"Nintendo of Japan president Hiroshi Yamauchi indicated that a 32-Bit Super NES CD-ROM peripheral could be in production by August of 1993."
- EGM Express, EGM November 1992

"This year, Madden really makes history."
John Madden Football '93
Electronic Arts
8 megabits

The third version of John Madden Football arrived with the usual fanfare and critical acclaim. From what I can gather, the Genesis release of the game was still considered superior to the SNES version, for what it's worth...

John Madden Football '93 won Video Games & Computer Entertainment's "Best Sports Video Game" of the year award in their "Best Games of 1992" feature.

"The Genesis version has battery backup, a 16-team playoff mode and about a dozen speech samples of Madden saying witty things like, "That's the way to hit 'em!" The SNES version has no battery, an eight-team playoff mode and no Madden samples."
- Zach Meston, VG&CE January 1993

"While die-hard players will rave over the subtle improvements, there is a diminishing returns problem - the previous version was so good that the average player may not think this version is worth the money in buying a new cart."
- Ed Semrad, EGM December 1992

Watch your tail rotor.
LHX Attack Chopper
Electronic Arts
8 megabits

LHX Attack Chopper appears to have been a sequel of sorts to F-22 Interceptor, only this time the game featured an experimental helicopter instead of a jet fighter.

"Surprisingly, the Genesis really handles the polygon graphics in this game well. The game play is a little shaky, but there is plenty of control and the helicopter is easy to fly."
- Martin Alessi, EGM November 1992

"The hottest, freshest music ever?"
Make My Video: Kriss Kross
Sony Imagesoft

This game is listed here as another subtle reminder of the drivel Sony was shoveling upon the Sega CD for its release. If this had been a PlayStation launch title Sony might have gone out of business...

"Interact one-on-one with ace tunnel jockey Ghost."
Sewer Shark
Sony Imagesoft

Sewer Shark must have been one of Sony's better Sega CD FMV releases, as it came to be included with the system towards the end of 1993. I suppose next to Marky Mark it probably looked pretty good...

"After you get over the cool effect of having a full motion video backdrop of high speed tunnel racing, the game is rather boring. Move a cursor around the screen and blast little mushy things. Joy! Cool special effects do not make a great game."
- Martin Alessi, EGM December 1992

"Aim at the screen and fire."
Sega Menacer
8 megabits

Much was made of Nintendo's Super Scope Six light-gun peripheral for the SNES (support for which was summarily dumped shortly after its release), so it's not surprising that Sega created the Menacer to compete. Truth be told, there were very few games released which supported the Menacer either, but it came with a six-in-one game cartridge so what more could you ask for?

Err... Batman returns!
Batman Returns
8 megabits/CD-ROM

Batman Returns was first released as a mediocre eight megabit action/platform contest for the Genesis system. The main event arrived later in 1993, however, with the Sega CD version of the game. While the platforming levels from the Genesis version returned (albeit with a much improved musical score), the game's central attraction came in the form of its Batmobile driving sequences.

Batman Returns is one of very few Sega CD games that really takes advantage of the system's advanced hardware. It's not an exaggeration to say that the incredibly smooth scaling of the road, buildings and enemy vehicles in this game take it to a level beyond what most arcade games at the time were doing. Spencer Nilson's aforementioned soundtrack also adds much to Batman Returns, creating a sense of urgency in the driving levels while creeping the player out in the platforming stages.

If this game has one fly in it's ointment for me, it would have to be the difficulty level of the driving stages, which moves swiftly from difficult to downright impossible. That being said, if you can get past the game's tough play, you will be richly rewarded with some stunning and state of the art (circa 1992) visuals.

"Batman CD's driving levels set new standards in the industry and are a total blast, the scaling is sooo smooth and, with the added soundtrack, even the action is good."
- Skid, DieHard GameFan June 1993

Flipper would be proud.
Ecco The Dolphin
8 megabits/CD-ROM

Hyped for months before its Genesis release, Ecco the Dolphin actually managed to deliver on its claim to being a completely new gaming experience.

Play in Ecco consists of guiding the dolphin through a sort of 360 degree action RPG, all the while solving puzzles and fending off a variety of undersea adversaries with your wits and your sonar. Ecco is really the sort of game you have to play yourself in order to understand and appreciate its uniqueness. Although the game isn't a particular favourite of mine, I have to give Sega credit for trying something new at a time when competition from Nintendo must have made playing it safe an attractive alternative.

A Sega CD version of Ecco the Dolphin was released in 1993, featuring a new-age soundtrack from resident SOA musician Spencer Nilson, as well as a few other minor bells and whistles.

"Ecco is the best combination of action and adventure I've seen in a long time. The control and technique is superb and the overall size of the quest that confronts your dolphin is immense."
- Steve Harris, EGM February 1993

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