1994 Week: The Year Ahead
Good morning, users.
You may have heard in last week's podcast that we at GWJ have discovered a way to tunnel across time and dimension to peak into a prior GWJ — a GWJ BBS, running in 1994. The world mourns the loss of Kurt Cobain, while praising the rise of Jim Carrey via three movies in one year.
It is a dark time.
Join us now, as we peek across existence into a time that is in many ways simpler, lower resolution, and a moment when games were rapidly evolving in a lot of good (and awful) ways.
Let us pray that we can avoid posting FMV cutscenes that would destroy your puny modems.
With just a few days left on the calendar for the year of our Lord, nineteen hundred and ninety four, our BBS will be filled this week with our favorite writers talking a bit about their favorite games of the year. Also, most of you should have the new CD-ROM with the latest show audio file by Wednesday, assuming the Post Office holds up their end of the bargain. This week's episode will have our recap of the entire year of 1994, so jam that thing into your Discman, and let the dulcet tones of myself, Shawn, Julian and Allen fill your ears.
Instead of the normal Week Ahead here -- and your normal weekly opportunity to yell at me for owning a Genesis instead of a SNES -- let’s call this week’s post The Year Ahead. We’re going to spend the week revisiting 1994 on the board as it comes to its quiet end, but before we do, let’s look ahead to a few of the things that might distract us in early 1995 from Orenthal James’ upcoming murder trial.
Top of my list has got to be the impending Dark Forces. With id’s phenomenal Doom 2 in the rearview mirrors and a year filled with the sound of twin-ion engines as I executed my dark deeds in service to the empire as a Tie Fighter pilot, I’m ready to get back in the boots of the good guys and shoot me some Stormtroopers. Since it looks unlikely that George Lucas will ever get back on the horse and make more than the three classic films, the work of LucasArts and Timothy Zahn are all we’re going to get for continuing the saga, but if Dark Forces lives up to the recent Tie Fighter, X-Wing and Rebel Assault, then who needs film?
But the real stars of the spring and early summer are likely to be two new consoles. As the 3D0 and Jaguar still struggle to find their footing, both Sega and the new upstart Sony have launched their new systems in the ever-critical proving ground of Japan. Sony is looking to answer the tempest Sega has spun up with its colossal hit, Virtual Fighter, by releasing its own Battle Arena Toshinden to the eager Japanese audience next week. In the meantime we get to sit here and be jealous. We’ll have to wait a few months to get our hands on them here state-side, and by that time we should have a good understanding of whether the console wars have room for an underdog like Sony.
And, of course, everything will change when Nintendo stirs from its SNES slumber and enters the fray as well, but that may be a year or more away.
One other item to keep an eye out for over the next couple of months is the latest from Square, makers of this year’s Final Fantasy III (which is apparently actually FFVI in Japan?). The game is called Chrono Trigger, and as to be expected, I know nothing about it. I’m mentioning it so you guys won’t yell at me. Please don’t yell at me. How can I be expected to keep up with all the stuff these guys are shoveling out onto that SNES thing you keep going on about?
In the meantime, enjoy our trip down memory lane for this not-half-bad year of 1994 this week.