Crash Bandicoot: The Complete History

With the current N.Sane appetite for all things Crash Bandicoot, Slope’s Games Room’s Daniel Ibbertson thought the time was nigh to delve into the complete history of Australia’s favourite insectivorous marsupial.

So crash on your couch and watch this 40 minute Crash Bandicoot documentary – it leaves no stone unturned!


source: Daniel Ibbertson

 

Atari Panther: The Extinct Cat

In 1988 Atari Corporation’s Jack Tramiel ordered work to begin on the successor to the Atari 7800 and XEGS. Work quickly begun on the Panther and Jaguar consoles – yes, the Jaguar! The Atari Panther was being developed by Flare Technology (Flare One and Konix Multisystem) and was scheduled for release in 1991, directly competing with Nintendo’s SNES and Sega’s Mega Drive.

The Panther platform was going to be a mash up of the Atari ST and Transputer “Blossom” video card, once again blurring the lines of “is it 16 or 32-bit?”. For the record, the Motorola 68000 CPU was going to run at 16MHz (compared to the Mega Drive’s 8MHz and the SNES’ 12MHz) which was going to be paired with a 32-bit graphics card running at a whopping 32MHz! On paper, Atari was doing their math(s) right!

As the Panther and Jaguar were being developed in parallel, Atari Corp. started favouring the Jaguar as it was progressing quickly and presented far more impressive and superior technology. Atari eventually decided to scrap the Panther and forge ahead with their 64-bit console. The cancellation of the Panther meant that Atari had no hardware presence in the home console market between the discontinuation of the Atari 7800 in 1992 and the launch of their Jaguar in 1993. This gap weakened the Atari brand and likely contributed to the failure of the Jaguar console.

The cancellation of the Panther was poor timing, which in retrospect Atari wishes they had pursued it to market, as it would have given both the SNES and Mega Drive one hell of a fight!

The Atari Panther blueprint!

Looking good – front, back with nice sides!

The press release that got us drooling!

image source: Atari-Explorer via Wayback Machine

 

Neohabitat Reawakens Lucasfilm’s First MMORPG

It seems that we may have been living under a rock all this time! We are the first to admit that we aren’t massive fans of adventure or RPG style games, but when the C64 is involved, we always sit up and take note!

Now cast your mind back to 1986 when Lucasfilm Games (LucasArts) began previewing their new online game Habitat (developed a year earlier) in magazines of the time. If you are lucky enough to remember, you’d recall that the game looked bloody amazing, a cross between an adventure game and something akin to an online chat room. If your recollections are a bit fuzzy, then think of a multiplayer SCUMM game before Lucasfilm were anywhere near releasing Maniac Mansion! Then, the game went into a closed beta and didn’t see the light of day till 1988, when it was scaled back as Club Caribe. Ah, you would be forgiven in thinking that the game was lost to the sands of time. But wait, there is a new ending to this story.

Before we get swept away by the nostalgic tide, let us give you the good news – Neohabitat have reawakened the original Lucasfilm Habitat server, which is now available for anyone and everyone to play online – for free! How awesome is that! It will feel familiar to those accustomed to the SCUMM-like interface, complete with cross hairs with a modern twist, which ain’t a bad thing at all.

Who would have thought that we’d be playing an MMORPG in 2017 that was made over three decades ago! It is indeed a great time to be a retro gamer!

source: Bobby Blackwolf on YouTube

Concept art for the box cover of Lucasfilm’s Habitat game. Source: Wikipedia

 

Alien 3: Okay Film, Great Game

By: D.C. Cutler, U.S.A.

David Fincher’s Alien3 divides many fans of the Alien franchise, which is on its sixth film with Alien: Covenant. I’m not counting the Alien vs. Predator stinkers.

Alien3 was one of my favourite games when it was released on Super Nintendo. It was your basic action platform game as you played Ripley saving the convicts before they would get impregnated by the face huggers, and at the end of each level you had to fight against a big Xenomorph who would spit acid at you.

The graphics were exceptional and the face huggers were always the hardest to kill with their low, stealthy attacks that you could forget about while freeing prisoners and fighting off the large Xenomorphs. And, as you advanced to higher levels, the face huggers became more aggressive and harder to destroy.

The game for Super Nintendo was more like James Cameron’s masterpiece Aliens, but with an Alien3, prison backdrop. In Alien3, Ripley is never running around the prison complex with a gun. In Alien3 there are no guns (one of Sigourney Weaver’s requests). However, there were scissors, which I always thought was ludicrous. In the previous film, Aliens, there’s a platoon of soldiers who have an arsenal of guns and explosives, and almost all of them die by the end of the film. But in Alien3, a pair of scissors will apparently save you?

Ripley’s jumps in the game were awkward. And when you would finally destroy a large Xenomorph, they would always explode in a choppy way. The prison design was well made, but every advancing level sort of looks the same with just a slight graphics change.

I played the game so much; I can still remember how frustrated I would get when the face huggers would drop from the ceiling. They would always diminish my energy supply. When I was younger, I loved it when games were difficult, and Alien3 was pretty difficult. I would never play it unless I knew I had a few hours to spare.

Alien3 is probably one of the best basic action platform games behind Ghosts & Goblins and Double Dragon II. The Xenomorphs looked stunning and they’re movements were very much like they are in the films.

I’m sure the makers of Alien3, especially Fincher, who never talks about the film, could care less if the film produced a memorable game. The film has some beautiful shots and the films score, by Elliot Goldenthal, is perhaps one of the best scores of the franchise. The writing is a little sloppy. Why do you kill the great Charles Dance halfway through the picture?

With the game, you control the story; when you’re watching the much maligned film, you’re in the hands of the filmmakers.

image source: just-gamers.fr

 

Grand Theft Auto: The Complete History

Come over to the seedy side of town as Slope’s Games Room’s Daniel Ibbertson dons his tracksuit pants and delves deep into the complete history of Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto!

If you have missed Daniel’s previous complete history videos, then do yourself a favour and hit this link!


source: Daniel Ibbertson

 


The Time Mattel Made A Pinball Machine

What the hell – Mattel made pinball machines? Well, A pinball machine! Yeah, that’s right, Mattel dipped their toe in the pinball market with their one (and only), Las Vegas Pinball!

We only ever associated Mattel with the Intellivision and our fave childhood action figures, Masters Of The Universe, so when we stumbled upon this anomaly, we thought we’d let the rest of you know (Ed: unless you all already knew!).

Before you get excited, Mattel Electronics’ Las Vegas Pinball was never intended for commercial use, hence why you may not have seen it at your local pinball parlour. The playfield is standard fare for a pinball machine of this vintage (the late 70s) – couple of pop bumpers, slingshots and four stand-up targets to keep you flipping.

The interesting part about this Mattel pinball machine is the ability to select one of three game versions (similar to modes on modern machines), Beginner’s Luck, Cool Hand or High Roller. Coupled with selecting the game version, Mattel also included a handicap switching system, allowing players to select a choice of  3, 4, or 5 balls for their turn at play. This feature allowed competing players to give any player a handicap advantage of one or two extra balls, if desired.

Mattel had another cool feature called Double Or Nothing, which could only be used once during a game – prior to shooting a ball into play, the player presses a button on the front of the cabinet to activate this option for that ball only. Then, lighting all four targets doubles the player’s score. Failure to light all four targets penalises the player of all the points earned on that ball. Sounds pretty cool to us!

Which ever way you look at it, this Mattel Electronics Las Vegas Pinball machine was quite nifty for its time – we just hope we find one in our travels so we can have a go!

Have you played this pinball machine? If you have, tell us what you thought of it on Twitter or Facebook.

source: IPDB

Top 5 Games Charts: February 2000

As the second month of the new millennium rolled around, we realised that the doomsday Y2K bug was a furphy and we pumped up the volume to All Saints‘ ‘Pure Shores’!

By February 2000 the PlayStation was showing its age, but it was still host to many great games – hello Crash Team Racing! If you were in the Nintendo or Sega camps, February 2000 was a good one, as their respective consoles, the Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast, were definitely not short of ace games.

So let’s put on some Christina Aguilera and take a look back at what games made the top 5 charts on the PlayStation, Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast in February 2000. See any you like?

PSX_150x150 1) Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation (Eidos)
2) FIFA 2000 (EA)
3) Crash Team Racing (Sony)
4) Tomorrow Never Dies (EA)
5) This Is Football (Sony)

 

N64_150x150 1) Donkey Kong 64 (Nintendo)
2) WWF Wrestlemania 2000 (THQ)
3) Super Smash Bros. (Nintendo)
4) Rainbow Six (Take 2)
5) Rayman 2 (Ubisoft)

 

1) Virtua Striker 2 (Sega)
2) Shadowman (Acclaim)
3) SoulCalibur (Namco)
4) Jimmy White’s 2: Cueball (Virgin)
5) UEFA Striker (Infogrames)