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CVG Classics: Neo Geo CD, 3DO and PC Engine - The 32-bit war!

Issue 154, September 1994: "Star Wars special!"

It's that time of the week again, when we all gather around our PC monitors and remember when it was acceptable for CVG to murder trees for its news stories.

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Leaving last week's CVG Classics in its grubby 16-bit past, today we travel to the exciting 32-bit era looming in September 1994, when the 3DO, Philips CD-I and Neo Geo CD are sure to tear the high street a new one.

As always, If there's anything in particular not featured here that you'd like to see featured in future CVG Classic updates, please do let us know in the comments.

Right: Issue 154's Donkey Kong Country illustration by Sebastian Quigley. Does anyone else miss the BDSM?


CHARTS FROM THE PAST: September 1994

In the age before digital downloads, one of the true golden ages of mouse and keyboard gaming ensure the PC sits proud atop the UK boxed games charts. A few Nintendo classics creep in near the bottom, along with the "rubbish" Kick Off 3.

  1. TIE Fighter (PC) - Virgin
  2. Theme Park (PC) - EA
  3. FIFA International Soccer (SNES, Mega Drive, Mega CD) - EA
  4. World Cup USA '94 (MD, SNES, Game Gear, PC) - US Gold
  5. Prince Interactive (PC, Mac) - Grafic Zone
  6. Pete Sampras Tennis (Mega Drive) - Codemasters
  7. Super Metroid (SNES) - Nintendo
  8. Warioland (Game Boy) - Nintendo
  9. Kick Off 3 (Amiga, PC) - Anco
  10. Streets of Rage 3 (Mega Drive) - Sega

YESTERDAY'S NEWS: 32-bit consoles blast the high street!

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In 1994 the CVG team were preparing to be "spoiled for choice" by the abundance of futuristic 32-bit consoles imminently set to crash land in UK shops.

"Philips has announced that its new games-only CD-I 450 will retail for £299 while the recommended retail price for Panasonic's REAL FZ-1 3DO Interactive Multiplayer System has been confirmed at £399.95. The 450 will be minus the 3DO's FMV capability. However Phillips will also be releasing a 550 unit with a DV cart for £449."

Apparently Phillips and Panasonic plan to put big bucks behind the launches, with TV ads and road tours set to take the country by storm.

Meanwhile SNK has unveiled a stand-alone Neo Geo CD console for launch at around £325 and NEC's shown off a new 32-bit PC Engine that looks a bit like a PC.

Scroll less than 15 pages through the issue and you'll find a small piece about a new machine being "talked about by Japanese games press." It's called the 'PlayStation', or something. We wonder if it'll be as good as the 3DO?


RETRO REVIEW: TIE Fighter

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OLD SCHOOL ISSUES: 'Amiga could've been bigger than the SNES'

'NAV' from Leytonstone kicks off the PC-console war of words: "I am going to tell you something that will offend console owners. 80% of the greatest games on Earth start off on the Amiga and the PC.

"I could name loads of examples; Sensible Soccer, Lemmings, Cannon Fodder, Doom, Wolfenstein, Jimmy White's Snooker, the Turrican series, Pinball Fantasies, Monkey Island, F1 Grand Prix, Speedball 2, Another World... I could go on forever.

"What have consoles got without a couple of fancy custom chips and games like Mario and Sonic? Here's another thing: all the aforementioned computer games seem to work best in their original format.

"If the Amiga didn't suffer from the piracy problem then it would've been bigger than the Mega Drive and SNES combined and maybe stayed around a great deal longer."

CVG's response: "Here's a poor, confused soul trying to justify some sort of superiority for his machines by claiming they've got the best games. Now where have I heard that one before?

"It's true that the PC, and particularly the Amiga, are responsible for SOME of the most original games ever written. However, you can claim this for any machine you care to name. The bloody old Spectrum spawned Manic Miner, a game to which every platform game owes homage.

"And that game itself was inspired by Miner 49er on the Commodore 64! Going further back than that, I can remember a 3D maze game on the Commodore Pet which wasn't very different in concept that Wolfenstein and Doom!

"The fact is that great games are developed on all machines, and they inspire programmers to produce bigger and better ones on bigger and better machines. So claiming that the Amiga and PC are somehow 'better' than the others only makes you sound like quite a sad man. Of all the whingers who write in to me, I've never heard anyone complain that there are too many good games."


CRIMES AGAINST ADVERTISING: Philips CD-I

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You won't believe your CD-I's... when you see how much this soon-to-be-dead console costs in 1994. Home to the worst Zelda games ever made (and Mad Dog McCree for £70), we eventually won't miss Philip's failed console. Or its ads.


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