Review by Saikyo Ki

"This system struggled to remain mediocre, but a few good games came out for it."

Despite being the first 32 bit system ever made, the 3DO failed quite miserably due to weak hardware and lack of high quality games. Many strange methods were used to try and keep this system alive, however they were all not good enough by far. This system is living proof that just because a console is the first to have the next CPU word length doesn't mean it's going to be great.

Graphics Capabilities: 5
When the 3DO was first released, commercials stressed how much better it was over the SNES and Genesis. That it was, but aside from that, there isn't much else that's good about the system. 2D capabilities are pretty decent, but 3D is horrid. The best 3D 3DO games are easily trounced by first generation Saturn and PSX games.

Audio Capabilities: 7
It's a CD system, so it's not hard to have good music on the system, but sometimes voices can be extremely grainy, even granier than the Genesis at times! Quite disgusting.

Controller Design: 7
There were actually some interesting innovations here. First of all, instead of having a multitap for multiplay or having more than two controller ports, controllers could be daisychained (up to 8). Also, there were headphone jacks on each controller plus a volume control. Sadly, these neat features are not enough to make up for the lack of buttons.

Memory Saving Capabilities: 6
Well, there's internal RAM, which is nice, but what if that runs out? I have never seen a 3DO memory card, but I'm not saying they don't exist. The thing is, there are so many versions of the 3DO that exist, it's hard to say what peripherals were made and what weren't. More on this later.

Load Time: 8
Like I always say, unless you're bleedingly impatient, you won't care about how long games take to load.

Game Library: 4
3DO's biggest mistake is having way too many FMV games. Apparently, they didn't learn a thing from Sega. Despite this, along with many games being too crappy graphics wise to be playable, there were a handful of good titles. A couple of arcade perfect conversions were made (Samurai Shodown and Super Street Fighter II, although the voices in SS are downright nauseating). Also, there were some ports from 16 bit systems (Out of This World had much faster graphics and better music, but if you played the SNES version there was no need to get this, which meant for low sales). As for 3DO exclusive games, Return Fire, a capture the flag game with army vehicles, was first made for this system. It was so popular and so fun that a sequel was made for other consoles and the PC. Another interesting game is a party/game show game called Twisted...very funny to play.

3DO Versions?
As far as I know, the first 3DO to be created was the Panasonic Real 3DO. This version had the best CD drive (top loading instead of tray, not to mention faster) and had two controller ports. Another version made was the Goldstar 3DO, which was the first system I saw to use the daisychain multiplayer method, but had a yucky tray loading CD drive. As far as hardware power, that's anybody's guess. There never seemed to be a question of game compatibility between 3DO versions. For some reason, companies thought that making the system look different would make it more appealing to customers. By the time they got sober, they realized they were wrong.

Bottom Line?
Well, if you can find a system plus the good games for it at a good price, you will have some fun. Return Fire is quite cool, plus if you want oldschool fighting game ports you'll find some here. Try as it might, this system couldn't hold a candle to the Saturn on it's best day and the PSX simply made it die quicker, which is why I give it a 5.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 07/16/01, Updated 07/16/01

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