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Article Clipped from The Province

An exhaustive video game study of 40 industry experts tabbed 1995 as the year 16-bit (Genesis and Super NES) systems died. Guess again, cheeseheads. Once again the "experts" have proved that predicting the vidgame industry is about as easy as shaving your legs with a cheese grater. Christmas sales of the Genesis and SNES blew everyone away, and it caught the honchos at Sega and Nintendo with their hard drives down. Donkey Kong Country 2 sold 900,000 copies in North America in less than a month. And the bet here is they could have sold another 250,000 if they had enough supply DKC2 was harder to get than a Courtenay Love handshake. Nintendo also did stellar business with Killer Instinct (1.2 million copies) and Yoshi's Island (1 million-plus). Third-party gutspiller Mortal Kombat 3 also racked up bigger numbers than Anna Nicole Smith's seamstress. Combined Sega and Nintendo sales of MK3 equalled more than a million PAUL CHAPMAN Power Play wiwt i i mm Worldwide Soccer by Sega Saturn. copies. (When MK3 first went on sale, it grossed $15 million US in its first three days. The same weekend, the leading Hollywood movie grossed just under $9 million.) Sega also cashed in on the longevity of 16-bit, peddling 500,000 copies of their marvellous Vectorman title while Prime Time NFL Football and Madden 96 also blitzed cash registers with sales of 500,000 each. So what's up? Those fancy new 32-bit systems aren't destined to become modern-day eight-tracks, are they? Not yet. But Sega and Nintendo underestimated the quality of their new titles for the cheapie systems. When the SNES and Genesis first came out they were considered high end and were kind of expensive. Now, for $100, a 20something lad can get a Genesis and a copy of NHL 96. We still haven't heard the last of the 16-bit systems. Not only did the games sell so well, but Sega and Nintendo report 1995 combined sales of four million 16-bit consoles (that's close to $500 million US). Which means those folks won't be ready to trade up to the more muscular next-generation gizmos In less than a year. So for at least a year, there won't be a 16-bit the dust. GAMEDAY Worldwide Soccer by Sega for the Saturn. Another gorgeous game for the Saturn that's sure to please soccer fans. The smoothness and speed of play is very impressive, as are the graphics. Goals are celebrated with a nice pan around the stadium to a scoreboard where we're treated to some fancy graphics. But there are shortcomings. The goalies don't move smoothly and can be too tough to beat. And where's the memory? The 16-bit FIFA Soccer for the Genesis by EA Sports has more than 100 teams available in 12 leagues, including international. You can play the Vancouver 86ers against Milan, Liverpool or Argentina if you want. Worldwide soccer has just 12 international TEAMS! You THUMB can play as England against Argentina, but not SgT they don have the real players either; they're made up ethnic fantasies. Still, the gameplay is good and, if you own a Saturn, it's a worthwhile title. A 3 on the Numb Thumb. CHEAT OF THE WEEK To make Sketch Turner, um, pass wind, in Sega's Comix Zone, press down quickly and repeatedly on the D-pad when enemies appear. Man, that iced tea must have something extra in it. Too bad it doesn't kill the baddies.