It was something of a momentous occasion (for me at least) this weekend as I uploaded the last missing PC Zone scan. The full set of 225 issues spanning 1993 – 2010 are all scanned and available to download from http://www.pixsoriginadventures.co.uk/PCZone. It has been a long, long time getting to this point and I didn’t realistically think I’d get them all done back when I started about 8 years back. There was a lengthy break in the middle of that with the majority being done over the last 2 and a bit years when I decided to make a concerted effort to actually complete this project. Thanks to everyone who helped out along the way, whether through donations or scanning.
The work isn’t quite finished yet. First off, I’d like to know about missing pages, pages in the wrong order and the like. If you spot any problems like this, let me know and I’ll attempt to get it fixed.
Some of the donated scans aren’t necessarily in the best quality. In particular, there are six early issues made up of mobile phone photos. While that’s a whole lot better than nothing, I’d like to replace these with proper scans. I’ve managed to get hold of physical copies of 2 of those 6 issues so I’ll get those scanned properly over the next two weeks. Without the original magazines, I can’t fix the other issues myself unless someone wants to donate their copies or scan them in on my behalf.
I’m missing a large number of the cover disks. I still have a small pile of floppies which I’ll add in the coming weeks but if you have any of the missing CD’s, DVD’s and floppies and want to donate them, either physically or digitally I’d love to add them to the archive. It’s quick and easy to image CD’s and DVD’s with CloneCD. Just dump the files somewhere (preferably with scans of the disks and cover artwork), let me know where, and I’ll add them to the appropriate magazine.
Finally, I’ve a sizeable pile of pull-outs which still need to be scanned. I’d expect to get most of them finished up over the next couple of months, possibly sooner if we all get shut in doors for weeks avoiding the current plague. I may move on to other magazines after that but will probably take a break from scanning first and maybe even read some of these things myself.
My PC Zone scanning has turned up another Origin game retrospective, this time on Ultima Underworld which had the honour of being first out of the gate for their “Games That Changed The World” series back in April 2002. It includes interviews with Paul Neurath, Doug Church and Warren Spector:-
The article was quite brief in the magazine itself with the interviews being very cut down. The real fun is in the full interviews which were originally available on the PC Zone website and also on the cover DVD. I’ve uploaded these as well which are available to view in their full 2002 internet splendour here.
I might not usually agree with them but I always love a good best games ever article. I ran across this one scanning the latest PC Zone and thought I’d share it here – particularly since it’s always nice to see Origin represented with Ultima 7 at 31, Wing Commander 4 at 29 and an honourable mention of sorts with System Shock 2 at number 8.
My own list would be full of adventure games – this clearly has to more balanced but they are still well represented with Sam & Max, Fate Of Atlantis, Grim Fandango, Monkey Island and The Longest Journey. The latter is an interesting inclusion given the original PC Zone review was the size of postage stamp and panned it (they did apologize a few issues later). I reckon this is a pretty decent list actually but enough rambling from me. If you want the full issue as a PDF, look for issue 181 in with the rest of the scans at http://220.127.116.11/PCZone
I’ve been sent some more scans by Ian Williams including this System Shock review from the October 1994 PC Gamer. It gets a suitably high 90% with the only complaint being the music. I really like the System Shock soundtrack these days but didn’t think much of it at the time myself. It’s either an acquired taste or more likely didn’t sound right on whatever sound hardware I had back then. The General MIDI standard is compatible across devices in theory but some of these old games really needed a Sound Canvas.
One last Origin review for the day from the scans I’ve been sent by Ian Williams. This review of Strike Commander CD is from the April 1994 PC Zone. This time, they actually like the game a whole lot more than me. More speech wasn’t necessarily a good thing with Origin’s CD releases in my opinion.