We suspect that so many reviewers neglect to mention MIDI-compatible features due to the fact that they don't themselves own MIDI equipment, and thus are unable to test the feature for themselves. You're right, however, that if a program offers MIDI sound, it should at least be mentioned in the review. Game reviewers take note!
The forgotten MIDI
I feel that, as a concerned ST user, I must comment on your game review policies. Many times I've heard arguments of how much more superior the sound and graphics are on other machines, and the points I've heard are valid. Graphics capabilities on other computers are quite good; however, with programs such as the Quantum Paintbox, our STs are now achieving remarkable graphics results. Other computers have dedicated sound chips (synthesizers on a chip), and they sound quite good, especially when put through amplification system; but the ST has MIDI! So what puzzles me most is: when MIDI is used on various programs (read:games), why isn't this mentioned?
An example of this is Electronic Arts' release of Marble Madness. I've read six different reviews of this game in six different magazines and not one of them mentions that this wonderful game is MIDI compatible! Not one! The only reason I got hooked on this game was because of the arcade sound track. Now with my MIDI synthesizer (Yamaha's TX 81Z). I can bring the arcade sound track home! EA doesn't even mention this fact. No one does.
So as a first and much needed service to your loyal readers, why don't you, ST Log, become the first to make mention of available MIDI sound in future reviews. The review of Karate Kid II in your May 1988 issue didn't mention this fact, and the article entitled "The Perfect Computer Game" forgot to note how important sound is to the completion of the perfect game.
ILLUSTRATIONS BY JOHN BERADO
The ST doesn't have the best sound chip in the world, but it does have built-in MIDI, and those of us with MIDI-compatible synthesizers would like to know what works and what doesn't.