The Panasonic 3DO and thoughts about collecting CD-based systems

I just invested in another CD based system, namely the Panasonic 3DO. I’ve heard this console being mentioned from time to time, but I haven’t really been looking to get one. A few weeks ago a friend on facebook contacted me and was selling off some of his retro games and among other things there was a Panasonic 3DO. Since it also had a fair amount of games with it I just figured, why not? ^_^ So now I have a collection for Panasonic 3DO as well! I have just finished going through cleaning and scanning everything, I’m hoping I’ll get some time to try it out this evening or perhaps tomorrow.

Panasonic 3DO console

As some of you might know, I’m not too fond of CD-based systems. Especially the awkward beginning of the 3D-era, like Playstation 1 and Sega Saturn. Of course there are A FEW good games that have been made for these systems, but when it comes to the triangular polygons and shitty controls that usually comes with these systems I just don’t find the joy in playing them. I don’t think the Panasonic 3DO will be much different, but I won’t know until I’ve tried! :) In my opinion there were better games back on cartridges. I think it might be because then they had limited space on the cartridge memory to store a game. Which meant they couldn’t make very big games and that made them put a lot of effort into the game design, like how to place enemies, obstacles, platforms to make it more challenging. Castlevania is an excellent example of good game design where they managed to make it really challenging, but still manageable. I’m not saying there weren’t any shitty games on cartridges, of course there were, but so many more good ones. However today, even if the graphics are more realistic and there’s a thousand more features in games, they still add like hundreds of hours of game play which is just the same thing over and over again just to level up a bit more or get better gear so you can advance. Destiny or newer Final Fantasy games are typical examples of where they fill out the game with repetitive grinding, and I don’t think that makes for a better game. I would much rather be able to finish a game in an hour, but it will take me 10 hours of practice before I manage to beat it, it’s much more rewarding than having run around doing the same thing for 50 hours to get a better gun.. And when it comes to early CD games, it feels like they were more focused on exploring new 3D graphics than actually making a FUN and PLAYABLE game…

Another reason that I’m opposed to collecting CD-games is the durability. I’m not sure how well these old games that are 20-30 years old will hold up in say 20 years. Will they still work? I have less faith in CD-based systems. They are prone to break more often, lasers and other parts are sensitive and CDs might stop working eventually. Will there still be spare parts available to fix these old systems in the future? I believe more in cartridges, but even they might have a limited life-time. If you look at the Atari games that was dug up in Mexico though, and still works (!), it sure speaks for the durability of cartridges compared to CDs. I don’t think a CD could have been salvaged from there.. I sure hope all my games work until my grandkids are around though so they get to try them out! ;D It would be a shame if all they had to play was VR!

Anyway, back to the Panasonic 3DO. I’m apparently still willing to explore CD-based systems that I haven’t played before, but I think that’s mainly because of my curiosity. I got 12 games with the system, they can be seen here below. I’m completely new to this system, so if anyone has any suggestions of other games that I should look for, that are not shitty, then any suggestion is welcome ;D

It sure is a clunky looking console XD What are your thought about the Panasonic 3DO? Does anyone else have any experiences of this system?

Panasonic 3DO front

17 thoughts on “The Panasonic 3DO and thoughts about collecting CD-based systems

  1. To be honest I think games as a whole have never been better than these days. I grew up with the Sega Mega Drive and every generation had wonderful games but the level of quality in general has never been as high as today and they are incredibly diverse as well. Back in the 8- & 16-Bit days many genres didn’t even exist and many games felt the same when it comes to gameplay. But to some extent this is always a question of personal preference and taste of course.

    Regarding the durability I’m not sure what is “better”. Cartridges are much more complex and that might become a problem further down the road. It is an issue that bothers me as a collector and a gamer. We might not just lose a part of our personal collection but some games might become lost entirely at some point if we and the industry don’t establish proper ways of preserving this cultural heritage.

    • Of course more time is spent on making games today and the technology makes it possible to do some pretty astounding things. But there’s still a lot of crap getting released ;D Just look at the insane amount of braindead mobile games o_O
      Yes it’s a lot about personal preference, and I really love my platform adventures, my 2D puzzle games and shoot’em ups ^_^

      Yeah, I sure hope everything is being preserved somehow for the future. On my blog I try to register as much as I can. I can’t actually supply the games for playing, but I try to scan all my games and boxes, and I upload game play videos that might help some obscure games stay alive a little bit longer :)
      There’s probably already a bunch of games that have gotten lost in history though..

  2. Welcome to the 3DO club! It’s an underrated console for a few reasons, but it was also ahead of its time on a few fronts. Here’s a look and my collection (aside from about a dozen or so titles I picked up after the pics were taken):

    http://fanboydestroy.com/2011/12/01/gallery-3do-library/

    Here’s a complete list of games: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_3DO_Interactive_Multiplayer_games

    Hmmm. Why does your console have a M2 sticker on it? I’m asking because of this:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panasonic_M2

    Now, you most likely don’t have a dev kit there because the M2 ones looked different. But who knows, as that upgrade was in the works for a while. Check the back of your console for some sort of switch or take a photo of the back and side panels and post them. It may be a dev or debug console of some sort, which would be cool.

    Of the titles you have there, some are pretty good (but you’ll NEED to love early 90’s polygon visuals and FMV cut scenes), there are a few clunkers, but no really awful titles in that lot (in my opinion).

    The Wing Commander games are 3D space shooters, but those may be in Japanese unless they’re just subtitled. WC3 was probably the “best” game in the series (there’s a 4th one, but it’s not quite as fun as the third). It’s got a big cast (Mark Hammill, Malcolm McDowell, John Rhys-Davies, etc.) and a load of money was spent on the FMV and overall look of the game.

    Wolfenstein is the same as the PC version for the most part. It’s definitely far better than the censored SNES game.

    When it was released, the 3DO version of FIFA was the best console soccer game at that point in time. Not sure if it’s held up over time, though.

    Total Eclipse was a launch game and pretty impressive back then, It’s a 3D space shooter that’s fun for a bit, but those tunnel sections are a pain!

    Scramble Cobra is a simpler arcade-like shooter that’s not terrible… but it’s kind of fun. It’s all in English, so it’ll be easy to hop into.

    Blade Force was a late 3DO game and is a like it or hate it 3D open world fly and shoot game. It’s notable for giving some players motion sickness, but your mileage may vary, lol.

    Tetsujin is quite a lousy 1st person mech shooter. But if you manage to get past the chugginess and stupid looking enemies, it’s still a bad game. It got a sequel, though, so it must have sold well (or Panasonic was dying for titles, lol).

    Alone in the Dark 2 is follow up to a game that influenced Resident Evil, but isn’t as scary. Well, it’s clunkier and you’ll die a lot. I thought the first game was better, but you can probably track down an English copy cheap on eBay or elsewhere.

    Mega Race is a so-so PC racer port. It’s kind of simplistic but tricky to play the later tracks.

    Princess Maker 2 will be unintelligible because it’s a simulation/RPG in Japanese. Basically, you raise a young girl and hope she becomes a relatively good person instead of a barmaid or lady of the evening (eek!).

    Puzzle Bobble is of course, Puzzle Bobble. Fun stuff, as are some of the other 3DO puzzle titles.

    I’d suggest buying US versions of the games you want as most of the imports are going to be entirely in Japanese. The 3DO is universal for the most part (US models are missing the kanji buffer RAM and can’t play a handful of imports like Twinkle Knights, a crappy fighting game and I think Blue Forest Story, a JRPG).

    Drop me a note or feel free to ask about games in my library. Some are decent, a few are terrible and there are a handful of excellent ones that still hold up in my opinion. :D

    • Thank you so much geelw for the information!! :D I will keep an eye out for these games ^_^
      You have a really nice collection of 3DO games! Are you still buying games for it when you find them? Or are you content with the ones you have?
      The M2 sticker is because it’s an obscure version. I didn’t know it when I bought it, but I later asked the seller about it. He told me it was a newer version that was in the making, but with the same shell as the old one, it’s completely backwards compatible and therefore works as the regular 3DO, but the insides are apparently an upgraded one. I don’t know much about the system so far.. but it’s pretty cool to have a “special” one ^__^ My console is from Japan btw.
      I’ll definitely get back to you if I have any further questions about the system, you seem to be the expert ;D

      • O_o… Well, wow. I won’t ask what you paid, but I’d say (understatement) that’s a rather cool 3DO model you have. And oh, my collection is minuscule compared to this guy’s (beware, it’s such a beautiful gallery and it’s almost EVERYTHING):

        http://atariage.com/forums/topic/188483-bitrate-3do-and-m2-collection-11-years-worth-many-pics/

        I had to pick my jaw up from under the cough after clicking that link. I think you may find out more about that system you have there or over on Assemblergames:

        http://assemblergames.com/l/

      • Approximately $230 for the system with all those games.
        OMFG! That was INSANE! Hahaha ^_^ I’m not interested in having those types of collection though, I don’t care for mint condition or having every edition released of the same game. I just want a copy that I can play, preferably boxed to it’s easy to find and looks nice in the shelf XD My collection is there to be played ^_^

      • Yeah, that gallery IS overkill (my eyes still burn from seeing all those games!), but it’s a nice reference point if you ever stumble across a game in one of those many pics and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to buy. I think he was selling some stuff off, as the posts past the first page having some collectors asking about buying certain consoles and such and a few PM’s being sent.

  3. How did the game discs turn out? Many issues with wear and scratches? I think sometimes it is the cases for the games that turn out to their worst enemies – I’ve had some delivered where the inside of the case has broken enough to loosen the disc and scratch it.

  4. I don’t play my 3DO (FZ-10) much these days but I had a lot of good times with it back in the day before I got my Playstation one . Road Rash, Star Fighter, Samurai Showdown, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Psychic Detective and Need for Speed (PS1 version plays much faster and has more added though) were my favorites. They also have some demo discs out there like The 3DO buffet and the 3DO Sampler series.

      • It’s a cheesy mystery full motion video game. You use your powers to view the story from different peoples perspectives. So the story branches out differently depending on your choices. It’s 3 discs, so there is some disc swapping to do. I was never good at the board game at the end, but I still enjoyed it back in the day.

  5. Heh, I officially defer my dented crown to that collector on AtariAge, lol. I still buy 3DO stuff, but not as much as I used to. Space limitations and cost are the usual suspects, but I definitely love seeing new 3DO users pop up and discover the console and its interesting library of games.

  6. Another World/Out of this World! Up until the anniversary release of the game, the 3DO version was the absolute best IMO. I bought my 3DO about 15 years ago just so I could play that version of the game. Although now, with the anniversary releases on other platforms you don’t really need this version to enjoy the lush re-drawn backgrounds. Enjoy your new gear!

    • Yeah I have it on Sega Mega Drive and have played it through again on Xbox One ^_^ Great game! I might see if I can find the 3DO version as well, just to see what the graphics will look like ^_^

  7. I wanted a 3do bad seeing it in gamepro magazine when I was younger but was never able to get my parents on board with the price tag. Ive yet to see one in he wild, well unless im confusing them with vcrs because thats what they sure look like lol.

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