The single prerequeset required for employment at any respectable gaming magazine is a mental disability.

Here you'll find some classic examples proving this unfortunately little-known fact.


Wondering what the hell "Blue Shadows" means? Read all about it right here!




Air Zonk
GamePro Nov '92 Turbochip Pro Review
"Too bad the super cool graphics aren't matched by super cool tunes."
Anyone who's actually played Air Zonk/PC Denjin will tell you that the first thing that jumps out at you when you play the game is the amazing music. It's a large, varied and well composed soundtrack. It uses some of the least vanilla PCE/TG-16 PSG sounds and takes them even further by using them in very creative ways to produce some cool and unique effects. On top of all this, a large number of samples are used to perfectly balance and complement the rest of the music.

If you aren't familiar with this game or haven't played it for awhile, you can listen to the entire soundtrack here.

Now some would argue whether or not I should take too seriously anything said by someone who goes by the handle of "Otter Matic".
But I would argue whether or not anyone calling themselves "Otter Matic" should be employed at a professional video game magazine in the first place.
You can read the entire "Pro Review" by clicking the image below.







GamePro Nov '92 Turbo Super CD Preview
"Gorgeous 3-D graphics and rich music weave a tapestry that unfolds artfully as you explore Loom's landscape."

Anyone who's actually played Loom knows what a dog of a game it is. Instead of taking the time to properly port over the 256-color version of the PC game (however, I'm not sure how nice the non-bg art in the original could've been), they instead slapped the 16-color version onto a Duo CD, with only the ocassional touch up.

The limited ammount of CD music consists of butchered synth renditions of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.

And they didn't even try to get a decent PSG sound or use samples for the music weaving, instead it's literally as bad as it can possibly sound on a Turbografx-16/PC Engine system(not completely garbage, but it sure ain't gorgeous).

You can listen to some of the rich music that you weave while playing this gorgeous game right here.

The first 5 sceenshots below are somewhat misleading. They were captured through an emulator. When the game is played on real TG-16/PCE hardware with regular composite video display, it just turns into a complete ugly mess. Just as resourceful programmers went crazy with dithering in later Genesis games to use the hardware's display as a means to blend everything together... somehow Loom takes the actual limited graphics and uses the hardware to exponentially destroy the image.

Checkout the last screenshot to see what "Pro Reviewer" "Andromeda" would've been looking at.

That last screenshot above is probably the most gorgeous scene in the game. Seriously.

But notice the dialogue. Do you wonder if it's straight from the original, or an in game admission by the developers of what an awful port they've dumped on poor unsuspecting Turbo Fans?

You can read the entire Preview by clicking the image below.

Now a (perhaps) interesting side-note. As ironic as it is that a few pages before one Pro Reviewer slams the music in Air Zonk, another Pro Reviewer lauds the music and overall aesthetics of Loom... it's made all the more eerie by my True-Life Turbografx Confessional Story.

After years of enjoying quality North American and Japanese CD-ROM2 games, I was desperate for more Super CD titles after they finally launched the format on this continent. And since I love questy RPG's so much, I decided to give Loom a shot. After-all, it was a powerful Super CD game right? So as much as I was eager to play Air Zonk, after some lengthy decision making I finally decided to buy Loom instead. Boy was that a mistake.

I wasn't familiar with the original Swan Lake pieces, so the music sounded really great to me. The one good thing that I will always be able to say about Loom, is that it introduced me to Tchaikovsky. Right away I could see that TTI had tried to trick me and every other Turbo Fan who'd supported them all along with that single deceptive screenshot that they'd been peddling for this game for so long.

But hey, a great game can overcome audio and visual deficiencies with outstanding gameplay right? Well, unfortunately, the game is so buggy that graphics sometimes load garbled, audio can turn into nasty static, sounding like track 2 of most Duo games in a regular CD player, it just plain crashed every once in awhile... and a good number of Saves either didn't take or later mysteriously disappeared.

And after playing through the game on every difficulty several times, as I did all Turbo games back in the day, I was left with a bad feeling about the whole experience. So I did what I had to. I went back to Radio Shack and asked if I could exchange it as defective and take Air Zonk instead. Needless to say, this allowed me to appreciate Air Zonk all the more. As soon as I turned it on, I was blown away by the amazing music...







Street Fighter II CE
GamePro Sept '93 PC Engine Overseas Prospects

"The graphics are strikingly colorful and detailed, especially by PC Engine standards."

"While the audio's not without some distorted PC Engine twings and twangs, overall the sounds are surprisingly clear and accurate."

"SF II CE is a resounding blow to critics of the PC Engine's technical capabilities."

Okay, that first quote refers to how the PC Engine's graphics suck. The second quote again straight up explains how the PC Engine's sound sucks. Now that third quote... By "critics of the PC Engine's technical capabilities", Pro Reviewer "Slasher Quan" must be refering to himself and/or GamePro magazine right?

Although that much alone is enough to warrant spot in the prestigious Blue Shadows hall of fame, let me further point out that colorful graphics are what the PC Engine has always been known for. The Genesis is known for independant background scrolling, particularly ridiculous ammounts of parallax, FM music and speed (they actually designed a mascot around that last point). The Super Nintendo is known for transparencies, Scaling & Rotation and it's unique sounding (some would say "the best") sound chip.

Although for the most part, the PC Engine is universally known more for its content than any particular technical specialty (before neo-console-wars-fanboyism spawned on the internet, it was considered common knowledge that the PC Engine was adept at throwing around tons of sprites of all sizes as well as just plain doing a lot at once), the one exception is colorful graphics. Even Turbo-haters still give it at least that much. By 1993 there had been enough quality PC Engine titles (also featuring quality sound samples) released on both HuCard and CD that anyone familiar enough with the system to judge it would know this.

You can read the entire Overseas Prospects article by clicking the image below.







Castlevania Bloodlines
EGM Feb '94 Sega Genesis Review

"I admit it. Konami is the king of Castlevania games"

This one's pretty self-explanitory, but since it's so unbelievable, you can see the article for yourself right here.






Sherlock Holmes 1 & 2
EGM Turbografx-CD Reviews

"This is the wave of the future!"

-first line of the review of Sherlock Holmes 1 by Steve Harris: Publisher, Editor-In-Chief EGM


"I really hate these types of games - they bore me to tears, and once you finish them, there is hardly any reason to play them again!"

-first line of the review of Sherlock Holmes 2 by Steve Harris: Publisher, Editor-In-Chief EGM

Again, another straight-forward example and this kind of professional journalism which is the very reason Blue Shadows was created.

If you read the rest of the original Shelock Holmes reviews, you can see how they rant and rave about fmv being the only way to go, or "the wave of the future!" or "the type of games we'll be playing two years from now. It is revolutionary, challenging and years ahead of its time."

Click on either image below to read the full reviews.
Now most people seem to blame Sega for the generation of fmv games. You can't blame the "gamers", because they obviously weren't buying it, otherwise the Sega-CD would've been a resounding success. I think it's clear here that if anyone's to blame for the flood of fmv games, it's all the professional video game journalists who went crazy for them and literally told publishers to go nuts and saturate the market with them. If you take a look at the reviews of games like Sewer Shark and Night Trap (we can both assume they'll show up here soon), how can you blame game developers for pumping out garbage fmv games when the all the professionals said it was gold?







Whomp 'em
EGM NES Review

"Whomp 'em is an(sic) interesting game. I liked the American Indian idea, especially since most action games don't get creative to try new themes."

-Sushi-X, Assistant Editor EGM

Yes, Whomp 'em is exactly what it sounds like. You can check out the entire review right here. Make sure to read the entire game description at the top , all the way through to "How!"







Midnight Resistance & NHL Hockey
EGM Sega Genesis Reviews

"Midnight Resistance is awesome!!!"

-first line of the review by Sushi-X, Assistant Editor EGM


"NHL Hockey is awesome!"

-first line of the review by Sushi-X, Assistant Editor EGM

Surprisingly, Sushi-X gave both games an 8, even though Midnight Resistance got 2 more exclamation marks after its "awesome". Both reviews just happened to appear next to each other (due to the alphabetical listing) in EGM's annual Buyer's Guide.







Ground Zero, Texas
EGM Feb '94 Sega-CD Review

"This has got to be the best Sega CD game I have ever played."


"Overall this is the best Sega CD game you can probably consider."

-Ed Semrad, Associate Publisher EGM

By this point in the Sega-CD's lifespan, the following games had already been released: Dark Wizard, Ecco The Dolphin CD, Chuck Rock, Chuck Rock II, Dune, Final Fight CD, Hook, Keio Flying Squadron, LUNAR: The Silver Star, Prince Of Persia, Robo Aleste, Samurai Showdown, Silpheed, Sonic CD, Sol-Feace, The Terminator, and Wolfchild.

Much of this list was made going by dates found online, so some of these titles may have actually been released later on in 1994, after Ground Zero, Texas was reviewed. But it doesn't take an Associate Publisher at a major gaming magazine to figure out how many quality (non-fmv) Sega-CD titles were released well before Ground Zero, Texas.


Incidently, when video game sales/rental chain Microplay went out of business, the local store here carried on and eventually changed their name to Ground Zero. There's even an old musty copy of the game sitting on a shelf in the back of the store. Perhaps the game had another fan as big as Ed Semrad.

You can read the entire Review by clicking the image below.







Panzer Dragoon II Zwei
Gamefan Volume 4 Issue 5, Sega Saturn Review

"PD Eine, which ostensibly takes place many years after PD Zwei, (Speaking of that, why does every other mag call this game Panzer Dragoon II Zwei? That's like saying Street Fighter II Two or something...) was but a small chapter in the Panzer Dragoon saga..."

-Nick Rox, Layout/Editor Gamefan

I think most people reading this would realize the answer to Nick Rox's question. In fact, it's right there literally two millimetres away from that very same quote. The official Panzer Dragoon II Zwei logo, as it appears on the cover of every version of the game, clearly says "Panzer Dragoon II Zwei". If Nick Rox has a problem with this, he should blame Sega, not "everything other mag".

As for Street Fighter II, that's it's real actual title, "Street Fighter II". If Capcom had put it out as "Street Fighter II Deux", then he'd be talking about the same thing, but would still be wrong. It'd still really be titled Street Fighter II Deux. But if every other mag started calling Street Fighter II, "Street Fighter Deux", then they'd all be the ones making shit up.

But here's the thing, it's actually Nick Rox who insists on calling the original Panzer Dragoon game "PD Eine". But that's not what it's called. It's always just been Panzer Dragoon. Just because a later sequal to a game uses a word or symbol in it's title, it doesn't automatically rename every other game in the series.

Calling the first Panzer Dragoon game "PD Eine" or "Panzer Eine" is like calling the original Street Fighter game "Street Fighter Alpha" just because Street Fighter II was released. Or by the same logic, after the real Street Fighter Alpha game was released in North America, I guess we should all refer to the original Street Fighter game as "Street Fighter Zero" right?

And I guess then that the real name of Panzer Dragoon Saga/Azel must be Panzer Dragoon III Drei?

Remember, it was Nick Rox who started calling everyone on this while within the same sentence was the first and only one to really be guilty of what he was suggesting.

But in the end, the real point Nick Rox was trying to make, is that he can count to two in German.

You can read the entire Review by clicking the image below.







Panzer Dragoon II Zwei
Gamefan Volume 4 Issue 5, Sega Saturn Review

"Panzer still suffers from grainy false transparencies, but this problem is, sadly, unavoidable on the Saturn"

-Nick Rox, Layout/Editor Gamefan

Here we go again. First of all, we all now know that the Saturn can do transparencies and everything else it wasn't designed to do out-of-the-box through decent programming(look at Panzer Dragoon Saga's multiple colored light sourcing with gourad shading and 3D morphing). But even at that point in the Saturn's life cycle, there were lots of games, like Astal which Dave Halverson still goes on about to this day, which featured true transparencies*.

But even if Nick Rox was oblivious to all the transparency effects used in Saturn games up to the release of Panzer Dragoon II Zwei, the thing is, PDIIZ is one of the Saturn games which features some amazing transparencies. There are even screenshots in the same Gamefan review which show the water transparency effect, with solid 3D objects jumping in and out of it.

It's true that the game also had mesh substitutes for the other transparencies, but that doesn't change the fact that the "unavoidable on Saturn" comment is ridiculous given the game being reviewed and that there still was never any mention of all PDZII's "true" transparencies in the article.

Once again, you can read the entire Review by clicking the image below.