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

 

Code Breakers: Women in Games

Press play on Code Breakers, an exhibition curated by ACMI and the first of its kind in Australia celebrating the achievements of women working in the games industry.

Code Breakers celebrates emerging and established female game makers in an interactive and immersive exhibition. Visitors can get hands-on with an array of playable games – from indie through to commercial hits and new releases – all made by Australian and New Zealand women working in different capacities: as directors, programmers, developers, digital artists, writers, producers and designers.

Katrina Sedgwick, Director and CEO of ACMI says, “Despite women making up almost 50% of game players, they account for less than 10% of the games industry. Code Breakers seeks to shatter stereotypes and celebrate the women who are breaking down barriers and building vibrant, creative careers within a global industry that is increasingly diverse. Our hope is that the industry will soon reflect the diversity of the gaming community it seeks to serve.”

Nicole Stark, Co-Founder Disparity Games and Art Director and Designer on Ninja Pizza Girl

From platformers and role-playing strategy digital board games through to graphical adventure and racing games, Code Breakers offers something for everyone at every skill level. Deliver pizzas and crush bullies in Ninja Pizza Girl, join an animal clan in Armello or race souped-up cars in Need For Speed: No Limits.

Code Breakers ponders important questions in a post Gamergate landscape: What does a more inclusive games industry look like? How do we encourage this diversity? In Code Breakers, each maker reflects on the sometimes challenging journey they’ve made into this male-dominated industry, revealing the human stories behind their games via a custom built exhibition audio tour.

“I think this exhibition is an excellent way to give Australians a peek behind the curtain of game development, and highlight that women are playing an integral role within the industry. I really hope it helps to inspire girls and women to begin making their own games,” says Rebecca Fernandez, a games programmer who worked on recently released PS4/Steam titles Tricky Towers and Armello.

Lisy Kane, Producer at League of Geeks

The game makers featured in the exhibition include: Lisy Kane, Producer at League of Geeks, co-founder of Girl Geek Academy and one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in the games category; Katharine Neil, independent Game Developer and director of the hugely controversial and influential game Escape From WoomeraMaru Nihoniho, Founder and Managing Director of Metia Interactive and recipient of a New Zealand Order of Merit for her service to the gaming industry; and Siobhan Reddy, Co-Founder and Studio Director of Media Molecule, named in Fortune‘s 10 most powerful women in gaming.

Siobhan Reddy, co-founder and studio director of Media Molecule

Code Breakers has been curated by ACMI in collaboration with an advisory committee consisting of key industry figures Kate Inabinet, Animation and Games Industry lecturer at RMIT and creator of education based games for children; Helen Stuckey, media arts curator, researcher and Program Manager of Games at RMIT; and Leena van Deventer, a game developer, writer, educator and Co-Director of WIDGET (Women in Development, Games and Everything Tech).

A free exhibition, Code Breakers: Women in Games premieres at ACMI on Tuesday 25 July and runs until Sunday 5 November 2017. Information at acmi.net.au/code-breakers

source: ACMI

 

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

Price Evolution: is Nintendo Switch following the pricing trend from the past?

Article provided by Cuponation Australia. Prices quoted are in US Dollars

Cuponation Australia, a specialist in savings, delved into some market research to see how the prices of videogame consoles has changed through the last 30 years. The data includes prices from the launch of the first Nintendo video console in 1985 till their latest console release, the Nintendo Switch (March 2017). To see the evolution of prices, the research considered the inflation rate from the corresponding year of release.

Gaming has become cheaper by 24% (on average) over the last 30 years
The result shows that nowadays consumers are paying 24% less than 30 years ago. The price trend shows that each brand had lowered their prices since the launch of the first videogame console. It seems that Sega became 32% cheaper by their last console, Playstation cut their prices by 15%, Xbox and Nintendo by 25% and 29% respectively. The first videogame console produced by Nintendo, the NES, would cost $420USD nowadays which is already more than what you would pay for the Nintendo Switch. We obviously would not know the impact of inflation to the cost of the Nintendo Switch in future years.

Nintendo remains consistent in its pricing policy
The launch prices of Nintendo systems have remained relatively stable over the last 30+ years, with the exception being this year. The Nintendo Classic Mini from 2016 was not taken into consideration as it was not a next gen console. In relation to consoles from Xbox, PlayStation and Sega, consumers would notice some significant jumps in pricing over the decades – the launch of Sega’s Saturn in 1995, would cost $629.29USD in today’s money and the PlayStation 3, launched in 2007, would cost $578USD today.

The top 3 closest competitors in terms of price to Nintendo Switch ($299USD):
1) Xbox One S, launched in 2016 with inflation price of $299USD
2) Nintendo 64, launched in 2005 with inflated price of $298USD
3) Sega Dreamcast, launched in 1999 with inflated price of $288.11USD

source: Cuponation Australia

 

Contra: Celebrating 30 Years Of Awesomeness

Contra, Gryzor or Probotector. No matter what name you know this classic Konami run and gun game by, you will definitely remember it as one tough mother of a game! Konami had an instant hit on their hands when they released the arcade machine on this day [February 20] in 1987. Happy 30th anniversary Contra, you irresistible force!

For those that have been away from Earth since early 1987, here is the lowdown on Contra:

Midnight, September 12 2631. The Marines catch sight of a small-sized meteorite that is fast approaching Earth. The meteorite plummets 20km north-east of New Zealand, at the Gal Mosquito Archipelago. The command keep watch of the meteorite.

Two years later, in December 2633, an intruder known as the Red Falcon is occupying the Gal Mosquito Archipelago and is planning the fall of mankind. Command orders confidential investigations at the enemy’s front base. The marine post orders for two “Contra” soldiers, Private First Class Bill “Mad Dog” Rizer and Private First Class Lance “Scorpion” Bean on a mission. The mission being: penetrate the insides of the enemy, destroy the front base and the entire centre of operation.

image source: GameFAQs

 

Movieland Arcade: A Hit Of Nostalgia In Vancouver

Ah Vancouver, the city of many cruise ships and retirees boarding these massive vessels! This post has been a long time coming, but that’s because we’ve been distracted – till now!

Continuing on with cool places we visited while on our North American trip (like the Seattle Pinball Museum, Toy Shack and A Gamer’s Paradise in Vegas), the city of Vancouver delivered its own piece of gaming nostalgia via the Movieland Arcade!

There are some amusement centres that are stuck in a bygone era, a period of time when arcade parlours in the 80s were lined with machines, both of the arcade and pinball kind, checkered linoleum flooring, cheeky signage, an attendants booth for exchanging your notes for coins and of course, the smell. Well, it is safe to say that Movieland Arcade encapsulates this 80s era perfectly.

Situated at the hipster end of Granville Street in central Vancouver, Movieland Arcade cannot be missed – its distinct red tile facade enticing you to go in and experience some real gaming nostalgia. With pinball tables and arcade machines ranging from the 70s to the late 90s, you better exchange your notes for a shed-load of coins as you will want to play them all!

Movieland Arcade reminded us of the arcade joints we used to frequent in the 80s on Swanston Street and Russell Street in the centre of Melbourne. Unlike those arcade joints going the way of the dodo, Vancouver can count itself lucky with a place like the Movieland Arcade.

Whoa, we spot Movieland Arcade across the road!

You definitely can’t miss the distinct facade of this majestic arcade parlour

We better grab some more coins!

Here we go! Hmm, pinball or straight to the arcade machines?

We shall start from the left and work our way to the right..

You have to go slow when you are in here! Too many awesome distractions!

We can’t go past some Neo Geo action

Killer Instinct is next!

Whoa man, haven’t seen a Gauntlet Legends machine in almost 20 years!

Some single racing action on Daytona USA!

Inserting coins now!

Nothing beats some 8P head-to-head racing!

We spy Medieval Madness! Time to destroy some castle!

Needing some gun action, which Area 51 will satisfy

We enjoy gunning down zombies!

Hmm, not sure if these ‘movies’ and that ‘theatre’ are appropriate, but…

OMG, Raiden Fighters! There go all of our coins!

Our shmup senses have gone into overdrive! Get us some more coins!

We spent our last few coins on some Playboy action *wink*

Darn it, the booth attendant must’ve had a toilet break. We’ll be back.

Splatterhouse: The Complete History

splatterhouse_hdrHalloween may be over for another year, but that didn’t stop Daniel Ibbertson (Slopes Games Room) grabbing the Terror Mask and entering the West Mansion for a look at the complete history of everyone’s favourite slash’em up, Splatterhouse.

Daniel’s video looks at every single game in the franchise, Namco’s struggle against Nintendo and every movie reference found in the series so far. Go and grab some popcorn, leave the light on, and press play now!


source: Slopes Games Room