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Frontier Console Magazine, 4. by Frontier Console Magazine

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		    C O N S O L E    M A G A Z i N E
		FRoNTiER magazine is (c) copyright 1994

                               July 1994
			 EDiTOR: Gordon Craick

3Do  ■	Jaguar	■  Genesis  ■  CD-i  ■	CD32  ■  GenesisCD  ■  Super Nintendo
			 and all other consoles

                           iNDeX TO iSSuE 4

* 32X - The Ultimate Genesis addon
* Project Reality now for 1995
* Street Fighter movie to be filmed in Australia
* Nintendo goes for blood
* Jaguar Voice-Modem
* Jaguar-CD well on its way
* 3DO sales goes on the increase
* 3DO the only system to receive SSF2T

* The Summer CES Report
* Saturn FAQ 1.15
* Commodore - The End

* Do we expect too much from CD?

* Clay Fighter (SNES)
* Flash Hiders (PC Engine CD)

The Cheater's Den

Support sites/distribution
How *YOU* too can help out Frontier
How to contact Frontier


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     AFTER a break of one issue, Frontier is back to keep you informed
     on the exciting world of consoles and video games! While it was
     stated that issue 4 would be released in June, exams and a large
     workload meant that I decided to put it off until this month. Sorry
     about the inconvenience, however there wasn't much I could do to
     remedy this. Frontier would have also been out on the first of this
     month, except the late inclusion of the CES information meant a
     delay of an extra week. It was that or no CES info folks....
         Some of the information and articles in this issue may be a
     little old by now, though they should provide interest for those
     who don't get to read that many other magazines, and since I spent
     the time writing/researching them, there seems little point in
     discarding them altogether. 

     This month was of course saw the Summer CES come and go, which
     provided a number of insights into where the industry was heading
     in the next year. A growing number of new and exciting games were
     shown for all systems, which provided many new news and
     speculation. While I didn't attend personally, the number of
     internet postings from those that did has meant that Frontier is
     well up on what happened. For more information - see our extensive
     first CES Show coverage!

     That's all for now, enjoy this issue - I feel it is one our more
     informative ones to date. Only another six months to the Winter CES
     now, maybe we can get somebody there to represent Frontier...
     interested? :)

              Gordon Craick (Editor -> FRONTiER magazine)
                           < July 8th, 1994 >


     ALTHOUGH Frontier aims to make fewer mistakes than some other
     magazines, it would be naive to think there wouldn't be any. In
     issue one several people have pointed out some inaccuracies or
     clear mistakes. Thanks to those people who did so, if I don't know
     about it - I can't correct it :)

     The release file now only includes all upcoming titles for the
     next few months, and is more general in release dates. See the
     release list (FRNTR-RE.004) for more information.

     Inclusion of non-profit console/video game shows - While Frontier
     charges for any direct form of commercial advertising, console
     trade and non-profit shows are accepted for publication in the
     magazine at no cost. If you are organising, or know of any shows
     along similar lines to that below, send in your press
     release/advertisement or any related information and they will be
     published in Frontier for a few months.
        ATARISHW.TXT arrived in my mailbox recently, should be
     interesting for those interested in Atari and most especially the
     Jaguar. Refer to it for all the details.

     Frontier will accept advertisements of a commercial nature to try
     and help pay for some of the games I review - the cost of
     advertising is a flat rate of $20 per ad, per issue for an ad
     of under 400 words. See the feedback section for more information.

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FRONTIER has been very grateful to the readers who have taken their time
to write to the magazine and express some ideas and opinions. I'm
_always_ after any sort of feedback, so whether you like everything, or
something really annoys you let me know. If you're willing to express
and opinion that you wouldn't mind publishing (maybe you've been
expressing an opinion in some of the console newsgroups) here's your
chance to let everybody else know what _you_ think.
   If you feel like a conversation on the console industry (or in fact
anything!) send my some email, the best ones will be published in
Frontier for others to join in on.

     Over the last couple of months I have received a couple of requests
     for advertising of a commercial type nature in Frontier. A decision
     has been made to charge a flat cost of $US20 per ad, per issue for
     an ad up to 400 words. This may include borders, ascii logos, etc
     (not counted in the 400) to draw attention to your product or
     business. Please send your advertisements in the form you would
     like them to appear, along with payment to the address listed at
     the end of the magazine.
        If you own, or are part of a console retailing or mail order
     company, Frontier offers a great way to help promote and sell your
     product through a potential audience of several thousand in many
     different countries world-wide.
        While readers may protest this as a form of commercialism that
     Frontier has stayed to try clear of in the past, I don't consider
     it as moving too much in this direction. The move is basically to
     help pay for some of the games I buy or hire for review purposes,
     and in no way to make a profit for myself (and at $20 I am hardly
     going to!).

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     Rumours have been rampant over what Sega's plans were going to be
     for entry in the 32 bit console race. Reports have been circulating
     of an expensive new stand-alone console, or an add-on for the
     Genesis machine as early as 1991. Now Sega has finally announced
     its formal hardware strategy over the next year, two 32 bit
     consoles for release in the next 6 months.
        Later this year will see the introduction of the 32X, a plug-in
     enhancement for the Genesis/Megadrive system. The 32X will provide
     a 32 bit processor, a specialised graphics chip based around the
     technology to be implemented in the Saturn. Following the release
     will be a wealth of new titles for the 32X, greatly extending the
     life of the Genesis unit. This will come as comforting news to
     those who were maybe seeing the onslaught of the newer 32 bit
     consoles, feeling just a little left behind, and ready to upgrade
     their Genesis to a newer, more powerful system. Now the millions of
     Genesis owners can do this without having to sell their old machine
     - at the relatively small price of $150.
        What is looking now to be an early 1995 Japanese release, will
     also be the release of the Saturn. The Saturn will be the more
     powerful of the two systems, implementing CD storage as standard
     and set to be Sega's main product for the next four years at least.
     The Saturn is also likely to be the more expensive of the two
     machines, at about $400.
        The news will be worrying for Sega's main contender, Nintendo who's
     plans for a 32 bit addon for the SNES was cancelled during the last
     stages of development in late 1993. Nintendo will have tough
     competition trying to market its aging 16 bit SNES unit against a
     much more powerful 32 bit addon for the Genesis.

     * For more information, and the actual specifications of the
       Saturn, check out the Saturn/32X FAQ included with this issue.

     Nintendo has recently announced that it will push forward its next
     generation console for a release some time next year. Current
     indications seem to be an arcade implementation by mid-1995, and a
     home implementation by Christmas 1995 -- Originally PR was
     scheduled for consumer release in late 1996. The move comes to
     assure the video game market that Project Reality^ is a lot closer
     than just a development (though from all indications that is still
     what it is!), and that shorter wait will be well worth it.
        This will be worrying news to many of the other video game
     companies, who were gleefully dismissive of Project Reality, seeing
     it as little to worry about in the next few years. A 1996 release
     for the home market, as was planned by Nintendo would have allowed
     many of the newer 32bit consoles to build up a reasonably strong
     consumer base. This would have made it hard for Nintendo to remain
     a strong force in the video game market, and in fact making the
     entry of PR quite tough.
        The current specifications talked about by Nintendo are far from
     complete, however some rumours of the proposed Project Reality are
     beginning to filter through. Project Reality is set to revolve
     around a 64 bit MIPPS instruction set processor, running at
     approximately 100mhz. Graphical processing will be done through a
     probably cut down version of Silicon Graphic's 'Reality Engine',
     used for many special effects in movies, so far only now been
     included in SGI's $60,000+ work stations. Storage is set to revolve
     around an implementation of 'Flash ROM', able to store many
     megabytes on a single credit-card sized piece of electronics. While
     all of this technology is far beyond that of the consumer, Nintendo
     believes (or in fact is banking heavily on the fact) that it can
     release a home console for around the $300US mark. A hard task,
     however, most believe that Silicon Graphics and Nintendo indeed do
     have the financial and technical know-how to achieve such a mammoth
     project in such a relatively short period of time.

     ^ this is only actually the project name, the machine will now be
       called something more consumer-orientated closer to release

     While it has been mentioned in many other magazines that a Street
     Fighter movie was in production in the past, many of that news is
     now inaccurate due to changes in the last few months. The final
     details are that the movie will in fact be filmed right here in
     Australia - to be exact, the Warner Bros Studio in Queensland.
        While at first the idea of a movie based on a video game doesn't
     look all that promising, Time Warner obviously feels there is
     enough there for a popular film.  Filming on a budget of $40
     million, the movie features two big names in the form of Jean
     Claude VanDamme (the famous ex-kick boxer who have starred in
     several films) as Ken, and Kylie Minogue (Yuppie UK pop singer :)
     and part-time actor) most likely as Chun-Li. Now while the
     Mario Bros movie turned mainly into a non-event for more mature
     audiences, Street Fighter is aiming to attempt quite the opposite.
     By including plenty of street-fighting action, along with the
     trademark VanDamme violence, the movie will likely rate either as
     Mature or Restricted when released.
        "Street Fighter" as it has been titled, is now in production,
     and should be released in April next year in the US, followed by
     May in the UK, Australia and elsewhere.

     Finally Nintendo has woken up to the fact that players do not want
     censored or cut games, and in fact lose money when certain parts of
     games are removed. To try and still remain responsible, while also
     restricting new games, Nintendo's new self-classification system
     will allow graphically violent games to appear on the SNES as long
     as they include the appropriate rating. This is excellent news for
     fans of Mortal Kombat, who had to put up with a non-blooded
     version, when the Genesis version had all of the fatalities and blood
     seen in the arcades.
        The first graphically violent SNES game to be released to the
     public will be Mortal Kombat 2, which will supposedly only be
     available to those over 17 years of age. Mortal Kombat 2 will
     include all of the fatalities, babalities, and blood and guts that
     the arcade machine does. There will also be a lockout code built
     into the cartridge to allow parents to turn off the graphic
     features in the game, if desired. Certainly good news for mature
     players of the SNES, and also a good sign that Project Reality
     won't just be for kids.

     In the race to get a useable mutli-player system up and running,
     Atari is banking on the soon to be released Jaguar Voice-Modem.
     Similar in operation to a conventional modem, players can dial each
     other up over standard phone lines, and play against/in
     co-operation with each other. While with standard use the
     voice-modem will probably be limited to one-on-one usage over phone
     lines, two or three Jaguar units may be linked up together (say in
     the same room) using the standard Jag Network (what Atari is now
     calling the Com-Lynx port) and then to a third party somewhere
        The term 'Voice-Modem' isn't just there as a fancy marketing
     name either, as players will be able to chat/scream/abuse :) each
     other while playing the game! This feature allows a number of
     exciting, and also realistic games to be produced that will take
     full advantage of the new peripheral.
        While many may already be aware that Alien vs Predator has been
     delayed until September, this in fact may come as a blessing for
     owners of the voice-modem. Frontier wouldn't be surprised that the
     extra time being taken is to incorporate the voice-modem
     capability. The other hot title that will be voice-modem 'capable'
     will be Doom, allowing up to four-players to link up and roam the
     corridors, while talking or communicating at the same time! Should
     be real experience, even for those who have played PC Doom over a
        It is expected that the voice-modem will operate at about
     9600bps, quite enough for the transferal of game data. The
     Voice-Modem will probably be only second only to the Jaguar-CD for
     Jag owners, altogether its ultimate success will probably rely on the
     number of good games that will support it. While an exact price has
     not been set, an estimated price being talked about is $150.

     NB: Similar features to the Jaguar Voice-Modem will be incorporated
         into the AT&T 3DO when it is released, which will be good news
         to 3DO owners also.

     The Jaguar-CD drive, which many believed would never be released at
     all is nearing completion. A prototype was shown at the SCES, and
     while there was little to show on the system, was a relief to those
     who bought a Jaguar in the hope of a good CD system.
        The Jaguar-CD will include the option of an MPEG-1 cartridge
     (with an estimated cost of $150) to add to the system, which is
     almost becoming industry standard in the video game world. Other
     features Jeff Minter's exciting 'Virtual Light' technology, which
     allows enticing displays to be shown on your screen while playing
     audio CD's. The display changes in response to subtle changes in
     the music, and should really be something to show off the system.
        Promising reports have been coming from developers of the
     system, many stating that the internal Jaguar compression gives a
     generally sharper and clearer quality than that seen on the 3DO's
     custom 'Cine-pak' technology.
        A number of titles are on there way for release on Jaguar-CD,
     many of them having being in development for over a year. Time has
     been spent on these titles to ensure that they remain just as
     playable as any cartridge game, so hopefully we won't be seeing any
     titles that have just been put on CD for the hell of it. Some of
     the titles lined up include: Blue Lightning (a translation of the
     Lynx game), BattleMorph (Cybermorph 2 -- also for release on
     cartridge), several ports of adventure games, a 'fighting game',
     and at least one Role Playing game. This time Jaguar owners may
     have something to show many of the capabilities of their new system
     when released.
        Atari is assuring people that the Jaguar-CD will be out in the
     the US in September with a RRP of $200.

     The future is looking much brighter for the 3DO than it did just a
     month or two ago when the number of releases had slowed, and there
     didn't look as though there was much else on the way. Shares
     dropped, and it looked as 3DO might even be in trouble. Since that
     time however, 3DO has adopted a more aggressive sales pitch in an
     attempt to lure good licensees and developers. Many exciting and
     exclusive titles coming to the system in the next year -- assuring
     the system as grabbing a reasonable share of the video game market
     in the next year or two.
        Trip Hawkins estimated goal of 500,000 units in the first year
     of release may in fact be met, despite the initial scepticism that
     it brought. So far 3DO estimates 250,000 machines have been sold
     world-wide since October, well on the way to meeting that figure
     (considering the sales curve for any new product).
        In Japan, where the machine was released a few months ago, sales
     have taken off to an even greater extent than in the United States.
     This may be partly due to more stores stocking 3DO than in the US,
     but for whatever the reason, an estimated 70,000 have been sold
     there in the first two months. Japanese developers have been quick
     to recognise the system, and a large number of Japanese produced
     3DO titles are already on their way. Such developers include
     Capcom, Konami, Koei, Taito, and much more.

     So far hardware licensees for 3DO (those who will be making 3DO
     compatible machines) include: Toshiba, AT&T, Panasonic/Matsushita
     (already released), Sanyo, Samsung, Goldstar and Creative Labs (who
     will be making a 3DO compatible card for the IBM PC).

     Showed recently at the SCES (see this issue), Super Street Fighter
     2 Turbo (phew!) is set for release soon on the 3DO. 3DO has an
     exclusive license for the game, and is the only system which Capcom
     has agreed to license the game to at the present time. This game
     alone will provide a great boost to the system, the game to date
     probably being one of the most successful of all video games. While
     other systems are just seeing releases of just SSF2 (not turbo),
     the 3DO will be releasing the full arcade version of SSF2T. Even
     greater news for 3DO owners is that SSF2T will be an almost exact
     port of the arcade machine, and there are also hints of a number of
     enhancements that may be included.
        Definitely a game to watch out for, and even those who have
     stayed clear of the 3DO in the past may want to re-consider,
     especially with such quality games such as this coming our way.
     SSF2T will be available on 3DO in November.

     - The Wall Street Journal has again gone out on a limb, this time
       suggest Atari does not have the financial strengths to
       successfully market and make Jaguar units. This is the second
       time the WSJ has gone on the video game attack, only recently
       dubbing 3DO has having very little hope of success (sales since
       then have taken off). Atari is quick to defend this claim,
       stating that they well have the goods to market the Jaguar
       successfully. Another case that just shows how little the wider
       media really does know about video games.

     - Samsung's 3DO will incorporate 3DO's MPEG-1 cartridge into its
       architecture. This makes the Samsung machine a good alternative
       for those who like 3DO and want MPEG, but feel that the extra
       price of a separate MPEG cartridge is a little too high. The
       price of the Samsung 3DO is likely to be much less than the
       combined purchase price of a Panasonic 3DO and MPEG cartridge.
          Recently shown at the SCES (see this issue), the Samsung 3DO
       appears slightly slicker in appearance to the Panasonic model,
       much like the Sanyo model. These will be fully compatible (eg:
       one game will run on any 3DO machine), so players only have to
       worry about which system they like best, with the cheapest price

     Again, remember that this section is nothing more than it
     indicates, and simply rumours from other magazines, talk, media
     sources and the internet newsgroups. It is up to you how seriously
     you take these rumours.

     - Nintendo is planning on bring back its 'exclusivity' contract in
       with the release of games for Project Reality. If true, this will
       mean that any game released on PR may not be released on any
       other platform. If this is in fact the case, Nintendo is
       definitely going to lose out, as developers are hardly going to
       flock to the system if they have to remain locked with the one
       system for each game. It seems illogical, but that is Nintendo
       for you!

     - There are plenty around, but really no new ones!

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     THE Consumer Entertainment Show has risen to become one of the most
     widely attended and important shows on the video game calender over
     the last few years. While the Summer CES was probably the lesser of
     the two shows held in the States this year (the other of course
     being the Winter CES), it still provided a good insight into some
     of the products and innovations that consumers will be seeing in
     the next year or so. Held from the 19th-24th of June, this years
     show attracted many tens of thousands to the event. Each year the
     CES just keeps getting bigger and bigger, and the WCES to be held
     in November is an event definitely not one to be missed.

     While Frontier did not actually attend the SCES, the amount of
     published information on the Internet, and with correspondence from
     those who attended makes this possible. Many different 'my thoughts
     on the SCES' were looked into, so hopefully this coverage should
     give pretty much the same indication that I gained from others.
        Frontier is looking for somebody reliable and with a good
     understanding of the video game industry to attend the WCES this
     November. Please contact me well in advance, so Frontier can
     organise an actual first-person narrative of the event. You may
     even be able to get your own press pass, which will mean you may
     end up with a lot more information, and also be able to get more
     'inside' information from the companies attending -- well worth the
     effort I'm sure.

     After debating a bit on how to set out this coverage, I've decided
     to cover each of the main companies, and some of the main products
     that attracted the big attention. Of course all of the companies
     were showing off many of there new releases, however these are not
     really covered - as Frontier is mainly interested in what was 'new'
     at the SCES.


     Nintendo definitely was in force at this seasons CES, and their
     stand by far took up the largest portion of the hall. They easily
     proved that there is still plenty of life left in the essentially
     two-sided 16 bit market. This may have also been to hide the fact
     that Project Reality is still pretty much a pipe-dream until we
     actually see a prototype _console_ from them sometime next year
     (possibly the WCES). Probably one of the most notable of the
     companies attending, Nintendo attracted the largest amount of
     crowds and attention throughout the show.

     Notable Products

     Donkey Kong Country - Probably _the_ most impressive games at the
     whole show, and most in fact dubbed it their 'Game of the SCES'.
     Many describe how at first glance you could be forgiven if you
     thought you were looking at a Silicon Graphics work station. DKC is
     probably _the_ most impressive game graphically seen on any 16 bit
     system. All the graphics are rendered using SGi work stations, and
     then ported over using "technology never before implemented on the
     SNES". All of this has been squashed into a 32 meg cart. DKC
     includes much of what the original Donkey Kong oozed back in the
     earlier 1980's. Simple, but interesting and exciting gameplay.
     Essentially a platform game, DKC contains a number of different
     levels, multiple players, the works. The best thing was that it was
     proudly proclaimed that the game would be available in as little as
     a month or so, and the version shown was around 95% completed.
     Definitely impressive, and also likely candidate for 16 bit game of
     the year.

     Project Reality - Yet again, no sign of a prototype version of PR
     in sight. Instead, Nintendo had strategically placed several
     Silicon Graphics Work stations showing several reasonably impressive
     demos with things such as Yoshi, Mario, etc. Visually exciting for
     many, but there seemed little in the actual way of even one whole
     game/concept. Attention drawing, but considering these work stations
     cost a staggering $50,000 in 1994 - can they be cut down into a
     $200-$300 console by as little as mid next year? Many remain
     extremely sceptical (myself included). For certain show attendees
     there was a closed conference to try and hype up PR to developers,
     and the press. Still, general attendees were not admitted, so
     whatever happened in that shortish conference is not for us to know
     obviously (I wonder why?). It was also _hinted_ that there might
     finally be a console prototype at the WCES....

     Final Fantasy 3 - While there been *five* Final Fantasy games
     released in Japan on the SNES, elsewhere in the world we have had
     to be satisfied with only the two. While the SNES the SNES has few
     RPG's, FF3 (FF6 in Japan) looked like being one of the most
     impressive RPG's seen to date (yes, even better than Zelda). The
     English translation was excellent, and strong features included
     excellent sound, and equally appealing graphics.

     Super Street Fighter 2 - A finished 32mbit version of SSF2 was
     shown, which was big news to all fighting fans. Pretty much an
     exact translation of the arcade machine, there isn't much more that
     can be said! To owners of SF2T there seems little incentive to buy
     the newer version, unless of course you are a huge fan of SSF2 from
     the arcades.

     Mortal Kombat 2 - An 80% from complete MK2 was shown, which brought
     much attention. For the few that actually got a play at the game,
     the general view seems to be that it played and looked pretty much
     the same as the arcade machine. All of the blood, fatalities, and
     other features were included on the SNES version, and there seemed
     little missing.

     Way of the Warrior - While SSF2 and MK2 were definitely the more
     widely noticed of the SNES fighting titles, Way of the Warrior
     looked like becoming a close third. A good conversion, but not
     quite perfect version of the arcade, though including the same
     sized fighters and detailed backgrounds. The game was also very
     playable, and at least something different to those who have been
     playing SF2 for the last two years!

     Samurai Showdown - Yet another fighting game that grabbed people's
     attention. The character movements weren't quite up to the arcade,
     though they may be fixed before release. Another promising title
     for the next few months.

     FX games - A number of games implementing the new FX chip were
     shown, though from general indications none were really too
     impressive. The main problem seems to be that while the chip is
     innovative, the newer 32 bit systems overshadow it greatly. Why pay
     more for an extra chip in a game, when you can have a system in
     which _every_ game implements such technology?

     Super Game Boy - The new peripheral for the SNES was shown, though
     it brought little attention from the discerning crowds. I have seen
     the Super Game Boy here in Australia, and while the graphics look
     about 8 bit Nintendo quality there seems little else to attract
     attention or make the purchase worthwhile. When the Super Game Boy
     cartridge costs about the same as an actual GameBoy unit, you can
     begin to wonder whether Nintendo has got its marketing strategy

     General impressions given:

     While there were many other titles shown, most have already been
     seen in many magazines over the last few months. Nobody has pointed
     out much else of note, so it can be surmised that while Nintendo
     had the largest and most impressive stand, there wasn't very much
     Nintendo had to compete against the newer 32bit contenders. While
     Nintendo definitely isn't dead, there appeared to be a general lack
     of something unique or new for their systems. Project Reality is
     still a year or so away, and still very little except hype has been
     produced from Nintendo. To some, Nintendo appeared below the
     surface a little arrogant, which cannot in the video game world be
     a good sign when there are at least three strong competitors biting
     at the company's feet!


     Sega had very little to do with this summer's CES, despite the fact
     that Saturn and 32X will be well on their way quite soon. While not
     having an actual formal stand, there were a few presentations given
     at hotels and other places around the city. A demo of the 32X was
     shown, which was quite impressive - showing off Virtua Racing as
     its show-piece. Other than the already seen Saturn promotional
     material retained from the last WCES, there was very little in the
     way of new information or announcements of new games. The main
     reason for this seems to be that Sega is saving up all their hype
     and excitement for this year's WCES, where working prototypes of
     the 32X/Megadrive-32 and Saturn, plus completed titles will be
     shown. You can almost predict in advance that Sega will grab
     company of the WCES this November, as Saturn and the 32X will
     clearly put Nintendo to shame *:)


     3DO appeared to be second only to Nintendo at this season's show,
     clearly stating itself as a major contender for the video game
     market. 25 completed, or near completed titles were shown at the
     show, giving a new breath of hope to 3DO owners who have been
     disappointed at the batch of titles shown since release. Quick to
     go on the attack, 3DO again went possibly a little overboard trying
     to hype many of its games. 3DO at this season's CES definitely
     showed that it was here to stay.

     Notable Products

     The Sanyo 3DO - Several completed units of the Sanyo 3DO machine
     was on display, and was being used to demo quite a few of the 3DO
     titles on display. Compared to the Panasonic FZ-1, most felt that
     the machine played identically, which in 3DO's case is a good
     thing. The main difference between the two 3DO machines was a more
     compact and more attractive look on the Sanyo. Otherwise the
     controller and software use was _identical_. The price of the Sanyo
     3DO was estimated to be much lower than that of the FZ-1, mainly
     due to a more integrated single-chip architecture. News was that
     the Sanyo was completed and it mass production, and should be
     available in the US in the next few months -- sure to help out 3DO
     sales in general.

     Samsung 3DO - Also on show, the Samsung 3DO was a fair way from
     completion. Again, better looking than the Panasonic. The main
     difference between the Samsung and other 3DO's was the fact that
     MPEG will be built in as standard. Probably set for release around
     November/December this year.

     Disk drive for 3DO - Interesting to many 3DO owners, was the 3.5"
     external disk drive. This allows certain games to allow save
     games/scores to disk, definitely one of the things that the 3DO is
     currently lacking. Several games in development, and more to come
     will support the disk drive, allowing the saving of more complex
     data (such as for big RPG's, adventure games, etc). Bad news is
     that such a peripheral costs a bit too much for what you are
     getting -- if only the 3DO had included better writeable storage on
     its system, then owners would never have to worry about such a

     Way of the Warrior - Another conversion of the arcade machine to a
     home console. This version looked quite a bit better than the SNES
     version, while also being a bit more similar to the arcade
     play-wise. The only probablem was that at the stage shown, some of
     the animation wasn't quite up to scratch. Not better than SF2, but
     a good enough fighting game to help the 3DO's cause.

     Gex - Many were putting this game up there with Sonic and Mario. An
     immense platform game, features heaps of different bad guys, and
     lots to do. Plenty of variety, and some of the best graphics and
     animation seen on any video or computer game _ever_. This is sure
     to be a game that attracts quick sequels on the 3DO.

     Burning Soldier - A game along the lines of Operation Wolf and
     Cannon Fodder. Your characters (two players can also play at once)
     run along, shooting at anything that moves. Lots of variety, and
     lots to shoot at too :) One of best features will be the rendered
     cut scenes shown between each stage, which attendees saw as
     being especially impressive. Nothing special, but looks like being
     a simple and very playable game.

     Guardian War (also known as Powers Kingdom) - What looks like being
     an impressive strategy/kingdom game in the vain of Populous or
     Civilization. Features hundreds of individually different
     characters, and the strategy component looks quite solid and
     playable. Should be a very popular strategy game for any system.

     Slayer - Finally, a properly licensed AD&D title, and serious RPG
     for a home console! This one is by SSI, one of the most prolific
     producers of strategy and RPG software on the PC. Slayer takes
     place with a first person perspective, similar to Ultima
     Underworld(s). Players can look up, down, jump, crawl, fight, cast
     spells, run and other actions, while also solving puzzles and
     destroying monsters, creatures, etc. Everything is based around the
     AD&D genre, therefore will be familiar to RPG fans. Everything is
     90 degrees (similar to Wolfenstein), though fully texture mapped
     and light rendered. Certainly an immense game, as each dungeon/game
     is generated from many millions of combinations. Basically, every
     time the player plays a new game things will be different.
     Apparently, graphically it is very impressive, and has none of the
     texture mapping problems associated with the other 3D first-person
     game on the 3DO, Monster Manor.

     Road Rash - One of the most playable of the games shown, Road Rash
     includes much of the original features that made the original a hit
     on the Genesis. An excellent soundtrack (from the _real_
     SoundGarden(!), Swervedriver, and some other lesser know bands)
     that really keeps the player into the action. Video sequences were
     reportedly quite terrible compared to other 3DO, however they were
     much better quality than those used to the SegaCD. Definitely a
     title for 3DO owner's collection.

     Soccer Kid - This was announced for release at the show under 3DO's
     3rd party 'Affiliated Label' system. Will be a side scrolling
     platform game, featuring lots of smooth scrolling animation, and
     stacks of levels.

     Others shown - Patank, StarControl 2, Tetsujin, Super Off-Road,
     Return Fire, and lots more.

     General Impressions

     Most people seemed extremely impressed at the way 3DO presented
     itself at the CES. Just about all the titles shown were just about
     ready for sales release, so no game crashes or another annoying
     things greeted players. Many quality licenses have been secured,
     such as Way of the Warrior, AD&D, and especially SSF2T -- enough to
     please both kids and adults. It seems that as long as 3DO can keep
     the price down on its hardware at >$400, it will remain dominate in
     the 32 bit market, even against the tough Saturn. Sanyo's unit
     promised such a buyable price, so there seems little doubt 3DO is
     going to reach the predicted 500,000 by October.


     How Atari was presented at the show seems to vary greatly between
     those who attended. Some thought that Atari really had a good
     showing, considering Atari's past performances at the CES over the
     last few years. Others believed that Atari was really out of place
     amongst such big contenders as Nintendo and 3DO, with some titles
     that were impressive, but not enough. My general impression is that
     people were looking for too much from Atari, considering the
     relatively recent release of the Jaguar. A number of excellent
     games were shown, and most attendees never gave any of the games
     less than a 'looks average' tone.

     Notable Products

     Iron Soldier - This was possibly one of Atari's best games shown at
     the SCES, and many believed that the game could have even received
     an overall best of show. While only in Alpha stage, after
     development of only a few weeks(!), the game looked as though it
     had enormous potential. Reminiscent of the game B.O.T.T.S, Ultra
     Vortex places the player in a Battle-Tech environment, where the
     giant mechs battle it out over a city, and other landscapes.
     Brilliant polygon graphics (yet shaded and texture mapped, though
     the programmer assured people that it would be later on), and
     plenty of car-stomping and other destruction. It is also likely the
     game will be multi-player, and probably also voice-modem
     compatible, certainly a prime contender. Looked hot, even to those
     who were quite dismissive of the Jaguar at the SCES.

     Kasumi Ninja - This appears as though it is going to be one of the
     most popular of all the Jaguar games released this year from all
     accounts. Backgrounds are superbly rendered in 24 bit, and the
     characters are all digitised from real figures (a'la MK). While at
     first the game looked a bit suspect as a serious fighting
     competitor (pun intended!), KN now looks as though the gameplay
     will be well up with MK2 and the SF2's. Many dubbed it "much better
     than MK2", and even the less glowing reports dubbed it as a "quite
     decent fighting game". Only a few characters were available on the
     SCES version, however there was plenty of blood to splash around.

     Alien vs Predator - While one of the most widely requested Jaguar
     titles, it has been put back yet again, this time until September.
     While it has the same flat walls as Wolfenstein, it includes more
     shading and more 'realism' to make it potentially more popular (and
     less controversial :) ). Most seem to feel that the game was very
     atmospheric and everything mostly up to a good to very good
     standard. It was compared to being as playable as Doom, which means
     that AvP ought to be a good alternative to those who find killing
     demons just isn't their thing :) Atari was keen to point out that a
     specific TV advertising campaign for AvP will begin in mid August.

     Doom - ID software has been polishing up Doom on the Jaguar for
     several months, trying to assure its success. Resolution is
     slightly in between that of Doom on hi-res and low-res modes, so
     isn't quite as impressive as the PC version on a 486. This has
     ensured that the frame rate is consistent and smooth, at a very
     decent 20 fps. Should be a big Jaguar hit, as Doom on any system is
     one of the most playable action games ever.

     Wolfenstein - A completed version of Wolfenstein was shown to the
     public, which brought crowds for those who have never played the PC
     version. Graphics seemed to be a little better, and the action much
     smoother (than a fast 486dx at least) and a bit more impressive
     than the original PC hit. Otherwise, there weren't _too_ many
     changes, but still appeared to be a potentially popular title. For
     those who have just played the SNES version, don't be dissuaded --
     the Jag version is guaranteed to be much better. Now on sale as of
     the SCES.

     Ray Man - A few levels of the upcoming platform game was shown
     several times. While far from complete, most feel the game is very
     playable and fun to play, and almost a competitor against Mario and
     Sonic. The game includes beautifully rendered and colourful 16 bit
     graphics, plus a CD-quality soundtrack. Many feel that it was a bit
     too 'cute' for the Jaguar, though that is what can attract many
     players. Worthy of being a strong Jaguar seller.

     Jaguar-CD - The first working prototype of the Jag-CD was finally
     shown to the public. There weren't really enough completed, or even
     close to completed CD games shown to really tell whether the CD
     add-on will be a seller -- the main reason most feel was to assure
     players that it is well on its way, and to show a little of what it
     will be like. The main demo piece shown was Jeff Minter's Virtual
     Light technology, though unfortunately this was still a month or so
     from completion (it crashed a few times).

     Others shown (far from finished) - Battlezone 2000, Ultra Vortex,
     Club Drive, Zool 2, Star Raiders 2000, StarBattle, a cricket game,
     Double Dragon 5, Blue Lightning CD.

     General Impressions

     Certainly Atari has a certain lack of titles that 3DO and others
     have plenty more of. It seems many of the good licenses have either
     gone to 3DO or to other systems, due to a general lack of trust
     after Atari's past performances. This is not to say that there
     aren't some good licenses obtained so far, just that the Jaguar
     could have possibly been much more if some of the other new 32bit
     systems were not around (esp. the 3DO). What was good news to Atari
     fans was that just about all the Jaguar games have been modelled on
     the requests of Atari to be playable and saleable. Jaguar owners
     are not going to have to put up with below quality titles, just to
     have them on the market. This is one of the main reasons why so
     many Jaguar titles have been pushed back (eg: Doom, AvP, Kasumi
     Ninja, Tiny Toons, Bubsy, Club Drive, more), if Atari doesn't like
     the game they politely tell the developer to re-vamp it. While some
     may disapprove of this strategy, for those who want lasting games
     and value for money the Jaguar is certainly a good bet.


     There was a stack of new PC and PC-CD games which will be good news
     to those who own a PC. While personally I am interested in what is
     happening in the PC games world, since Frontier is essentially a
     video game magazine this report won't go into any details. For
     that, check out issue #21 of Gamebytes which will be out soon --
     simply _the_ best PC games mag anywhere (thank me for the review
     Ross :) )

     Philips was demonstrating a number of fairly interesting CD-i
     titles at the SCES, although most were too pre-occupied with what
     was happening at booths such as 3DO, Nintendo, and Atari.


     This is maybe a bit too speculative, however on what was shown at
     the SCES, some of the big features of the WCES (in November) should

     * First prototype demonstration of Project Reality. Can Nintendo
       re-assure the video game world that Project Reality will be here
       in 1995, or at least affordable? Also probably Nintendo's
       toughest show ever, few in the way of original 16 bit titles, the
       GameBoy fading in popularity, increasing 32 bit competition, and
       a new system a way off.

     * A near completed, if not completed prototype Saturn machine, plus
       several nearly finished games on display. Finally we will see
       how the Saturn can stack up to the other 32 bit systems.

     * Plenty of 32X systems and around 20-30 games shown by Sega,
       following its recent release in October. Can the 32X kill off the
       SNES and Nintendo's hold of the 16 bit market in one $150 swoop?

     * Atari's Jag-CD should be completed by the WCES, fully completed
       and hopefully ready for sale. This will also be a chance to
       show-case Atari's selection of 1994 titles, when about 20 out of
       25 should be finished and on sale. Atari should make an
       impressive stand, rather than just showing a number of unfinished
       beta products.

     * All five 3DO machines fully completed and ready for sale. The
       Samsung, Sanyo, AT&T, Goldstar, and of course Panasonic machine
       will be all available. By then the price on 3DO in general should
       have dropped, making it very strong. Software wise, SSF2T and
       around 50 other completed titles should be available.

     * Many peripherals that have been in development for just about all
       of the 32 bit systems will be shown.

     Rather than try and explain everything that Frontier knows about
     the Saturn and 32X that people have been asking me about in the
     actual issue - this month, included with Frontier is my Saturn/32X
     FAQ. This has been posted a few times to the rec.games.video.sega
     and rec.games.video.misc newsgroups on the internet - but for those
     who do not have access or missed it, here is the perfect
     opportunity for you to learn everything about the Saturn and 32X
     which will be out soon.
        The main reason I started the FAQ was to clear up a lot of the
     misconceptions, and inaccurate claims people had been making about
     the machine across many sources. Much as this magazine itself aims
     to do, the FAQ should clear a lot of this up.
        I've tried to make the FAQ as fair and as unbiased as possible,
     though of course this is difficult - as I have found out :) At
     least I can pretty much say that it seems fairly accurate and
     balanced. If YOU know something more about the Saturn or 32X that
     isn't covered in the FAQ, or would actually like another topic to
     be covered in it - let me know and I'll probably include it.

     The FAQ is included as SATURN.FAQ (really? :) ), so please read
     over it and tell me what you think. Regular updates will be posted
     in the rec.games.video.sega and rec.games.video.misc newsgroups
     when they are available, and probably won't appear in another issue
     of Frontier. As it says in the FAQ itself, distribute it separately
     and wherever you like - just remember that I took the time to
     compile it all for the good of all :) ...........

     The 28th April saw the end of one of major computer manufacturers
     of the 1980's. Commodore Business Machines International has
     formally gone into liquidation, signaling the end of the
     multi-million dollar company. The liquidation reaches further than
     just the closure of the company, and will have far reaching effects
     on owners of Commodore owners.
        Commodore began operations in the late 1960's with the
     manufacture of mainly typewriters. Probably the biggest growth in
     Commodore occurred in 1986, with the Amiga 500 - the first computer
     to offer unbelievable graphics and sound far several years before
     its time to the home consumer. At the time, the Amiga was more
     powerful than its IBM PC counterparts, which have since moved on to
     become the dominant computer system. While the IBM compatible
     rapidly made in-roads into the Amiga market and specifications, the
     Amiga still continued to remain popular amongst the home and
     entertainment markets due to its multi-media capabilities. It was
     about the 1990's that Commodore began to take a downturn. By this
     time the PC compatible had well established itself as the dominate
     home and office computer, offering much of what the Amiga offered,
     and at a cheaper price. 1993 saw the introduction of the CD32
     console, which once again looked like securing a share of the
     market. While externally Commodore looked be doing quite well,
     still selling many hundreds of thousands of computers each year
     (especially in the European markets), internally it was a different
     matter. Last year Commodore lost many more millions that it had
     made, which combined with several other years losses meant its
     eventual downfall.
        What will this mean to existing Amiga and CD32 owners?
     Unfortunately the news isn't too good. Along with the death of
     Commodore comes the death of Commodore support, and ultimately the
     death of software for the both Amiga and CD32. The position by 3rd
     party software developers is still quite uncertain, and will
     continue to be for a few months to come. While there is still money
     to be made in the short term marketing of Amiga and CD32 software,
     there is little incentive to continue producing software for a
     system(s) that will ultimately begin to die out.
         Electronic Arts however, have been one quick to announce that
     it will be continuing to market and produce CD32 and Amiga software
     for at least the next year - showing that they still believe there
     is money to be made from existing Commodore owners. This is at
     least one good sign.

     Commodore's death may in fact be a good thing to many - ironically
     sales after Commodore's demise may actually increase. Liquidation
     will involve the selling off of all assets, including machines
     already manufactured and in stores. This will more than likely
     include _drastic_ price cuts across all hardware. The CD32's RRP
     price which is now $400 may drop to as little as $200 simply to
     regain some of the money spend in their production. At that price,
     it may in fact entice people who would have otherwise been fairly
     uninterested in the CD32. Even though their may be few titles
     available and likely to be available, there are enough to make a
     $200 purchase worthwhile. Cheap software will also likely follow to
     further enhance sales potential.

     This may not in fact be the last epitaph on the CD32, and we may in
     fact see the purchase of rights to CD32 from another company. This
     in fact now seems unlikely, considering the amount of time passed
     since its downfall, and general lack of interest. Negotiations were
     underway with Samsung to purchase the rights to the CD32, though
     this doesn't seem to have proved a viable option for the company.
     Have a few million dollars to purchase the rights to CD32? Well
     here's your opportunity :)

     What does this mean for Frontier coverage of the CD32? Well,
     nothing really - reviews (not that there are any presently, but
     there could be if people are people still willing) and any
     additional news will continue to be published. Eventually of course
     this will disappear, along with new software for the machine, but
     until that time the CD32 is alive as it ever was....

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IF you wish to express an opinion in an editorial style article, please
let me know. Frontier aims to be a focus point for intelligent debate on
the console industry so you should be willing to backup your opinions
from readers. If you strongly agree or disagree on an editorial,
consider writing one of your own with some opposing or contrasting

     EVER since CD storage was introduced in the video/computer game
     market, most magazines and everybody else has been looking for that
     'killer app' that people believe must come along with CD. Little,
     if anything has really added up to this expectation, though
     everybody is looking for that game that will provide the
     'definitive' benchmark for a CD game, which can be used as a
     measure against any other releases.
        Many reviews of CD games in game magazines have been scathing of
     any attempt at trying to utilise the tremendous space of CD-ROM --
     they especially looking for the best game of all time coming off
     the wondrous CD. For those developers that try, if the space is
     not used fully, most complain that the game is not living up to its
     greatest potential. Alternatively, if it is used up with fancy
     visuals, they are quick to jump on the attack again - stating a
     lack of gameplay or playability. Either way, publishers are stuck
     in between two sides of the hard place. Many companies have in fact
     been hesitant to except CD as a viable format for that very reason,
     not confident enough to move to the format - worried that their
     strong following will desert them if they produce what the media
     may call a "below-standard" CD game. More often than not,
     developers are in fact making the right decision in staying with
     other storage formats. Why bother producing a game which could
     quite easily fit on disk or cartridge when it the game does not
     even warrant rendered graphics or other visual wonders? A game
     never necessarily becomes any better if it is bigger. Take Tetris,
     the most simplest of games, and yet one of the most widely played
     and popular of them all - across _all_ formats. There are many more

     The main factor that needs to be looked into when analysing the
     potential of CD is the extra amount of time that needs to be taken
     by developers to include all of the fancy digitised animation,
     sound, etc. Almost any CD game takes much more time to develop than
     any conventional storage game, so unless the time is taken the game
     is of course going to be below standard. Developers no longer have
     years and years to spend on a game as they maybe once did -- in the
     90's consumers want games in under a year of development. If time
     is stretched beyond that, by that time often the machine that it
     has been developed for is well out of date, or the game looks poor
     against what technology can offer. Small time developers have
     little chance of implementing all 5xx megabytes in a short time
     without a massive team of individual graphic artists, producers,
     and musicians that the large companies have at their disposable.
        The other is what can actually be stored on CD. A game on CD can
     really only be improved by the use of a CD-soundtrack, digitised
     speech or some form of FMV. More often that not, the voices are
     unrealistic and rather bad in acting, actually making the game less
     enjoyable, not more so. Graphics, while still nice looking, have a
     long way into fooling a person that what they are watching is in
     fact synthesised. So far video games have been much like a book,
     using the players own imagination to draw them into the world of
     the game. Moving away from that towards the 'Hollywood mentality'
     is just becoming more destructive of games. If we want to watch
     fancy visuals and special effects we will watch a movie, not play a
     video game. While the merger of Hollywood and video games will
     ultimately come eventually, we need to see quite a number of
     technological changes to facilitate the change. It certainly won't
     be in the next five years.

     While it would be stubborn to deny that CD-ROM will/and has in fact
     become a popular storage format, dubbing the "next level of gaming"
     as *having* to implement CD-ROM is certainly premature. What many
     have not woken up to is the fact that CD can not hope to increase
     the gameplay or playability of a game. CD-ROM as the name suggests
     is a storage format _only_ it is not a new technology, and
     certainly not an entertainment device in itself (in the video game
     world at least). CD is only a wider medium with which players can
     interact with, in _conjunction_ with other new technologies. The
     use of 32 bit processors, which most hardware designers are moving
     towards in the video game world, are what most would say could be
     be classed into the said "new technologies". Faster graphics, and
     greater processing power means more realistic 'virtual space', that
     begins to grow closer to what we usually define as solid 'reality'.
     CD-ROM moves us closer to this by providing the storage for the
     elements of this space. In itself, CD can never hope to add to
     games to a considerable extent without the driving force of other
     new technologies.

     CD can never begin to enhance games to a great extent, with what is
     currently available, and some of the limitations that it still
     brings. It is still impossible for a game to pull textures off a
     CD-ROM and render them fully sourced real-time, which will
     ultimately be the way which games will move in the next decade. It
     is still impossible for data to even be pulled off CD at a decent
     speed to make fast action games (with rendered backgrounds,
     sprites, etc) possible to a great extent. Until that time where
     these things are possible, CD remains largely a uninteractive
     format by nature, and it is pointless believing that CD in itself
     can make games any more interactive. Most would have to agree that
     the 'killer app' of CD-ROM is just a myth, much as that perfect
     piece of art, or that perfect composition.....

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THE review section is not an integral part of Frontier, though an
important one. What is the use of talk on consoles, without reviews to
assess the quality of games that are available? If you wish to write
reviews for Frontier for any console, please check out the section: How
*YOU* too can help out with Frontier. While reviews of new games is
preferred, reviews of games up to around 6 months old will be published.

Check back on issue 2 for changes to the game ratings system. This new
rating system I believe gives the best and most complete seen in any
other magazine. Lets watch the others try and copy it :)

     TYPE ................ Action/beat 'em up
     FORMAT .............. SNES
     RELEASE ............. April 1994
     PRICE ............... $90
     SIZE ................ 16 megabit

     LEVELS .............. ??? (around 10 play-fields)
     DIFFICULTY .......... Medium (depends on difficulty)
     PLAYERS ............. One/two simultaneous
     EXTRA INFO .......... n/a

     WHO would have thought you'd be able to throw some pieces of
     coloured plasticine together and have a decent fighting game? That
     is exactly what Interplay have done, creating Clay Fighter - one of
     the strangest SNES, and definitely the strangest fighting game.

     Clay Fighter pits 10 different and varied characters against each
     other, either to beat your friend, or to reach the final battle.
     Each of these includes a number of special moves, from firing blobs
     of clay, to cartwheels, and many others. Unlike SF2, these moves
     are more of a novelty - rather than an actual great help against
     your opponents (bit like the babalities in MK2). Some of the
     characters include Blob - basically just a blob of Clay, Itchy Bod
     Clay - the jack-o-lantern, and Tiny - who looks like a piece of
     clay on steroids(!). There are a number more, all being quite
     different and each having their strengths and weaknesses. When
     sitting down to play the game for the first time, you'd have to be
     incredibly serious if you didn't at least get one smile on your
     face from playing. Clay Fighter includes plenty of cartoon humour,
     which is a mix of somewhere between Gumby and Bugs Bunny. Just
     seeing the two pieces of coloured clay belting the hell out of each
     other is funny enough!

     All of the sprites Clay Fighter, as the title suggests, have been
     moulded from clay - in fact, probably plasticine :) Each character
     has been moulded from clay, manipulated for each part of the
     movement, and then digitised by a video camera to provide the game
     visuals. This method is not in fact as uncommon as you probably
     might at first think. Many games (Doom is an example) and even some
     movies have used moulded figures, instead of the extensive and
     time-consuming method of drawing each individual frame. While this
     allows potentially a greater amount of animation, in Clay Fighter
     it has been used to provide a pretty average number of frames. The
     animation is only about the same standard of SF2, and from what I
     can tell, even less than Mortal Kombat. While it is good compared
     to many SNES games, Clay Fighter could have been a lot more
     visually appealing -- maybe this is due to the 16mbit restriction
     that seems to plague many games now days?

     The start of Clay-Fighter is certainly not what you'd expect from a
     SNES game. After the Interplay logo flashes across the screen, up
     starts the drum-beat and the sampled singing of "Clay
     Fighter...Clay, Clay Fighter". While some people may like that sort
     of thing, to me it wasn't really impressive (hey, I like hard
     rock/metal, what do you expect? :) ), and a bit too 'Americanised'
     for my liking. A try at CD-style soundtrack, but on seeing Clay
     Fighter I've soon decided that developers should wait for 32 bit
     bit systems that include a _real_ CD-player. While the start may be
     impressive to some, there is not too much more in the way of
     background music during the game, which is disappointing. This
     could have been because of a lack of space, or that they just
     couldn't be bothered.
        In the sound effect department, Clay Fighter is definitely
     impressive. Squelching clay, and digitised speech accompany each of
     the game characters to good effect. The quality of the digitised
     samples is probably the best heard on the SNES, especially the
     "XXXX wins the battle!" after each round. The lack of background
     music is improved greatly by the sampled sounds, and Clay Fighter
     just wouldn't be the same without them.

     Overall, Clay Fighter is let down by a number of factors - the
     presentation is generally good, but not excellent. The characters
     are varied and fun to play, however many are badly matched. Most
     fighting games try to provide a good balance of characters to keep
     the player interested, but Clay Fighter has not attempted it too
     successfully. Once you have chosen a character to play, you tend to
     stick to it (the operative word is *it* in Clay Fighter), as
     changing characters means having to learn completely new button
        While some may find the humour of Clay Fighter long lasting, to
     me it soon wore off. After a day or so of play, the strange
     characters and moves, while at first different, begin to even get a
     bit frustrating. While Clay Fighter is fun as a just a game, those
     who want a serious fighting game will probably find that CF is not
     really up to it.

     Note: Clay Fighter is also undergoing a conversion to 3DO, which
     will include a number of enhancements over the SNES version. The
     potential is there for a good 3DO title.

     Final analysis

     Sound effects      |**************************************          95%
     Music              |*******************************                 78%
     Sprites            |*************************************           92%
     Backgrounds        |********************************                80%
     Playability        |************************************            90%
     IQ factor          |******************                              45%
     Fun factor         |************************************            90%
     Overall graphics   |************************************            90%
     OVERALL            |**********************************              85%
	   Percentage % 0  10  20  30  40  50  60  70  80  90  100

     Extra Comments
     SOUND FX    : Excellent and funny speech
     MUSIC       : Not really enough music, slightly lame
     SPRITES     : Nice and animated. Very cartoon looking!
     BACKGROUNDS : Colourful and cartoony background
     PLAYABILITY : Bit difficult to pull off some moves
     IQ. FACTOR  : A bit of strategy required
     FUN FACTOR  : Extreme! for a while at least
     OVERALL GFX : Again, the overall effect is of a cartoon
     OVERALL     : Good, but not enough to be a beat 'em up competitor

     IMPRESSIONS : Quite comical at first, and the game will definitely
     have you grinning. Especially fun with two players.

     CONVERSION : n/a

     INTEREST FACTOR : 60% - after the initial interest has worn off,
     the fighting aspect isn't really that good

     DIFFICULTY : Easy on medium, but a fair challenge on the hardest
     level. About two days-week to finish the game on difficult.

     WOULD I BUY THE GAME : Probably not. While it is fun to
     hire/borrow, it doesn't really offer enough for the beat 'em up

     OVERALL : The first time you play the game everything is very
     enjoyable. After the first few games, and after you have pulled off
     most of the character's moves, there isn't really enough of a
     fighting engine to keep you playing for that long.

     |=| By Robert Morrison (robertm@cardinal.ncsc.org)

     TYPE ................ Versus Fighting
     FORMAT .............. PC Engine Super CD
     RELEASE ............. December 19, 1993 (Japan [no US release planned])
     PRICE ............... 7800 Yen ($70)
     SIZE ................ N/A (CDROM)

     LEVELS .............. 3 Modes, varying levels (see below)
     DIFFICULTY .......... Variable
     PLAYERS ............. One/Two
     EXTRA INFO .......... Has Arcade Card support

     Street Fighter mania has taken the world by storm. Many fighting
     games have appeared in the gaming industry. You have Street Fighter
     II (and all editions thereof) Fatal Fury I/II, Art of Fighting,
     World of Heroes, and even japanese animation (anime) inspired games
     such as Ranma 1/2 and Dragonball Z. But now an innovative new game
     has recently popped up in Japan for PC Engine and Anime fans. This
     game combines the aspects of cinematic intermission with punch-'em
     up, duke-it-out fighting. Flash Hiders has arrived.

     Flash Hiders is a fighting game with a story line to it. A
     traveling fighter, Bang Bipot, and his bodyguard, Tiria Rozette are
     going around to various places to fight for the battle tycoon
     championship. Along the way they meet various bands of fighters who
     join them. A story about a tyrant's wish to take over the planet
     gradually unfolds. This tyrant is Moonrise, and he has come from
     another planet. Another from this planet, Erue, has come to stop

     There are three modes in this game, scenario, advance, and versus.
     With advance and scenario modes, you can pick a difficulty rating
     of easy, normal, hard, metal, truth, or DEATH! Scenario is the mode
     in which you follow a story line as you battle your way through
     many places. The game is filled with animated cinematic
     intermissions. It is as if you are watching japanese animation.
     After a few minutes of intermission, you are challenged by an
     opponent. When you defeat that opponent, you see some more of the
     story as well as going to a new place, and meeting a new opponent.
     Some of your opponents will join you, but some are double-

     Next there is advance mode. This is simply fighting your way through
     many opponents, w/o the story. There are 9 opponents, as well as 2
     final boss opponents. Each character levels up at a different rate,
     and has different ratings for offense, defense, and speed. You pick
     who you want to fight, but the way that your offense, defense, and
     speed levels up, depends on who you fight. At the beginning of each
     match you offered the opportunity to distribute 20 points anyway
     you wish to increase offense, defense, or speed. You must also pay
     attention to your opponents levels. You can get stuck fighting a
     level 10 opponent while you are at level 5 if you leave them
     unchallenged for a long time. In addition you gain money as you
     progress. You can visit a shop and purchase items to increase your
     offense, defense, and speed. You have the opportunity to save your
     progress, as it does take a while to fight everyone, and you can
     get password codes that represent your characters level of power.

     Finally there is versus mode. You can challenge the computer or you
     get the chance to fight a human challenger. It is the typical
     versus mode that one would find in Street Fighter. You choose a
     player, adjust your levels of offense, defense, speed, then you
     fight. One interesting feature though is that you can take a
     password from a character that you use in advance mode and use
     him/her in versus mode.

     The game has very good graphics. Remember, PC Engine is an 8-bit
     graphics machine. But you wouldn't know that by playing this game.
     Characters animation during the battle scenes are very good. The
     back- grounds are also animated and quite detailed. The graphics
     aren't jerky or flickery and the characters respond to all controls
     very well. PC Engine has a 2-button controller and 6-button
     controller available for it, and Flash Hiders makes use of both.
     What,impossible to play this game with 2 buttons, you say? It is
     very surprising, but one can do about 10 moves with just 2 buttons.
     They are very easy to pull off as well. Each characters has an
     anime-type like to him/her. Typical green/ blue/purple haired, big
     eyed, cool looking people is what they look like. They aren't very
     serious-looking except for the half-human/half machine characters.
     Because of this, they aren't very bulky-looking characters. They
     don't have that 3D look that other fighting games have.

     Sound quality is excellent. The background music is digitally
     recorded onto the CD and is simply played back when needed. This
     makes for professional sounding music quality. Each character has
     his/her own music. Each music selection reflects that characters
     personality. This personality becomes very distinct as you play the
     game and watch the intermissions. Most of the music is very
     techno-pop sounding. The music is loaded with bass. In order to get
     the full effect you would have to hear it on a good quality stereo.
     But then there is some music that is erie, and elevatorish, but
     this is only to represent some of the big, mysterious characters.
     The music is some of the best that can be heard. If you get bored
     of the game, it always makes a good audio listening-only CD. Just
     pop into your CD player and press play. (But watch out for the data

     The sound effects are amazingly good as well. The sound processor
     in the PC Engine and TG 16 isn't very good, so digitally sampled
     sounds are used, not puny video-game-type, pac-man sound effects.
     Each character has their own vocal sfx accompaniment which doesn't
     sound muffled or hissy. Movement sounds are also pretty good, but
     not the best I have heard.

     This game is very good example of the great game quality that can
     be created the the PC Engine CD architecture. It boasts great
     graphics, animation, voice acting, and music. This game has some
     very humorous intermissions. Of course, the only drawback, is that
     you would have to understand some Japanese in order to understand
     the story line. Unfortunately, it will most likely never be
     available in English, but it is still one of the best and most
     different, fighting games you would ever play. This game is what
     the US and the rest of the world is missing. This is one of the
     games that could have saved the Turbo Grafx 16.

     Final analysis

     Sound effects      |********************************                80%
     Music              |***************************************         97%
     Sprites            |**************************************          95%
     Backgrounds        |************************************            90%
     Playability        |********************************                80%
     IQ factor          |**************                                  35%
     Fun factor         |************************************            90%
     Overall graphics   |**************************************          95%
     OVERALL            |**************************************          95%
	   Percentage % 0  10  20  30  40  50  60  70  80  90  100

     Extra Comments
     SOUND FX    : Characters have nice things to say when they win
     MUSIC       : Bass-thumping techno-pop. #1 on my list
     SPRITES     : Little jagged, but everything is detailed well
     BACKGROUNDS : Animated, and semi-interesting. Look very good
     PLAYABILITY : Easy to pull of moves, good handling
     IQ. FACTOR  : Just have to choose opponents wisely, and remember moves
     FUN FACTOR  : Fun story, and fun to try new moves and techniques
     OVERALL GFX : The excellent intermissions say it all!
     OVERALL     : Excellent. Good GFX, SFX, and music!

     IMPRESSIONS : Blew me away! The game is very likable. You have 9
     characters to master and the music will blow your mind! This is one
     of those games where there is always something fun to do.

     CONVERSION : Nice change of pace from the typical fighting game genre

     INTEREST FACTOR : 75% - You can't have fun beating people up forever.

     DIFFICULTY: It is chooseable, but relatively easy to master the
     moves and therefore progress.

     WOULD I BUY THE GAME: Yes I would, and that is why I did. The first
     time I saw this game I knew I had to have it. (I do choose wisely,
     as I get the funds for them once in a blue moon)

     OVERALL: Excellent package. You can't beat having good GFX and
     music at the same time. Parts of the game are very funny. For
     example, every time Bang is about to start a round, instead of your
     normal bow to your partner, he gives his opponent the middle
     finger! But the music, I just can't get over the wonderful music!
     There is even a song that is actually sung by a band for the

                        ·──── The Cheater's ─────·
			   ██  ██▌██▄▄▄ ██   ██
			   ██  ██▌██▀▀▀ ██   ██
			░▒▓█████▀▐██████▐█   ██▓▒░
FRONTIER hopes to include a variety of different cheats, hints,
solutions, etc for systems and games of all different types. The aim is
to produce new information that has not been published before, though
this of course cannot always be guaranteed. If you have discovered a
secret level, willing to contribute some accurate playing hints, just
finished a game and are willing to produce a solution, or for that
matter anything that will help out gamers, Frontier is after them!

           ░▒▓██████▐████▄▐█████▌█████▄ ██▌███████▐██████▓▒░
               ██   ██  ██▐█▌ ▐█▌██  ██▌██▌██   ██▐██
              ▐██   ████▄▀▐█████▌██  ██▌██▌██   ██▐██  ██
              ▐██   ██  ██▐█▌ ▐█▌█████▀ ██▌██   ██▐██████
IF you have something console related you would like to _privately_
sell, contact me and I will include your add for free in the next and
subsequent issues.

Atari 400 system.  Sell all or part: upgraded console, disk drive, about
15 carts -- all the classics like Pac Man, Centipede, Missile Command --
plus some disks. Inquire for more details to: Eric Balkan, 14704 Seneca
Castle Ct, Gaithersburg MD 20878 USA; ebalkan@ppbbs.clark.net; PP BBS:

Supercom Pro v2 Backup Unit for SNES for sale  -  Includes 1.6MB disk 
drive, 16MBits RAM upgradable to 32, power supply, and com I/O pass-through.
$200 obo  1 yr old.  Contact Pete at 313 386-5214  MI, USA  
email:  bsc@tiamat.umd.umich.ed

THE following places are the first to receive Frontier each month, and
also carry previous issues. If you are after the latest issue of
Frontier, these places are where you will find it:


     Melbourne, Australia
     Sysop: Messiah
     Extra: logon as 'frontier' with pw 'frontier' for just the magazine

     Melbourne, Australia
     Sysop: Matthew Clemants
     Extra: This is still being worked on, issues are distributed here
            Fidonet (3:632/530)

     CUBENet (BBS)
     Munich, Germany
     Sysop: Peter Koehnkow
     Extra Info: 44 lines! One of Europe's biggest BBS
		 Fidonet (2:2480/66)

     X=Link BBS
     Sysop: Melvin Chia
     Extra Info: 24hrs (Sat/Sun/Singapore public holidays)
		 1200-0000 (Mon-Fri : Singapore Time)
		 Fidonet (6:600/638)

     Packet Press BBS
     United States
     Sysop: Eric Balkan (balkane@eon.com)
     Extra Info: None applicable - just call!

     -+-*/ X-TReMe BBS /*-+-
     Steenbergen, The Netherlands
     SYSoPS: The DoCToR & PYGoR (U055231@HNYKUN11.UCI.KUN.NL)
     Extra Info: General support BBS (too much for one line)

     Continental Drift BBS
     Sydney, Australia
     Sysop: Andre Lackmann (Andre_Lackmann@drift.apana.org.au)
     Extra Info: Fidonet (3:714/911)

     ftp.digex.net in /pub/access/spatton/frontier_magazine/
     Admin: contact Scott Patton (spatton@access.digex.net)
     Extra Info: Only the latest issue of Frontier will be available
		 here due to limited archive space.

     FTP (non-official)
     California, United States
     wuarchive.wustl.edu in /pub/msdos_uploads/frontier_magazine/
     Admin: archive@wugate.wustl.edu
     Extra Info: At present only on a temporary basis and is not
                 official (could disappear at any time). I know, its not
                 DOS related, but where else does it go?

     * Frontier is looking for somebody who can set up some sort of
     internet list-server so that Frontier can be sent via email to
     people who don't have FTP access. Contact the editor if you are
     willing to provide this.

     * You too can become a support site and be added to this list. All
     that is required is for you to hold the current and back issues of
     Frontier, and be able to FTP each issue as it is released.

FOR a magazine such as this to prosper, Frontier needs regular
contributions from its readers. From general articles, new releases, to
reviews and opinions, Frontier needs them all. Even small pieces of
information which you feel may not or may not be important, don't
hesitate to send them in. Most likely, if it hasn't been mentioned, we
don't know about it!

If you wish to become a regular reviewer for Frontier, drop me a line
stating the consoles you own, and which game(s) you want to review and
I'll email you the 'Frontier reviewer's guide'. This guide should cover
everything you need to know about writing a review for this magazine, or
for those who have never written a review before and want to.

The following things are specifically needed at present:

     - Gameplay co-ordinator position: To compile a list of cheats,
       hints and solutions for many games on many different platforms.
       You should be an avid game player and be able to discover
       material for yourself - eg: not taken straight from other

     - More reviewers: Although many have asked for and have been sent
       the reviewer's guide, I have heard very little back in the way of
       reviews from those people. Please get those reviews in if you
       intend on having them published!

     - More cheats: A lot of the cheats as you may notice are reprints
       of those that have appeared in other magazines. I am trying to
       stay away from this, so if you have an original cheat or hint
       please send it in.

     * For information on where to send any material or contributions,
       see the following section.

IF you need to contact Frontier for any reason, to ask a question, to
pose a question, to comment on the magazine or industry in general, or
for any other reason, don't hesitate to mail! (as it were).

     * Gordon Craick (chief editor) *

     .._@/` Post: Gordon Craick       For those who do not have access
		  16 Gums Avenue	      to the internet
		  Belgrave, Victoria
		  AUSTRALIA	3160

     Email: pred@zikzak.apana.org.au   For response within a few minutes
						 to a few days!
     FidoNet: Netmail to 3:632/530 (Gordon Craick)

     .:. If I don't receive your mail, try sending it again. If i
         *still* don't receive your message, try posting a 'where are
         you?' post in one of the console newsgroups (which I regularly
         monitor) and I should be able to get back to you. Otherwise,
         don't worry, I'm probably just dead :)

KEEP up the great support everybody! Specific thank you's go to:

     . Robert Morrison - for his excellent PCE Flash Hiders review
     . Since the list has grown rather large now, thanks go out to _all_
       who have offered to be a support site. Keep up your support!
     . Those who posted CES information, you know who you are.
     . Those who have helped out with the Saturn FAQ and continue to.
     . David Mansell - For CD32 related information
     . DiE productions OZ - Distribution, support and more!
     . YOU

     * Unless otherwise indicated, all articles are written by Gordon

     That's about it from the forth issue of Frontier! Look out for
     issue five out in early August...



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