Figured it was high time I spotlighted another classic console here on the site, so I decided to do one that was probably a little more well known than ones I've featured in the past; the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer! So hit the jump below to travel back to 1993!
The Super NES and SEGA Genesis were locked in a heated battle for your (or your parents') hard-earned gaming dollars. Then out of nowhere The 3DO company (headed by former EA founder Trip Hawkins) released the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer onto the market, originally launching with a $699 dollar price tag. And having been released in late 1993, this thing wasn't anywhere near as advanced or feature-filled as SONY's Playstation 3!
However the 3DO was certainly more advanced than almost anything that was out on the market at the same time, featuring a 32-bit processor and a 2X CD-ROM drive the 3DO was leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.
One of the more interesting things about the 3DO, was that several different companies were able to license the technology and release their own branded variant of the multimedia system. Both Sanyo and Goldstar released their own versions of the hardware. (And the Goldstar version was the one my family had, so that's the one I'm most familliar with.)
And here's the part where I talk about the 3DO's library of games. While it didn't have the massive library of games that the Sony Playstation and SEGA Saturn would eventually wind up with, the 3DO did get a decent selection of great games:
- AD&D: Slayer - An RPG set in the Dungeons and Dragons universe, so make sure you have your Cheetos and Mtn Dew handy!!
- Alone in the Dark - A port of the PC Survival Horror game.
- Another World - AKA 'Out of the World' the visually stunning adventure game set on an alien world.
- BC Racers - A kart racing game which co-starred 16-bit platforming star Chuck Rock.
- Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon S - A fighting game based on the magical girl anime.
- Braindead 13 - An animated FMV game similar to Dragon's Lair or Space Ace.
- Corpse Killer - An FMV light-gun shooting game. Fortunately the 3DO did get its own light-gun, so games like this were made much easier.
- Crash N' Burn - An intergalactic off-road racing game. Also featured weapons similar to Twisted Metal or Mario Kart.
- D - The interactive FMV/Puzzle game got its start on the 3DO system.
- DOOM - Shoot demons in hell, BFG9000, etc etc. Do I need to say more?
- Dragon's Lair - The landmark animated FMV-based arcade classic.
- Duelin' Firemen - Was never actually released, but you have to see it to believe it!
- GEX - An action-platform game starring a loud-mouthed Gecko (voiced by comedian Dana Gould)
- Killing Time - a horror-themed FPS
- Lemmings - A port of the PC classic puzzle game, it's up to you to lead the mindless legion to the exit safely by making them use various skills.
- Mad Dog McCree - Another FMV-based light-gun game with live actors.
- Megarace - Port of the PC racing game.
- Myst - Another PC port, this one the legendary exploration/puzzle game.
- Need For Speed, The - As you may have seen in my writeup on the NFS series, the 3DO is where the legendary racing franchise got its start.
- Panzer General - A strategy game, which took place on a virtual hex grid (similar to old tabletop RPGs like Battletech) and featured real-life armaments like tanks and planes.
- Policenauts - Mentioned this one in my 'Games of Hideo Kojima' writeup, this was like a 'Lethal Weapon in space' point and click adventure, featuring a deep storyline and several hours of FMV anime sequences. (visit junkerhq.net to check out the english version on PSX if you haven't already!)
- Plumbers Don't Wear Ties - I'd love to tell you this was an FMV game, but it didn't actually HAVE any FMV in it save for the opening sequence... But if for whatever reason you wonder what it was like to play the game, this interactive youtube should give you a good idea of how the 'game' worked.
- PO'ed - A first person shooter similar to DOOM, you play as a cook and you're supposed to go fight these invading aliens. What was neat is there was a command to do a backflip, and your POV would actually change while your character flipped through the air.
- Primal RAGE - A port of the jurassic fighting game similar in style to Mortal Kombat (and about as violent!)
- Return Fire - LOVED this one back in the day, was a 'capture the flag' game with army vehicles (and an epic classical music soundtrack!)
- Road Rash - A particularly badass version of the motorcycle combat game, featuring an amazing soundtrack!
- Shockwave - An arcade-style first-person flying/shooting game, really loved this one!
- Super Street Fighter II TURBO - A pretty good port of the Capcom fighting game, featuring a kickass remixed soundtrack! Capcom even released a 3DO version of their six-button 'Soldier Pad' which made the game much more bearable vs. playing with the stock 3DO pad.
Unfortunately, the 3DO just couldn't keep up with the likes of the Playstation and Saturn, and by the end of 1996, it was discontinued. There were originally plans to create a successor to the 3DO, codenamed the 'M2', but the system never saw the light of day.
So that basically marks the end of this installment of Retro Rearview, and I hope you enjoyed it!