Wizard Week: Awesome Sega Genesis Secrets
You’ve got competition. The biggest name in the strategy guide biz — Prima Games — has rushed its own Sega Genesis Secrets to the market, beating you in your quest to reveal gaming’s hottest strategies to the public. You now face a problem: how are people going to know that your secrets are better than their secrets?
Well, you can start by calling your book AWESOME Sega Genesis Secrets.
Is that…another dragon?: YES!
Awesome Sega Genesis Secrets is actually pretty great. Whereas Prima’s Non-Awesome Sega Genesis Secrets wasted your time with bullshit strategies for bullshit games like Whip Rush and Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf, Sandwich Island Publishing’s Awesome guide delivers secrets for games that people might actually want to play — Streets of Rage, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Strider, to name a few. It even has full maps for Shining in the Darkness (a godsend, back in 1991) and strategies for lesser-known greats like Toejam & Earl.
More importantly, though, Awesome Sega Genesis Secrets started the early ’90s trend of putting wizards front-and-center on the covers of video game strategy guides. Never mind that wizards are not actually found in most video games — gamers know that if any book features a wizard or a dragon on the cover, it’s probably worth reading.
Wizard review: This wizard is pretty sweet, as far as wizards go. His hair, in particular, goes above and beyond the call of duty by growing out from his eyebrows, accenting the cobweb-like wisps that flow from behind his robe.
Otherwise, how goddamned garish is this cover? Hot pink and cyan are the dominant colors here, and the words in the title look like they were glued together at the very last possible second before going to print. It’s as if the designer forgot to include the word “Sega” in his first draft. And “Secrets.”
The artist attempted to distract from these flaws by flipping and duplicating the dragon in the wizard’s crystal ball, and while the addition of more dragons is always appreciated, the design and color scheme ultimately result in a decidedly non-visceral experience.
Rating: 6.75 out of 10
TOMORROW: Prima’s counterattack!!