January 4th, 2016 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, AOL, disk, GamePro, online services, online games, Neverwinter Nights, MMOs, packaging, 1996
click on the image above to see front and back
I've previously featured a scan of an AOL CD, but so far I have not ventured into the world of America Online floppy disk packaging…until now. Here is a gaming-centric AOL giveaway disk package — still unopened — which I believe came with an issue of GamePro magazine I received as part of a subscription in 1996.
I love the AOL screenshot printed on the package here (possibly mocked up for marketing purposes) because it offers a rare glimpse into the mid-1990s AOL interface (with a Windows 3.1 window motif), centered on "The Games Channel." If anybody has a collection of AOL screenshots from the 1990s, I'd love to see them.
[ From AOL disk package, circa 1996, front and back ]
Discussion Topic of the Week: Did you ever play games on America Online back in the day? Tell us about it.
July 20th, 2015 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Bubble Bobble, Taito, Rainbow Islands, PlayStation, PS1, MS-DOS, Sony, re-release, arcade, GamePro, advertisement, 1996
"100% Rendered Black Void" — I like the humor in this ad
In the mid-1990s, much to my delight, game publishers began remaking and re-releasing classic games of the 1970s and 1980s in collections on Mac, PC, and consoles. You remember — I'm talking about titles such as Microsoft Arcade (1993), Atari 2600 Action Pack (1995), the Namco Museum series (1995-1998), Arcade Classic No. 1: Asteroids / Missile Command (1995), Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits (1996). Even Super Mario All-Stars (1993) counts to some extent.
That happened to be around the same time I started collecting old video game and computer systems, roughly in 1993, so I was happy that the industry seemed to be rediscovering these "forgotten" classics.
The awkwardly titled Bubble Bubble Also Featuring Rainbow Islands falls into the same category, being a re-release of the arcade version of Bubble Bobble and its sequel Rainbow Islands on PlayStation 1 and MS-DOS.
[ From GamePro, October 1996, p.5]
Discussion Topic of the Week: In your opinion, what are some of the best executed game retro remakes and re-releases?
February 16th, 2015 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Capcom, Mega Man, Sega, Saturn, Sony, PlayStation, Mega Man 8, 2D graphics, GamePro, advertisement, 1996, 1997
You are getting sleeeeepy
Mega Man 8 remains notable in my mind for its resistance to polygonal 3D graphics at a time when the media perceived that as a requirement for sales success (in the PlayStation-dominated console era). I remember renting it and being impressed by its fluidity and gameplay, although it was too difficult and frustrating for me to play for more than ten minutes in a sitting.
But then again, all the side-scrolling Mega Man games have been that way for me. I'm still partial to Mega Man 2, 3, and X, though.
[ From GamePro - February 1997, p.115 ]
Discussion Topic of the Week: What's your favorite entry in the main-line Mega Man (1-10) series?
November 10th, 2014 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Sega, Fighters MegaMix, Fighting Vipers, Virtua Fighter, Saturn, fighting game, advertisement, GamePro, 1997
Even polygons get mad sometimes
[ From GamePro - August 1997, rear cover]
Discussion Topic of the Week: If you're old enough to remember it in the arcade, what did you think of Virtua Fighter the first time you saw it?
April 15th, 2013 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Nintendo, Game Boy, colors, tongue, body parts, iMac, advertisement, GamePro, 1997
So that's what a translucent tongue looks like.
Nintendo's second round of colored Game Boy units, this time pocket-sized. And over a year before the iMac, mind you.
[ From GamePro, April 1997, p.4-5 ]
Discussion Topic of the Week: What is your favorite Game Boy game?
April 1st, 2013 by Benj Edwards
Tags: basketball, PC games, playstation, Mindscape, PSX, NCAA, Final Four, sports games, Blades of Steel, NBA Live, advertisement, GamePro, 1997
It's that time of year again…
I'm not a big fan of sports, and I'm not a big fan of sports games (Blades of Steel for the NES is probably my favorite — off the top of my head). But having grown up in the heart of ACC basketball country surrounded by great and once-great teams (UNC, Duke, NCSU, Wake Forest, etc.), I have a soft spot for the ACC and NCAA college basketball tournaments. I tend to watch a couple games a year.
So I can't tell you much about NCAA Basketball Final Four '97, because I've never played it. The closest I've come was NBA Live '97 for the SNES, and that was pretty fun for a basketball game.
[ From GamePro, April 1997, p.35 ]
Discussion Topic of the Week: What's your favorite basketball video game of all time?
January 28th, 2013 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy Tactics, PSX, PlayStation, Square, GamePro, anniversaries, 1998
"How to Start the Mother of All Wars"
Fifteen years ago today, Square released Final Fantasy Tactics in North America for the Sony PlayStation. (It's kinda crazy, because I was going to use this scan today anyway, just by chance.)
I remember being excited when this game came out. I'm sure I read a glowing review of it in EGM and recommended it to my brother, who promptly bought it and played it on and off for the next two years. I still have Final Fantasy Tactics' music stuck in my head just from hearing him play the game so much.
The game is a strategic masterpiece, and though I have not played it to completion myself, I appreciate its depth, its music, and I absolutely love its sprite-based graphics and spell effects. The sprite-based nature of FFT alone was something to cheer at a time when most new PSX games were plagued with choppy, low-res polygonal 3D graphics.
[ From GamePro, May 1998, p.70-71 ]
Discussion Topic of the Week: In your words, what's so great about Final Fantasy Tactics?
October 15th, 2012 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Nintendo 64, N64, Acclaim, racing games, GamePro, 1998
Oh to travel by rolling over your face with your spherical body.
[ From GamePro, May 1998, rear cover ]
Discussion Topic of the Week: What's your favorite ball-themed video game? Any balls apply.
August 20th, 2012 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Sega Saturn, Sega, Sega Sports, World Series Baseball, baseball, scrape, gross, gratuitous advertising, GamePro, 1997
World Series Baseball 98 for the Sega Saturn
I've written about gratuitous and graphic video game advertising of the 1990s more than a few times over the years, but I never get tired of revisiting this wildly bombastic era in consumer marketing.
Here we see a nice ad for World Series Baseball 98 for the Sega Saturn, complete with front-and-center forearm scrape. I don't know about you, but this makes me want to play baseball. Injury sells.
See Also: Broken Tetrisphere Teeth (2010)
See Also: Super Mario World 2 (2009)
[ From GamePro, October 1997, rear cover ]
Discussion Topic of the Week: Would a graphic ad like this make you more or less likely to play a certain video game?
June 18th, 2012 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Deathtrap Dungeon, sexism, violence, current events, PlayStation, PSX, PC CD-ROM, Eidos, GamePro, 1998
I think they have it backwards.
Amid the recent media hullabaloo that modern video games are sexist and overly fixated on violence, I give you this ad for Deathtrap Dungeon from 1998. That is all.
[ From GamePro, May 1998, p.72 ]
Discussion Topic of the Week: Graphics quality aside, do you think today's video games are more sexist and violent than games from earlier eras?