• Tag Archives 1996
  • Shining Wisdom (Sega Saturn)

    egm_087_1996-10_075

    Source: Electronic Gaming Monthly – Issue Number 87 – October 1996

    Shining Wisdom was the first game in the Shining series for the Sega Saturn. Previous entries in the series, the first being Shining in the Darkness, were made for the Sega Genesis and Sega CD. Shining Wisdom was also intended for the Genesis or Sega CD but at the last minute it was decided to develop it for the Saturn instead. Unfortunately, this was a hurried change and it shows as the graphics are really not up to the standards of a 32-bit system like the Saturn.

    The Shining series started life as a turn based role-playing game. Shining Wisdom was the first in the series to be an action RPG, similar to the Zelda series. Personally, I prefer the turn-based approach. It was translated and released by Working Designs in the U.S. and while not a terrible game by any means, it is not one of their better releases or one of the better games in the series. To date, the 1996 Sega Saturn release is the only version of this game available.

    The above ad is from the October 1996 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly.





  • Cyrix 6×86

    Cyrix 6×86

    http://darth-azrael.tumblr.com/post/158381273387/tech-backissues-the-90s-were-a-time-of-bullshit

    This ad is a little misleading in that Winstone scores were not the best measure of CPU performance. It is true that for a brief time Cyrix processors were faster and cheaper than Intel processors for the most common tasks. This was especially true of 16-bit code which was still the most common and tasks that benefited from faster integer performance.

    However, Intel Pentium chips were still faster for 32-bit code which was becoming more common and for tasks that benefit from faster floating point performance. In addition, the pace of Intel’s development was more than Cyrix could keep up with and after a couple of years Cyrix became irrelevant.





  • boot (November 1996)

    November 1996 brought a feature heralding the brave new world that DVD was going to usher in…although it was a very long time before many software titles would be released on the format. As for video, the systems of the era were not powerful enough to decode and display DVD-Video, so in addition to the expensive DVD-ROM drive you’d need a hardware MPEG decoder board as well.

    Other headlines include a story about dualbooting Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0, a review of Photoshop 4.0, early digital cameras from Kodak and Olympus and the first 3Dfx graphics accelerators.

    http://darth-azrael.tumblr.com/post/158030499562/tech-backissues-november-1996-brought-a-feature

    The cover of the November, 1996 issue of boot promises lots of goodies.

    First, the cover story is about DVD. In an era when hard drives were measured in the single digit gigabytes, the promise of cheap 4.7GB of removable optical storage was enticing. Even if you couldn’t yet write to it. Computers were still slow enough at this point that you could not even watch a DVD movie without an add-on mpeg decoder board to go with your DVD-ROM drive and it would still be a long while before much software was distributed on DVD.

    Next up is an article on dual booting Windows 95 and Windows NT. It would be hard to overstate how much of an improvement was from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95 but it still didn’t have the stability of NT. If you planned to use your machine as a server or do serious database work or certain other tasks then Windows NT was desirable. For most people Windows 95 was good enough but we are talking about power users here.

    Next up is a review of the Pentium Pro 180. The Pentium Pro was originally meant to be the successor to the Pentium line. However, it was expensive and didn’t offer that much of a performance improvement, at least relative to the cost difference. Later on the Pentium II, which was basically a slightly modified Pentium Pro, would be released that was cheaper and clocked higher. The Pentium Pro (and P2) were not much faster, clock for clock, with 16-bit code which was still most common at the time. For 32-bit code it was much better.

    Also included was a review of the first MMX game and also, if you look down in the bottom left corner, you can see that they review the first 3D cards from a new company called 3dfx which would soon dominate the 3D card market (but not for long).