Video games, Where I Read

NextGen #17: May 1996

We’re continuing with NextGen Magazine and are finally getting caught up with where we are in Nintendo Power Magazine.

Cover for NextGen 17

The cover for this issue is Tenka for the PlayStation.

Industry Interview: The N64 has been delayed again – this time to September, and Howard Lincoln is here to talk about it. Basically, according to Lincoln, they just don’t have enough chips to meet demand, and that would annoy retailers.

Other than that. Howard continues to spin the N64’s software lineup, and downplays the SNES developers who don’t want to move over to the N64 (*coughSquarecough*).

News: Sega has unveiled the Model 3 arcade board, and with it Virtua Fighter 3. There’s also discussion of console sales numbers, but mainly the Model 3 and VF3 dominate the discussion.

Evolution of the Controller: Well, the video game controller is about to do it’s next big set of major shifts with redesigns around 3D environments, so it’s time to look back at the past forms of the game controller, and what features may become prevalent in the future. There’s particular mention here on analog sticks and force feedback and how they can effect games. Certainly, between the N64 controller and Rumble Pack, and the Dual Shock, those are definitely going to be major features that are going to be heavily introduced in this next generation.

Alphas (Previews): We have a preview of Tenka, which boasts a fully 3D environment and free look – basically aiming closer to something like Quake or Dark Forces.

There’s also an extensive interview for Formula 1 for the PlayStation – which is of particular note, because it’s developed by Bizarre Creations, who would later go on to develop the Project Gotham Racing games.

Preview of Devil Summoner

There’s also a look at Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner for the Saturn, which we do officially get later on in English for the Nintendo 3DS.

There’s also an interview interview with Akio Sakai of Capcom about their upcoming 3D game plans, with particular attention paid to the upcoming release of Resident Evil – which is being reviewed later this issue.

Speaking of big names of this console generation, we get our first look at Tomb Raider, which at this point is due to be published by U.S. Gold. There’s also Magic Knight Reyearth, which isn’t due to come out for some time yet, and is due to have the names DIC’d.

Finals (Reviews): Some big titles for the PlayStation this month. There’s Resident Evil – which they love (though they call attention to the laughable dialog and voice acting) – and Descent (which they enjoyed, but not as much as the PC version). The Saturn has Guardian Heroes, which is probably one of Treasure’s last big titles for Sega platforms.

On the PC, we have Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within from Sierra Online, and Druid by Sir-Tech as the big games. In arcades, Killer Instinct 2 and Virtual On have both hit.

Chris Crawford’s Column: This issue, Chris asks, “Whether death?” – in the sense that he’s kind of arguing for the elimination of death states and failure states in video games in his not entirely sure if he’s fully serious, or if he’s going for an reducto-ad-absurdum kind of tack – brought on by a frustrating experience in a badly designed level from Doom 2. That said, he’s got a real point here – game developers should be asking the question when including a death state or similar hard-stop fail-state what is actually gained from the inclusion.