Saturday!

This was right around the time that the Playstation (the first one) was generating buzz, (it was released in Japan in December 1994 and in the US in September in 1995). If you don’t remember where you were, do you remember when Clifford hit theaters (not the Big Red Dog Clifford either)? Serial Mom? Brainscan?

Yeah, April was kind of a bummer.

Anyway, seeing this list flashed back a handful of memories.

1994games

Not least was that we used to have to make distinctions between computer games and CD-ROM games. That we used to add “2000” to the ends of games to make them seem futuristic. That Master of Orion only got 79%?!?!? That games would stay in the Top Ten for more than a year?!?!? We used to be *CRAZY*!

(For the record, 7th Guest has not aged well at all. Above and beyond the “Solve The Soup Cans” issue, where the protagonist cannot walk past an unsolved puzzle, I ran into one of the “Unwinnable by Mistake” puzzles and spent a half hour on it before turning it off in disgust).

But there are a lot of games on there that I remember with great fondness and, you know what? They remain quite playable today. Master of Orion, for example, could be remade with only a graphics upgrade and not a single thing done to the mechanics otherwise and it would be an awesome game right now.

So… what are you playing?

(Picture is “Untitled” by our very own Will Truman. Used with permission.)


Staff Writer
Home Page Twitter 

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

Please do be so kind as to share this post.
TwitterFacebookRedditEmailPrintFriendlyMore options

27 thoughts on “Saturday!

      • Hmmn, good question; I might not be the best guy to ask since I play each and every HoMM without regard to the previous iteration. It is what it is.

        There are things that I like in every version… IV was the only one that seemed to really break the whole “gather resources, make army, destroy enemy” paradigm – and for me it was mostly the Map and the terrain that was the issue. VII is back to a “move anywhere” paradigm and seems to address some of the worst aspects of 3, 5 and 6.

        The campaigns (so far) are much more scripted events (which I generally *don’t* like, but I’m actually enjoying thus far) rather than the simple City cap progression of the past versions; a net plus.

        The graphics are definitely turned to 11, but I think they learned from VI by integrating the eye candy into the flow much better… the animations are cool, and the special events happen in the same combat time as non… so it doesn’t slow down your next move.

        Lots of QoL enhancements from City Management perspective… army synergies seem better than VI, the tech tree offers some interesting (if limited) choices, and the Hero advancement is much better than VI (though I’m still trying to figure out the good and bad pie slices). Most importantly, the hideous Ubisoft piece of shit launcher has been beaten into submission such that it is merely stupid rather than game stoppingly bad.

        What did you hate most about VI – I can tell you if it is still there :-)

        Report

        • I didn’t like how they “simplified” the resources. I didn’t like what they did to how you’d capture any given mill or mine. I didn’t like how castle evolution trees were handled (personally, I think that 3 had the best way to do it).

          I also kinda preferred hexes to squares for the combat grid but that’s vaguely nitpicky.

          Report

          • Yeah, well, they definitely fixed the stupid mine swapping mechanic. Mines are much more stable and tied to the city/fort that owns them. You can plunder them, but basically you need to take the controlling fort to use them. On the other hand, you can claim neutral forts and collect resources until the mine is properly incorporated into a zone of control. So far I like it much better than all previous iterations.

            There are more resources this time around… but I can’t recall what 3 or 5 had that might be considered complex?

            The City trees are still fundamentally build A to build B; but, as you add buildings your city level rises – which can open up some new buildings without having to do a full A–>B–>C progression. At the end of the day it is the same old decision to push down the tree or upgrade the unit, or upgrade the # produced each week.

            Combat squares allow diagonal movement and attacks, so they are SqINO’s (Squares in Name Only).

            The worst thing is that it is released with the full complement of HoMM bugs. Skills that won’t stick, ghost units, broken quests… all the usual stuff you get with Russian games.

            Report

            • I admit to having been a fan of the stupid mine swapping mechanic.

              Well, there used to be the six resources. Wood, ore, crystal, gems, mercury, and sulfur. Heroes VI only had four resources, if I recall correctly.

              I honestly thought that V was thiiiiiis close to being perfect. Insofar as the game is more like VI than V, I find I have my answer to whether this particular version will be to my taste.

              Report

  1. A good buddy just learned that his fiance of 9 months was leaving him after sleeping with an ex-boyfriend to determine if what he and she shared “was real”. We are getting together tonight. I will be playing the role of “wing man” and anything else that is necessary.

    Report

    • !!!

      That is one of those terrible, awful stories that will surely pan out over time to be the greatest thing that ever happened to your friend. (The breaking off the engagement being the greatest thing.)

      Report

      • We all suspected something big happened when she skipped out on a wedding HE WAS IN a few weeks back. And while we felt for him, there was a bit of a, “And good riddance,” vibe to our behind-the-scenes conversations on the matter.

        What she did to him was truly awful, in part because there were infinitely better ways she could have addressed her doubts with him. But, as painful as it was, better this all happen now than 1, 5, 10 years down the line. Egads!

        Report

  2. “But there are a lot of games on there that I remember with great fondness and, you know what? They remain quite playable today.”

    Arcade version of Asteroids remains quite playable today.

    Report

  3. I realize you’re trying to be funny, but both GTA V (at least since it’s been released) and the annual Call of Duty games regularly stay in the NPD Top Ten throughout the year.

    Report

  4. This list must be from the first half of 1994, because TIE Fighter is missing from that list, and if it was from after the release its absence is totally inexplicable. It was easily the both the best game to come out that year and probably the best Star Wars game that’s been made.

    Report

  5. Jaybird:
    I admit to having been a fan of the stupid mine swapping mechanic.

    I’ll be over here on my fainting couch.

    They now have 6 resources (Wood, Stone, Dragon Steel and Dragon Blood Crystal, Star Silver and Shadow Steel). I’m not convinced it does much for game play… but it does do something.

    But yeah, probably not a game for you… they continue to iterate down the V–>VI–>VII path. Aside from the bugs, it is better than VI… but only because it fixes VI, not because they went back to V.

    But, the bugs… did I mention the bugs?

    Report

Comments are closed.