This review of Shadowcaster comes from the January 1994 issue of PC Zone, courtesy of the scans from Ian Williams. I liked Shadowcaster more than the reviewer did but I can understand the problems they have with the gameplay. It was slow-paced to the extent that I recall only being able to beat it by changing into the fast-healing character and walking away from the keyboard for 30 minutes at a time while my health regenerated.
Here are some scans that have been a seriously long time coming. 7 years ago, I uploaded Part 2 of PC Zone’s article on their trip to the Origin offices but I’ve been unable to see the first part until today when Ian sent through his photos of PC Zone Issue 10 (January 1994). I’ll be uploading the full issue shortly but I’m pulling out a few Origin articles for the site first. This part mainly concentrates on the forthcoming Ultima 8 and Wings Of Glory (going by the name Warbirds at the time). There is also a nice photo of the Origin offices which has got me wondering if anyone still has that sign from the front wall…
Thanks to the efforts of Ian Williams, I’ve been able to add one of the missing early PC Zone issues to the rest of the archive at http://184.108.40.206/PCZone
These early issues are fairly large and Ian’s scanner wasn’t big enough unfortunately so it has been photographed instead and is slightly lower quality than usual. It is still perfectly legible and a whole lot better than no scan at all. Ian is hopefully going to be able to supply the rest of the early missing issues so we have those to look forward to. I for one will be reading them all cover to cover.
This April 94 issue covers plenty of classic games including Doom, Sim City 2000, Beneath A Steel Sky, Star Trek 25th Anniversary and an Origin game in the shape of the CD release of Strike Commander. I’m particularly intrigued by Wizard (aka Hexx) which I would have snapped up at the time in my quest for something to fill the Ultima Underworld gap. I recognise the cover art from Future Crew’s 2nd Reality demo but the game passed me by until now. I’ll be on the hunt for a boxed copy if anyone has one to spare.
I’ve been meaning to post this for ages but at long last here is Charlie Brooker’s review of System Shock from PC Zone issue 20. He absolutely loves it of course giving it a whopping 95% in an issue shared with Doom 2 which only scored 90%. I gather it never sold as well as it should at the time and I’m wondering if going up against Doom 2 wasn’t the best idea. The CD version didn’t follow for another year or so of course so the version we are all familiar with is even better than the one reviewed here.
I recently stumbled across an advert for Chris Roberts’ Times Of Lore which apparently has a certain notoriety for being terrible but I’d never run into it before. Without further ado:-
It’s main claim to fame is the hero being so jacked that he’s invented some of his own muscle groups around that loin cloth. That and the understandably surprised looking monster… While the background looks a whole lot like the actual cover art, it has in fact all been redrawn when you compare it to the real thing.
This advert was apparently created by Microprose while they were the UK publisher for Origin games and was used in all of their UK magazine advertising at the time. Microprose only had a few years working with Origin but it got me wondering if there were any others with alternative artwork. I didn’t find many but there was this advert for Moebius:-
It’s a whole lot better than the Times Of Lore cover and certainly more action packed than the original artwork. In this case, it was also used on the UK release of the game shown on the right below:-
Saving my favourite for last, I also found this awesome ad for Auto Duel:-
The actual UK release looked near enough the same as the USA one but I reckon I actually would have preferred this as the cover art. Were there any others that I’ve missed? Please let me know if so.