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.
I’ve not played any WC Saga in a couple of days but will be putting that right straight after I post this. Today it’s a very brief review of the CD version of Shadowcaster from the July 1994 PC Format. Most magazines I read back at that time would do these short reviews of CD versions of games since they had usually barely changed from the original. It really should have mentioned the extra levels that were added but the score is generous enough:-
Since the review was so short, from the same magazine here is an EA advert for their forthcoming CD titles (half of which were Origin games):-
I’ll also give quick mention to the first part of a Matt Chat Youtube video with the Fat Man aka. George Sanger who should be a familiar name to Origin fans since he did the music for Wing Commander, Savage Empire and Ultima Underworld among many other games. It’s definitely worth a watch.
Wing Commander Saga is still on hold as the weather this week has been far too good to be inside playing games. This review is taken from the December 1993 PC Format:-
I could have done with reading this particular review before I played the game myself. I’d only seen the marketing and screenshots and was expecting another Underworld. I still liked the game enough to finish it but the waiting around referred to in the article does get a bit much. If you aren’t careful in the combat, this is the sort of game where you could read a book or watch a few movies during the pauses while you heal up.
I’m not entirely sure but I think I might have picked Shadowcaster up originally not long after it came out when I returned Privateer. Returning Privateer seems like sacrilege now but in my defense it simply wasn’t playable with the stated minimum specs and the price tag was a small fortune to me at the time. One of the main appeals of Shadowcaster on the other hand was just how smoothly it ran in a large window on a student grade PC.
After all the Underworld posts yesterday, I’ll rein myself back to an entry a day again for the moment. If you still want more Underworld, I’d strongly recommend having a look at the anniversary page over at the new home of Ultima Aiera (www.ultimacodex.com). There is an interview with Dan Schmidt (including a handful of questions from yours truly), design notes, concept art by Warren Spector and plenty more besides.
I’ve not started Wing Commander Saga yet so I’ll get back to some magazine scans today. These all come from the October 1993 PC Format. First is a review of Wing Commander Academy. It didn’t bowl the reviewer over and I can only agree in this case. It was a product that a lot of people had asked for to be fair but in my opinion it really could have done with coming out at least a year earlier if it was to find a large market:-
This lack of timeliness is especially apparent when you see a 2 page advert for Privateer in the same issue, not that my PC could actually cope with Privateer when it came out. WCA did have that in its favour but it was still a poor option compared to any of the existing Wing Commander games or mission packs if you didn’t already own the lot. I’m sure I’ve got a proof and the negatives for this Privateer advert or at least a variant on it around here but I’ll save them for another time:-
Not content with having a 2 page ad, there is also a full page for Shadow Caster:-