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)

 

 

Atari Lynx: The Games That Never Were

The Atari Lynx was and still is a great handheld. Imagine if Atari had McWill’s LCD mod back then, they may have given the Sega Game Gear and possibly the Game Boy a run for their money (Ed: OK, perhaps not the Game Boy)!

If you were into arcade style games, then the Atari Lynx was your platform of choice. With games like Double Dragon, Klax, A.P.B., Battlezone 2000, Rygar, Hard Drivin’, Joust, Xybots, Paperboy and the awesome Rampage, Robotron and S.T.U.N. Runner, the Lynx was not short on quality action titles. Actually, we could have added a laundry list of other games, but we thought you’d get the picture with a subset of titles.

During the commercial lifespan of the Atari Lynx, there were a roster of big name titles that never saw the light of day. We could only imagine the impact these games may have had on the commercial viability of the Lynx! Just in case you were wondering, here are a few of the cancelled games from 1992 that we reckon could have catapulted the Lynx on the path to success:

Rolling Thunder

Vindicators

Geoduel

720°

Cabal

There were quite a few other cancelled games, but we thought we’d limit the list to ensure that we didn’t enrage you all. Actually, quite a few cancelled games did make it out when Hasbro, the owners of the Atari properties at the time, released the rights to develop for the system to the public domain, but that was well after the Lynx was considered dead (Ed: we did appreciate Alien vs Predator and Raiden)!

Ah, the beautiful Lynx, if only you were given a proper and fair chance by your creator!

 

Resident Evil: Surviving The Horror

Wow, when Resident Evil was released on this day (March 22) in 1996, who would have thought that we would be talking about it all these years later!

Our first encounter with Resident Evil was quite memorable. Upon loading the game on our Playstation, we were subjected to some cheesy B-grade acting, but it was the rabid zombie dog at the end of the intro sequence that scared the pants off us when watching it at the dead of night – we still have nightmares!

We quickly learn that Raccoon City is a foreboding place, where an outbreak of the T-Virus (created as a bio-weapon by the Umbrella Corporation) starts spreading from the nearby Arklay Mountains, turning humans into zombies and other creatures into horrifying monsters. The protagonists, Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, both members of the Alpha S.T.A.R.S. (Special Tactics And Rescue Service) special forces from the Raccoon Police Department (RPD) are trapped in the Spencer mansion, attempting to find out what all the eeriness is about. This is where things get interesting in this awesome survival horror game; from encountering supernatural enemies – some that make you jump off the couch, to finding typewriter ribbons to save your progress and the dread you feel when opening a door to transition to another room, there were scares aplenty!

Interestingly, the game is known as Biohazard in its native Japan. When the Biohazard project kicked off, Capcom were planning a spiritual remake of their 1989 horror game Sweet Home. Once they found that a DOS game had registered the Biohazard title in the US, the company held an internal contest to choose a new name. This contest lead to the title, Resident Evil, which we know and love outside of Japan. Resident Evil/Biohazard was also first to be dubbed a ‘survival horror’ game – the term coined for the new genre.

Capcom weren’t convinced that Resident Evil would do well, with sales projections pencilled in at just 200,000. Once critical acclaim was widespread, Capcom were truly gobsmacked when Resident Evil went on to move 5.8 million copies (original, Director’s Cut and Director’s Cut DualShock), making it a massive hit.

Hit us up on Facebook or Twitter to tell us about your most memorable encounter or scary moment from the original Resident Evil. Oh, and a ‘Jill Sandwich’ is a thing!

image source: games revisited

 

Origins Of The Sega My Card

Produced from 1985 to 1987, the Sega Card (known as My Card in Japan) wasn’t just created as a cheaper format to conventional game cartridges, oh no sirree!

The great Hideki Sato, creator of Sega’s SG-1000 console (and all other Sega consumer hardware) felt that the original game cartridges resembled small black tombstones when inserted into the console. Sato felt that an upgrade to the game cartridge media was required. This drove him to create the cute little pocket-sized alternative, the Sega My Card – games on microchips embedded in 2mm thick credit card sized plastic.

The compact design allowed game collections to be carried around with ease (instead of lugging around the much larger carts). Sega also experimented with a re-writable EPROM version of the My Card, which could be overwritten with new games at specifically-equipped kiosks (for a fraction of the usual retail cost), much like Nintendo’s Famicom Disk System, which arrived a year later.

Sega would eventually return to cartridges for higher memory capacity, while NEC would later use the My Card design pedigree for their PC-Engine HuCards.

The tombstone-looking carts

My Card VS Cartridge