Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Posts Tagged ‘dos

Review: Sherlock Homes Consulting Detective (Sega CD)

leave a comment »

Console: Sega-CD/Mega-CD
Released: 1992
Developer: ICOM Simulations
Publisher: Sega (Sega/Mega-CD)
Instruction Manual: Not necessary
Difficulty: Moderate
Played it as a child? Yes
Value: $5.99 (used) $11.99 (new) ( – Price for Sega CD version only
Price: $5.00-$10.00 (used) N/A on US Version (new) on eBay
Other Releases: FM Towns (original release, Japan only), DOS/MAC, Commodore CDTV, Turbografx-16 CD
Digital Release? Yes – an updated version with better video quality released on PC, Mac OS X, and iPad in late Sept. 2012

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is a bit of an anomaly in the realm of video games.  Much like Myst, the game premiered on CD-based consoles and computers to show off the benefits of the new technology, but was much less of a game than it was an interactive form of media.  A basic interface allowed the player to navigate various options and view content (mostly video) in order to solve one of the popular cases that originally appeared in the novel by the same name.  To show off all of the fancy marvels of a multimedia CD-ROM title there was complete focus on showing off content rather than optimizing any aspect of the game for quick playing, resulting in a few simple actions taking ridiculous amounts of time to accomplish.  I was recording gameplay videos for this article last night and it took more than 30 mins just to capture the “tutorial” that includes many icons, each with its own slow loading audio (no subtitles) background, and a video from Sherlock Holmes himself.  It was so slow-paced and boring to capture, I made the executive decision that it would be even more boring to watch and scrapped the video.  Don’t let this discourage you, especially with the re-releases likely having no load times, Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is a thought-provoking hybrid between the adventure genre and the full motion video (FMV) game.

Read the rest of this entry »

Day 12

leave a comment »

On the twelfth day of Christmas my memories gave to me…

A Twelve Floppy Disk Game!

In 1994 my father decided that it was high time to replace that old Commodore 64 (which wasn’t even considered a PC anymore) with a brand new Pentium 90 mhz PC.  I remember coming downstairs on Christmas morning and there it was, a beautiful boxy white machine with a VGA monitor, printer, and took up all the space our wide oak desk could spare.  CD-ROM was brand new and this bad boy came equipped with it and a few initial CDs, including Myst and an Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia.  At that time, however, not every game came in the CD version and many PC gamers were selling off their floppy disc versions of games to upgrade.  It was at this time that I became enamoured with PC gaming and began stopping by the used PC game shop near my part-time job and blowing my money on classics.

Aside from the first-person shooters that my mother hated, think Doom and Duke Nukem 3D, I was very interested in any game that had a fantasy setting.  While console games at the time had plenty of variety, true Dungeons & Dragons-style games seemed more fun to me in a point-and-click world.  I first got my hands on Warcraft, which was fun online and all, but real-time strategy (RTS) games just weren’t my style.  Then one of my friends introduced me to a little game called King’s Quest, one of the longest running Sierra point-and-click adventure games.  It looked so cool and seemed to add a depth I had never seen before.  I dropped by the used computer store and the newest game, King’s Quest VII, was available on CD for $40.  That was way too high for my liking, so I looked to see if there were any games used.  To my surprise there was King’s Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow on floppy for like $10, which intrigued me not only in price but with the clever pun.  I bought it and brought it home.

Floppy games that released near the CD age were always huge, many of them taking 9+ floppy discs to install under MS-DOS, an alternative mode to Windows 3.1 on early 586/Pentium PCs.  King’s Quest VI was an enormous 12 floppy discs and took more than 20 minutes to install.  The wait was worth it, though, because the game opened with a fully animated cutscene, complete with voice acting, and the entire game looked to me like Dragon’s Lair in a playable form.  I would also later discover that the writer of the game, the amazing Roberta Williams, also had some horror games including Phantasmagoria, a massive 7 CD title in its own right.  King’s Quest VI wasn’t the only game this large, either, many titles from the early days of PCs were purchased or traded in floppy disk form.  You would always want to back up your disks, twice, because the damn things had a tendency to go bad and that was usually on disk 11 of 12, when you had already wasted so much time.

<- Go back to the eleventh day                                                                 Home

Written by Fred Rojas

December 25, 2011 at 11:16 am