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Source: GamePro – October 1996
GamePro was never one of my favorite gaming magazines. It did have a lot of good content but the organization always seemed…random. Nevertheless, it was a popular and long lasting magazine. The October 1996 issue includes:
- Nintendo 64: The U.S. Launch
- The N64: It’s Heeeeeeeeeere!
- Let the Games Begin: N64 Release Calendar
- The Game Names: Updates on MK Trilogy, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, and Freak Boy
- The Cutting Edge: Nintendo 64 Graphics Hardwired
- Super Mario 64 ProStrategy Guide
- Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Gold! – An inside look at LucasArts’ five hot Star Wars games: Shadows of the Empire (N64), Dark Forces (PlayStation), Rebel Assault II (PlayStation), Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II (PC-CD), and X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter (PC-CD).
SWATPro Strategy Section
- Super Mario 64 Nintendo 64 ProStrategy Guide – Mario’s most essential moves, how to use camera views, and a breakdown of the first two areas.
- The Fighter’s Edge Presents: Tekken 2 (PlayStation), Conclusion – Best combos, special moves, linking moves, and throws for the remaining bosses: Anna, Devil, Angel, Bruce, Kuma, Ganryu, Roger, and Alex.
- SWATPro – Secret coedes and tips! Play as Akuma in X-Men: Children of the Atom, Toshinden 2 boss codes, Game Shark codes, and more!
- Sports Pages
- Role-Player’s Realm
- The Mail
- Art Attack
- Buyers Beware
- ProNews – Johnny Cage will appear in Mortal Kombat Trilogy!
- GamePro Online – AOL games and hot Web sites
- GamePro Labs – ASCII Saturn Stick, Psychopad K.O., and Saturn 3D Analog Controller
- Overseas ProSpects – CoolBoarders and Motor Toon 2!
- Sneak Previews – Fighting Vipers, Soviet Strike, Treasures of the Deep, Doom, and more!
- PC GamePro – Starcraft, Interstate ’76, and more!
- Hot at the Arcades – Soul Edge Version II
The PlayStation was the Sega Genesis of the 32-bit generation in terms of sports games. There were a vast number of sports games for the PlayStation but that’s probably mostly because that system dominated the era. The Saturn died an early death and the Nintendo 64 was later in coming and never had the same volume of games because of Nintendo’s licensing and the fact that it used expensive cartridges. MLB 98 was (almost) the start of a long series of baseball games. However, technically MLB Pennant Race was actually the first game in the series.
MLB 98 is an above average arcade style baseball simulation. However, sports games, particularly ones designed to be realistic, often don’t hold up well over time and this one is really no exception. MLB 98 was a solid baseball game for its time but it wasn’t especially innovative and it has been succeeded by a huge number of better baseball games starting with MLB 99. This particular series of games went on until 2005. World Series Baseball ’98 on the Sega Saturn was probably MLB 98’s most direct competition.
Unless you are a sports game collector or just have to have every game ever made for the PlayStation then there isn’t much reason to pick this one up. The good news is that if you do want it, it should be dirt cheap. Most sports games (with a few exceptions) lose their value almost instantly. Buying a sports game new is like driving a new car off the lot. It depreciates instantly.
The ad at the top is from the September 1997 issue of Next Generation. It includes a $10 off coupon if you get the game at Sears. I remember buying games for my Commodore 64 at Sears but by the PlayStation era I don’t think I even looked there…