Review by Fighter17
"3DO system was made to destory the SNES and the Sega Genesis, the only big flaw was the price tag."
Before the 3DO co. was making Army Men games, they have their own system in the video game market. Release in 1993 to destroy the sales of the SNES and Sega Genesis, the 3DO mission was to be a home multimedia system that would not only play game software, but edutainment (school games) software, CD-G (the CD-G kit was only release in Japan only), Photo-CD, and will eventually play FMV cds (or VCD for Video CD), but you will need a cartridge to play VCDs. The 3DO was a very odd system indeed, the 3DO co. lets other companies produce the system, but they have to pay the 3DO co. every time they sold a 3DO system. When the system was release, the price tag was huge, about $699! The 3DO was a good system, the games were great, and it has a lot of controllers and other neat stuff. The 3DO was a good system, but if it wasn't too much money to start with, the 3DO could have done a lot better.
The System itself: The 3DO system was in different forms; the 3DO co. let other companies produce the system as long they pay the 3DO co. for every time a 3DO system is sold. Panasonic was the biggest supporter of the 3DO system. Panasonic produce 2 models of the system, and sold the most systems than other company. Panasonic was also the first company to release the system with the huge price tag of $699. Other companies that produce the system are: GoldStar (Now LG) and Sanyo. Each system was the same in the inside, but the outside was not. Each model have some stuff that wasn't in the other 3DO models. The main 3DO system, the Panasonic FZ-1 model (first 3DO model to be release) was very huge. It was bigger than the SNES, twice as big as the Sega Genesis and even bigger than the Sony PlayStation. The other models of the 3DO were: the Panasonic FZ-10 was a smaller model of the FZ-1, it was the cheaper model of the FZ-1 and it was made so people can use the system better (like not put drinks at the top of 3DO system). The GoldStar model was good, but not that great. It came out cheap with the price tag of $400 (good huh) and the early GoldStar models has been know to have loading problems. All GoldStar models got very bad looking CD trays, but that didn't stop the GoldStar model to get some good sales.
The Sanyo model was only release in Japan, but what is unique about the Sanyo model was its name, the Sanyo T.R.Y 3DO system, what is T.R.Y means anyway. By many people, the Sanyo model is the best looking model of the 3DO system, it got waves at the top of the system, and people think it was nice looking system. Other companies got 3DO prototypes, and were planning to sell 3DO systems, but they never game out. One prototype was the Samsung model, but then latter Samsung stop the project for unknown reasons. AT&T was planning a 3DO model that was all blue color on the outside, and has a Modem inside the system for online play. At the time of the AT&T getting into the 3DO world, if you work for AT&T, you can get a discount on a new 3DO system of your pick, latter AT&T pass down the 3DO project and left the video game world until the Sega Dreamcast years. But the most crazy 3DO model was not a system at all. Creative Labs made the 3DO Blaster card, it a graphic and sound card as one that will let you play 3DO games on your PC, it need a Panasonic CR-563 CD-ROM drive in order to work, and windows 95 (no DOS). But the 3DO Blaster Card was only sold for few months in the USA and parts of Asia, because of the low sales of the 3DO system. Well in the end, the early GoldStar models have the only problems of the 3DO systems, but the other problem that affects all the systems was the price tag!
Games: The good, the bad, and the ugly. This system is for people who love action games, many to choose from. Return Fire is your best pick for a action game, you have to do is to steal your enemy flag, but you have to use Tanks, ASVs and planes to find the flag first, and you have to used your jeep to get the flag and bring it back to your home base. Crash n' Burn was one of the first games to be made for the 3DO system, in fact when you buy a new 3DO system, it come with the game. Anyway Crash n' Burn is a racing game with a twist, you race with people, but with the help of guns and missiles, use your weapons to destroy your enemy on the racing track. Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo is by far the best game for the 3DO system, also were Wing Commander 3, Myst, ShockWave series, Samurai Shodown and Return Fire. Yes like the Atari 2600 (VCS), the 3DO system does have Adult software which are very bad indeed. The 3DO system was also made to teach people as well. Some school games like Its a bird life game it teach you how to color the birds, really? If you think there is no gameshark like disc for the 3DO, your wrong, the Game Guru is just like a gameshark, but even better, if you got too much gamesaves inside your RAM, you can compess and make them smaller. Many game makers made some bad mistakes that lead to some very bad software for the 3DO System, too much FMV software. This mistake happen to the Sega CD, FMVs are games that that uses real video to make the game, but many game makers make the whole game like the movie, and it not really a game at all. You are watching a movie, not playing a game. This mistake happens to the 3DO and most of the 3DO software use FMV too much. The only good FMV game is Night Trap. Some more help of good games from Japan like Castlevania from Konami and more SNK games can help the 3DO out by killing all those FMV games!
Controllers, extras, good items for the system: The controller's button layout is a mix. The controllers have 5 hit buttons (A, B, and C on the front of the controller, and two top shift buttons on the top of the controller), the controller is a mix of a Sega Genesis 3 button controller, and a SNES 6 button controller. The 3DO is know for a lot of different controllers, from a 10 button joystick (the best joystick I ever play), a steering wheel (for those racing games), a gun (action games), a mouse (good for Myst), wireless controllers (lot of people what the Wireless controllers), and a 6-button controller (only for Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, but you can still used a 5-Button controller to play the game). The controllers are not that are to replace in these days, they don't cost that much money. If you try out the 3DO controller before and you don't like it, but if you like the SNES controller better, a SNES controller adaptor was made so you can used your SNES controller to play with the 3DO system (great to play with Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo). One thing about these controllers is that the 3DO system has one controller slot, but that was not a problem because each controller has a controller slot on them so you can hook up player 2 on player one controller, you can make a chain out of these controllers, and about 8 people can link up.
The only flaw about the controller is that is might not be a good controller for you. The FMV cartridge lets you play VCDs on your 3DO system, The Panasonic FMV cartridge was only out on the Japanese Panasonic models. If you what the FMV cartridge in the U.S, only, the GoldStar model have a FMV cartridge here in the US. The cartridge was a waste of time because nobody used VCDs back then, but a still a rare item. One good thing about the 3DO system that you can save your games inside the 3DO RAM. A max of 32k can be save inside your 3DO system, but many people complain that they have used up all the save game room inside the 3DO system, to solve that problem, people get the Game Guru that will take care of that problem by using compressing and decompressing on the save game files. A 3DO memory card prototype was in the works, and people say it was release in Japan only, it's a big memory card device that one memory card can save about 230k or game saves, and the whole device hook at the back of any 3DO system. The best know prototype that you have to hook the device at the back of the 3DO system was the 3DO M2 hook up. At around 1995- 1996, 3DO co. have a new video game player that they call the M2 (march 2), the M2 was many times power than the Sony Playstation, and only few times powerful as the Nintendo 64. Panasonic made an add-on so you get the new M2 player on your old 3DO system. But they were also new M2 players as well. Panasonic and GoldStar (LG) have they 3DO M2 prototype ready and it look kind of big. Latter in 1996, the 3DO co. sold the M2 player rights all to Panasonic (which means that GoldStar can't make any 3DO M2 players, only Panasonic.). But things were starting to go crazy in 1997, Panasonic disbanded the Panasonic software groups and the Panasonic 3DO groups as well, people think the price tag of the new M2 Player was $899, but latter in 1997, Panasonic say that they won't be any new video game system at all! Panasonic say that they won't be any new system out because they are too many video games systems out right now, but we going to used the M2 player in out new DVD players coming out soon. About the 3DO M2 add-on, they was only one photo of the 3DO M2 add-on in the world that the people were able to see, it look like a black box that say 3DO M2 and the 3DO logo on it, it hook up at the back of your 3DO system (this hook up was only going to be for the Panasonic 3DO players only), so in the end, it never game out.
Well despite it short life of only 2 and the half years, the 3DO really make a place itself in the Video Game history book, for the best short life system in the early 1990 video game systems. If you what to buy the system, get the best games for the system, because this system give me many hours of fun, this system won't suck if you got the best games for the system, just get Return Fire for the 3DO system and Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo as well and you will have a lot of fun with the 3DO system, trust me.
Final Score: 8 (Very Good: this rating is for the item I'm reviewing is a good item but with just a few flaws with the item.)
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/18/04, Updated 07/07/04
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