tower of Druaga, Tsuppari Ohzumou, Wizardry V: Heart of the Maelstrom & Yuna.
- 15 TurboTips: Codes, Tips and Tricks.
- "Chris introduces TG-16 players to some newly unearthed tricks for It Came From the Desert, Yo, Bro! and Blazing Lazers."
- 16 Closer Look: TurboChip and TG-CD Game Reviews. 16 17 18 19 20
- "As the TG-16 library grows, you have more choices. To make you a more informed consumer, we give you reviews of Dead Moon, Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu, Order of the Griffon, Shape Shifter & Splash Lake."
- 22 Games Around the World. 22 23 24 25
- "Should you get yourself one of the more recent Japanese games? Check out Victor Ireland's ongoing look at imports to find out: Forgotten Worlds, Gun Buster, Heavy Unit, Ninja Warriors, Overhauled Man 3 (Shububinman 3), Spriggan Mark 2, Super Darius and Tatsujin (Truxton)."
- 26 Coming Soon: Game Previews. 26 27 28 29 30
- "The list is growing! TurboPlay updates you on the current release schedule and gives you previews of the games to be reviewed in the next issue: Air Zonk, Cosmic Fantasy 2, Dead Moon, Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes, Exile, Falcon, Ghost Manor, Hit the Ice, Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu, Loom, Lords of the Rising Sun, Neutopia II, New Adventure Island, Order of the Griffon, Prince of Persia, Shadow of the Beast, Shapeshifter, Soldier Blade, Splash Lake."
- 31 TurboPlay Contest: Previous Winners and New Contest.
- "Ouch! Sharp-eyed TG-16 players took us to task for a mistake in last issue's contest. We'll give you all the details on that and introduce you to a new way to win prizes."
- 32 Advertisement: Exile (1992, CD).
- "The original, uncut version, only available for TG-CD."
THE END IS NIGH…▲
With October of 1992 looming on the horizon, Turbo fans expected to see extensive coverage of TurboDuo's launch in upcoming issues of TurboPlay Magazine. Unfortunately, such optimistic thinking was misplaced. Larry Flint Publications (L.F.P.) cancelled TurboPlay after the August/September 1992 issue. Considering that magazines usually have a lead time of 2-3 months, it is possible that work on the fifteenth issue had begun before the magazine was officially cancelled. I suspect that TTi created TURBOFORCE Magazine to be their official corporate mouthpiece. TTi enjoyed full editorial control over TURBOFORCE (Sendai Publications) and would no longer be dependent upon TurboPlay (L.F.P.), which exercised some editorial independence from TTi. Regardless, by the time TTi released the TurboDuo console in October, TurboPlay Magazine was already defunct. We can be grateful for one thing, however—this final issue of TurboPlay is brimming with excellent, top-notch material. TurboPlay ended on a high note.
Where does one begin? This issue has little, if any, filler and is crammed with useful information: six game reviews, two text-heavy pages of news, three pages dedicated to the 1992 Tokyo Toy Show, extensive screenshots and "mini-reviews" for eight Japanese titles…and to finish things off, a drool-inducing six-page spread highlighting twenty-two (!) upcoming games—which was capped-off by a list of 22 additional titles (!!!) to be released at an even later period. 44 titles in all.
A (RELATIVE) DELUGE OF NEW RELEASES…▲
Let's begin our discussion with the jaw-dropping schedule of upcoming software announced in this issue: an impressive 44 titles are listed as future releases. The prospect of this many new titles coming out was enough to make any Turbo fan cry, for, up until this point, the stream of new TG-16 games had dwindled to a mere trickle (with countless periods of drought). As it would turn out, TTi remained true to their word and released 39 of the games listed within these pages. Now, by most standards, 39 games would rarely qualify as a "deluge", but for the struggling TG-16 (and soon, the TurboDuo), this schedule of future releases fanned the flames of hope for Turbo fans.
Indeed, all but five titles—Lode Runner II, Dangerous Journeys, Ghost Warrior Spriggan, Fighting Street II and Fantasy Star Soldier—would eventually be released in North America. And, had the TurboDuo fared better in the market, the list of unreleased games would have been even shorter. For example, it has been confirmed that the localization of Star Parodia—Fantasy Star Soldier—was nearing completion when TTi closed its doors. It is unknown how many additional games met with the same fate, but I suspect there were quite a few. TV SPORTS Baseball (HuCARD), for example, was another game that was completed (or nearly completed) before TTi "shuttled off this mortal coil" and shut down operations.
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