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Nintendo Power's Five Worst Reviewed Games of 1992
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 17, 2015   |   Episode 90 (Show Archive)  

The year is 1992. The nuclear family is mad about Mad About You, critics are too grown up to enjoy Robin Williams in Toys and somebody call a doctor, because Billy Ray Cyrus has an Achy Breaky Heart. But there's no time to think about the sex moves that led to Miley Cyrus, because today we're counting down Nintendo Power's five worst games of 1992.

Swamp Thing
By 1992, some of the shine had worn off the Game Boy. While Nintendo and their third parties managed to release hits like Super Mario Land 2, Bionic Commando and Kirby's Dream Land, most of the lineup was unspectacular. It was a year made up of mainly shrunken ports and licensed games, none of which impressed the critics at Nintendo Power. Published by THQ, Swamp Thing was emblematic of the kind of game you saw on Game Boy in 1992. This ugly platformer was a big miss with Nintendo Power. They were underwhelmed by the gameplay and presentation, which helped land it on this list. Surprisingly, GamePro was a lot more into this action game. "What really makes this cart reusable is the originality of the ecological concept and the clever way the recycling theme has been woven throughout the game," explained Andromeda. Al Gore would be proud.
Ultimate Journey
You have to hand it to Nintendo Power; they were so busy covering games, they even managed to review a few that never came out. So is the case of Ultimate Journey, a side-scrolling action game from Bandai that saw players try to kill the evil Wrathkon. George complained that "there's absolutely nothing new" and Rob noted the dated graphics. Electronic Gaming Monthly also reviewed the unreleased game, but liked it more than Nintendo Power. "This is going to be another Nintendo sleeper," said Ed Semrad, who gave the side-scroller an 8 out of 10. Martin Alessi also enjoyed Ultimate Journey and compared it to Ninja Gaiden, Rygar and ... Dances with Wolves? Even if it's one of the worst games of 1992, I suddenly want to play Ultimate Journey.
Miner 2049er
A full decade after it hit Atari's line of 8-bit computers, Big Five Software decided to resurrect Miner 2049er as a Game Boy title. While old school computer gamers fell in love with this simple character, Nintendo Power had a hard time warming up to the sluggish controls. "This is a frustrating game," said George in the opening of his review. Rob went one step further, noting that he "found the game to be poorly executed in the areas of play control, graphics and sound." They both hated that one false step will send you back to the very beginning of the cave. On the other hand, at least it bothered to come out.
Before Street Fighter II, the fighting genre was largely made up of shallow brawlers that emphasized button mashing over complex combos. Atari's Pit-Fighter attempted to marry the two worlds by pitting multiple fighters in a tiny ring. While this shallow beat-em-up was never very good, the digitized graphics helped make it a hit in the arcades. And then Street Fighter II hit and changed the way we looked at the genre. This home console port not only managed to come out after Street Fighter II had swept through arcades, but also after Street Fighter II hit Super NES. As a result, critics were not feeling it. Nintendo Power criticized the dark graphics and repetitive gameplay. GamePro agreed, giving it a 2 out of 5. They, along with most other critics, noted that the special moves were too difficult to pull off and that it felt outdated in 1992.
Paperboy 2
Do paperboys still exist? I don't mean to sound flippant, but with so many local newspapers shutting down and a generation of overprotective parents, I wonder if tiny paper carriers are a thing of the past. For whatever reason, Atari's Paperboy proved to be a massive hit in 1985. It spawned a number of home conversions and a sequel, which was universally panned by critics. Of the three versions covered by Nintendo Power, it was the Game Boy version they liked the least. They complained about the tiny graphics, repetitive action and awful gameplay. The rest of the media ignored this black and white port in favor of the 16-bit version. Super Play's Jonathan Davies called the game "Painfully, teeth-grindingly tedious" and ended with this simple warning: "Don't buy this." Agreed.
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