Retro Gamer's "Perfect Ten Games" for 3DO

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Retro Gamer's "Perfect Ten Games" for 3DO

Post by knightintosh » Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:48 pm

Last week or so I mentioned I was going to type up the Top Ten 3DO games according to Retro Gamer magazine here in the UK. The monthly magazine is a bit pants, but their "Videogames Hardware Handbook", looking at all gaming platforms between 1977 and 1999 was excellent and includes this list. It's in no particular order for the 3DO, which is strange as they've done so for other consoles, but here we go anyway. And yes, I wish my scanner was working, wouldn't have taken anywhere near as long as typing all this up!!

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"Seen by many as folly, Trip Hawkins' 3DO nevertheless featured some stunning games that deserves (sic) to be experienced by the more open gamer and we’ve selected the cream of the crop for you to cast your eyes over.

LUCIENNE’S QUEST (1995)
Developed by: Micro Cabin
By the same developer: The Deep Blue Fleet
When a system is starved of a genre, it becomes easy to lavish praise on unworthy titles. Despite being one of few JRPGs released, Lucienne’s Quest deserves its praise. By no means an epic quest (needing under 20 hours), it was packed with light-hearted charm and clever ideas. Rather than playing a hormonally enraged teenager with spikey (sic) hair like other JRPGs, you control a wizard’s female apprentice who decides to help a warrior cure his lycanthropy, only to be joined by equally colourful characters. You also begin with teleportation magic, which eliminates all backtracking! The battle system meanwhile is fun and unique, allowing real-time damage to the surroundings. Blithe, but enjoyable.

STAR CONTROL 2 (1994)
Developed by: Paul Reiche III & Fred Ford
By the same developer: Star Control
Explore outer space while communicating with strange alien races, having hellishly intense dogfights, and unravelling a millennia old mystery - all in order to free Earth from the “slave shield” problem it’s gotten into. Although a PC port, the 3DO iteration of this epic space opera was vastly superior thanks to all written dialogue being replaced with some excellent voice acting. Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford spent the final six months developing the game without pay, and the last two averaging 18 hours a day, seven days a week - this dedication and effort is clear to see on screen. Worth owning a 3DO for, despite The Ur-Quan Masters port being free.

ROAD RASH (1995)
Developed by: Electronic Arts
By the same developer: M.U.L.E.
It was late arriving on the 3DO, but Road Rash reinvigorated the bikers-and-violence formula like never before. Gone were the cartoony sprites of the MD games, instead replaced with gritty digitised characters - every eruption of violence with a chain or club felt wonderfully savage and guttural. Environments were also truly 3D, with an exhilarating sense of speed. But the biggest improvement was atmosphere: heavy rock bands like Soundgarden allowed their music to be used, which, when combined with the between-races bar-room surreal-pastiche of talkative yet scummy bikers, genuinely made you feel like a member of this carburettor underclass: a social miscreant with a penchant for bikes, booze, heavy rock, and violence.

POLICENAUTS (1995)
Developed by: Konami
By the same developer: Metal Gear Solid
There are many Japan-exclusives worth mentioning - Policenauts was also released on the Saturn and the PSone - but more should know about Hideo Kojima’s “forgotten” game. Created between Snatcher and Metal Gear Solid (both released in the West), it reportedly took six years to finish. Basically another point-and-click adventure (with added light gun action scenes), what makes it so special is the atmospheric storyline. You’re a ‘Police Astronaut’ for an orbital space station, who ends up frozen in deep space for a number of years after a freak accident. Later witnessing your estranged wife’s murder, you must return to the station and solve a terrifying conspiracy. Lucky for us, a group of fans have made an English translation patch, available at http://www.policenauts.net

SNOW JOB
Developed by: Studio 3DO
By the same developer: Blade Force
“An FMV game?!” we hear you collectively cry. Yes, but one that’s very good. It’s actually regarded as one of the all time best in the genre - trust us on this. Instead of having an embarrassing and nonsensical plot (like most FMV games), Snow Job takes place on the gritty streets on present-day New York; you’re an ex-cop trying to bust a drugs ring while preventing the murder of your DA girlfriend. Unlike traditional FMV games, which involve pushing one or two buttons, this plays like a detailed point-and-click adventure - using digitised 360-degree environments and FMV for dialogue sequences. Passable acting and it’s quite complicated; adventure fans should love it.

IMMERCENARY (1994)
Developed by: 5 Miles Out
By the same developer: N/A
Best described as an action adventure, Immercenary secretes the player in the Garden: a virtual world populated with virtual-reality imaginings of 20th Century pop art. The player travels from a lab chair in a cyberpunk 2004 to the Garden, taking on the cyber appearance of the Raven; her growth cycle absorbs and fascinates in equal measure - the more you destroy the stronger Raven becomes. However the inhabitants of this world don’t grow with her. Free-roaming exploration of the world consumes the player’s morality. To see more you must destroy the Garden where violence only happens if you instigate it. RPG overtones imbue with a mesmerising soundtrack and some incredible visual fusions to create one of the rarest experiences in games.

RETURN FIRE (1995)
Developed by: Silent Software
By the same developer: Return Fire: Maps of Death
Designed by Baron RK Von Wolfshield. Return Fire was future real on its release in 1995 combining instant hit gameplay mechanics from the previous generation with a visual and aural candour that could only be realised with the advent of the CD drive. With 100 levels, nine terrains and only ever one adversary, the game was a monumental challenge. The aim was simple: capture the enemy flag and return it to your own base. At your disposal an army equipped with helicopters, jeeps, tanks and armoured support vehicles - steeped in classical music each vehicle had its own signature tune. Unrivalled as a multiplayer game at the time, Return Fire is significant when you consider that most FPSs today contain ‘capture the flag’.

WAY OF THE WARRIOR (1994)
Developed by: Naughty Dog
By the same developer: Rings of Power
Jason Rubin launched a 3DO exclusive in ‘94. It borrowed from the big hitters of the time, most notably Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat 2, Samurai Shodown, and Fatal Fury. The characters were played by actors and the digitisation process worked well and rendered a character-set unequalled since. With names like Major Grimes and Shaky Jake the characters were parodies of type, with indigenous quips like Shaky Jake’s Australian “Now that’s a knife” still raising a smile today. Fatalities dominated the game with each character having their own and every arena having a few. White Zombie chugged away in the background adding depth to the gore that was so over the top at times it was funny. A class act in all departments WOTW’s Achilles’ heel was its exclusive nature.

THE NEED FOR SPEED (1994)
Developed by: EA Canada
By the same developer: Need For Speed: Underground
From the team behind Test Drive, The Need For Speed fell to EA through acquisition. It aspired to create a driving game to equal Ridge Racer and Daytona’s arcade incarnations on a console, at a time when Jaguar XJ220 was deemed the ultimate console racer. Adorned with three tracks, background details gave weight to impressive goraud shading. A slim roster of super cars, deftly underscored with detail, from the FMV intro for each car to a presenter shooting a volley of statistics at you, three camera angles were available and engine sounds were recorded for the first time. Racing against the chosen car’s factory spec sheet added to the perception of detail. To play NFS today is like playing every driving game of the last ten years.

WING COMMANDER 3 HEART OF THE TIGER
Developed by: Origin Systems
By the same developer: Strike Commander
Wing Commander 3 provides synapses of all that Trip Hawkins thought 3DO would bring to gaming, and was the kind of game the 3DO was designed for. A space saga, the game came laden with FMV and starred such acting luminaries as John Rhys Davies and Mark Hamill. Rendered in hi-res the game sets the player aboard the TCS Victory; character interaction shows discord in the ranks and leaves the player feeling isolated. The missions turn into fraught space battles. Polished cut-scenes tell an epic tale, and the later stages become very emotive as you understand the player’s role. Challenging racism, war and loneliness, Wing Commander 3 showed us exactly what 3DO was designed to be."

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So what do we all think...? Do we agree?

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Post by bitrate » Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:56 am

Hmmm... no Blade Force?

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Post by Trev » Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:54 am

Way of the Warrior has no business being on the list, but the rest are all deserving. I'm rather shocked they picked both Immercenary & Snow Job ... but I really like both games (although I do think they overhyped Snow Job)
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Post by Vance » Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:47 am

A couple aren't "perfect", and one needs to be dropped, but a damn good list.

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Post by Dr.Enceladus » Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:35 am

I ended up buying the entire stock of games from one shop in Midland for 5 bux a pop when the owner decided that 3DO was taking up too much space next to the Saturn and PS1 racks. i still have many doubles of games "sealed" new since 1998. don't know why i did what i did, it just seemed to be the right thing to do at the time.
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Post by knightintosh » Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:54 pm

bitrate wrote:Hmmm... no Blade Force?
Apparently not and there's no mention of it in the actual article either, although there are a couple of screenshots of D2 on M2, which this says was "rumoured" to be completed.
Trev wrote:Way of the Warrior has no business being on the list, but the rest are all deserving. I'm rather shocked they picked both Immercenary & Snow Job ... but I really like both games (although I do think they overhyped Snow Job)
Vance wrote:A couple aren't "perfect", and one needs to be dropped, but a damn good list.
Vance, are you in agreement with Trev that Way of the Warrior isn't deserving of the place? Or is it another one?

And I've just noticed at the end of the article it says:
"SPECIAL THANKS TO
Trip Hawkins, and also Will '3DOkid' Matthews of fz1-3do.blog.co.uk for providing the majority of screenshots, and also resources. His goal is to review every 3DO game released, so check out the site. Thanks also to Thomas Riemer and Digital Press for some additional images."

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Post by 3DO Experience » Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:11 pm

WotW? Really? I though I was gonna complain about games not being on the list !
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Post by BryWI » Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:30 pm

That game really gets good reviews only because there is White Zombie music in it. That is all. It's happened since the dawn of time, err at least the dawn of that game

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Post by 3DOKid » Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:27 pm

Policenauts is over-rated and boring. There, I've said it.

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Post by knightintosh » Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:35 pm

Retro Gamer has a habit of selecting games just to be "different" and sometimes I wonder if they've played them at all! I read the 3DO Magazine review of WOTW today (3 stars/5) and the info in that RG paragraph is all in that review. Makes me wonder if RG's Perfect Ten features are all games they've played, or if they're games they've just read about.

This special edition also has the Perfect Ten Jaguar games, will I put them up in the Jag section to see what you think?

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Post by 3DOKid » Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:22 pm

John Szczepaniak, who that article, was a smashing chap. i offered him my opinions, and wisely he ignored me, but he did use my screenshots. (just before I figured out how to do them better). I'm confident he played the games mind you -- i just suspect his taste in games is a bit 'out there'. (unlike mine of cause that are the very picture of popular opinion)

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Post by 3DO Experience » Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:52 am

I find it hard to believe that anyone could play WotW and give it a perfect rating. And as loved as Lucienne’s Quest is it's not perfect either.
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Post by 3DOKid » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:45 am

I think Perfect 10 is just a euphemism for 10 games thy thought were okay.

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Post by Dr.Enceladus » Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:45 am

3DOKid wrote:Policenauts is over-rated and boring. There, I've said it.
...did you ever play Snatcher on Sega MD?
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Post by knightintosh » Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:44 pm

3DOKid wrote:I think Perfect 10 is just a euphemism for 10 games thy thought were okay.
I think you're right, it reeks of lazy journalism to me. They say these are the games on each system that you absolutely must own, but I know the C64 ones weren't all fantastic either. Which is why I wanted your opinions on the 3DO ones before I wasted money. Saying that, I'd like to collect everything anyway!

Think I'll write up the Jag ones later on then too.

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Post by 3DOKid » Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:42 pm

... as for way of the warrior, it's a breath taking game of beauty compared to Shadow War (of?) Succession.

Street Fighter 2 belongs in the list for sure. Wolfenstien too perhaps. Gex? Foes of Ali? Ice Breaker?

As I remember Retro Gamer were left in the lurch after Nintendo pulled out of an article or something. I think the 3DO article was pulled forward and the 10 games here were just the ones they had access too.

It honestly could have been worse, at least there are some interesting titles in the list as opposed to the usual 3DO suspects. (Like in my to 5 ;) )

If people were interested in getting a 3DO, they could do worse than these 10 games is all I am saying. Still, no Power Kingdoms, Novastorm or indeed Starblade. It's scandalous.

...And I swear Gran Turismo has Autobahn Tokio DNA in it.

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Post by BryWI » Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:54 pm

Dr.Enceladus wrote:
...did you ever play Snatcher on Sega MD?
Great game! I still have to play that one every now and then.

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Post by 3DO Experience » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:18 am

Dr.Enceladus wrote:...did you ever play Snatcher on Sega MD?
Yes, and Nintendo did an interview with Hideo Kojima in their latest issue.
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Post by Vance » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:37 am

I'd say SF2 or Foes of Ali (it's only recently that EA's boxing titles have gotten away from that formula). Ice Breaker and Gex are good, but not topping anything besides WotW on that list. Wolfenstein was good, but very late to the party.

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Post by 3DOKid » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:19 pm

Vance wrote:I'd say SF2 or Foes of Ali (it's only recently that EA's boxing titles have gotten away from that formula). Ice Breaker and Gex are good, but not topping anything besides WotW on that list. Wolfenstein was good, but very late to the party.
Wolfenstein was considered the best version. Over-shadowed by Doom 3DO.

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Post by Trev » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:48 pm

3DOKid wrote:
Vance wrote:I'd say SF2 or Foes of Ali (it's only recently that EA's boxing titles have gotten away from that formula). Ice Breaker and Gex are good, but not topping anything besides WotW on that list. Wolfenstein was good, but very late to the party.
Wolfenstein was considered the best version. Over-shadowed by Doom 3DO.
Wolfenstein shines best on 3DO no doubt! If it had only come out closer to the launch ...
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Post by 3DO Experience » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:36 pm

Yeah Wolfenstein truly was a jem on the system. It had to have been a nearly perfect port from the PC.
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Post by Austin » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:14 am

3DwhO wrote:Think I'll write up the Jag ones later on then too.
I would like to see their opinions on the "best" Jaguar games, so if you can post it, that would be cool... :)

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Post by knightintosh » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:26 pm

Sounds like I need to add Wolfenstein to my list of potential first purchases then! I never did get around to playing it, on any format. I did get Doom with the 3DOs I bought recently... oh well, can never have enough mug coasters.
Austin wrote:I would like to see their opinions on the "best" Jaguar games, so if you can post it, that would be cool... :)
I'll get these written up from the magazine this evening then :)

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Post by BryWI » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:40 pm

3DO Experience wrote:Yeah Wolfenstein truly was a jem on the system. It had to have been a nearly perfect port from the PC.
I am going to have to re-vist it this soon. I swear I loaded it up once and the level designs were different.

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Post by acem77 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:41 pm

3DOKid wrote:Policenauts is over-rated and boring. There, I've said it.
:P

I liked the game a lot,
bought the psx ver at a classic game show in ohio last summer patched and ported it to work on my psp and finished it while commuting on the bus.

So many little details to read into and some taboo topics for the time.
would have been censored a bit if it had a usa release then.
It was neat to see what they thought would happen in future as our present was part of the future time line then.
There was a pleasant nostalgic feeling to the experience.

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Post by NikeX » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:05 pm

Way of the Warrior and no Starfighter!

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Post by Austin » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:57 am

3DwhO wrote:Sounds like I need to add Wolfenstein to my list of potential first purchases then! I never did get around to playing it, on any format. I did get Doom with the 3DOs I bought recently... oh well, can never have enough mug coasters.
To me, Wolfenstein 3D is one of the most enjoyable 3DO games. Then again, I was a huge Wolf 3D fan (and still like to go back to the PC version every now and then), but still..
BryWI wrote:I am going to have to re-vist it this soon. I swear I loaded it up once and the level designs were different.
No, you are right. The level design itself is pretty similar to the Jaguar version. Neither game was a perfect PC port in terms of level designs, but both changed the sounds and beefed up the visuals heavily (each in their own way, which is cool), as well as adding new weapons (I think those new weapons were also in the Mac version).

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Post by Calavera » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:59 am

Austin wrote:To me, Wolfenstein 3D is one of the most enjoyable 3DO games. Then again, I was a huge Wolf 3D fan (and still like to go back to the PC version every now and then), but still..
Defiantly, I can't believe I actually am enjoying it after all these years. I think it is better than the PC version.
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Post by Austin » Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:06 am

Yeah, depends on how you look at it. The framerate is choppy in comparison, but all the upgrades are awesome. Kind of why I can't pick a clear winner on either platform (unless the Mac version is basically the 3DO game at 60fps).

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