February 20, 2013 by Adam Waddilove · Comments Off
Time takes a toll on all things. As the video game industry has developed into a cash cow (the industry will hit $70 billion by 2015, according to Venturebeat.com), technology developed with it. Eight-bit consoles gave way to more advanced processors, which eventually led to 3-D graphics, online gaming and the robust modern gaming market we know and love today. Before you could see the stubble on a virtual soldier’s chin, gamers struggled to keep track of Mario as he descended into a warp pipe. And before gamers connected with each other throughout the world, frustrated players blew into game cartridges to remove dust.
We’ve come a long way. Take a walk down (not enough) memory lane and swear off the worst gaming consoles of all time.
1. Sega 32X
Gamers flocked to livings rooms to play Sonic the Hedgehog, NBA Jam and Street Fighter on Sega Genesis in the early ’90s. With Nintendo and others challenging, Japanese developers rushed to produce an updated console, but worried about alienating Genesis fans. The result was the Sega 32X, an add-on console the plugged into the Genesis and promised better graphics. Instead of raising the bar, the 32X confused gamers and faded into obscurity upon Sega’s next release, Saturn.
2. Nokia N-Gage
Game Boy dominated the hand-held gaming market at the turn of the millennium, but with cell phones rising in popularity, mobile provider Nokia saw a chance to compete. N-Gage was the first handheld device to offer fully 3-D games, according to gamesradar.com, but that’s about all it did right. Poor graphics, controls, screen quality and games doomed N-Gage. It looked more like a credit card processing terminal than a handheld gaming device. Maybe Capital Processing Network could revive it to help businesses, but gamers abandoned Nokia’s handheld system long ago.
3. Phillips CD-i
Eventually, gaming made the jump from cartridges to CD-roms, but the Phillips CD-i didn’t do much to help the cause. Released in 1991, the CD-i played games, education software and music. At $700, however, it was too expensive to gain a following and entice developers. The few games that were available were poor quality compared to Nintendo and Sega. Even three games in the Legend of Zelda franchise couldn’t attract gamers. High cost and low value is a recipe for disaster, and the CD-i had both.
4. Tiger R-Zone
Users remember R-Zone for its ridiculous head gear, but it was actually a set of three devices. R-Zone’s claim that it had a color screen was a stretch at best and a bold-faced lie in reality. It shined a light through an transparent cartridge to project a barely-identifiable image. Nintendo’s Virtual Boy gets most of the attention for worst head gear console of all time, but R-Zone lowered the bar.
5. Atari Jaguar
The virtual arms race of the early nineties prompted Atari to release a 64-bit console dubbed Jaguar. Its competition was delivering just 16 bits, so Atari knew Jaguar had an opportunity to stand out. It didn’t. Games looked the same as Genesis titles and performed worse. Gamers would have to wait until Nintendo 64 to play a real 64-bit console, and Atari failed to define itself as anything more than the creators of Pong.
May 29, 2012 by Adam Waddilove · Comments Off
What does THQ have in store for E3?
May 17, 2012 by Adam Waddilove · Comments Off
Is inverted fighting a good thing or the opposite?
April 2, 2012 by Adam Waddilove · Comments Off
The Witcher 2 hits Xbox later this month, but how is it looking?
March 12, 2012 by Adam Waddilove · Comments Off
Last week, I went to the Namco Bandai offices in Hammersmith to look at what their line-up has to offer…
Ridge Racer: Unbounded impressions
Ridge Racer: Unbounded has come along quite a bit since I last saw it, with a fully fleshed out campaign and different events including domination, frag matches, drift trials and so on through the city. It obviously borrows quite a bit from the Burnout series in its effort that most objects are destructible, like walls to buildings, trucks, signs and pillars. It has the speed behind it to match the turbulence of Burnout’s arcade style racing, yet it doesn’t feel quite as smooth to control.
There’s also not a huge enough distinction on what can and cannot be broken by your vehicle. Sometimes you’ll crash thinking that you should get through the object, which is a shame. We did attempt to do multiplayer, but it kept crashing which is a worrying sign since the game is out in just a few weeks. I hope they can get it fixed by then. It has a nice look to it, the framerate is steady for the most part and if it fixes its flaws, then it could be a contender.
Armored Core V impressions
Giant robot mechs return in this fifth instalment of Armored Core. It’s a series that’s quite big, yet its design choices are questionable, I found the missions to not be very clear on what to do or where to go, and levels are consigned to a certain area so it should be easy to navigate through it, but instead it’s a bit tricky. Hopefully the final code will improve things, but on the plus side it does look good.
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations impressions
I didn’t play this for too long, but it did feel very familiar to last year’s game. It plays like a standard beat-em-up mixed with the typical anime craziness that Naruto is famous for. It still looks amazing, but I wonder if it has enough new besides a new script…
Inversion – Multiplayer impressions
Inversion looks like it has some good ideas, although the multiplayer definitely has some flaws…crashing everyone’s consoles after a match wasn’t a good start, but we eventually got 2-3 matches in without a disconnect. The 3rd person shooter does seem to have some balancing issues with the inversion powers, which can pretty much be random if it hits you and if it does, you’re more or less finished. Having said that, it is fun and the levels show some great ideas with gravity. Hopefully the full game will be a sleeper hit…
Overall, I was impressed with Namco Bandai’s offerings. Ok they aren’t exactly flawless and fixes will need to come in to make them superb, but despite this I can still see myself playing them for a considerable amount of time. Time will tell if my words ring true though…
October 6, 2011 by Adam Waddilove · Comments Off
Shiver me timbers…
July 19, 2011 by Adam Waddilove · Comments Off
How is Death shaping up in this epic sequel?
March 15, 2011 by Adam Waddilove · Comments Off
Armageddon a good sequel?
December 31, 2010 by Adam Waddilove · Comments Off
Who will get the award for 2010?
October 14, 2010 by Adam Waddilove · Comments Off
This unique title is looking interesting…