GamesMaster: A Retrospective – Series 2, Part 2

Yes I’m back, as it’s time for part 2 of series 2 of my GamesMaster retrospective (part 1 is right here in case you missed it). No need for a long intro here, you know what the score by now. So let’s get into it.

Episode 14

Following on from the previous Christmas episode is this New Year’s special which aired on the 31st of December, 1992. Dominick makes his entrance, not in his iconic red blazer but… well…

Dominick Diamond Dame

Dressing as a panto dame, even Auntie Marisha got dressed up for the occasion…

Auntie M Horse

But enough panto themed tomfoolery, shenanigans and New Year merriment, it’s the first challenge. David Finch takes on space shooter To the Earth (NES) where he has to try and reach Uranus. But this is no ordinary challenge as poor David has to use the helmet-like, voice controlled Konami LaserScope, I say poor David because the Konami LaserScope was an utterly useless piece of hardware that just didn’t work properly. Uranus + a helmet controller + Dominik Diamond = double entendre nirvana. Anyway, so David fails the challenge spectacularly because the Konami LaserScope was shit.

The final reviews of 1992 are all flight sims. Tornado (PC, Amiga, & Atari ST) earns a 91%. Harrier (PC) lands 87%. Air Warrior (PC, Amiga, Atari ST, & Macintosh) nabs a 91%. No feature this episode, but a quick mention of how to join the GamesMaster club is thrown in. The joystick waggling, Olympic games themed Quest for Gold (Amiga) is the title of choice here for the celebrity challenge. Taking on the 100m sprint are two of the all time athletic greats, Colin Jackson and Linford Christie. But they are not taking on this challenge alone as Dominik calls in Carl Lewis to also give the game a bash… not THE Carl Lewis but just a spectator with the same name. Each of the challengers takes it in turns to get the fastest time in the 100m, sprint. Carl goes first and finishes the race in 14.3 seconds, Colin is up next and gets a very impressive 12 seconds dead, then Linford manages a 12.05 seconds. Colin Jackson takes home the gold…en joystick.

Yes it’s GamesMaster hints & tips time. The Addams Family (SNES), Dalek Attack (Amiga)… a Doctor Who based game is asked for help with by none other than an actual Dalek! Then finally, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan (Game Boy) get some much needed assistance. Then it’s final challenge time and Streets of Rage 2 (Mega Drive) is the game of choice. Sega European Champion, Rezo Abdolali (wait, earlier in this series, they said that Danny Curley was Sega European Champion, he had several challenges remember?) takes on the Sega British Champ (and I thought Britain was part of Europe then… this whole challenge makes no sense), Karl Roberts. With Rezo playing as Axel while Karl chooses Blaze, they take each other on at a best of three round bout in a one on one fight. The first round is quite a tight one, considering that Rezo dominates for most of it, Karl does manage to make a comeback, but unfortunately, the timer runs out and Rezo wins… but only just. Karl takes the second round with relative ease, making it one round a piece. So onto the final round and Karl grabs himself a sword which should give him an advantage, but he wastes the weapon and Rezo unleashes an impressive flurry of punches and wins the final round. Rezo wins the golden joystick. Sadly, there’s no Auntie Marisha food to enjoy this time because she got drunk on cherry brandy at the New Year’s Eve party.

Golden joysticks won – 2

Episode 15

Getting the first episode of a new year underway is the GamesMaster. Taz-Mania (Mega Drive) is the game of choice here and Nick Capoor is given just 2 minutes to beat the badlands level of the game, including taking out the end of level boss. Nick makes his way though the level with no major issues and reaches the boss, but with only 20 seconds to spare. After taking a hit and being run over by the car-boss, Nick looks like he’s going  to lose this one… but with barely 7 seconds left, he manages to land some well timed jumps and takes out the boss, winning the golden joystick.

It’s Sci-Fi games under the review spotlight this episode… I didn’t even know Sci-Fi was a genre of games? Still, WarpSpeed (SNES) gets 57%. Frontier: Elite 2 (PC & Amiga) scores an 87%. Eye of the Storm (PC & Amiga) is given 84%. No feature again this time. Super Kick Off (SNES) is the celebrity challenge as (then) Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright takes on Tammy Edmeat at a game of footie. The first half is pretty redundant as neither scores, and the same can be said about the second half too. Neither Ian or Tammy took a single shot the whole match, which means penalties. Ian misses his second penalty and Tammy takes a 1 goal lead, the shots continue to the end with each player allowed 5 penalties, but with Ian missing his second, Tammy goes on to win 5-4.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES) is given some help. Then when a second person seeks the GamesMaster’s help, he turns them away because he didn’t like their haircut…. brutal. Kid Chameleon (Mega Drive) and Smash TV (SNES) also get some love. A spot of racing is up for the final challenge and Nigel Mansell’s World Championship Racing (Amiga) is the game. Clive Borden and Richard Walkling take it in turns to put in the fastest lap on GamesMaster’s choice of circuit, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Up first is Clive who gets a time of 01:10.70 for his lap. Richard struggles a tad and only gets a lap-time of 01:18.24. Clive wins the golden joystick. Auntie Marisha tempts Dominic with some Halibut lightly tossed in Brine.

Golden joysticks won – 3

Episode 16

Terminator 2: The Arcade Game (Mega Drive) is the first challenge and Simon Bland gets to ‘skip to the end’ and has to take out the T-1000 in the game’s final level. Of course GamesMaster makes things a little trickier by only giving Simon the classic 1 minute and 30 seconds to complete this task. Full of confidence, Simon grabs hold of the Menacer, the light-gun peripheral for the Mega Drive and sets about blasting the mimetic poly-alloy robot from the future. This challenge proves no problemo for Simon as he takes out the T-1000 with ease to win the golden joystick.

T2 Challenge

Now it’s time to look at heroic games. Okay, so after the previous ‘Sci-Fi genre’, it’s clear whoever was coming up with the names for the themes of the reviews was running out of ideas… heroic games? Anyway, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Mega Drive) gets 68%. Pirates! (NES) earns a well deserved 91%. Then Super Star Wars (SNES) scores 87%. The feature takes a genuinely interesting look at the making of the first ever UK SNES TV commercial. Then a quick mention of how to get hold of a GamesMaster fact sheet. Celebrity challenge time again and Gallagher’s Gallery (Arcade), a bizarre light-gun game featuring American ‘comedian’ Gallagher is the game. Taking on this challenge are Mark Wingett and Huw Higginson, two actors from then popular TV series The Bill. The two pretend coppers have to shoot as many objects as they can in a shop, the more objects shoot, the more score they get. Playing alongside each other, Mark scores 1,900 points while Huw only manages a mere 850 points. Mark Wingett wins the golden joystick.

Super Mario World (SNES), Blazing Skies (SNES) and Pushover (Amiga) get some much needed help from GamesMaster. The final challenge brings with it something a little different-ish. Earlier in the series, Sega European Champion Danny Curley took on challenges from the audience and now it’s the turn of the Nintendo British Champion, Thomas Patterson to do the same. Playing NCAA Basketball (SNES), Thomas is challenged by a spectator pulled from the audience, Mike Bedford. It’s a fairly close game, but Thomas Patterson manages to win 10-8. Just as with Danny Curley earlier in the series, despite winning, Thomas is not given a golden joystick due to being a recognised gaming champion… but he’ll be back for more challenges. Auntie Marisha serves up some Coquilles Saint-Jacques with Bean Sprouts.

Golden joysticks won – 2

Episode 17

Road Rash 2 (Mega Drive) kicks off this episode as Marlon Rose (with the word GamesMaster shaved into the back of his head) has to come first on the Hawaii track of the game. Marlon gets off to a cracking start as he makes his way through the pack and soon finds himself in 3rd place… for a while before he slams into an oncoming car and drops to 6th place. Not one to give up, Marlon gets back on his bike and gets into 2nd place, but he gets some hassle from the police. A few well timed punches to the face puts the copper in his place. Battling for 1st place, Marlon crashes into a road sign and rejoins the race in 5th but soon smashes into another car, leaving his bike’s health bar dangerously low. Another crash into a car makes his bike explode and Marlon fails.

It’s cult games for review this time around as The Blues Brothers (SNES) earns 51%. Doctor Who: Dalek Attack (Amiga) gets 73%. Star Wars (Game Boy) is given 80%. The feature takes a look at three home computers, the Atari Falcon, Acorn A3010, and the Amiga A1200 as the dawn of the 32-bit era begins. Singer Cathy Dennis is the celebrity here and she takes on Global Gladiators (Mega Drive). Cathy has 2 minutes to finish the first level of the game. Cathy takes several hits and her health bar gets very low, but that’s the least of her worries as she misjudges a jump and falls to her death, failing the challenge.

Krusty’s Super Fun House (SNES) gets some help before a rather rude oik demands a tip for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES) but doesn’t say please. This just pisses GamesMaster off and he refuses to help, got to respect the GamesMaster if you want his assistance. U.N. Squadron (SNES) get a helpful hint, and then that rude oik from before comes back and says please to get the guidance he needs. And so the Thomas Patterson SNES challenges continue. Audience member Keith Pentlin throws down the gauntlet on Super Soccer (SNES). Thomas playing as Germany takes on Keith as Holland and they kick a football around a pitch for a while. Keith gets the first goal of the match, but Thomas quickly puts away an equaliser making it 1-1. Just seconds before the end of the first half, Thomas tucks another away making it 2-1 to the Nintendo British Champion. The second half doesn’t deliver any more goals so Thomas wins. Crab’s Pinchers with Cheesy Nibbles is Auntie Marisha delicacy this episode.

Golden joysticks won – 0

Episode 18

GamesMaster sets up the first challenge on Alien 3 (Mega Drive). With just 2 minutes, Shango Stableton (yes, that’s his name) has to free all eight hostages and finish the first level. Within the first 4 seconds, Shango gets hit by a xenomorph, but he manages to regroup and saves four hostages pretty sharpish. The time ticks away as he makes he way through the level rescuing the captives. With just 20 seconds on the clock, there are still two more hostages to find and it’s looking very unlikely Shango will win this one. More xenomorphs get in the way and with only 9 seconds left, he finds the last two hostages… but still has to exit the level. Shango makes it with only 2 seconds to spare in this very close challenge and he takes home the golden joystick.

Shoot ’em Ups (an actual gaming genre) get reviewed this time. Xenon 2: Megablast (Game Boy) is given 68%. Axelay (SNES) is awarded 87%. Probotector 2: Return of the Evil Forces (NES) gets 80%. No feature this time so straight into the celebrity challenge. Beat ’em Up World Heroes (Neo Geo) is the game here and Chris Brody takes on his own sister…  weather girl turned TV presenter Ulrika (ka-ka-ka) Jonsson. Chris takes the first round with ease but Ulrika wins the second making it one round each. The third and final round goes to Chris and he wins the golden joystick.

Ulrika J

More hints & tips from the G-man and up first is Super Mario World (SNES). Then someone asks for an unlimited lives cheat on Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Mega Drive) and GamesMaster has to admit he can’t help as there is no such cheat, the first time he has not be able to meet a request… though not really GamesMaster’s fault. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES) is the last game to get some help this time around. Then back is Thomas Patterson who is challenged to a game on Pilotwings (SNES) by Scott Naylor. Choosing the hang-gliding stage, each player takes it in turn to score the most points. Scott goes first and it looks like he messes up pretty badly… but does he? Taking a rather unorthodox route to the lading pad, but still puts in a superb performance to score a very respectable 90/100 points. Thomas takes up the controller and sets about trying to beat that impressive 90 points, Thomas needs an absolutely perfect score here to win. Thomas takes a more traditional route to the landing pad but falls short and misses the pad completely, only scoring an average 60 points. Scott beats the Nintendo British Champion and wins the golden joystick. Dominick teases a 3D special challenge for the next episode before enjoying Auntie Marisha’s Sprat Nibbles in a Spicy Cajun Dip.

Golden joysticks won – 3

Episode 19

Dominic Verson takes on the first challenge on The Magical Quest, starring Mickey Mouse (SNES). GamesMaster gives out his favourite 1 minute and 30 seconds to finish a level and kill the boss. Dominic admits he’s not managed to beat the time limit in practise, so he could fail this one before it’s even begun. Dominic reaches the boss with 50 seconds to spare, plenty of time, but he took a few hits along the way and doesn’t have full health. Taking another hit on the boss fight and with only one hit and 11 seconds left, this is going to be a close one after all. But he does it, with only 1 second remaining, Dominic wins the golden joystick.

And it’s sports games up for review this time. Muhammad Ali Heavyweight Boxing (Mega Drive) gets 57%. Jimmy Connors Pro Tennis Tour (SNES) scores 80%. Front Page Football (PC) is handed 87%.  No feature… again. So it’s celebrity challenge time once more. Puzzle/platformer Sleepwalker (Amiga) is the game and offbeat comedian Vic Reeves is the challenger. This is a special Comic Relief challenge on a specially designed level just for GamesMaster. Vic has a bit of bother from troublesome snake early on and loses a lot of time and it all goes very wrong. Things don’t improve and he fails the challenge, badly via some atrocious game-playing… very poor indeed. GamesMaster rightfully, sends Vic Reeves down to the pit for his dismal performance.

Vic Reeves

Captain Dynamo (Amiga), The Magical Quest, starring Mickey Mouse (SNES) and Double Dragon (Master System) get some much needed help from GamesMaster. Dominik Diamond plucks three spectators from the audience to take part in a special 3D challenge called The Maelstrom 3D Challenge. Specially created just for GamesMaster, players have to fly their spaceship through an asteroid field and dock with the mother-ship. But it’s not only the contestants who get to experience the 3D as viewers at home could don a pair of 3D glasses and watch in three dimensions at home too. Of Garry, Scott & Nitesh, the three challengers chosen by Dominik, Gary goes first. He gets off to a good start, dodging and weaving the asteroids, but takes a few too many hits and his ship explodes. Scott grabs a hold of his joystick next. Doing better then Gary and getting very close to docking and finishing the challenge, he slams into a few space rocks and dies. Nitesh is last, but is he least? Well yes and no, Nitesh gets closer to the mother-ship than either of the other two… but still dies just seconds away from winning. No golden joystick here. Deep-Fried Dogfish is Auntie Marisha’s bountiful feast this time.

Golden joysticks won – 1

Episode 20

GamesMaster gets things rolling with the first challenge. Richard Sylvester has 2 minutes to finish a level on tricky platformer, Kid Chameleon (Mega Drive). Richard ploughs his way though the level with relative ease, making very few mistakes save a missed jump near the end. But with 7 seconds left on the clock, he wins a golden joystick.

Gods (SNES) receives 84%. Two Tribes: Populous 2 (Mega Drive) is given 84%. Utopia: The Creation of a Nation (SNES) lands a 76% as God games are reviewed. Just quickly, this kid pops up in the reviews a few times through the series. What the fuck is going on with these eyes? Seriously, this kid has been scaring me for quite a few episodes now…

Scary Eyes

Still no feature (again), so straight into the celebrity challenge. Host of classic show The Krypton Factor, Gordon Burns takes on Blastris (SNES). A variation of the classic game Tetris but using that Super Scope light-gun thing for the SNES that no one liked. Gordon has to clear five lines, oh and he’s playing on the hardest setting too. After a few unfortunate block drops, Gordon begins to get into a rhythm and clears three of the five lines required to win. The screen begins to fill up and it’s looking very rough, but a couple of very lucky block drops means Gordon scores another line, needing only one more… but he doesn’t get one more line. A cheeky and very lucky long block slides down the screen at just the right time in just the right place, clearing four more lines, meaning Gordon actually scored eight lines when he only needed five. Tip-top, even if a tad lucky bit of gaming to win the golden joystick.

GamesMaster is back to deliver some of his much needed help. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES) get some help… have you noticed ho many times this game has been requested so far this series? Anyway, Auntie Marisha also pops up to ask GamesMaster for help with her soggy flan, which he gladly offers and even throws in a bit of flirting too. One of the unfortunates from last episode returns for more help with The Magical Quest, starring Mickey Mouse (SNES). Then onto the final challenge, a bit of a two on one affair as brothers, Thomas & Christoper Celestine take on Victor Ebubedike at (American) Football Frenzy (Neo Geo). The first to get 10 points wins. With a touchdown in American football equating to 6 points, Victor scores the first making it 6-0. But the Celestine brothers soon fight back and not only score a touchdown, but also score an extra 2 points, so it’s 8-6 to the brothers. But Victor Ebubedike isn’t one to give up as he carves his way back up the field to score another touchdown and takes the score to 12-8, winning the challenge and the golden joystick. Auntie Marisha serves up some rather questionable Boiled Tadpoles in a Basket.

Golden joysticks won – 3

Episode 21

To kick things off this time around, Dominik plucks out random spectator, Helen Williams. Her game is the fun and overlooked puzzler, Bill’s Tomato Game (Amiga) and she is given a very unforgiving 1 minute to complete a level. Making a few test runs, Helen splats her tomato over and over… but this is the very nature of this game, it’s all about trial and error. You try, die, tweak your strategy and try, try again. She almost has it after a bit more tweaking, but with just 4 seconds left, her tomato gets splatted once more. Helen only has one last shot at this and those 4 seconds can’t be enough… but she does it, with less than 1 second left, Helen wins the golden joystick.

It’s review time again as classic games get a drubbing. Track & Field (Game Boy) scores a 57%. Dropzone (NES) gets a very decent 87%. Paperboy 2 (Mega Drive) is spanked with a 32%. Yes, a feature… at last and this one takes a gander at three new to the market controllers. The arcade fighting stick Topfighter (SNES), the flight sim stick Free Flight (PC) and the very bizarre motion controller stuck to a hat Free Spirit (PC) all get looked at. As is the tradition, it’s celebrity challenge time. Side scrolling shooter, Contra 3: The Alien Wars (SNES) is the game here and it’s boy-band East 17 who are taking this one on. The challenge is that the lads have to finish the first level of the game, if a life is lost, the controller gets passed to the next member of the band, up to four lives. Four members of the band, four lives, so only one life a piece. It’s a bit of a mixed bag of a performance as the first two lives (Tony and Brian) are lost pretty quickly within seconds of each other and things don’t look good. But the third life (John) fares better… for a while… until death. With only one more life left, it’s all up to the last member of the band (Terry) to finish the level. To be honest, he does a fine job, far better than the others… but slips off a platform and dies. Challenge failed, but at least none of them ran themselves over with their own car after eating too many jacket potatoes… yet. Still, Auntie Marisha deliverers a trolley full of cakes for the boys.

Of course it’s hints & tips time once more. Pushover (Amiga) and Pinball Fantasies (Amiga) get some assistance. Only two tips this time.. but GamesMaster does get a visit from a chicken… because? So it’s final challenge time as Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield’s Boxing (Mega Drive) is chosen for a round of fisticuffs.

Boxing Challenge

Taking on this one are the brother and sister siblings, Craig and Kirsty Munro. It’s a fairly even fight as brother and sister seem to be equally matched. But Kirsty manages to knock Craig down, he recovers… just about, but only long enough to be put back down again. This time, down for the count as Kirsty ‘wins’. Now, I have a bit more to say about this particular challenge later in another article, but for now, Kirsty takes the golden joystick. Auntie Marisha cooks up a finger buffet of Quayle’s Nipples for supper.

Golden joysticks won – 2

Episode 22

Tricky but utterly charming puzzler Lemmings 2: The Tribes (Amiga) is the first challenge. Gavin Handsford is given 2 minutes to save all 50 lemmings in a specially designed GamesMaster level. He can’t afford to lose a single lemming here. Using some very clever tactics, Gavin destroys this challenge without breaking into a sweat and wins the golden joystick with ease.

It’s beat em’ ups up for review this time as Dirty Larry: Renegade Cop (Lynx) is slapped with a 46%. Best of the Best: Championship Karate (SNES) scores 73%. Sonic Blast Man (SNES) is given 76%. The feature this time tries to quell the myth that games are just for kids, as a trio of older ladies are sent to an arcade to play some games. It’s a very tongue in cheek feature but the ladies certainly enjoyed themselves. Famed improv comedienne Josie Lawrence is the celebrity taking on the next challenge. GamesMaster selects the light-gun game Mad Dog McCree 2: The Lost Gold (Arcade) and Josie (who’s never played a video game in her life) is given three lives to try to win a shootout against some dirty Banditos and rescue hostages over two stages. Losing a life very early on, Josie’s chances are looking slim, she does fair better better on her second life and even manages to save a hostage by clearing the first stage. Then on the second stage, Josie shoots her way to victory and wins the golden joystick.

Josie Lawrence

GamesMaster offers his assistance once more. Super Star Wars (SNES), Pinball Fantasises (Amiga) and European Club Soccer (Mega Drive) are all helped. The last challenge is the start of a special Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Mega Drive) magazine challenge. Dave Goodyear (Mega Drive Advanced Gaming) takes on Paul Davis (Mean Machines Sega) in a race to finish act 1 of the Emerald Hill Zone stage of the game. Going first is Paul who misses a few spring jumps and finishes in 56 seconds. Up next is Dave who takes a different route, finds the speed boots and blisters through the level with a time of 30 seconds. As this is a tournament style challenge, no golden joystick is given until the winner of the final. Auntie Marisha cooks up some Halibut lightly tossed in Brine… again, she served that in episode 15 too.

Golden joysticks won – 2

Episode 23

Captain Dynamo (Amiga) is the first challenge and it’s Emily Taylor taking this one on. With only 1 minute and 30 seconds to finish a level of this platform game without losing a life. There are a few tricky-dicky moments, but Emily handles them very well indeed. A section with some spinning blades makes her lose some valuable time, but even so, Emily gets to the end of the level with 3 seconds to spare. Golden joystick won.

Just the one review this time as the exceptional Star Fox (SNES) gets a very worthy 94% in this exclusive first TV review of the game. Feature time and the CD-ROM format is explained and looked at. Aston Villa striker, Tony Daley takes on Ben McCluskey at Striker (SNES) in a game of soccer. With Tony playing as England while Ben favours Italy. Tony tucks away an early goal, and another making it 2-0 at the end of the first half. The second half doesn’t fare much better for Ben as Tony puts away two more early goals… followed by another. A complete whitewash as Tony destroys Ben 5-0 to win the golden joystick.

More unfortunates seek out GamesMaster’s help. Populous (Mega Drive) gets some love. Then someone asks for help on Streets of Rage 2 (Mega Drive), but the (lack of) manners for the question offends GamesMaster and he refuses to help. Then the often requested The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES) also gets some help. The next round of the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Mega Drive) magazine challenge is next. Paul Mellorick (MEGA) takes on Dean Mortlock (Sega Power) in a race to finish act 1 of the Chemical Plant Zone on the game. Dean goes first and struggles with a time of 1 minute. Paul smashes the challenge with a time of 48 seconds to win and move onto the final. Bouillabaisse is Auntie Marisha’s delicacy this time around.

Golden joysticks won – 2

Episode 24

The first challenge is on the all time classic Super Mario World (SNES). GamesMaster gives a very tight 1 minute and 15 seconds to finish the Chocolate Island 3 level. It’s Aaron Hill who takes this one on. Aaron gets off to a flying start and makes short work of the first half of the level. But just inches away from the end, he slams face first into a flying Koopa Troopa and falls to his death, failing the challenge and he’s banished to the pit.

It’s evolution games (seriously, who came up with the names for the review themes?) up for review now. The Lost Vikings (SNES) gets 80%. Mega Lo Mania (Mega Drive) lands a very nice 87%. Joe & Mac: Caveman Ninja (Game Boy) is given 65%. This feature is a profile/interview on Sega European Champion Danny Curley. Celebrity challenge time and it’s the javelin throw on Summer Challenge (Amiga). Simon goes up against (then) javelin world record holder, Steve Backley. Simon goes first and chucks an impressive 90.72m. Steve struggles with an 87.12m throw. Simon wins the golden joystick.

Super Mario World (SNES), Final Fight (SNES) and Wonder Boy in Monster World (Mega Drive) are all helped thanks to GamesMaster. Then it’s the grand final of the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 magazine challenge. Paul Mellorick takes on Dave Goodyear in this special head to head, collect as many rings as you can, best of three rounds challenge. With Paul playing as Sonic and Dave as Tails. Paul takes the first round, but Dave wins the second, making it one round a piece. It’s onto the final, deciding round and it’s a close fight too, but Dave wins by just 2 rings to take home the golden joystick. Auntie Marisha serves up some Jellied Eels with Lychee Dumplings.

Sonic Challenge

Golden joysticks won – 2

Episode 25

Jamie Spencer takes on action/platformer ActRaiser (SNES) in the first of GamesMaster’s challenges. He’s given just 1 minute and 30 seconds to finish the first level and defeat the boss. Jamie takes a few hits early on, but makes it to the end of level boss with 40 seconds left. With some well timed and careful hits, he could do this… but Jamie wastes too much time faffing about and runs out of time. Fail!

Eliminator Boat Duel (NES) scores 80%. Micro Machines (Mega Drive) is given 87% and Dirty Racing (Game Boy) scores a 54% as racing games get reviewed. No real feature this time, but the winner (and runner ups) of the previously mentioned GamesMaster Design a Game competition is announced. The winner was Brian Bell & Ashley Cunningham’s game, Charlie Chimp. Which was actually made and released for the Amiga in 1993. Yup it’s the challenge of the celebrity time again and Arm Champs 2 (Arcade) is the game here. This one is a three way fight as the professional British arm wrestling trio of Rod ‘Rambo’ Lanette, Robert ‘Bad News’ Browne, & Tony ‘The Lunatic’ Durey. They have to test their strength against the arcade machine. However, all three actually demolish the machine as their efforts are ‘too string to measure’ and all three score a ???.?kg. Meaning all three win a golden joystick by default.

GamesMaster is back to share his wisdom as Goblins 3 (Amiga), The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)… again and The Addams Family (SNES) have their secrets revealed. Its the final challenge of this episode…and actually a second celebrity one too. Olympic gold medal winner, Duncan Goodhew takes on a comical diving challenge on Fiendish Freddy’s Big Top O’Fun (Amiga). Duncan has to high-dive into increasingly smaller containers. He takes care of the first two dives with style and some form of grace, but misses the third and final target to fail the challenge. Despite the loss, Auntie Marisha does give Duncan a nice cake before serving up the rather normal sounding Goujon of Cod for Dominik.

Golden joysticks won – 3

Episode 26

That’s it, I’m on the home straight as this second series of GamesMaster comes to an end… and what an end too. But before I get to that, it’s the first challenge. David Nulan has to beat the forest stage on Shadow of the Beast 3 (Amiga) in 1 minute and 30 seconds. The challenge is no problem for David as he wins with 7 seconds left and happily gets hold of a golden joystick.

It’s review time again as RPGs get looked at. Dungeon Master (SNES) scores 68%. Final Fantasy II (SNES) gets a 61%. Cyberspace (PC) is given a very high 91%… though as far as I can tell, the game never existed, I can’t find any info on this game at all other than the review in this episode. Look, it’s right there…

CyberSpace review

Anyway, a couple of previews for Uridium 2 and Goal! (Amiga) follow before a feature that takes a look at the making of Michael Jordan In Flight (PC). The final celebrity challenge of the series brings together British ice hockey star Kevin Conway and British field hockey star Sean Kerly to take each other on at NHLPA Hockey ’93 (Mega Drive). Kevin puts away a goal and despite putting up a good fight, Sean can’t seem to score. It’s a 1-0 victory to Kevin Conway as he wins a golden joystick.

For the last time this series, it’s hints & tips time again. The NewZealand Story (Mega Drive) and Goblins 2 (Amiga) are the last two games to get help this series. Mortal Kombat (Arcade) is the very last challenge as Jim McGuyver playing as Sub-Zero takes on Andy Thomas as Raiden. The first round is a close one, but Andy wins. But Jim takes the next round with ease. With one round each, is the final round of the final challenge of the final episode of the series. Jim goes on to win the final round (no finishing move) and takes home the golden joystick.

MK Challenge

Dominik prepares himself to feast on Auntie Marisha’s supper serving… but disaster strikes. There’s an explosion as it’s revealed that Auntie Marisha had blown up the kitchen. Dominik makes a run for a lifeboat to save his own skin as the oil rig the series has been taking place on begins to sink. Is this the end of GamesMaster? Well no there’s another 5 series to cover yet…

Golden joysticks won – 3


Overall

First up, the oil rig set is so much better then the gloomy church from series 1. There’s very welcome lack of smoke machines and lasers flying around. The set is also bigger which gives way to a lot more audience… but it can still a little dark at times. Dominik Diamond seems much more conformable this series and his personality really begins to come through much more. His banter with both the contestants and celebs is funny and charming. I think series 2 is where the production team really got to grips with the format and began to excel.

The finale of the oil rig blowing up was the first major addition to the ‘plot’ of the show and we’ll see more of a continuing story as the series goes on.

Dominick Diamond Dame 2

Total golden joysticks won – 28

So onto series 3… and what a series to cover too. I’m really looking forward to going over this one…

“Welcome to GamesMaster. Much imitated, frequently intermated, inside thigh agitated.”

–  Dominik Diamond

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