Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
They Said WHAT
Every Next Generation Question Answered
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 24, 2008   |   Episode 19 (Show Archive)  


Not every question posed on the covers requires an answer!
Next Generation magazine was known for a lot of things. In its early days it was known for being one of the most intelligent video game rags, the type of magazine that made you feel smarter for reading it. It was chock full of amazing interviews with industry players, had real facts about the business of the industry and never seemed to let anybody off the hook when it came to mistakes. They were also harsh critics, often giving well regarded games lower-than-normal scores. But while this frustrated some gamers, it was the type of thing that was endearing to all of those people looking for a change from the standard issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly or GamePro.

Looking back at the magazines now I realize that one thing Next Generation should be known for are the leading questions. On practically every cover they had a picture of a game or system, and then they would ask a question that was supposed to make you want to read the full story. Are games going to ruin your life? Will Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft merge to form one super console? Will people stop buying Madden? These are the sorts of questions they would publish on the front of their magazine, trying to hook you into buying it and reading the rest of the issue. Unfortunately Next Generation rarely answered their own questions, so I figured I would do the job for them. Using common sense and my knowledge of the past few years, I was able to answer more than two dozen questions posed on the cover. It's that simple. So watch as I attempt to answer every question asked by a Next Generation cover!

Does PlayStation Live Up to the Hype?
The Short Answer: Yes.
The Slightly Longer Answer: There was a lot of hype leading up to the PlayStation's launch, which may explain why some openly questioned whether it could actually live up to

March 1995
the hype. The truth is, it could and it did. With amazing launch games (Twisted Metal, Destruction Derby, Warhawk, Jumping Flash, Ridge Racer, etc.), it was clear that the PlayStation was set to deliver. Throughout its life it managed to live up to the hype by offering new life for aging franchises, crazy Japanese games you couldn't get anywhere else, and a series of new games that would take the industry by storm. There's no doubt about it, the PlayStation definitely lived up to the hype.

Can 3DO Keep Up?
The Short Answer: No.
The Slightly Longer Answer: Even before the PlayStation and Saturn had been announced, the

July 1995
3DO was dead in the water. Thanks to its high price tag and penchant for educational titles, the 3DO didn't stand a chance in a world dominated by traditional game consoles. It wasn't without a few great games and some solid ideas, but the moment the PlayStation and Saturn were announced it was lights out for the 3DO (no matter which company made it).

Sega Saturn: A Game Machine to Drool Over?
The Short Answer: Only if you've never seen the PlayStation.
The Slightly Longer Answer: Even though I love my Sega Saturn, the truth is that it was constantly being one-upped by Sony and Nintendo. The Saturn certainly had

August 1995
a few games worth drooling over; however the graphics were almost always better on the PlayStation. There was as moment early in 1995 when it was okay to drool, but even that moment was short lived. I can certainly understand drooling, but only if you've never actually seen a PlayStation game in action. And you can forget about drooling now, the time to be excited about the graphics of a Saturn game are long gone.

Madden's Back: Can the 16-bit Classic Repeat in the 32-bit Age?
The Short Answer: Yes ... and some.
The Slightly Longer Answer: Madden got off to a rocky start on the 32-bit consoles. In fact, his very first 32-bit entry (Madden '96) was cancelled. But

October 1995
EA Sports came back bigger and stronger the next year, proving that Madden had some fight left in him. From there Madden would continue to dominate the football arena, until eventually it became the only game in town (literally). These days the Madden games are annual best sellers, a virtual cash making machine for Electronic Arts.

Is Microsoft Planning to Take Over the Game Industry?
The Short Answer: Yes, but not for another six years.
The Slightly Longer Answer: They have a long way to go before they take over the game industry, but Microsoft certainly did plan on creating a console

June 1996
to compete with Sony and Nintendo. Whether or not they were planning on doing that in 1996, the year this question was posed, is another thing entirely. It could be that Microsoft was watching from the sidelines and then got in when they realized they couldn't sit out any longer. Or maybe they just thought they saw an opening. Either way, Microsoft did eventually plan on taking over the games industry.

Are You Connected?
The Short Answer: Yes I am.
The Slightly Longer Answer: If you're reading this then chances are you have some sort of access to the internet, be it through the computer,

July 1996
your game system, cell phone or any number of other ways. It's easy to be connected, there's plenty of free WiFi and just about everybody owns a cell phone these days. Obviously it was a little harder back when this question was posed, but that doesn't change the fact that everybody reading this is connected to the internet in one way or another.

Which Videogame System Is the Best?
The Short Answer: Sony PlayStation 2.
The Slightly Longer Answer: I know it's controversial, but when it comes right down to it I don't see how anybody can say anything other than the PlayStation 2. Sure the NES and Super NES

April 1997
had some great games, but there has never been a catalog of games larger and more diverse than that of the PlayStation 2. Not to mention that you can play every original PlayStation game, which already adds another 50 - 100 must-own games to your library. We can argue all day about what system is the most powerful, but if you're asking me which system is the best to own (if you are only going to own one), then I say the Sony PlayStation 2.

Why Are Old Games So Much Fun?
The Short Answer: Because they are simple and they bring back fond memories of the past.
The Slightly Longer Answer: I could go on for hours about why old school games are so much fun, but I'll make this as easy as possible. Most old school games are very simple, have almost no learning curve and take forever to be mastered. It's the same reason that people still play checkers or Monopoly, the games are easy to learn and never get old. Retro games also remind you of better times, generally when you're a kid experiencing these things for the very first time. It's easy to confuse quality and nostalgia, but there are great old school games that will never be forgotten.



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