Pandemonium - PlayStation

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Pandemonium (PlayStation)
Also for: PC, Saturn
Viewed: 3D Side-on, Scrolling Genre:
Shoot 'Em Up
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Toys For Bob Soft. Co.: Crystal Dynamics
Publishers: Bandai (JP)
Crystal Dynamics (GB/US/GB)
Released: 1996 (GB/US/JP)
Ratings: 3+, ESRB Kids to Adult (K-A)


Platform games have remained strictly 2-dimenional in the days of 8 and 16-bit formats, such as NES and SNES, due to technical limitations. When Sony and Sega went head to head in 1995, the capabilities of 3D games on a home console were realised. Video games were destined to be 3D from that day forth, with only a small minority of exceptions. Platform games soon became on the list of priorities for developers, and in light of Naughty Dog’s recent Crash Bandicoot on PlayStation, Crystal Dynamics decided to give 3D a try with Pandemonium, one of the first 3D platform games around.

Strictly, Pandemonium is not a 3D game. Movement is restricted to left and right scrolling, as with most 2D platform games. However, the surroundings of the game are quite the opposite. The environments are in fact presented in full 3D, and are complemented with a pre-programmed 3D camera, helping to alter the angle at which the game is played a little. This does give Pandemonium a good sense of realism, however.

You can choose from one of two players, Nikki and Fargus. With the exception of two different special moves, the two players are identical. You must travel across some thirty levels to achieve your goal. There will be obstacles, huge jumps, rigorous climbing and a whole bestiary of creatures trying to prevent your progress from, well, progressing. Pandemonium, is something of a pseudo 3D platformer, and doesn’t really differentiate itself from its 2D counterparts. However, as far as 2D platformers go, this is a good one.