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                        Review: The Epic Collection
                            By:  Jason Compton 
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Didn't I just get done talking about how great it was that Golden Games had
most everything unarchived?  Yep, I did.

Epic Marketing has been in the Amiga software and CD-ROM business for quite
some time and has a considerable array of Amiga and PC CD-ROMs.  The Epic
Collection represents a large portion of their PD disk collection.

The Epic Collection is a catchall CD, roughly akin to the AGA Experience
CDs put out by Sadeness/NFA (although without the same AGA-only slant).
For those ready to dive right in, there is a text file with filenames and
descriptions (some more informative than others) for each of the 1000+ DMS
archives on the CD.  For those looking to comfortably navigate, there is a
custom GUI which takes you through each category of archives and lists
descriptions where appropriate.  The custom interface almost, but not
quite, worked under CyberGraphX.

The quality of the archives isn't the problem (although some of the items
are pretty questionable...you'd think someone would have figured out that
SoftAGA isn't a real program and that "VT220", while an "emulator", isn't
an emulator in the same way Frodo is).  The DMS archiving is the problem.
CD-ROMs are one of the fastest ways to move large quantities of data from a
publisher to a customer.  Why insist on forcing a slow de-archive to
floppy?  I would have accepted LHA or LZX archives without question, as the
CD is rather full and likely would have been exceeded in capacity without
some sort of archiving.  But DMS should be a "only when necessary" archival
form, not something you use because you happen to have a lot of disks with
good material lying around.  I also located a bit of silliness on a disk
whose DMS archive included an LHA of the contents of the disk being
unarchived!  Using the original LHA would have saved 400k on the
CD-ROM...not to mention a lot of time.

As a general collection, there's nothing really wrong with The Epic
Collection.  There will be something for everyone--games, Reko cardsets,
sound files, emulators, and more.  If you don't go crazy by the time you're
done un-DMSing disks, that is.

Epic Marketing
138-139 Victoria Rd.
Swindon
Wilts
UK
+44 0 1793 514188