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

 

PAC-MAN X ORLINSKI: Perfect Art

Released in Japanese arcades on May 22 1980, Namco’s PAC-MAN has just celebrated his 37th anniversary!

When Toru Iwatani, creator of PAC-MAN, had pizza for lunch, he took one piece from the whole pizza and there it was – a circle with an open mouth!

The best ideas often come from the simplest life experiences. Mr. Iwatani didn’t know he would leave such a mark in the video game industry when he was eating his pizza. Yet, 37 years later, PAC-MAN is still one of the most archetypal characters in gaming. As well as changing the face of arcade games back in 1980, Namco also managed to create an icon in popular culture.

For PAC-MAN’s 37th anniversary, Neamedia has just unveiled a Kickstarter for a series of beautiful sculptures designed by Richard Orlinski with support and license from BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Europe.

The collection will be available in 3 versions. A yellow 25cm version, a golden chromed version of the same size, and an exclusive 1 metre version limited to 37 units. Added to that, different stretch goals will unlock special rewards such as a PAC-MAN metal figure, artwork of the original PAC-MAN sketches and a limited-edition art book.

If you want to grab yourself a piece of PAC-MAN history, then head to Kickstarter now!

source: Neamedia – PAC-MAN X ORLINSKI Kickstarter

 

The PC-Engine SD and Sega OMega Drive

There are DIY’ers and then there are people that surpass even the best industrial designers of gaming hardware at companies like Nintendo and Sega.

Marcel J. de Haan from the STARFORCE PI (SFP) Development team has shown their latest creations, which lets admit it, are absolutely and astonishingly amazing! Both the PC-Engine SD and Sega OMega Drive Dedicated Oldschool Entertainment System (DOES) (Ed: Sega DOES what Nintendon’t! Very clever!) designs are a work of engineering feat and art that totally blow us away. You can check out the specs of each system by clicking on their respective links.

If you haven’t already done so, also check out their equally beautiful STARFORCE PI Electronic Tabletop Mini-Arcade and STARFORCE NEO creations – be warned, you will be drooling!

source: STARFORCE PI

 

UNIQLO Nintendo T-shirt Grand Prix 2017

Back in July 2016 when UNIQLO announced that their t-shirt design grand prix for 2017 (UTGP’17) would be Nintendo themed, we bet that they weren’t expecting an avalanche of awesome entries – they received 16,000 submissions from all around the world!

Fast forward to May 2017 and UNIQLO have announced the 25 winning designs selected by none other than Shigeru Miyamoto and his Nintendo team! We love all of the winning designs, especially Takashi Kawazoe’s retro Super Mario (red) t-shirt!

The t-shirts should be available at UNIQLO stores by the end of this week (May 19) – with ‘should’ being the operative word! Make sure you check in to grab some of these Nintendo themed tees, as we bet that they won’t last long!


source: UNIQLO

source: UNIQLO

 

Super Russian Roulette: A New Party Game For The NES

If you were one of the lucky ones to have backed Andrew Reitano’s new NES game, Super Russian Roulette, then you better take your Zapper gun out of its holster! The backer update that came through this morning stated that Super Russian Roulette cartridges will commence shipping on June 5!

There was more good news from Andrew, with the carts having multi-region support, meaning that all copies of the game will operate at the correct speed on NTSC, PAL-A and PAL-B consoles!

We have been quite impressed with Andrew’s updates throughout this whole process and what he managed to cram into Super Russian Roulette:

  • Over 9 minutes of spoken audio
  • 50+ assignable nicknames
  • 44 unique cowboy frames/poses
  • An options screen to build your own cowboy / adjust gun size
  • Alternate versions of each unique animation
  • 3 extra high quality tracks in the NSF Saloon
  • Multi-region capability : NTSC & PAL version on the same cart
  • A much more interactive cowboy through rigorous playtesting
  • And lots of other surprises!

With the Zapper out of its holster and our finger on the trigger, we are ready for Super Russian Roulette!

Testing on the Mattel / PAL-A version

New programmers ready to go!

Hard at work – batch programming the Super Russian Roulette carts!
source: Andrew Reitano

 

The Ultimate Pinball Wrist Piece

If money is no object, then we would love to have this pinball piece adorn our wrist!

Hautlence’s Playground Pinball wristpiece is the ultimate pinball watch that doesn’t tell the time but does play a mean game of pinball! With intricate Swiss mechanics controlling the spring loaded plunger and awesome spinning elements, the watch also has sink holes for points and two prominent pop bumpers with multipliers!

The Hautlence Playground Pinball may be missing flippers and may have more in common with bagatelle than pinball, but who cares, it’s still bloody cool! Oh yeah, in case you were wondering, you could buy 5 Stern Pro pinball machines for the price of this wristpiece!

image source: Hautlence


source: Spiral Magazine

 

GoldenEra: An Intriguing Documentary

By: D.C. Cutler, U.S.A.

Why did former Beatle and rock legend George Harrison give the British comedy troupe Monty Python $4 million dollars to go off and make Monty Python’s Life of Brian? Because he wanted to see it. Eric Idol, of Monty Python, said,” It’s still the most anyone has ever paid for a cinema ticket.”

While listening to a sports radio show, I heard that a film company in Australia was crowdfunding for a documentary about the Nintendo 64 classic game GoldenEye 007, called GoldenEra. I thought to myself, I’d really like to see that.

I have never participated in a crowdfunding project, but there was something about a documentary centred on the phenomenon and legacy of GoldenEye 007 that changed my mind. Also, it being the 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking first-person shooter (FPS) game, made contributing money to the project even more alluring.

I went onto the Indiegogo campaign page and became a backer. For my first time, it was kind of exciting.

In high school, my friends and I would play GoldenEye 007 constantly. We called it Bond for short. There’s no telling how many times, after classes, my friends would say, “Let’s play some Bond.” It was a bonding experience for all of us, and it came in handy when we were broke on weekends.

Once, when two of my best friends almost got in a fistfight over something foolish, I made them settle it over a game of Bond. I deterred violence with some fake, simulated violence. And after some split screen multi-player action, they had forgotten what they were upset about. My girlfriend, during my freshman year of college, was better at Bond than I was. She had her own N64 console back home and she really schooled me at times.

I have so many fond memories of playing Goldeneye in high school and college. Sure, we were sitting on our rumps playing a video game for hours, but playing Bond was something that we shared that brought out our competitiveness; and it was a nice relief from stressing about your grades and other teen pressures.

Who ended up beating who didn’t matter and the scores were quickly forgotten, but having something fun that we all enjoyed doing together was rare and ultimately important; even if we weren’t aware of it at the time.

I’ve never played any of the other popular first-person shooter games that followed GoldenEye. I have never played any of the Halo games. I think if I ever played one of the many versions of Halo, I would be comparing it to GoldenEye the whole time. GoldenEye made that much of an impact on my gaming.

I hope the project reaches its crowdfunding goal. The filmmakers are aiming for a 2017 release. If it makes it a more entertaining documentary, perhaps they should wait to release it when they think it’s perfect.

source: GoldenEra on IndieGoGo