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       ---- D ---- A ---- T ---- A ---- Z ---- I ---- N ---- E ----

                      -- S -- E -- V -- E -- N --

   Virtua Everything: 2TUFF
            Articles: EDGE MAGAZINE U.K (FUTURE PUBLISHING)

The DATAZINE issue #7 Contents:-
-----------------------------------
PLAYSTATION: SONY REVEAL GAMEPLAN
SEGA ON TRACK WITH SATURN
MODEL 2: SEGA'S SECOND WAVE
NINTENDO 64BIT EXTRA NEWS
NINTENDO SNES CD + MORE GOODIES
SUPER 32X SHAPING UP
METAL JACK (SONY PS-X) *PREVIEW*
RAYMAN (JAGUAR) *PREVIEW*
SOFTWARE CHARTS
GREETINGS
-----------------------------------

PLAYSTATION: SONY REVEAL GAMEPLAN   Typed By: 2TUFF
(-------------------------------)

Sony's prelaunch strategy for the Playstation in Japan is to focus on
software.  The company recently held their second press event in
Tokyo, during which Japanese game journalists (and Edge) were invited
to see the preliminary line-up for the highly anticipated console.

Unlike the previous meeting in early May, no new details about the
Playstation hardware were furnished on this occasion, apart from the 
news that the CPU has been finished and the system is now ready for
manufacture.  `We've completed the prototype stage,' a Sony official
told Edge.  `All we have to do now is set up the mass production system
before we can go on sale.'

The R3000A CPU (a MIPS-designed RISC chip that is already widely used
in the computer sector) is now incorporated in a custom chip that also
includes both the 3D coordinate algorithm processor (aka GTE) and the
image data resolution processor.  This is the result of a joint 
development between Sony Computer Entertainment and chip manufacturers
LSI Logica, and, according to Edge's source, it means that the PS-X
will offer even greater performance than previously thought.  `It's
so powerful now,' he quipped, `that we almost feel we should lower the
performance.'

Altough Sony's hardware expertise is beyond question, doubts have been
expressed in Japan about the number of titles that will be available
at launch.  Sony's preview of software in development took place in a
large room containing rows of Playstation development systems as well
as a few finished units.  13 games were presented throughout the day;
unsurprisingly, the most advanced titles were from Sony themselves, 
notably the polygon racing game, Poly Poly Circus Grand Prix, and a
shoot 'em up entitled Philosoma (previously known as Ora-194).

According to Poly Poly's producer, Kazunori Yamauchi, racing games are
`the best genre to show off the capabilities of the hardware.  Our
ambition is to make this the world's best polygon racing game.'

The shoot 'em up, Philosoma, is more standard fare but does include 
some breathtaking special effects.  It offers vertical and 3D sections
as well as horizontal scrolling, and some nice scaling effects.

Anyone expecting to see Ridge Racer or any other Namco Playstation
projects was disappointed; the company chose not to make any 
revelations, but Namco are known to be converting Ridge Racer as a 
Playstaion link-up game (a steering wheel accessory with proper
feedback will also be available for lovers of the arcade experience).
Those who've seen the Playstation version in its current state claim
that it's not arcade perfect but is still impressive.

Sony's event also gave Edge the first chance to try out the Playstation's
stylish ergonomic controller.  Apparently, the pad - which nestles very
well in the hand - was one of the hardest aspects of the system to 
design; a final version was only chosen after ten different prototypes
had been tested.

During the day, Edge also took the opportunity to look at the rear of
the machine.  Besides the serial port link-up, and S-Video and Composite
sockets, the Playstation also includes an RGB socket, and a small plate
conceals an expansion socket for connection to a hard drive or modem.

With the Japanese release of the Playstation now pencilled in for
December 9, only one small detail remains shrouded in secrecy: the 
price.  A Sony spokesman recently told Edge:  `It will be less than œ320
and not close to œ320.'  Potential Playstation owners will just have
to be patient.

SEGA ON TRACK WITH SATURN  Typed By: 2TUFF
(-----------------------)

The roll-out of Saturn at the Tokyo Toy Show in June raised doubts in
some minds about whether Sega would be able to pull off the launch
in time for November.  Software was teething badly, few titles were
playable to any recognisable degree, and all the controllers were
attached to walls hiding bulky development stations rather than Saturn
units.  Of course, this has been a familiar story at many hardware
launches - things are rarely as advanced as companies would like them
to be.

Now, a few months down the line, Sega are in a position to start 
showing off some prime development projects.  A central component of
Sega's PR effort to build up Japanese support over the next couple of
months is in-house coin-op division AM2, headed by Yu-Suzuki.  AM2
are currently converting the overwhelmingly popular (in Japan, at
least) Virtua Fighter to the system, and work also on the Saturn 
version of the exemplary polygon shifter Daytona USA also began
recently.  Showing off titles at such an early stage of development
is a crucial part of Sega's prelaunch strategy in Japan.  Giving 
specialist gaming magazines the opportunity to trace the progress of
popular arcade titles like these is one way of ensuring that fans of
the arcade games stay interested, and hopefully buy the Saturn when
it's launched.

But Sega aren't just relying on arcade translations.  One of the biggest
titles to be pushed by Sega at launch will be Clockwork Knight, a game
which has been in development at Sega Of Japan for over a year.  All
the graphics seen in the game have been rendered using Softimage's
Creative Environment tools running on Silicon Graphics - an early SGI
demo of the game was used by Sega's marketing department to sell the
console to developers (and tease delegates at the Winter CES).

A pivotal factor in the development of software for Saturn is Sega's
Titan arcade board.  Titan has been developed primarily as a hothouse
for arcade games which can then be quickly and easily ported over to
the Saturn (the first title will be Golden Axe: The Duel).  As such,
it shares much of Saturn architecture while boasting a bigger memory
and en even better sound board (Saturn's Yamaha sound board is one of
the best around, by all accounts).

Both Saturn and Titan rely on architecture that is essentially 2D-based.
Instead of a fully Z-buffered 3D environment, sprites are mapped onto
geometry and scaled and distorted.  Depth is assigned to the pieces,
so it's possible to have walls and other objects scaling away into the
distance (as seen in Clockwork Knight) and scrolling past in true
perspective as the player moves.

178 companies have signed licence agreements with Sega, with the list
now including established Sony and Nintendo licensees Capcom, Konami
and Namco.  As was the case with the Mega CD, other hardware companies
will be producing their own versions of the Saturn: only recently
Hitachi announced that they would be manufacturing a Saturn-compatible
machine, and it's thought that JVC (who are also involved with the
production of the standard machine) will also turn out their own
version, rather like the Wondermega and X'ye Mega CD combo.

With the Saturn now expected to hit Japanese shelves within a week of
the launch of the Playstation (probably beforehand) at a price of œ320
Japanese players now face a tough decision.  Of course for those with
enough yen to spare, it will be no problem at all...

MODEL 2: SEGA'S SECOND WAVE   Typed By: 2TUFF
(-------------------------)

As Sega of Japan start firing up their hype machine in readiness for 
this November's assault on the Japanese console market, AM2, the
company's coin-op development division, have unveiled their latest
consignment of arcade games (incorporating both Model 1 and some
Model 2 technology).  With 3D technology now penetrating to all
corners of the coin-op industry, Sega can't afford to rest on their
laurels.

Two games rolled out recently for Japanese arcade fans were Desert
Tank and Wing War.  Wing War throws prospective fighter pilots into
the cockpit of a variety of different aircraft, while Desert Tank 
players find themselves at the controls of a tank in the middle of
a sandy skirmish.

Desert Tank is the second game to use Martin Marietta's texture-mapping
board, one of the central components of the Sega Model 2 IG (image
generation) PCB that powers Daytona USA.  This technology, which can
handle around 300,000 polygons per second, offers greater 3D performance
than any current coin-operated amusement hardware.

Not as impressive, but still firmly at the leading edge of low-end IG
technology, is Sega's Model 1 board, which was first used in Virtua
Racing and now provides the polygon generation for Wing War.  This
system allows you a certain degree of freedom to roam within a set
perimeter (shown by the radar), but essentially you're flying on
rails - Nintendo used a similar system in Starfox on the SNES.

Other Model 2 games currently in development include the follow-up to
Virtua Fighter, as well as a Galaxian3 style space shoot 'em up, and
a motion-based game incorporating Sega's VR1 system which represents
the company's attempt to break into the VR entertainment market.

Sega are also using the Model 2 board for their next big `Virtua'
coin-op, Virtua Cop.  In this game you take the role of a Robocop
style law enforcer, infiltrating texture-mapped enemy bases.  Currently
only 60% complete, the game includes a full polygon-based enemies.
Lousy scenario, predictable gameplay, but incredible graphics.

A full report on all the latest developments in the arcade entertainment
field will appear in issue 15, when Edge reports from the JAMMA coin-op
show at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Tokyo.

NINTENDO 64BIT EXTRA NEWS   Typed By: 2TUFF
(-----------------------)

Following the debut of the Ultra 64 at the Summer CES, more details
have surfaced about Nintendo's arcade and home hardware.  Although
the latest Ultra 64 chipset runs at 80Mhz, Edge has discovered that
when the home system finally appears at the Summer CES in Philadelphia
next May, that figure will rise to 90-100Mhz.  As Edge revealed in
issue 12, Williams' Cruisin' USA, which currently runs on a custom
32bit Bally Midway board, will be upgraded for the Nintendo system.

NINTENDO SNES CD + MORE GOODIES  Typed By: 2TUFF
(-----------------------------)

A CD-ROM drive for the Super Famicom has long been rumoured, and it
now seems that a prototype is awaiting the go-ahead at Nintendo's
Kyoto HQ.  Containing a Super FX chip (MkIII) and a 32bit R3000A CPU,
the finished unit could be unveiled at Tokyo's New SOftware Exhibition
in November.  Other tentative projects at NCL include a 32bit VR
system (with projection technology originally developed by Hasbro),
a 32bit Newton-style handheld, and a CD-ROM drive and VR headset for
the Ultra 64.

SUPER 32X SHAPING UP   Typed By: 2TUFF
(------------------)

Super 32X software is steadily shaping up.  Spearheading the attack
of what is already being dismissed by some as a Christmas stocking
filler with a limited future is Virtua Racing Deluxe, boasting
twice the number of polygons of the SVP-boosted Mega Drive version,
a frame rate of 20fps (instead of 15fps) and 256 colours onscreen.
VR fans will be in their element when it arrives towards the end of
the year.  Extra enhancements also include a choice of three cars
and three new tracks.  Other emerging titles for the new system
include Bullet Fighters (3D robot shoot 'em up), Metal Head (3D robot
shoot 'em up) and Ultimate Fighting (gaudy-looking SFII clone).

METAL JACKET (SONY PS-X) *PREVIEW*  Typed By: 2TUFF
(--------------------------------)

Generally, the first few titles for new games machines fail to fully
exploit the potential of the hardware.  With the possible exception
of the Super Famicom, looking back on a platform's initial offerings
is a sobering experience, especially in terms of visuals.  So when
one of the first games scheduled for release on the new format is
graphically superb to virtually every game currently available, it's
obvious that the machine is something special.

No-one wins any prizes for guessing that the hardware in question is
the Sony Playstation, with its complement of advanced silicon.  And
the game with the honour of being the first to take advantage of that
power is Metal Jacket.

Running at around 60fps in true colour, Metal Jacket is a futuristic 3D
strategy/fighting game with gloriously texture-mapped polygon graphics.
The `metal jacket' of the title is a six-metre-tall robot.  There are
eight of these heavily armed behemoths in the game, each with its own
assault capabilities, operated from a control room inside your metal
jacket, you engage in battle with other robots, taking advantage of the
wide variety of combat options available, including day or night battles
and the range of different terrains.

Metal Jacket is the game that could allow the dream of playing fullspeed,
eightplayer arcade-quality games at home to be realised.  Using the
bundled connectors, each member of the game's robotic octet is eligible
for human control in a multiplayer battle.  As there probably won't be
eight Playstations in this country when the game is released, many
people will be seriously thinking of emigrating to Japan.

RAYMAN (JAGUAR) *PREVIEW*  Typed By: 2TUFF
(-----------------------)

It's a matter of record that no console has ever succeeded without a 
cutesy platform game.  Ever since Super Mario Bros first appeared on
NES screens, every home machine has been obliged to offer its own
equivalent to Nintendo's seminal platformer, and players have felt
equally obliged to devote substantial portions of their life to playing
them.  With both Mario and the pretender to the platform throne, Sonic,
still enjoying unmatched popularity, the Jaguar's contribution to the
genre needs to be impressive to make any kind of impact.

And that contribution is Rayman.  The game plunges you into the computer
generated fantasy world of Hereitscool, a product of the imagination of
Jimmy, a ten-year old boy.  Within this world Jimmy is The Rayman, a
character with the power to animate objects around him.  Rayman is
striving to protect Hereitscool from an evil presence threatening 
Jimmy's make-believe world and save his imaginary friends before it's
too late.

Because the NTSC version trundles along at only 30 frames per second
(most platformers run at 60fps), the animation in Rayman himself can
call on over 50 animation sequences, and he meets more than 50 detailed
enemies during his ten-level journey.  All this takes place with a 
playing area 40 screens long and four high.

With the game obviously aimed at a young audience, crunch time for
Rayman is Christmas, when it will be up against Nintendo's Donkey
Kong Country.  It could be tough going for the Jaguar.

SOFTWARE CHARTS  Typed By: 2TUFF
(-------------)

**Edge readers' most wanted**

1. POLY POLY CIRCUS GP (Sony Playstation)

Running at 60fps (and bearing a passing resemblance to Nintendo's Wildtrax)
this racer from Sony Computer Entertainment will be available for the
December launch of the Playstation in Japan.

2. KILLER INSTINCT (Ultra 64)

The 3D beat 'em up Killer Instinct is the first of a pair of Rare games
in this month's chart.

3. IRON SOLDIER (Jaguar)

The German-developed Iron Soldier has become the game Jaguar owners
really want to see.

4. DONKEY KONG COUNTRY (Snes)

Rare's second entry, Donkey Kong Country, shows off just what the Snes
can do when it's pushed

5. THE NEED FOR SPEED (3DO)

The provisionally titled The Need for Speed is all set to become the
definitive 3DO driving game.

**Arcade: dedicated**

1. Daytona GP
   Sega
--------------------------
2. Ridge Racer
   Namco
--------------------------
3. Lethal Enforcers II
   Konami
--------------------------
4. Suzuki 8 Hours II
   Namco
--------------------------
5. Virtua Racing
   Sega

**US: All formats**

1. FIFA International Soccer
   Electronic Arts (SNES)
-------------------------------
2. NBA Shodown EA (SNES)
-------------------------------
3. MLBPA Baseball EA (Genesis)
-------------------------------
4. NHL Hockey '94 EA (Genesis)
-------------------------------
5. Andretti Racing EA (Genesis)
-------------------------------
6. NBA Jam ACCLAIM (SNES)
-------------------------------
7. Donkey Kong 
   Nintendo (Game Boy)
-------------------------------
8. Super Metroid
   Nintendo (SNES)
-------------------------------
9. World Series Baseball
   Sega (Genesis)
-------------------------------
0. Secret of Mana
   Square SOft (SNES)

Greetings
+=-----=+

Seven7Seven, Maximilien, I.B.M, Yohan, Fabio, Intreq, Dream-Master, Dan
Protocol, Homer, Hot Tuna, Keanu, Data-Stream, Diabolik, Scrote, Mike
Phil-Douglas, Tom, Skeleton, Swayzar, Micro, Paradise King, Professor
Bluewater, Shredder, Oldman, Legend, Kreator, Big Boss, Dream-Warrior
Cypher, Kid Curry, << OTHERS FORGOTTEN >>

Thanx for reading -2TUFF '94