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PC Gamer Issue 31

ISSUE: 31Content

Cover Story:

  • Giant Holiday Spectacular: 40 pages of reviews, suggestions, and guidelines for all your holiday software and hardware buying needs.

Departments:

  • Eyewitness (News, Previews, Behind-the-Scenes Reports): Trouble at Trilobyte?, Meier Signs with Origin, RenderWare's getting into games, Papyrus lost a bunch of employees, ATI's sold a million 3D Rage cards, Broderbund's come back to game development, 3DO's focusing on online games, Total Entertainment Network is out of beta, Sierra and Microsoft are launching their own online gaming services, LucasArts is bundling Star Wars games for LucasArts Archives Volume II, a ton of authorized and unauthorized expansion packs for Duke Nukem 3D, stereoscopic VR gear is in, a brain-powered controller, Sierra's got a 3D accelerator card on the way, Beavis and Butthead star in three new mini-game bundles, and tons more tidbits!
  • Extended Play: T. Liam McDonald thinks U.S. Navy Fighters '97 should be called USNF '72, since a bulk of the missions were pulled from the Vietnam War.
  • The Learning Game: Heidi E.H. Aycock explores some new virtual electronic kits.
  • Multi-Play: Jason Bates is ready for deathmatch games to become more than just frag-fests.
  • Alternate Lives: Michael Wolf knows gamers have a multitude of opinions when it comes to adventure titles.
  • The Desktop General: Gregarious grognard William R. Trotter explains what it took to pull off a Confederate victory in the battle of Chancellorsville in Robert E. Lee: Civil War General.
  • Sim Column: After splurging on a top-of-the-line PC, how do you squeeze more power out of your flight sims? Scott Wolf knows: spend more money.
  • Tim's Tech Shop: OK, you've got your new computer. Now let's optimize it even further, with some help from Tim Victor.
  • Letters: You wrote 'em, we read 'em.
  • The 1996 PC Gamer Reviews Index: Every game the magazine reviewed in 1996, with the final score, capsule summary, and the issue where it was reviewed, all broken down in alphabetical order, from The 11th Guest to ZuluWar!
  • Next Time...: Coming next issue, we have The Ultimate Strategy Guide II, a ton of sports game reviews, what 1997 holds in store for PC gamers, and more!

The CD:

  • Get your game on with a slew of patches, software for AOL, Mpath Mplayer, and TEN online services, new levels for Doom IIDark ForcesDuke Nukem 3DQuake, and WarCraft II, then lock in with demo versions of:
    • Star Control 3
    • NBA Full Court Press
    • Madden NFL 97
    • NASCAR Racing 2
    • Trophy Bass 2
    • NFL Quarterback Club '97
    • Star General
    • Battleground: Waterloo
    • Gene Wars
    • Hunter/Hunted
    • Westworld 2000
    • Spider-Man: Sinister Six
    • MonkeyRoids

Peripheral Visions (hardware news and reviews):

  • Audio Excitement: PC Gamer rates a whole slew of soundcards, including:
    • Creative Labs Sound Blaster 16 Value PnP
    • Creative Labs Sound Blaster AWE32 Plug and Play (Editors' Choice)
    • Advanced Gravis Ultrasound Ace
    • Advanced Gravis Ultrasound Plug and Play Pro
    • Ensoniq Soundscape VIVO 90
    • Core Dynamics DynaSonix Pro
    • Yamaha Sound Card SW60XG (Editors' Choice)

Scoop (aka Previews):

  • Star Trek: Starfleet Academy
  • X-Car: Experimental Racing (released as XCar: Experimental Racing)
  • MDK
  • SimCopter

Reviews:

  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert (91%; Editors' Choice)
  • The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall (90%; Editors' Choice)
  • F-22 Lightning II (78%)
  • Monster Truck Madness (85%)
  • MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries (95%; Editors' Choice)
  • MegaRace 2 (65%)
  • Striker 96 (40%)
  • The Neverhood Chronicles (40%)
  • Star Control 3 (90%; Editors' Choice)
  • Devo Presents Adventures of the Star Patrol (57%)
  • Sonic CD (65%)
  • Hellbender (66%)
  • Hind (90%; Editors' Choice)
  • Harvester (82%)
  • Gender Wars (78%)
  • Case of the Rose Tattoo (80%)
  • Gene Wars (61%)
  • Caddy Hack (29%)
  • Lighthouse (82%)
  • Connections (59%)
  • Total Control Football (82%)
  • NHL 97 (93%; Editors' Choice)
  • Robert E. Lee: Civil War General (84%)
  • Deadlock (88%)
  • NCAA Championship Basketball (65%)
  • Road Rash (79%)

Strategy Central:

  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert strategy guide
  • Z strategy guide, part 2
  • Space Hulk: Vengeance of the Blood Angels strategy guide
  • Lighthouse walkthrough
  • Crusader: No Regret strategy guide and cheat codes
  • Cheater's Corner:
    • Heroes of Might and Magic
    • Xenophage
    • Ascendancy
  • Tony LaRussa Baseball 3 easter eggs
  • Readers' Requests:
    • Hexen
    • Old Adventure Games
    • Settlers 2
    • NHL '96
    • Conquest of the New World
    • Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat

Ads (in order of appearance):

  • Crusader: No Regret
  • Deadlock
  • Duke Nukem 3D: Plutonium Pak
  • Shattered Steel
  • Golden Nugget
  • Power Chess
  • Diamond Monster 3D video card
  • Gubble
  • Battleship
  • Risk
  • Epic Megagames multi-game ad
  • Monster Truck Madness
  • Leisure Suit Larry: Love For Sail
  • Diamond Multimedia Stealth 3D 2000 video card
  • The Neverhood
  • World Circuit Racing Grand Prix II
  • Birthright
  • Banzai Bug!
  • GT Interactive games multi-game ad and Game Therapy sweepstakes
  • Compaq PCs
  • Deadly Tide
  • Matrox Mystique 3D video card
  • Command & Conquer Gold
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator for Windows 95 + Expansion Pack
  • Star General
  • Madden 97
  • EA Sports games: NBA Live 97 / FIFA 97 / NHL 97 / Triple Play 97 / PGA Tour 96
  • Bad Mojo
  • Virtua Fighter PC
  • NBA Jam Extreme
  • MDK
  • Microsoft SideWinder game pad
  • TEN: Total Entertainment Network special advertising section
  • Assassin 2015
  • ATI 3D Xpression+ PC2TV video card
  • Amber: Journeys Beyond
  • Novalogic games: F-22 Lightning II / Comanche 3 / Armored Fist 2: M1A1-Abrams
  • Descent to Undermountain
  • The Divide: Enemies Within
  • Hellbender
  • Conquest of the New World Deluxe Edition
  • Activision "Buy 2 and Get 2 Free" promotion
  • NEC gaming PCs
  • I.M. Meen / Chill Manor
  • Toonstruck
  • Stereographics SimulEyes 3D glasses
  • GameWizards Interactive Game Guide: Duke Nukem 3D
  • Mindscape games: Azrael's Tear / Chessmaster 5000 / Megarace 2 / Necrodome
  • Mindscape "Nothing To Do!" sweepstakes
  • Orchid Righteous 3D graphics card
  • M.A.X.: Mechanized Asssault & Exploration
  • SkyNet
  • Gex
  • Norton System Commander
  • Z
  • Greg Norman Ultimate Challenge Golf
  • NBA Full Court Press
  • Sierra games: RAMA / Leisure Suit Larry: Love For Sail / Phantasmagoria II: A Puzzle of Flesh / Front Page Sports: Football Pro '97 / Front Page Sports: Trophy Bass 2 / Front Page Sports: Golf / NASCAR Racing 2 / Lords of the Realm II / Cybergladiators / Hunter/Hunted / Betrayal in Antara / Birthright / Power Chess / The Time Warp of Dr. Brain / Sierra's School House/Eager to Learn / Sierrahome / 3D Ultra Pinball: Creep Night / Hoyle Casino
  • Screamer 2
  • War Wind
  • Sim Golf
  • ZPC
  • Ravage D.C.X.
  • PowerSlave
  • Scorcher
  • Destruction Derby 2
  • Krazy Ivan
  • Emergency Room
  • Timelapse
  • NCAA Championship Basketball
  • Titanic: A Graphical Adventure
  • Circle of Blood
  • The Arena online gaming network
  • Baldies
  • Privateer 2: The Darkening
  • Pro Pinball
  • Tomb Raider
  • Test Drive Off-Road
  • Links LS
  • Obsidian
  • Intergraph Reactor 3D graphics card
  • XS
  • Drowned God: Conspiracy of the Ages
  • Diablo
  • Hayes ACCURA DSVD Modem
  • Death Drome
  • Interplay Win95 blowout rebate
  • Lands of Lore: Guardians of Destiny
  • MPlayer gaming network
  • Dark Reign: The Future of War
  • Alien Trilogy
  • You Don't Know Jack, Volume 2
  • Daytona USA
  • NASCAR Racing 2
  • Pie Jackers
  • Descent II: The Infinite Abyss
  • Agile Warrior: F111X
  • Civilization II / Civilization II: Scenarios expansion pack
  • Magic the Gathering Battlemage
  • Pinball Builder
  • Iron & Blood: Warriors of Ravenloft
  • ABC Monday Night Football
  • CH Products Force FX joystick
  • Rocket Jockey
  • Microsoft SideWinder 3D Pro joystick
  • Interactive Magic games: iM1A2 Abrams / HIND / Air Warrior II / American Civil War / Harpoon 97 / Destiny
  • Killing Time
  • Altec Lansing ACS55 Dolby Multimedia Surround Sound Speaker System
  • Winner 3D Audio Stick joystick
  • Warhammer: The Game of Fantasy Battles
  • Columbia House CD-ROM club
  • Gravis GRIP Game System
  • SimCity 2000: Network Edition
  • Qin: Tomb of the Middle Kingdom
  • S-MOS Systems PIX graphics card
  • Triple Play 97
  • Meridian 59
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert
  • UnitedCDROM.com
  • The Sacred Mirror of Kofun
  • Scorched Planet
  • Marathon 2: Durandal
  • Bedlam
  • ABC Sports College Football
  • Jetfighter III
  • Tom Clancy's SSN
  • Power Chess
  • Surf and Destroy
  • Computer Express online superstore
  • F/A-18 Hornet
  • Spacetex SpaceOrb 360 controller
  • Chips & Bits, Inc.
  • Front Page Sports: Football Pro '97
  • Area 51
  • Slam Scape
  • Tempest 2000
  • Smart Games
  • Neo Hunter
  • SimCopter
  • PC Gamer customer service
  • Surface Tension
  • NuVision 3-D SPEX glasses
  • Win the Ultimate Gaming Rig contest
  • SoulTrap
  • Virtua Squad
  • Rex Blade
  • Master of Orion II: Battle At Antares
  • Hunter/Hunted
  • Huygen's Disclosure
  • QuickShot MasterPilot Console controller
  • PC Gamer Toonstruck contest
  • Age of Sail
  • The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall
  • Verbal Commander speech recognition microphone
  • CyberSpace Computers store
  • B&G 3-D Personal Arcade
  • Software Outlet wholesaler
  • Computer College Football
  • AKS speakers
  • CD-ROM Access store
  • ACtSoft store
  • CDROMShop.com
  • Star Quest I
  • Boot magazine
  • Action Software
  • Stargate Software
  • Club Chacaltaya adult chat
  • ACTSoft adult software
  • MultiMedia World adult CD-ROMs
  • Eradicator
  • Creative Labs PC hardware

Interesting Stuff:

  • Listing every piece of software and hardware reviewed in the "Holiday Blow Out" section would have made this index the size of the magazine itself. If it came out in 1996 and was any good at all, it was mentioned in this issue.
  • The GT Interactive games and sweepstakes ad takes up 10 pages, which could not have been cheap.
  • Of course, compared to the 15 pages that EA bought to hawk their six new titles, it was probably chump change.
  • And then there's the 16-page Total Entertainment Network special advertising section, making EA look like penny-pinchers...
  • And the 15 pages worth of ad space Activision bought up for their "Buy 2, Get 2" promotion.
  • And Sierra's 12-page "Buy 2, Get a 3rd Free" ad.
  • No wonder this issue clocks in at 444 pages, with all these companies buying up such huge chunks of real estate.
  • Pie Jackers is a pizza delivery-themed racing game featuring the voice talents of Cheech Marin and Cyndi Lauper. Yes, this really got made.
  • Reviewer Colin Williamson refers to Microsoft's Hellbender as "even more Terminal Veolcity-style shoot-em-up action, from the people who brought you Minesweeper." :D
  • Despite being reviled as a terrible piece of software, Harvester scored a solidly upper-class review from Scott Wolf.
  • The reviewers gave Quake a score of 90% and the Editors' Choice badge, and people still wrote in to gripe about the "negative" review it received. Good lord. Can you say "cultists"?
  • The review index is a phenomenal resource for game historians looking to see what was said about specific titles without having to comb through every single issue produced that year.


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Cover


Information

    Title: PC Gamer Issue 31
    Month: December
    Year: 1996
    Publisher: Future US
    Editor: Gary Whitta
    Pages: 444
    Price: $7.99 US / $8.99 CAN
    Country: United States
    Language: English
    Votes: 3

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