Cybercon 3, eh? Don't you just love it? And now it's only £12.99 - surely US Gold must be mad selling it so cheaply, surely there must be some kind of mistake? Well, no, it's definitely £12.99. Do you know how we know? Because we went out and bought it.
"Isn't that a bit daft?" you're probably thinking. "You're Britain's Number One Amiga games magazine, surely you get all your review games for free?" And indeed, usually we do. And very nice it is too. But when US Gold games come out, we have to go and buy them. Want to know why? (If not, go straight to The Bottom Line now.) Here's why.
Way back in issue six (that's October 1991, chronology fans), AP reviewed a game called Secret Of The Silver Blades. It was a godawful RPG that looked like a poor C64 game from about 1985, and it got 8 percent, which frankly, with hindsight, was about 4 percent too much. We were soft in those days. Anyway, this upset US Gold somewhat, particularly a chap called Andrew Chorzelski, their Sales And Marketing Director.
Nothing too unusual there, of course. We're used to upsetting software houses and having PR people sulking at us here at Amiga Power, and it usually all blows over as soon as the next game comes out. But not this time. Andrew, it would appear, is a man who takes his grudges seriously, and he forbade US Gold's PR department to send us any further review copies, book any advertising pages, offer any kind of editorial assistance, or even speak to us on the telephone. When our sister magazine Gamesmaster got Street Fighter 2 in for review last year (a full 14 months after the Secret Of The Silver Blades review), for example, the disks came accompanied by an amusingly-punctuated memo (which still adorns our office wall) marked "Please do not pass on to Amiga Power - For your eye's only".
And so it continued. We kept going to the shops, good US Gold games kept getting good reviews (Indy Jones Fate Of Atlantis 90%, issue 21) and crap US Gold games kept getting crap reviews (G-LOC 7%, issue 18). A couple of months ago, though, things started to get silly. US Gold took some console mag journalists over to Lillehammer in Norway, as a promotion for their forthcoming Winter Olympics game. Among the journos was Amiga Power's ex-Staff Writer Tim Tucker, then working for Sega Zone, who found himself chatting to Bridget Hirst, USG marketing person. Bridget had a revelation for Tim. She boldly informed him that Amiga Power, and in particular its humble Deputy Editor (that's me, folks) hated US Gold and all its games, but that we were being cleverer about it these days.
What happened now, said Bridget in conspiratorial tones, was that I would write vicious and cutting reviews of USG titles (presumably to ensure that some novice staffie didn't forget his briefing and accidentally like one), but then cunningly put someone else's name at the bottom. Tim was surprised. He didn't remember any of this during the nine months he'd worked on the mag, and said so. Luckily, Bridget wouldn't be deflected from her quest for truth. They knew. They could tell. Tim was wrong, and that was that.
So there it is. International-class corporate paranoia mixed with schoolboy sulking at its finest. Don't you just love it? Now you know why Amiga Power isn't usually the mag with exclusive first reviews of US Gold games. Sorry.
We wouldn't normally tell you this kind of behind-the-scenes stuff, but hey, I couldn't be bothered playing Cybercon III again.
The Bottom Line
A really quite fab 3D adventure epic, in much the style of Driller, Total Eclipse or Interphase. A little dated these days, especially visually, but it'll still give you weeks of fun. We gave it 86% in our very first issue, and at budget price I don't see any reason to change that now.