3DO Maniac Pack
Checklist #: N/A
Hey 3DO Brigade! I just received this little gem in the mail. Since it’s technically a compilation and not a stand alone title, it doesn’t advance us toward our goal of checking off all 175 U.S. releases. Still, for completion sake, I thought it would be good to add it to the collection alongside the other released compilations and demo discs.
This pack was manufactured and marketed by Interplay, who was an active, and high quality supporter of the 3DO. It contains four games which had all previously been released on the system, gathered together in one neat package apparently intended for… maniacs? (It follows the ‘3DO Action Pack’ which was released by various 3DO studios and is another four game compilation.) The selected games are nice choices and demonstrate some breadth of variety on the system. The pack contains 4 distinct genres: Survival Horror, Strategy, Fighting and Sidescrolling Adventure.
‘Alone in the Dark’ was a masterpiece for its time and almost worth having a 3DO for alone, despite not aging as well as one would have hoped.
‘Out of this World’ too is a triumph of atmosphere and cinematic storytelling. Both games were famously influential within their respective genres.
‘Battle Chess’ is a fun but slow-going affair (which is also how some would describe actual chess). The medieval flair and comedic action help it to stand apart.
‘Way of the Warrior’ is a fighting game, or tries to be. It is one of those games, all too prevalent on the 3DO, that is more fun to play because of how bad it is, than because of how good it is. It is one of the campiest, cheesiest, most ridiculous games I have ever experienced. The fact that it was developed by the hit making machine Naughty Dog, now one of the worlds premier development houses is both inexplicable and confounding. That fact also makes it a historical curiosity and raises its collectability by a few notches.
Full fledged reviews will be added to the blog for all of these games in due time so I will not delve too deep into evaluating them here. Unfortunately I was not able to find a sealed copy of the Maniac Pack when it came time to acquire it for the collection. The one I received was in average condition. The bad news: The long box is worn with multiple creases and age lines and the seller bent the hang tab portion of the box when stuffing it into the shipping container. The good news: The long box is still present and fairly well composed. The internal disc frame is still in one sturdy piece, despite the retaining tabs being creased and worn (Collectors Alert: I believe it is impossible to remove the discs from the frame without bending and/or warping the retaining tabs. If you find this creature new in the wild, it may be worth leaving it in an unopened/unplayed state.) The manual is in crisp, excellent shape. Also, the discs are beautifully scratch free and appear to be practically new.
Overall this is a nice package and I think its release by 3DO was a smart move. At the time of release, this would have posed an amazing value. Two certified classics, one fun distraction and one game that is so bad it’s good, all for the price of a single game. It contained a sampling of the truly impressive variety 3DO enjoyed within it’s library. The packaging is slightly frustrating because, although the tiered discs present a nice aesthetic, it is virtually impossible to remove any of them without irreversibly altering the condition of the retaining tabs holding them in place. A nice choice for all serious 3DO enthusiasts and… maniacs. (Aren’t those pretty much one and the same?)
‘Till next time!