The 3DO. It existed. It didn’t do well (I mean, obviously). Bad marketing in an oversaturated market, a confusing distribution system, and a price tag of Way Too Much Fucking Money, it was doomed as soon as it left the starting gate.
But to its credit, the 3DO had some good games. It had some games that at least tried to be good (Immercenary, what could have been). Kenji Eno loved the system, and when Kenji Eno speaks, wise men listen.
Another line of praise for the 3DO is that, among its many genres it covered in its software library, it had one that no other system of the time had: Pornography! Hell yeah, motherfucker! Imagine, you’re playing Star Control 2, or Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, when The Mood strikes. The internet isn’t quite what it is today back in 1994. Maybe you don’t feel like fumbling around trying to get your VCR set up, or looking around for your back issues of Penthouse. You need to crank one out right fucking now, but there is too much work involved. Then you remember that, in addition to an arcade-perfect Super Turbo and Samurai Shodown, you bought some Adult Entertainment for your Real Panasonic 3DO Interactive Multiplayer! For $700 (plus an additional $60 per game), you could own a video game system where you can look at a pair of massive himmer-hommers.
Neurodancer is one of these pieces of software. And oh man, is it a piece of something, too.
I’m not a person to discount something simply because it’s pornographic in nature. As an actual sex worker, that would be immensely stupid and hypocritical of me. Even if I wasn’t, I’ve played way too many hours of House Party (how’s it goin’ dude?), and have no place to judge. Being a pervert, I’m totally okay with video games merging with porn. It’s not sad or pathetic to own or play porno games.
Unless it’s Neurodancer.
Neurodancer gives you a first impression of actually having a unique concept and atmosphere. As the title no doubt gave away, this is set in the far, dystopic, cyberpunk future. And as the title also no doubt gave away, it’s supposed to be a take on Neuromancer, but with titties, instead of #StillWithHer Neoliberalism and tranny jokes so tired that even 4chan would roll their collective eyes (suck my ass, William Gibson). You would expect way too many neon lights and mega corporations and xenophobic paranoia about the Japanese becoming the leaders of world industry, but now there is sex too. You would expect these things, yes. You would also be wrong!
The synopsis of Neurodancer is that you, the main character, are some sort of horny hacker. You’re two months behind on rent, facing eviction and/or your knees getting broken. What do you do in this situation? You sit in your dingy, nearly pitch black apartment and send your slow moving unmanned drone out into a series of identical hallways, breaking into terminals for credits (money), so you can watch cam shows on your holographic TV.
Let me take a moment to put that into perspective, before I get into the parts where women take their clothes off. You are in debt. Zero dollars (sorry, credits) to your name. And to reiterate here, your solution is to hunt for loose change so you can look at porn. That’s like an addict combing through the carpet for a loose pill. You clearly have a problem, and the game is not finished with highlighting your sad existence just yet.
Here’s the interactivity: slowly (and I do mean slowly) trudging through a hallway, occasionally turning so you find a terminal. Hacking? Pressing a button, then pressing a button again before the Cyber-Police bust you for being jacked in (lol) for too long. Time your button presses right, and you get more credits.
(Now this is the part where I tell you that I’m posting nudity from here on out. Maybe don’t read this post with your mom in the room.)
Your reward for doing this, and your entire reason for continuing to exist, is to watch a girl dance and eventually get naked.
When I said that they “eventually” get naked, I wasn’t kidding. Those clothes are nearly bonded to their bodies.
Something you may have noticed in these screenshots is that number going down in the lower right. That’s your money, and it goes down by 100 every time you interact with the women. See, they dance, then suddenly stop, you have to pay them to continue. All with no guarantee that an article of clothing will be removed. I have no idea what the Credits-Dollars exchange rate is, but I have to imagine that this is (pardon me for referencing current events) a Bella Thorne level rip-off. Keep in mind, there is no “full” nudity to Neurodancer. Yeah, you’ll see some titties, and about half of a bare ass, but that’s it. Maybe Trip Hawkins drew the line at seeing someone’s spread asshole on his gaming console.
I’m not bringing all this up as a complaint. I knew going in that the 3DO’s adult library would be the most mediocre of mid-90s softcore bullshit. But this all does bring up the overall pathetic nature of Neurodancer’s protagonist. Not paying rent in some shitty apartment, probably not taking care of themselves either, all to spend hundreds of dollars for something that looks like the old Desktop Stripper that was advertised on seemingly every sketchy website twenty years ago. In our current dystopic cyberpunk future, pretty much any fetish you have can be catered to for about $20 on ManyVids. I guess sex workers of the future realize their worth a lot better than we do.
One more thing, mid-90s FMV was definitely not up to the task. The thickest thing on these girls’ bodies are their pixels.
Through all of this, I haven’t gotten to the worst part. The interactive segment! When the girl of your choice finally gets nude, or nude enough I guess, another screen opens up, and you can actually touch them. Probably. I think.
What’s so weird and fucked up about this is that you think you might be able to do something like cop a feel or give a light smack on the ass or something. Fuck that. You’re here to really please a woman. It’s possible that I’ve been doing it wrong over the course of my adulthood, but I’m not entirely sure that success in the bedroom involves stroking a woman’s hair or rubbing her behind the ear like a fucking cat.
That’s Neurodancer. Blow hundreds, if not thousands, of points of cyber-currency to watch a naked woman dance. Then, when you finally get a chance to actually touch her, you instead limply drag the back of your knuckles all over her. It’s like a sadder version of Hoverhands. Here’s your reminder, over a thousand words later, that this was designed for you to masturbate to.
If you think I’m going back and getting screenshots for the other two dancers, you’re out of your fucking mind. This sucked. I’d be so pissed off if I spent actual money on this, rather than grabbing the ROM off Internet Archive. I plan on continuing the 3DO-Face series; hopefully the other sex-based games on here are at least funny or interesting.
Let me finish this off (lol again) by laughing at the terrible intro. This bullshit here is some prime “Cinemax on Saturday night” material.