GameFan Magazine: Looking Way Back to November 1994

by | Nov 14, 2018 | Retro |

I was going through my collection of magazines when I came across the November 1994 issue of DieHard Gamefan. Coming in at just under 200 pages with a dazzling lime green color, this particular issue was chockful of reviews, articles, and previews of what would be the last great batch of 16-bit games. It also heralded the start of the 32-bit era under Gamefan’s newest segment: The 32-Bit Zone! This particular issue, in my opinion, had one of the greatest games to ever to grace a video game cover: Donkey Kong Country!

Donkey Kong Country blessed GameFan with the greatest video game cover.

Donkey Kong Country proved to players around the world that there was still a little bit of life left in the old Super Nintendo. Players who were throwing down money on early 32-bit systems, like the Jaguar and 3DO, were shaking their heads in disbelief when they realized they could experience next-gen graphics on their aging consoles. The editors at Gamefan were known to be pretty stingy with their reviews, so it’s a bit surprising to see so many games with such lofty scores. This was a testament that developers were becoming more competent in creating quality games during the final phase of the 16-bit era.

You know you’re on to something good when a magazine devotes an entire six pages to it! I was an early adopter of the 32-bit scene, having already purchased a 3DO several months before DKC was released. Admittedly, the only game I had in my 3DO library that had graphics as good as DKC was Madden, and to an extent, Crash ‘n Burn.

Reading about Guardian Wars for the first time had me all giddy inside!

Samurai Shodown and Off World Interceptor for the fledgling 3DO were two of the highly anticipated games previewed. I purchased both games after they were released and were pleasantly pleased with them. Admittedly, between the two, I had more fun with Samurai Shodown. It was a near perfect translation of the arcade version which I use to pump quarters into. Everything, from the zooming to the blood splatters, was close to pixel perfect.

I loved me some role-playing games back in the day, so reading about Guardian Wars for the first time had me all giddy inside!

I eventually purchased a copy but was somewhat disappointed in the clunky interface. The graphics, as you can see were outstanding for that time, but the gameplay felt like it was moving in slow motion. Still, a great RPG to try out if you can find a copy. Gamefan also had a section in their magazine devoted to the gaming scene in Japan, aptly called Japan Now!  The arrival of the PlayStation was a big deal as you can imagine. When I first saw these screenshots of Ridge Racer and Toshinden, I thought it couldn’t get any better. A few hours later, I was in the car heading off to Electronic Boutique (before it became EB Games, then Gamestop) and plucked down my pre-order money of $100.

A nice little interview article with Yu Suzuki of Sega.

But try as I might, I could never get the pimple faced geek at the counter to sell me one a day early, even when they had it in the backroom! The segment even included a nice little interview article with Yu Suzuki of Sega. For those of you not familiar with Suzuki’s influence on the gaming scene, he was to Sega what Miyamoto is to Nintendo.

Tell Us in the comments below!

Does this issue of DieHard GameFan magazine bring back some nostalgia? What were your memorable gaming memories back in 1994?

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