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Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.product.portable
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Portable Addiction: 15-Aug-91 #004
Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Date: Wed Jul 15 16:01:02 1992

Contributed By: Andy Norman 

                  PORTABLE ADDICTION #04 15 AUGUST 1991
    Newsletter for the Atari Lynx, Sega Game Gear and Atari Portfolio
  Tjerk "MegaJerk" Heymens Visser....(Editor)
  Yiri "Neuromancer" Kohl............(Editorial Assistant)
  Mr. Portfolio......................(Portfolio Staff Writer)

  Thanks to...  Andre "ALU" Luyer (for f***ing up my Internet account),
                Mr.Doom, Decoder, Robert Jung, Funtronics shop, Bart
                Smit shop, Portfolio vereniging, Commodore User and
                Darius Vaskelis.
                                                .    +           .      +
  Hiya!  Since our editor MegaJerk went on          .   ## ### ##     .
  holiday to Hungary, most of this issue was     +      ## ### ## .     .
  written and edited by me.    Since getting       .    ## ### ##   +
  software for the GameGear is quite hard in            ## ### ##      .
  Holland,   there will not be very much re-    .   +  ### ### ### .  +
  views for it in the following two issues.           ###  ###  ### .
  We  still haven't got that second Internet      ######   ###   ######
  account. Something must have went wrong at    + ####     ###  .  ####
  either Internet itself or at  Faxon Europe      .    .       +   .  .
  where I'd get my account.  We hope to have         +   .        .
  it in order in two months.
  Read and enjoy,
                                                 Yiri "Neuromancer" Kohl
                                                 Editorial assistant

  A Reader Writes...

  Although we dropped the idea of a letters page issues ago, this month
  we got such an amusing letter we just couldn't resist printing it.

  >  PA *seriously* needs to get some sort of third party to edit each
  >  issue--the myriad of typos & grammatical errors don't make for a
  >  respectable looking newsletter.

  Re: Well,  mr.  Hague,  I hope this issue looks better.  If you had read
      issue 02,  you would have known that we wanted our readers to decide
      which one of us should write the newsletter.     (From now on I will
      write the newsletter. Hope that makes ye feel happy.)

  >  Why are you even mentioning the Atari "Jaguar?" It is not a portable
  >  system.

  Re: Good point, here. Although our newsletter is primarily portable,  we
      also want our readers to know about new technologies.   Our point of
      view is,    that people can't choose to upgrade/downgrade from their
      current system if they don't  even know about the existence/progress
      of other systems.

  >  Are you covering the Game Boy, or did you just include it in the spec
  >  comparison to show how pitiful it is?  If you *are* covering it, you
  >  need to devote a much larger percentage of space to it because it is
  >  BY FAR the most popular system.

  Re: 1)  No, we are not covering it!   2)  Yes,  we just wanted the world
      to open it's eyes to see how WEAK the GameBoy is!   3)  OK, it still
      is the most popular system, but definitely not *BY FAR*!  In Europe,
      the GameBoy is slowly but surely losing it's user base. And now that
      the GameGear has arrived, the GameBoy can shake it!  Only England is
      still standing in the way of the  console-evolution by holding on to
      their rotten GameBoys.

  Please,  readers,  send us more letters like these! We just LOVE to read
  critical letters!   And remember,  we can only make PA the way you would
  like it if you tell us what's wrong with it!
                          HOT NEWS AND GOSSIP

GameGear:  The Lynx will REALLY have a hard time! GG games to be released
           are Columns, Dragon Crystal, G-Loc, Mickey Mouse, Super Monaco
           GP, Psychic World,  WonderBoy, Pengo,  Chase HQ,  Baseball 91,
           Pacman,  Pop Breaker,  Putter Golf,  Magical Guy,  Golden Axe,
           Devilish,  Woody Pop,  Mappy,  Squeek, Kinetic Connection, LEA
           Stadium,  Head Buster,  Berlin Wall,  Fantasy Zone,  Shanghai,
           Batter up, Slider,  Solitaire Poker,  Space Harrier, Sonic the
           Hedgehog, Forbidden Planet, RyuKyu, Sokoban as rumours have it
           there will also be a Gear version of Alien Syndrome!

Famicom:   Although  up untill now Nintendo refused to import the Famicom
           into Europe before 1993, plans have changed and Nintedo's SNES
           will be released next year! Hurray! (BTW: For those of you who
           didn't know yet, SNES stands for Super-NES).

Lynx:      Blockout has been released  (Along with Kit Case)  in  Holland    
           within  2 weeks of  it's release  in the US. Fedility Ultimate    
           Chess Challenge has not yet been released in Holland.

GameGear:  US Gold is going to produce  World Class Leaderboard, Indianna
           Jones And The Last Crusade and Super Kick Off for the Gear.
           Electronic Arts are also thinking of producing games for THE      

Lynx:      About 800.000 Lynxes have been sold till now, but with the new    
           Lynx out in the US and  the possible  TV tuner for the Lynx it    
           will get nearer to the Game Boy (3.2 million sold !!!!).

Lynx:      In our cheats list last month we missed a few things;
           Chip's Challenge: level : 146: JHEN 
                                     147: COZA
                                     148: RGSK
                                     149: DIGW

           Road Blasters: When at the designers pictures, press OPT.1
           for level select.

                         +----LYNX Review----+
                             VIKING  CHILD
   Viking Child is a conversion of the home-computer game with the same
  name. For those of you who don't know the game yet (most probably 'cos
  it's a European game) I will give a short description of it.
   When Brian the Viking  (what kind of a viking name is that!?)   comes
  home from a day in the forest, he finds his home village destroyed and
  his family missing. Brian then sets out to find his mother and sister.
  Gameplay consists of eight-way scrolling platform action.   On his way
  Brian can collect coins to buy extra weapons in shops a la Wonder Boy.
  In fact, the game is VERY reminiscent of Wonderboy! Brain can stab his
  sword,  jump and walk, and all this in true Wonderboy style!  Not very
  original,   since there is nothing really new or exciting added to the
  basic gameplay.
   The game is quite hard to get into due to the high difficulty level
  and the sluggish controls. Timing is often vital. These factors pump
  up the frustration level to the max, and even good players will have
  a hard time.
   A password system prevents you from having to play all levels over
  and over again. There also is a high-score table that can hold up to
  ten scores.
   The graphics look quite good  (almost identical to the VGA-mode),
  and the various jolly tunes are quite enjoyable.  The intermission
  screens, like the shops, are very well done too. But all this does
  not save the game from being average.  If only the controls were a
  little bit better and the speed was way higher, this could've been
  a tremendous game. Pity, really.

          Graphics    - 7.0 : Sharp, cartoony style.
          Sound       - 8.0 : Jolly tunes throughout the game.
          Playability - 5.5 : Hard to get into due to controls.
          Lastability - 6.5 : It'll last quite a while.
          Overall     - 6.0 : Graphics and sound don't make a
                              good game, as we use to say!

                         +--GAMEGEAR Review--+
   Shinobi is one of the first games to be released on the GameGear, and
  it's a darned good game as well! Although Mickey Mouse was a good game
  in it's own right, it was identical to the Master System version. With
  Shinobi the programmers have improved tremendously on the 8-Bit Master
  System version. The graphics tend to look like Revenge of Shinobi,  on
  the 16-Bit Genesis/MegaDrive.  The backgrounds look terrific,  and the
  main sprite looks identical to the Genesis version! Yay!
   The story is the usual "Revenge of the return of the sequel to Ninja
  part twelve". Our shinobi-chum is feeling very depressed 'cos all his
  fellow shinobi-chums have been kidnapped,  brainwashed and turned
  against him.  He must travel five scrolling levels filled with ninja-
  nasties to find his friend and defeat them. They will then be on your
  side and you can use their special abilities.
   As I said, the game plays terrific.  For one of the first GameGear
  releases it's great, and I can only hope that the quality of forth-
  coming games will be up to these high standards.  The Gear almost
  looks 16-Bit, and that's quite an achievement.  Rush out and buy
  this game NOW!

          Graphics    - 9.5 : Unbelievable!!..
          Sound       - 7.0 : Great, but could be better.
          Playability - 9.5 : Instant appeal!
          Lastability - 9.0 : You can play it again and again!
          Overall     - 9.0 : Megagreat! Buy it today!

                         +---LYNX  Preview---+
                              Pit Fighter
   Atari's Pit-Fighter created quite a stir when it was unleashed into
  the UK arcades in the summer of 1990.   The arcade beat 'em up scene
  had been pretty quiet since Capcom had released Street Fighter,  but
  Pit-Fighter revived the public's interest with it's three-player
  action, spectacular digitised graphics and unusual scenario.
   Pit-Fighter will appear on the Genesis, Famicom, GameBoy  (!), Lynx
  and all major home-computer formats.  Although the VGA-PC version is
  said to be identical to the coin-op in the graphics department,  you
  will probably need a pretty fast PC to play at a reasonable speed!
  That's why I expect the Lynx version to be the best.   It's the only
  machine that can manage more that two players simultiously, and uses
  hardware scaling and scrolling!   The fighting action probably won't
  improve,  and that's quite a pity,  since the arcade version wasn't
  wasn't really a joy to play.  Let's just wait and see.

                         +----LYNX Review----+
   Pac's back! Again. And this time he's brought his hat. (and boots,
  that is). No, this is not yet another guzzle 'em up, but a horizontal
  scrolling platform game in the Mario-Style.
   PacMan has found a fairy and he must take her back to Fairyland. To
  do this he must travel the ghost-ridden horizontal scrolling levels.
  This time the ghosts have learned how to drive cars and fly planes,
  so that means that they're everywhere.
   PacLand looks,  though the graphics are simpler than those of the
  Viking Child, very good and cartoony.  Sound is below average. But
  after all, it's playability that counts.  Well,  I'm not gonna say
  that there's plenty of it,   but I sure can say that what there is
  is quite good. Once again the only glitch being the speed. When do
  programmers start realising that Mario's succes was in the speed!?
  PacLand looks identical to the original game that was released a
  few years ago. It has improved, however, since it's on a cartridge
  and doesn't have to load!
   Anyway, if you're after a platform game for the Lynx, go for this
  one and leave Viking Child on the shelves at the software store!

          Graphics    - 8.0 : Cute'n'cartoony. Just great.
          Sound       - 6.5 : Verrry average.
          Playability - 7.5 : Quite playable, though slow.
          Lastability - 7.0 : Complete it and it's gone.
          Overall     - 7.5 : Quite a good platformer!

   Here are some short previews written by me, Neuromancer, instead of
  Mr.Portfolio.  These programs are all from German origin, so I could
  only get hold of the price in DM (Deutchmark).

  DB-Folio     -  For those people who use dBase quite often, DB-Folio
                  is ideal. With it, you can use and edit DBF-Files on
                  the Portfolio.
                  Price: 348,- DM
                  Information: BUS Computer Technik
                  Phone: 772038071  (in Germany, that is.  But I don't
                  know by what  number it has to be preceeded when you
                  are calling from the US,  so you'll have to check it
                  out yourself. Sorry!)

  PlanMaster   -  PlanMaster  is used to view and alter diary-files on
                  a normal desktop PC. This way, the Portfolio's diary
                  suddenly becomes compatible with your PC! PlanMaster
                  has, however, far more functions and options than
                  the folio's diary.
                  Price: 350,- DM
                  Information: NetConsult Software GmbH
                  Phone: 61726042 (in Germany)

  BTX Manager  -  This is a comms program for the folio.  This program
                  isn't very interesting, though, since it only has an
                  option for the BTX-protocol, which is only used very
                  often in Germany.
  DFU Manager  -  From the same company, this thingy is far more handy
                  for most users. It supports ASCII, but also has ANSI
                  emulation! 300-9600 baud, 7/8 data, 1/2 stop, parity
                  Xon/Xoff, Rts/Cts etc..etc...
                  Price: 168,- DM
                  Information: Drews EDV+BTX GmbH
                  Phone: 6221-29900 (in Germany)

  ARC Expansion-  This expansion set transforms the folio into a  full
                  desktop PC! It includes a parallel port, serial port
                  3 1/2" drive 720 Kb  (1.44 optional),  power source,
                  rechargable battery.  The 384 Kb memory expansion is
                  is optional.
                  Price: About 500,- DM
                  Informatino: ARC Comp. Vertriebs GmbH
                  Phone: 715167708 (in Germany)

                         +---LYNX  PREVIEW---+
                          Bill & Ted's Excel-
                            lent adventure

   Bill S. Preston and Ted (Theodore) Logan, high school party animals
  and self-confessed cool dudes are destined for great things. Namely,
  founding a religion and being idolised by future generations because
  of their  most  'bodacious'  Californian  interpretation of both the
  English language and Heavy Metal music. 
  However,  this will never happen if they flunk high school. This all
  looks very likely until Rufus, a messenger from the future,  sent to
  save mankind appears giving them  the chance to get an  A+  grade by
  doing a 'most excellent' history presentation.  This involves bring-
  ing dead dudes like Socrates and Freud back from the past to present
  day San Dimas, to relate their own real life histories!

  Equipped with a totally out of this world telephone booth,  Bill and
  Ted  have to dial historic dates and travel back to twelve different
  points in time to pick up the requisite number of dead dudes.   This
  is either six or twelve, depending on the difficulty level. Only two
  'historical heavies'  can be  carried in the  phone booth at any one
  time  so you must return to  San Dimas  regularly to deposit them in
  the local shopping mall for safe keeping.

  Bill and Ted's excellent adventure  is fatally let down by a lack of
  depth both in the overall game design and on each level. The game is
  far too easy to complete, so my advice is to spend a buck on renting
  the video first,  then if you think it's the 'most excellent' comedy
  you've ever seen recently,  and don't mind spending your hard earned
  cash on a game that  lasts only an hour or two to finish,  I can re-
  commend this most 'bodacious' piece of software.


                         +----LYNX REVIEW----+
  Comlynx alone was already  a nice feature,  though Shanghai has only  
  a 2 player link, now you have 3 (!!) different  ways to Comlynx.  So 
  you'll keep playing this game.

  1. Two-Player Alternating Competitive. 

    Each player has  ten seconds to  remove a pair of tiles.  After  a 
  player has  removed a pair,  or when the ten  seconds are over,  the 
  other player  takes his turn.  So you have a total of  20 seconds to 
  think.  It is easy at first,  but it  gets harder when there are not 
  many tiles. The scores of both  players  are  displayed  on  screen,  
  along  with  the remaining  time of course,  so you can see how well 
  (or not)  your partner is doing.  Don't expect to finish a puzzle in 
  this mode as you won't be  thinking of the next step(s) but only the 
  ten seconds.

  2. Simultaneous Competitive.

  This is much like the  Alternating option,  but now both players are
  playing at the same time.  If player one selects a tile,  player two 
  can match it, and he'll get the credits.   It is fun to play it, but 
  as you won't often solve the puzzle, there is no real challenge. You 
  can beat your friend with normal high-scores too  (low-times in this 

  3. Cooperative.

  Now you must work  together to solve  the puzzle.  You can match and
  deselect the  other players  tile.  The times  are not  likely to be 
  faster than in the single player mode.

  It was fun just to have tried all the options, but don't buy Shanghai
  for the Comlynx mode.  The Comlynx mode is not  as addictive  as  the
  solitaire game, because it is not really new to what you have already
  done in solitaire mode.  Only the Alternating option offers something 
  a bit different.

                            Gates Of Zendocon

    This is the last game of the  first batch that we haven't  reviewd
  yet. The  title screen looks a bit primitive, but the brain  monster 
  looks nice. I found the controlls a bit odd,  but you'll get used to 
  that. The game is almost too easy, you get very far on your first go 
  and only the last  monster is hard to beat.  It's fun to  watch your
  pilot walking to  another ship when you've  crashed your ship at the
  base, but it's a  pitty that you cannot skip it, it gets  boring.  I  
  like the  different backgrounds (like the mandelbrots etc.)  and the  
  faces of the programmers in the TRYX-level, but there is just nothing
  special. All in all this game is not a real  rip-off, but  there are  
  better games on the Lynx(Zarlor Mercenary is better as a shoot'em-up).

       Graphics     - 6.0 : Primitive/Childish like
       Sound        - 8.5 : The only thing outstanding in the game.
       Playability  - 7.0 : As it should be. It is not extremely
       Lastability  - 4.0 : Not too long, it becomes a drag once 
                            you've finished it (and that's fast !!)          
       Overall      - 5.9 : A bit average for the Lynx's first
                            shoot em up!  Could have been addictive!
                HOT News'n'Gossip 4 Lynx II only! Yeh!

  The Lynx II has been released in the US. It has been reported that
  there are some problems  with the  screen,  blinking pixels during
  play, but  only with  first or  second batch  games. As the Lynx 2
  (still called Lynx) has not been released in Europe, we can't give
  you full details about it. We think that it is temporarily, we
  think that it will be solved when the second batch will be

  Just to get you guys going crazy, the new Lynx is in stereo....
  if you thought KLAX was good before, wait until you hear it in two
  channels. You need to use the headphone  jack to get stereo,    as
  there's still only one internal speaker. I've been told Road Blas-
  ters is also in stereo. Chip's Challenge, Blue Lightning and Gates
  of Zendocon appear not to be.

  The new Lynx is selling for $99.95 almost everywhere, although
  quantities seem to be limited in  the Chicago area. Most merchants
  want to wait until they sell  out of the original Lynx before sel-
  ling the new one, but they are unwilling to discount the old Lynx.
  Other changes in  the Lynx  include easy access  to the  cartridge
  slot, it is just in back now  without a  door, longer battery life
  (the manual says six alkaline AA batteries will last five hours) ,
  a nice cover over the screen to prevent scratches...  but it looks
  pretty scratchable itself, and a backlight switch to turn the dis-
  play off.  (The five-minute auto-shutoff is gone,  so you can just
  pause,  turn the display off to save battery power,  and walk away
  until you want to come back.)   It also has a power LED so you can
  tell if it's on, since the display can be dark but the unit
  powered up.
  And best of all, it's smaller, and easier to hold for long periods
  of time.  It's far more comfortable than the old Lynx.
  (Note: all old Lynx games and peripherals work except the sun
  visor, it cannot fit the new Lynx, the Electronics Boutique nearby
  told me that there's a new visor coming.)
                                                  >Darius Vaskelis<

                 How will the Game Gear do in Holland ??

  It will take a while till the Game Gear will be as widely sold as the
  Lynx or the Game Boy. At first the Game Boy was very popular, but now
  the price  of the Lynx is 50%  of it's original price, the future for
  the Game Boy doesn't look very bright.  When I was  at the local Bart
  Smit Toy Store  (They  sell the Nintendo Game  Boy and  Entertainment      
  System,  The Sega MegaDrive  (and later the Game Gear)  and The Atari      
  Lynx) 3 Lynxes were sold in 15 minutes. Course that is not the normal      
  selling  rate,  but the  manager said  that the  Lynx is finally out-
  selling the Game Boy.  While I was there a woman wanted to buy a Game
  Boy  for  her sons  birthday  (who was/is a  Nintendo  fan). When she
  tested it she discovered that the screen was black and white.  So she      
  decided to buy a Lynx.   Till now the Lynx has been the only portable      
  gaming system in Holland, but  now the Game Gear is on it's way Atari
  is going to have a hard time. As Sega is already known for a while in      
  Holland  for the  MegaDrive (Genesis)  and  from  it's  arcade  games,
  people are going to wait for the Game Gear.  The manager said that he
  was impressed with the Game Gear,  he  expects  to sell a lot of them.
  His personal thoughts were that  the main battle would be between the
  Lynx and the Game Gear,  he didn't say that  they would drop the Game
  Boy but he expects a dramatic drop of Game Boy sales within a year.

  The Game Boy has a huge amount of games out, so till now the choice
  was between lots of games and no color  (Game Boy) and  few games and      
  color (Lynx).  But now the Game Gear  is comming (With  lots of games
  and color) there is a good alternative.
  Again this issue is late due to a vacation (mine). Next month issue
  will probably a bit late too, because i'll be on a sailing trip then
  (gosh I hate vacations !! :-) ). I went to Czechoslovakia and Hungary
  for 3 weeks  this time,  and as allways I  went to see  the sights in      
  Prague I couldn't find a Lynx or GameGear anywhere.  In one mall they
  sold some electonics stuff  (Only Sharp).  The thing that looked most
  like a computer was the Sharp Organizer. The salesman was kind enough
  to give me the address of a computerstore in Prague  (The only one he      
  knew, but there were more). But this was a PC-only store (No Atari's,      
  Amiga's etc.). I saw 3 other  computerstores,  but they  didn't  sell      
  anything else but PC's. So the Portfolio wouldn't make it in               
  Chechoslovakia even if it would be imported because it would be too        

  In Budapest things were different however.  When I got out of the car
  the first thing I saw was the Novotrade Atari shop,  they sold every-
  thing from the Lynx to the TT.  Their newest Lynx-games were Klax and      
  Slime World, the only other games they had were the first batch games.     
  Klax and Slime World cost around  $ 46,-  and the other  games around
  $ 40,-.  there  was not  much news on  the Portfolio  either,  though      
  there was a carrying  case like the Lynx Pouch ($34,-). And there was
  also a Filemanager for the PF which costs around $41,-. When I talked
  to the manager he said  that he  didn't know the HP-95LX, but he said      
  that the Poquet was available. He also didn't know anything about the
  modem or  printer for the  Portfolio,  but he was pleased that he was      
  getting Basic for the Portfolio. 32K cards cost $95,- 64K cards $162,-
  and a 128K costs $ 230,-.  I didn't see any Sega's or Nintendo's, not
  even a MegaDrive or NES.

  When I was on my way home I stopped in Vienna and looked around for a
  few hours. I was surprised to see lots of shops carrying the Portfolio     
  with reductions on cartridges when you bought a PF, with prices coming
  so low that you got  a 32K card free,  for Dutch prices ($ 250,-).   I     
  didn't see a Lynx or GameGear but I did see a store that sold the Game
  Boy. There was  nothing  very  special  (Not  many  games,  no  record     
  breaking prices)  but there were 3 different  carrying cases (Now I've     
  seen a total of 5 different cases for the Game Boy !!) with one saying     
  "Game Boy Tote", whereas "Tote" means dead in German (and the case did     
  look much like a coffin) so I thought it was a joke, but it wasn't.
  But it is too much of a coincidence.

                             Mr. Portfolio

  Fellow Atari Portfolio Owners:

  This month my article is rather short. Due to  summer vacations, and
  Atari Canada's BBS  being down for a while, there  is nothing new to
  report for the Portfolio.  However, next month that will change.

  Because  of this,  there is no need to  update the huge list  that I 
  sent last month, I will add an update when it becomes available.

  See ya all next month.

  Russ Campbell (Mr. Portfolio) .... russ@wecbcs.uucp

                           LYNX GAME RATINGS

  We are using the results from the VIDEO GAME RATINGS REPORT. 

     RANK      TITLE          VOTES CAST           

     1) 9.2    Warbirds             4        N S
     2) 9.0    Klax                44          B C
     3) 8.7    Zarlor Mercenary    18
     4) 8.5    Fidelity UCC         2        N B 
     5) 8.4    Shanghai             8          B
     6) 8.0    Chip's Challenge    62          B
     7) 8.0    Road Blasters       27            C
     8) 8.0    Xenephobe           29            C
     9) 7.5    Slime World         44
    10) 7.3    Rampage             11            C
    11) 7.2    Blue Lightning      60          S
    12) 6.7    Rygar                9
    13) 6.5    Gates of Zendocon   52
    14) 6.5    RoboSquash          15
    15) 6.4    California Games    75
    16) 6.4    Ms. Pacman          14            C
    17) 6.0    Electrocop          54
    18) 6.0    Block Out            1          *
    19) 5.7    Gauntlet III        50
    20) 5.7    Paperboy            15            C
  If rate is equal, rank is based on the number of votes cast.
  If more votes are cast, the number is more reliable.

  N= New
  B= Brains needed 
  S= Simulator
  C= Coin-op

* The original report said "Blood Money" but we think it is "Block Out".


  The last bit...  (not byte, that is!)

  Well, that's it for this month! Next month we'll have more Portfolio,
  more GameGear, and hopefully:  More LYNX!  Which just means  that we 
  hope to have an extra large issue!  Yeh!  C-you all next month!  


National Institute For High Energy Physics 
And Nuclear Physics, Computer Department ( NIKHEF-H ).
P.O.Box 41882
1009 DB Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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