All beginnings are difficult; so was the start of this article. But finally I made it; here I am. A new addition to the Game Zero team. I'm delighted that I have the honour to bring all you readers all the latest and the greatest about the European gaming scene. I will try to bring you a versatile piece of European news each issue, without the usual hype, of course.
Now that my first article is finally off the ground, I would like to make clear why news about the European gaming scene is so interesting. Well, I must admit that most of the gaming action is based in Japan and the United States. But here in Europe there are a couple of third party game developers too. So it is interesting to keep an eye on Europe and check out what's happening there.
Ok, ok, as a start let's kick off with some facts about the European gaming scene:
First, I would like to give readers some info about the game market here in Europe. This is simply to prevent complaints like "Why don't you have any news about the Turbo Duo?" Simply said, NEC hasn't released any of its products in Europe. So, all Europeans have to play on imported PC-Engines and Turbo Duos. NEC had an official release date for the PC-Engine way back in the eighties, but the date was pushed back and pushed back over and over again at first, and then plans of release were simply scrapped. OUCH!
Some minor differences in the US/European market are due to different TV systems (PAL/NTSC) and different power supplies. The European/US versions are not 100% compatible. As a result, the European SNES is of lesser 'quality' compared to its Japanese or American brother. Due to the two facts I stated before, Nintendo had to change the internal architecture of the SNES, but to do so they decided to slow the processor of the SNES down by about 20%. That's why a lot of European SNES owners have a US/Japanese machine.
Starfox. This awesome Super FX shooter took the US by storm, but it might take a while until it will be released over here in Europe. The reason is that in 1986 Electronic Arts also released a game called Starfox on the good old Commodore 64! Nintendo will try to solve this problem by changing the name of the game to Starwing.
In the meantime, eager shooter lovers will have to buy the US version and use a device called a 'converter' to play Starfox on their European Super Nintendos. Most Europeans won't mind because the estimated retail price of the European version of Starfox will rise above the US $100.
One European game magazine boasted a rumor that people in the United Kingdom paid about 150 UK pounds to get the US release of the game; transferred to US dollars you can take an estimate at US $300!!
Sega CD. While the Sega CD unit was released over one year ago in Japan and over 6 months ago in the US, here in Europe it has just been introduced. Whether the long awaited CD unit will be as popular as in the US remains to be seen. Reason for this is it's high price. If you know that in Europe all stuff is twice the US price, then you know what European Sega owners have to pay for one. Of course, all the European game magazines (yes, they all hype like hell too) reviewed some Sega CD games. All of them were old to US standards (Sewer Shark and the Likes), and all of them got turned down badly with bad grades all over.
Last tidbit of news... All soccer addicts who own a Genesis or SNES will be in heaven soon. The console versions of both Sensible Soccer and Striker, two of the best soccer games on the Amiga and Atari ST, are being translated by their original creators Sensible Software and Rage, and the work seems to be progressing nicely. More about this probably next issue...
Okay, I'm done for this issue. I would like to ask readers to send feedback. I'm a novice writer, this is my first article, so all comments and help are very welcome. Just send all letters to the usual Game Zero address.