Tagged: 3DO

The ZOOM Storefront fell out of My 90’s Head


I was reading the issue of Retro Gamer that Katy got me for my birthday and my eyes immediately locked onto the news headline “3DO returns”. Things only got weirder from there.

The news mentions ZOOM, a DRM-free storefront that specializes in bringing some very niche PC titles back from the dead. They recently secured rights to several 3DO properties and are planning to bring them to PC, starting with the FMV-FPS, Killing Time. It’s a little disingenuous as Killing Time was already released on PC in 1996, but it’s a great start! Killing Time is a game I’ve been meaning to finally check out for ages and now it’s only $6 away.

I dug a little more into ZOOM and somehow all my odd gaming interests from the mid-90’s have seemingly materialized as an online eShop. For starters there’s the 3DO news but it turns out ZOOM’s Chairman is former Sony and Sega exec, Bernie Stolar. Chad and I had a peculiar fixation on the guy as he was driving Sega through and out of the hardware business. More peculiar than Bernie is ZOOM’s latest passion project: a reboot of FMV racing series, MegaRace.

MegaRace was another one of those games Chad and I latched onto thanks to its FMV cutscenes. We only ever played a demo of the game on 3DO but Lance Boyle’s sleazy-future-car-salesman schtick has stuck with us ever since. Now ZOOM is working to reboot the series and has secured original composer, Stéphane Picq, and Lance Boyle actor, Christian Erickson. They’ve even rebranded their twitter as @realLanceBoyle and recorded a handful of oddball interviews with him teasing a very overdue IndieGoGo campaign. Hopefully the reboot is still coming along because surely what the world needs now is Lance, sweet Lance.

Just some pixel love for Return Fire

I had forgotten about this great underground base and accompanying loading screen elevator until I started digging into Return Fire again. While the rest of the game is isometric, this is how you pick which vehicle to take onto the battlefield. I like it so much I made wallpaper out of it. Feel free to resize but know that I’m still on a 19″ LCD at 1440×900 resolution. You’ll have to do the same rudimentary tile pasting that I did if you’d like to expand it across multiple displays.

Now Playing: Mass Effect (Xbox 360)

Still working my way across the Traverse, I have slowly become side tracked by side missions (go figure!) and wound up driving around, planet-side the last day or so. I found some space monkeys and tried really hard not to shoot any of them, I went to the Moon to deal with a rogue A.I. and admire Earth, and now I’m out in uncharted territory looking for Geth bases. This lead Maxx and I to a little e-mail chat about the Mako and how, even though it’s a nightmare to drive and it flops all over the place uncontrollably, I still like driving it.

There’s something about the way it bumbles around that just makes me giggle and running over Geth is pretty hilarious. There’s also something about the terrain of these generic and feature-less lands that reminds me of the crusty old 3DO game, Off-World Interceptor. Watching the video above, though, it’s apparent that the similarities begin and end in my youthful memories. I remember, now, that Off-World was one of the first 3D games where I felt I was really driving around some big open desert world. You pretty much died if you weren’t on track and picking up Fuel but every now and then I’d shoot off the path and peek around the landscape before I exploded. I feel a lot of that same excitement any time I touch down in Mass Effect. I know I should be going straight for the goal… but that Anomaly is just over that hill. And, and there’s probably some unmarked debris right over there. That looks like a good spot for it!

For real, as soon as I finish off these Geth bases I’m going back to story missions hardcore. I’ve gotta rocket through this game and move on to the sequel before all the good stuff gets spoiled!

See the 3DO the way Panasonic wanted you to see it

A commercial for the Panasonic REAL 3DO Interactive Multi Player with a games montage including Super Street Fighter 2, Off-World Interceptor, Gex, Need for Speed, Madden NFL, Shockwave, FIFA, Way of the Warrior and more. The spastic camera work and pupil-poppingly hideous color combinations can mean only one thing, you’re in the 90’s!!

Also see: the Philips CD-i Infomercial, and more 3DO love.