If you are not familiar with this console, then you can find it online as the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer console, but it is normally called the 3DO for short. To be honest, I have never owned one of these systems, but I did get a chance to play on one. One of my closest friends happens to own one of these and loves it. He insisted I come round just so I could play on the 3DO for the first time, because he loves it so much, despite all the criticism over the console.
Personally, I was not extremely impressed with it, but there were some lovely hidden little gems on this system that do deserve attention and to be played. My friend insisted on giving me a helping hand with this list, so let’s take a look at them!
Below are the 5 best 3DO games:
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5. Wing Commander 3: Heart of the Tiger (developed and published by Origin Systems in 1995)
The Wing Commander series is one that players have loved for years but has fallen out of sight over recent years. Thankfully, the 3DO also has Wing Commander 3 and this is a nice one. The game follows on from the second installment, where the war is going badly for the Confederation, so the player has to take control of Colonel Christopher Blair, as he tried to end the war by taking on the home planet of the Kilrah.
There is a lot of action in this game, and it uses live action full motion video, which was really fun to watch. It is almost like an interactive movie at times, while you also complete missions and destroy enemy spacecraft. It is definitely a fun title, and it is memorable.
4. Lucienne’s quest (developed by Microcabin, published by MicroCabin for Japan in 1995 and Panasonic for NA in 1996)
This was not really a well-loved game back then, people found it lacking compared to other RPGs at the time and that it just looked like a series of side-quests. However, Lucienne’s Quest is now thought to be one of the best 3DO games in existence, and the North American release is now considered a rare collector’s item.
It is a short game due to players not needing to spend lots of time on grinding, and the dialogue issues come from the poor localization of this JRPG. The original Japanese version has a much more interesting Lucienne, unlike the English-speaking one, who is rather annoying.
That being said, this is a good game still and matches the PC Japanese RPGs of the past. Again, It is a good title with a few problems that let it down a bit, so I do not expect lots of people to agree with me listing it here. If you ask me, the perspective would be completely different, if we saw it as a mere RPG for kids or young teenagers.
3. The Incredible Machine (developed by Jeff Tunnell Productions, published by Dynamix in 1994)
Educational games can be great and The Incredible Machine did not let the genre down, back when it was released for the 3DO. Though they do not tend to get that much attention, sadly! However, TIM has been ported to mobile devices, so everyone still gets to try it out, even if you do not have a 3DO or compatible PC.
It is a bit of a physics puzzle game, where you need to rotate, place and even program a few things to solve the level. There are all kinds of things too, like getting a basketball through a hoop or turning on a can opener. It was a nice surprise, and I am glad I had the chance to play it.
2. Star Control II (developed by Toys for Bob, published by Crystal Dynamic in 1994)
Star Control II is one of the greatest PC games to ever be released, so it is no surprise it is also amazing on console. It was brought to the 3DO in 1994, and this was the code that was ported to the PC version, so this is the exact same game. SCII adds new species and ship types to the universe, and it replaced the strategy missions with story-driven content to turn it into an exploration adventure title.
So it is a little different, but it just adds so much to the series. There is diplomacy with other species, resource gathering, combat and more. I really like this title, the gameplay is great and the ending is just fabulous. There is a lot to like here, and you should definitely try this out on a 3DO or PC.
Immercenary (developed by 5 Miles Out, published by Electronic Arts in 1995; released in Japan as Perfect World)
Do not get too confused with this game, it was released in 1995 and the game is set during 2004. In this timeline, a doctor was experimenting with astral projection in the 90s and met a woman in the future, who could sense his astral form. In her future, all humans are placed into a virtual network called Perfect, and cannot leave it or they wither and die.
So the doctor focuses on helping her, by trying to send someone into Perfect. There is a pretty long and interesting story in this game and a lot to the gameplay as well. Definitely something that gamers these days would love however, Immercenary did not really take off. Many people thought the game was “weird” and struggled to see past the lack of difficulty and shorter length. Personally, I like it a lot, and I believe It is one of those games that was simply ahead of its time.
Alright, time to see who earned the top spot, today: and the winner is…
1. Return Fire (developed by Silent Software, published by the 3DO Company for JP and by Prolific Publishing for NA and Europe in 1995)
This game is not quite a standard shooter and for that reason, I love it! It is a vehicular shooter played from a bird’s eye view, where you need to drive around to capture the enemy flag and return it to base. So, capture the flag with cars and guns. Definitely something that was unusual at the time, though vehicle-based action games are popular again, thanks to Rocket League.
Each of the four vehicles types in Return Fire was uniquely specialized, and they also need to refuel and get more ammo periodically. There is a single player mode, but the multiplayer is where this game really shines.
It also had a unique way of making sure you stayed within the map lines, a submarine would emerge from the water and fire a heat-seeking missile at you. It was a lot of fun, and I am kind of sad it did not get too much attention on PlayStation or PC, when it was ported to them.
So retro folks, did any of you get to play on a 3DO Interactive Multiplayer console? I am curious to know what your favorite games are, so I can go check them out if I have not played them already. There are a few very nice titles on this system, and I would hate to miss some real gems, just because this console was not as popular as some other ones.
Plus, there are some games that people were not fans of at the time, but are now considered to be classics, have you got any more of those kinds of game suggestions on the 3DO? Be sure to tell me what you think of my list and if I missed any of your favorite 3DO titles!
Till next retro list!