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  • Crusaders of Might and Magic (PlayStation)

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    Source: Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine – Volume 3, Issue 1 – October 1999

    Crusaders of Might and Magic is an action RPG released by The 3DO Company in late 1999 for Windows and in early 2000 for the PlayStation. It’s a pretty average game for the genre and received mixed reviews at best. All in all I would say it doesn’t hold up as well as older games in the series for the most part.

    The story is a fairly typical defend the land from an evil necromancer type thing. Somewhat unique for the time was that the game was completely 3D. However, relatively low polygon counts is one of the reasons the game hasn’t held up that well. The graphics just don’t look very good by today’s standards and weren’t really exceptional at the time it came out.

    What I do find interesting though is the fact that the PlayStation version is better than the Windows version, at least in terms of complexity. While the Windows version has a pretty basic experience system, the PlayStation version is much more specific with skills for individual weapons, spells and so forth. The PlayStation version also features ways to add magical abilities to weapons that don’t exist in the Windows version. The one other major difference between the Windows version and the PlayStation version is the level design. While the locations themselves are mostly the same, they often look completely different.

    While this isn’t the best example of the genre, I think it is still a game worth playing if you like action RPGs. However, I would recommend the PlayStation over the Windows version in this case. Not only will you have an easier time playing it (assuming you have a PS1 or PS2) but it actually has a little more depth and complexity than the Windows version. This game hasn’t had any re-released or direct sequels though Warriors of Might and Magic is a similar style game released later for the PS1, PS2 and Game Boy Color in December 2000.

    The ad above is from the October 1999 issue of The Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine.





  • VMX Racing (PlayStation)

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    Source: Next Generation – Issue Number 27 – March 1997

    There were such a large number of games on the PlayStation that it isn’t surprising that there a number of them that seem obscure even though they aren’t necessarily rare. VMX Racing is one of those games. It doesn’t help that this was a pretty terrible game.

    VMX Racing is a dirt bike racing game that offers a fairly low number of options. You can choose from four bikes (the choice makes little difference) and race on 6 tracks. By PlayStation standards, the graphics are terrible, the sound is terrible and the music is terrible. There really isn’t much in the way of redeeming characteristics that would make this game worth playing. Interestingly, the only other game I could find that “Studio E” was involved in was a cancelled game for the Super Nintendo.

    If you are just dying to play a motorcycle racing game on your PlayStation that you have never played and this is the only one left and you just have to give it a try, it can be had dirt cheap on eBay. VMX Racing can be played with two players (split-screen) so you can torture a friend too. Not surprisingly there have been no remakes or sequels.





  • NAKI Lunar Gun

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    Source: Electronic Gaming Monthly – Issue Number 97 – August 1997

    The third party controller market seemed to peak in the 16-bit era but there were plenty of third party controllers in the 32-bit era and even today. This particular ad is for a company called NAKI that developed controllers and other accessories. However, the latest stuff I could find from them is for the PS2.

    This ad is highlighting a gun controller by NAKI for the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and Nintendo 64 called the Lunar Gun. What is unique about this particular gun is that there was also an optional accessory for it called the Red Sight Laser Target System. That’s a pretty fancy name for something that basically amounted to a laser pointer. In theory, it makes it easier to hit what you are aiming for because, just like a laser sight on a real gun, you just have to put the red dot on what you are trying to hit.

    Overall, the Lunar Gun was a pretty good choice if you needed a light gun. It’s main competition was the Justifier and while that one is better known, the Lunar Gun has more options like auto-reload, easy (three round burst) and a laser sight among others. My one problem with it is philosophical. I’m not sure I could see buying an accessory for my accessory. I couldn’t find prices but i’m guessing the price of the Red Sight Laser Target System was not trivial making the combined price of the gun pretty hefty. It would have been nice if they could have just made a slightly more expensive gun and included the laser. They probably felt that they couldn’t have competed on price with the Justifier that way and that once they suckered you in with the gun then you would want to buy the laser anyway. No doubt the gun packaging includes advertising for it.

    This ad is from the August 1997 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly.