3DO Magazine (Japan), Issue 14, March/April 1996

The penultimate issue of the Japanese 3DO magazine already feels like a farewell. Coverage has shifted towards the M2, the future release schedule is thin, and the magazine is padded out with coverage of games that have already been out for months. It might paint a picture of a platform that has merely slowed down, but in truth, the 3DO was essentially dead in Japan by the end of April. A handful of Western stragglers like Captain Quazar made their way out in the early months of 1996, along with a few final Japanese games, but then that was it. The M2 was never to materialize. D2 would eventually appear, but many years later on the Sega Dreamcast.

Of the final set of Japanese games, a few stand out. Short Warp is WARP’s goodbye to the 3DO, a collection of surreal mini-games that was printed in a limited edition of 10,000 copies. Blue Forest Story – Kaze No Fuuin is a JRPG by Right Stuff, best known for the PC Engine Super CD-ROMĀ² port of Emerald Dragon; it was briefly exclusive to 3DO before being quickly ported to PlayStation a few months later. Oukoku no Grand Chef was one final JRPG that remained exclusive to the 3DO, and it might be one of the most impressive games for the platform despite being virtually unknown. Unlike almost any other JRPG at the time, it features a fully polygonal world (with sprite-based characters) and a behind-the-character view. The engine is quite smooth, and it compares favorably with its Saturn and PlayStation contemporaries. Even the production values are quite high, as it’s fully voiced and has fairly nice pre-rendered CG for the time. It’s a shame this one was never ported to a more popular platform for a second chance.

[full 600dpi scan at Internet Archive]

3DO Magazine, Issue 14, March/April 1996 cover.
More appealing 3DO exclusives like the ambitious JRPG Oukoku no Grand Chef might have helped the 3DO hold on, but it was too little, too late.
Kenji Eno took his WARP team on an expedition to Alaska, a trip that almost certainly influenced the Canadian wilderness setting of the version of D2 that was eventually released for Dreamcast.
The advertisements for the M2 version of D2 are a rare example of advertisements for a game that wasn’t only not released, but was for a platform that wasn’t even released.