Friday, October 22, 2010

32X and three more for the collection

Three more games that I used to own arrived to take their place in my slowly rebuilding collection - Doom, Virtua Racing Deluxe and Star Wars Arcade all for the Sega 32X. I thought I would start this series of posts with a quick review of my 32X experience.

I first became aware of the 32X while watching a promotional video on the Channel 4 show Gamesmaster. I thought it was going to be the coolest thing ever. It would make my Mega Drive twice as powerful, blowing the SNES out of the water and I would be playing arcade perfect ports of all the best games. Of course most people reading this article will know that this isn't how it would turn out for owners of the 32X.

I was promised that I would be getting the 32X that Christmas so in preparation I purchased Doom a week or two before Christmas. I remember my Dad driving me into town to the Virgin Megastore on the quays. I think I am right in saying that there was only three launch titles to choose from. So I had the game now but nothing to play it on. The wait till Christmas was a little longer than usual that year. So Christmas morning finally arrives and I unwrap my new toy. I quickly read through the instructions and started putting this strange mushroom shaped contraption together. If you look back at it now it really was a pretty messy piece of hardware, with several bits and pieces to assemble to get it to work. I eventually hooked it all up, powered it up and then, nothing.

Nothing happened. There seemed to be power going into the unit but no picture on the TV. We had to go out visiting family as usual that morning but I took everything with me to try again to get it to work. I reassembled it all again in my nana's house and it still didn't work. I don't remember what my reaction was to all this but I'm sure I wasn't too pleased. My dad actually figured it out in the end. One of the wires at the back of the 32X wasn't pushed in hard enough, I mean this wire had to be REALLY pushed in to connect. So it was working now and I was happy, and thankfully really impressed by Doom.

One side effect of I had of playing normal Mega Drive games through the 32X was that it would turn NHL 93 monochrome. I'm not sure how long that Doom was my only game but I eventually ended up adding Star Wars Arcade and Virtua Racing Deluxe to the collection. And that was it, just three games ever for the system. I read about some great looking games in magazines like Sonic and Knuckles Chaotix and the port of Mortal Kombat 2. I don't know why I never got anymore games for the 32X. Where they too expensive? Could I not find them? I think the most likely reason is that it was 1995 by this point and the PSone was on the market. It was an interesting experiment but there was just too many flaws with the system for it to succeed in the end.

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