Yeah, so… I’m on a quest. It’s a long one.
“To collect every 3DO title commercially released in the United States.”
Using the RF Generations Collection Checklist as a resource, I estimate that there were 172 distinct games commercially released for the 3DO in the U.S. This is not including compilations, demos or homebrew titles. Just stand alone games commercially released for sale in retail outlets. The number could be incorrect (some of you 3DO guru’s will likely have a more accurate number), but I needed a standard to work from and it serves fine for now. I currently own 109 of the 172 titles. Help me count down the rest of the way to number 172!
I love the 3DO. It is my favorite game system of all time. I proudly proclaim it. I know what you’re thinking. Yes, it really is. I have loved it since I first witnessed it’s magnificence first hand, way back in rad 1994. The graphics… oh, the graphics. They destroyed the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, which were both it’s primary competitors at launch. Looking back on it now, I guess it’s laughable, but the first time my eyes beheld the cars in Crash N’ Burn, rendered light effects and all, man, I swore graphics could never get better. There is a tale to tell of how I was introduced to the 3DO system and how it came to find a place of honor amongst my beloved gaming systems, but that is for another day and another post. Tonight I just wanted to articulate what this blog is going to be about.
*’New Arrival’ and ‘From the Vault’ features – Documented analysis of game packaging and content.
*’R.E.A.L. Reviews’ – Game reviews will be based on Graphics (both the quality of the graphics for time of release and art style will be weighted), Sound (quality of musical score and use of sound effects will be weighted), Fun factor (intuitiveness of controls and how fun the game is to play will be weighted) and Relevance (what impact, if any, did the game make on the industry). Games will be reviewed for how they stacked up against other games of their era so the graphics of ‘Gex’ will not be compared to the graphics of say… ‘Destiny’. A separate ‘Timelessness’ score will be awarded as an indication of how well the game has held up over time.
I have a very peculiar style of collecting. It runs contrary to your typical collection philosophy. I apologize in advance to all of you purist collectors out there, for the fits of rage and hysteria you will undoubtedly suffer, as you follow along with my journey. You see, I don’t collect for the value of the collection. I collect because I love the games. I collect, because I want to play them. As much as anything else, I am building a time machine. Work with me here.
Mentally transport yourself back to 1994. Imagine you’re a 14 year old and you’re standing outside of a Software Etc. When you walk in, the shelves are lined with SNES, Genesis, PC (big box) and 3DO games. Pretty much the closest thing to heaven for a 14 year old in 1994. You stumble in awe up to the 3DO interactive kiosk. You marvel at the 3D graphics, the FMV, the PC games running on a console. You want it, desperately. But the price… $500. That’s a lot of lawns and not enough summer. You know your parents will never buy it for you. So you dream instead. What would it be like to have all of those games? Man, that collection would be sweet. Would you buy them, then take them out of the bag and place them up on a shelf in their shrink wrap to be a fancy trophy for all time? Heck no! You would rip those suckers out of that shrink wrap (gently, these are expensive and for a 14 year old, irreplaceable), throw them into the system (delicately, these are the pride of your possessions, representing bragging rights to all of your friends) and play the heck out of them (savoring every high fidelity, S-video streaming, headphone jack engaged moment). Then you would place them all up on the shelf, alphabetically, and high enough that you could enjoy them in all of their cardboard longbox glory from anywhere in the room (and high enough to keep them out of reach of your little brother whose aimless wanderings strike as much fear into your heart as Godzilla does to citizens of Tokyo). Yeah, that would be sweet. But it could never happen. You hang your head dejectedly and wander back into the mall. Well, there’s always Sbarro.
Flash forward to 2014. There is this thing. It’s called e-bay. People are selling all of these crazy items online. People are selling 3DO’s. People are selling 3DO games… that are still in their shrink wrap. You are not mowing lawns anymore. All of a sudden, your impossible, 14 year old dream becomes a reality. This can happen. It does.
That’s what I am doing here. When looking for a specific 3DO title, I look for one in the best condition I can find. New and sealed is preferable. Just like it came out of a 1994 game store. Upon receipt, I promptly open the game and remove it from it’s shrink wrap. I know… sacrilege, but I am ever so careful in doing so. The boxes are typically only opened once, to remove the game and review the boxed contents. Then the box goes on the shelf and is rarely ever touched again. My goal, always, is to maintain every part of the game (box, jewel case, sleeve, literature and disc) in the exact same condition that it came to me. So, even though I have obviously devalued it by removing it’s sealed status, it will always remain in a pristine, like-new condition. This method brings with it certain advantages. First of all, obviously, it means I can play the games. (What good are the games, if you aren’t going to play them?). Second, it allows me to record what types of extra materials were originally packaged with the product (ads, survey cards etc.) I was surprised recently when I opened up a still sealed ‘Corpse Killer’ to find ‘Digital Pictures’ tattoos included in the box! My hope is that this blog can become a reference of sorts for other collectors out there. I am sure there will be better, more thorough blogs and websites out there recording this info, but if I can help even one person ensure they have received or built a complete copy of a game by documenting it’s contents here, then it will have been worth it. Even if it ends up not helping anyone else, it will still allow me to pictorially record the details of my collection for posterity.
*’Sage Wisdom’ – Special articles chronicling and remembering important moments in gaming fandom both from within and without the 3DO encampment. Remember the day you purchased Ocarina of Time? The moment Sephiroth made you gasp in shock at the level of his cruelty? Standing in line for the Dreamcast? Playing the Wii for the first time? Yeah, so do we! We will travel through the time machine, share our experiences and earnestly seek out yours.
*Across Enemy Lines – We have assembled a panel of fans from 3DO competitors such as Sega, Atari and Sony, to share their thoughts on the 3DO and provide insight on special moments and critical games from opposing systems. These will take the form of articles, and videos broadcast at the 3DOverkill Youtube channel. This is a 3DO site, but we love all console gaming!
*The Future is Past – Kids of today play the 3DO games of yore and share their thoughts. These kids don’t hold anything back, but some of their thoughts may surprise you. These videos will be broadcast on the 3DOverkill Youtube channel.
I don’t want this to be a monologue. My hope is that other 3DO fans and video game lovers find their way to this blog and participate as much as possible. When you read a post that strikes a nerve or makes you remember something special, please, chime in with comments. Feel free to ask questions or offer your expertise. I know for a fact that there are a good number of 3DO experts out there that are WAAAAY more knowledgeable than I regarding 3DO lore and whose collections reduce mine to the value of pocket lint in comparison. Don’t believe me? Just talk to my good friends over at the 3DO Zone Forums:
They are an amazing resource for all things 3DO and the definitive site for the straight dope on the system. If you are wise in the ways of the 3DO force, share your wisdom. If you are passionate about the system, share your love. This is a journey better taken together. Let’s kick back and remember the good old days.
*’Ramblings from the Nint3NDO Sage’ – There will be times I will just wax poetic on something gaming related. Indulge the incessant ramblings of an old wise man!
This is a casual gig and a labor of love. I have made the mistake before of trying to single handedly maintain a blog with daily updates and a regular content stream.
Most bloggers can tell you the horror stories of trying to make a living and run a blog at the same time. This one is different. I am not pressuring myself to add daily updates or meet a page hit quota. This is a laid back affair and I am just doing it for fun. I will try hard to never let it become a chore. You hear that? NO CHORES! No weed pulling, or dish washing or car waxing or room cleaning. Just good old fashioned EXTREME 90’s game playing excitement!
Ready? Let’s go! Enjoy the ride!