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Electronic Gaming Monthly Issue 5

ISSUE: 5Content


  • The Faces Behind the Phone Lines - If you got stumped on a game back in the day, you couldn't hit up GameFAQs or YouTube. Instead, you picked up the phone and dialed a Game Counselor. EGM explores the ins and outs of video game help lines, and the dedicated men and women who got paid to walk you through those tough zones.
  • EGM's Best and Worst of 1989 - Best graphics? Most challenging? Most enjoyable? Greatest replay value? Best sound design? Coolest Hero? Best Boss? Worst Film? Best Controller? Worst Movie-to-Game Conversion? The editors run down their lists from hot to not in every category imaginable.
  • EGM's 16-Bit Systems Preview - Sega's Genesis, NEC's TurboGrafx-16, and Konix's Multistystem go head-to-head in a battle for 16-bit dominance.
  • The Next Generation of Hand-Held Gaming - It might have been pushed into 1990, but Atari's Lynx with its full-colour display and built-in hardware zoom and scrolling functions is going to come out swinging for the fences.


  • Insert Coin: Games, Games, Games!!! - Steve Harris welcomes you to the second edition of their Buyer's Guide, and introduces the Review Crew, including two new faces, so you can get an idea of where their tastes lie.
  • Nintendo Player
    • Sequels Boost NES to New Heights - Games like Castlevania 3Ninja Gaiden 2Double Dragon 2, and Super C are poised to push sales into the stratosphere.
    • P.O.W.: Prisoner of War (8/7/7/7)
    • Demon Sword (5/6/7/6)
    • Twin Cobra (7/6/6/7)
    • Bad Dudes (6/5/5/4)
  • Sega Masters
    • Master System Future in Doubt - Now that Genesis is here, can upcoming releases like Tennis AceNightmare Basketball, and Ultima 4 keep 8-bit Sega fans satisfied?
    • Captain Silver (4/4/6/4)
    • Cloud Master (4/4/4/4)
    • Spellcaster (7/6/6/5)
  • Turbo Champ
    • Turbo to Increase Library of Titles - NEC's Japanese counterpart to the TurboGrafx-16, the PC Engine, has robust third-party support, so while its initial game lineup on US soil was a bit weak, expect titles like Moto-RoaderFantasy Zone, Power Golf, and Deep Blue to make up for the slack in the coming year, along with translations of arcade hits like Galaga '90Dragon SpiritR-Type, and Side Arms. Then, as if that's not enough, the CD add-on will sparkle with titles like Fighting StreetMonster Lair, and Darius.
    • Blazing Lasers (7/6/9/9)
    • China Warrior (4/4/5/5)
    • The Legendary Axe (9/8/8/8)
    • Victory Run (6/8/7/8)
  • Outpost: Genesis
    • Arcade-Inspired Titles Fuel Genesis - With over 500,000 units sold and two dozen new titles on the horizon, Sega has taken a commanding lead in the 16-bit wars. Titles like Super ShinobiSuper Monaco GP, Phantasy Star 2Super Hang-OnGain GroundGolden Axe, and Forgotten Worlds are poised to keep Sega dominant well into the next year. 
    • Ghouls 'N' Ghosts (9/9/9/9)
    • Last Battle (6/7/6/5)
    • Thunder Force II (8/8/7/8)
    • Super Thunder Blade (5/6/5/8)
    • Tommy Lasorda Baseball (8/8/7/7)
  • GameBoy Club
    • Puzzlers and Arcades on GameBoy - Atari's delayed release of their Lynx handheld leaves Nintendo the undisputed king of the portable gaming hill for the moment. And the Big N will use every tool in their arsenal to see it stays that way, with games like Hyper Lode RunnerBoxxleKwirkCastlevania: The AdventureGradiusLock-N-Chase, and Motocross Maniacs.
    • Tetris (8/8/7/8)
    • Super Mario Land (8/8/7/8)
  • Atari Adventure
    • New 7800 Games and Lynx Offer Hope - The Lynx handheld might have been delayed, but don't count Atari's 8-bit dreams out just yet. Titles such as XenophobeMat ManiaPlanet SmashersAlien BrigadeSentinel, and arcade-style sports games like Ninja Golf and Blood Basketball can tide you over.

Ads (in order of appearance):

  • RoboWarrior (NES)
  • Capcom NES titles: Mega Man 2 / Strider
  • Fester's Quest (NES)
  • River City Ransom (NES)
  • Kung-Fu Heroes (NES)
  • Nintendo Power Glove controller (NES)
  • Star Soldier (NES)
  • Thundercade (NES)
  • Acclaim Wireless Remote Controller (NES)
  • WWF Wrestlemania (NES)
  • Secrets, Codes, and Strategies for Nintendo Games video cassette
  • Othello (NES)
  • World Championship Wrestling (NES)
  • Hydlide (NES)
  • Phantom Fighter (NES)
  • Game Mania mail order company
  • Hudson Joycard Sansui SSS controller and NES games - (Adventure Island / Milon's Secret Castle / Bomberman / Adventures of Dino Riki)
  • The Ultimate Game Club mail order company
  • Bandai NES titles - (Bandai Golf: Challenge Pebble Beach / Monster Party / Shooting Range / Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde / Wild Boys (unreleased) / Street Cop)
  • FCI Phone Counseling Hotline
  • Beeshu NES controllers and joysticks
  • NEC TurboGrafx-16 console
  • EGM subscription ad
  • P.O.W.: Prisoner of War (NES)
  • Broderbund U-Force controller (NES)

Notable Stuff:

  • Martin Alessi and David White officially join the magazine staff as part of the Review Crew in this issue.
  • There is no "Review Crew" section in this issue. Instead, reviews are contained in each different console section. And while four editors still review each game, there are more than four reviewers for this issue, so everybody's got different stuff on their plates. It's quite chaotic.
  • Likewise, there's no dedicated section for cheat codes and strategies. These are bundled in with the reviews this issue.
  • Before going to EGM full-time, Martin Alessi was a game counselor for FCI, as well as a member of the US National Video Game Team.
  • The ad for Kung-Fu Heroes is clearly translated into English straight from the original Japanese, and not given an editorial pass by a native speaker.
  • "The Faces Behind the Phone Lines" is phenomenal from a historical perspective, providing information about how many people companies employed, the volume of calls taken, the most commonly-requested information, caller demographics, and even the counselors' personal feelings about magazines publishing hints and tips which allow readers to take shortcuts or solve problems without needing to work things out for themselves.
  • EGM manages to misspell the final word of the headline in the lead-off article in the 'Nintendo Players' section. "Heighths"? Really, guys?
  • Some of the games rumoured to be forthcoming for the NES, like Super Bombjack and Blaster Master 2 never make it out.
  • The review for P.O.W. includes a cheat code to give you twenty lives, which is exactly the sort of thing game counselors are griping about magazines giving out just a few pages back. 🤣
  • Then again, they follow it up with a code to double, triple, or even quadruple the difficulty of Blazing Lasers, so maybe they're even.
  • No one mentions it, but Last Battle on the Genesis is Fist of the North Star, based on the anime and manga of the same name, with the serial numbers inexplicably filed off.
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    Title: Electronic Gaming Monthly Issue 5
    Month: December
    Year: 1989
    Publisher: Sendai Publishing
    Editor: Steve Harris
    Pages: 84
    Price: $3.95 / $4.95 Canada
    Country: United States
    Language: English
    Votes: 0

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