Tomb Raider Film Looks Like 2013 Game

By: D.C. Cutler, U.S.A.

It is rare that the tenth instalment of a video game is the best of the franchise. 2013’s Tomb Raider, an action-adventure game developed by Crystal Dynamics, was a reboot that reconstructed the origins of Lara Croft. The Warner Bros. Pictures film, coming out in March, starring Alicia Vikander, looks very similar to the classic ’13 Raider.

I liked the gritty, dark turn the ’13 Raider took. The violence was slightly outrageous, but it definitely pleased the fans of the franchise. It was time for a reboot and Crystal Dynamics and the publisher, Square Enix, knew it. It was vastly different from all of the prior Tomb Raider games and it was grounded by Lara Croft’s origin story. I think it’s one of the best games of the decade…so far.

The new Tomb Raider film’s trailer has the same colour pallet as the ’13 game. It looks like the film’s director, Roar Uthaug, has pulled various scenes directly from the hit game. The game centred on Croft’s survival and exploring an island and its various tombs. That’s what the film appears to centre on as well.

image source: The Nerd Mag

Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander looks just like the ’13 Croft; it’s indistinguishable. She’s an excellent actress; just watch Ex Machina or The Danish Girl. It’ll be interesting to see if Vikander can pull off such an iconic action character in a film that could be a tent-pole film for Warner Bros. She has the physicality and dramatic chops to bring a truly captivating Croft to the big screen.

I hope Vikander’s Croft is as cold blooded as the’13 game version. The gritty compositions, and some of the tilted camera angles in the trailer, mirror the imagery from the game. It’s just a teaser trailer, but I like what I see. The costume design is also on point, which is important for a property that has such a large following.

We have to wait until March to see if Tomb Raider will be that one great film based on a video game. From the teaser, and being an aficionado of the ’13 game, I’m anticipating Raider almost as much as Disney’s Solo: A Star Wars Story and Avengers: Infinity War.

Assassin’s Creed and Warcraft had good trailers too. I turned Assassin’s Creed off fifteen minutes in.

It’s astonishing that a film studio still hasn’t cracked the code on making an exceptional movie based on a video game franchise.

Tomb Raider has to be rated R to truly be like the ’13 game. Will it be as bold with its violence and death scenes as the iconic game? I bet it’ll be a safe PG-13 for box office reasons.


PAX Aus 2017 Cosplay

One of the main highlights at every PAX Aus is the cosplay. Even if you weren’t there this past weekend, you will definitely appreciate the awesome cosplay highlights package we have for you here – and to think, this was only the tip of the great cosplay iceberg!

Overwatch cosplay was well represented!

A bunch of Links. Now, to find Zelda!

Weird and Retro’s Kelly-Maree as Lollipop Chainsaw’s Juliet Starling

Press Play On Tape’s Phoebe as ‘The Puppet’ – FNaF2


Of course we were bound to find a super couple

Skyrim by the awesome Combustible Props and Zel T

Zel T is gonna get ya!

A close cut!

2B (Nier Automata)

Even Pyramid Head makes friends with Nintendo characters

Nintendo Man?

Blathers and Celeste flew to PAX Aus too!

Sewn Chaos Orianna – Legendary indeed!

Cross-Cosplay = Roadhog (Overwatch) and Deadpool!

photos by: Alan Ly and ms. ausretrogamer


Amazon’s Retro Zone: All Retro. All The Time

While the big news is of Amazon arriving Down Under, we were more excited about their new Retro Zone!

Amazon has curated their best of the best retro gaming items, from console, games and toys, to clothing and books! Oh yeah, there is plenty of Sega, Nintendo, Square Enix and Atari gear too!

So what are you waiting for, go and hit up the Amazon Retro Zone now!

More Retro than you can poke a stick at!

The heavy hitters of retro gaming are all there! Wait, where is Commodore?

image source: Amazon Retro Zone


Mi-Sex: Computer Games

Watching the ABC’s Classic Countdown on the weekend, we saw a music clip that triggered a torrent of nostalgia. The music clip in question was Mi-Sex’s Computer Games.

Released in 1979, Computer Games was way ahead of its time, both in the context of the nascent computer and video gaming age, and the use of Control Data Corporation’s data centre to film their music video, which features a number of arcade games from 1979 – can you name them all? The answers are further down below – don’t you dare cheat!

For those of our vintage that remember this hit song, here it is for you to enjoy once again. And for those that haven’t heard this before, kick back and enjoy!

source: saynotonowave

Answer: Computer Games features Vectorbeam’s Speed Freak, Atari’s Basketball and Exidy’s Star Fire! Did you get them all right?


Batman: The Game Needed More Joker

By: D.C. Cutler, U.S.A.

The Joker is one of the most fascinating and colourful characters in fiction. Moviegoers and gamers have a strong curiosity when it comes to the Crown Prince of Crime.

Nintendo’s Batman: The Game, released in 1989, was ground breaking for its graphics, its music score and dark tone. But something that has always bothered me about the game is the lack of The Joker.

The objective of the game is Batman fighting The Joker’s henchmen as you make your way to the Dark Knight’s popular nemesis. You get a little of The Joker sprinkled in throughout the game with quick shots from the film. Sunsoft was smart to put those Joker shots in, because if they hadn’t included them, you wouldn’t even know The Joker had anything to do with the game.

When The Joker finally appears at the final level of the game, he’s unusually massive. The Joker is tall, but he’s not supposed to look like a giant. I admire that the creators of the game made it so difficult to defeat The Joker. It took me awhile to figure out how to kill the villain; I can’t count how many times I died before I finally accomplished the task. The number was high.

Perhaps The Joker’s absence is so noticeable in Batman: The Game because every Batman game since has featured The Joker prominently. Some games, like Batman: Return of The Joker, and the more recent games, has exploited The Joker. They feel more like a Joker game than a Batman game. And with Harley Quinn probably being the most popular comic book character on the planet at the moment, recent games have played her up more as well. And with a “Suicide Squad 2” in the works, expect to see even more Harley in upcoming video games.

I know back in the 1980’s game play was a bigger priority for developers than story. However, Batman: The Game could’ve used a few more sinister Joker scenes. But with the technology at the time, they could’ve turned out clunky; unlike today, where you have the pale villain appearing too lifelike.

The graphics are brilliant for 1989. Each stage, from the chemical plant to the cathedral, has graphics that were above any other NES releases at the time. Double Dragon II maybe being the one exception.

Jumping is one of the best options in the game. Batman, when he jumps, has the ability to latch on to a wall and push himself off of it. Pressing the A button in a rhythm is all you have to do. You don’t even have to point Batman in any particular direction for him to jump to the adjacent wall. That was a unique move for its time.

I grew up playing countless Batman games. Batman: The Game is still one of my favourites based on the Dark Knight property; even if The Joker has very limited screen time.


NBA 2K18 Review – Stop Dribbling

NBA 2K18 is a decent basketball game for next-gen consoles – it has high quality graphics and fun game modes to play, but some gameplay elements need patching quick-smart.

One of the things that stand out about the game in the new version of what was previously known as MyPark. It is now known as “The Playground” and is where your MyCareer player stays in between NBA games. I like the new concept, you can choose to go to the Gatorade gym and do drills to increase your player’s attributes, you can also go to your NBA team’s practice court to do basketball related drills. You can also visit many different stores along the street such as the NBA Store, Foot Locker and a barber shop just to name a few. Don’t worry, there’s still the much-loved MyPark as well.

Other new things about MyCareer is the way you unlock badges. You can now see your progress to unlocking them and they can be earned in Park games, NBA games and practice drills. If you successfully complete an action relating to a badge, you will get a certain number of points towards that badge. To get the bronze badge takes less points than higher ranked badges. Also, the experience of being an NBA player is more realistic, for example, you will only obtain endorsements from shoe companies if you wear their shoes on game night.

The MyTeam game mode has similar concepts to last year’s game. The collector’s rewards have been replaced by goals and the online league system has been swapped out for “Super Max”, which is the same thing, but ranks you before entering a league – so good players don’t end up starting from the lesser league. There are also rounds in “Super Max” where at the end of each round, there are prizes to be won depending on where you are. The domination has another 99 stars to earn with 33 teams for All-Time Domination.

Another big change in MyTeam are the addition of salary caps so people who bought virtual currency don’t smash free to play players with a much better team. I think this idea isn’t great because once you get to a certain point, you can’t improve your team anymore.

The one thing I don’t like about the game is the gameplay. It is more realistic at certain times (for example, you can’t throw a perfect full court pass and have no one to intercept it) and the players move a little more freely. There have been problems of people not being able to dunk during certain times, I also experienced this issue. I created a 6’3″ point guard who could dunk in MyCourt and in the pre-game shoot around every NBA game, but in game I couldn’t dunk. On a number of occasions I’d be carrying the ball up on a fast break with no one around me and I still wouldn’t be able to dunk – I hope that once I upgrade my vertical and dunks it’ll work. Another issue which sounds small but is extremely frustrating in-game is the free-throw consistency. It is way too low in all game modes, even if Damian Lillard or Steph Curry is taking them. In a similar way, the lay-up animations are inconsistent, a lay-up that seems open can be considered contested by the computer causing you to miss it. One that is really annoying is the shot contest and shot block.

When an opponent is taking a shot you have a choice whether to press triangle (block button) or just stand in their way and contest their shot. This issue is quite noticeable when an opponent does a lay-up and you press triangle to block – you instantly get fouled. Equally frustrating is if you don’t go for the block, the shot goes in because there’s limited automatic shot contest. This is really annoying whenever your opponent attempts a lay-up, you will either send them to the line or they get the basket.

Although all these issues are frustrating, they are acceptable as the game hasn’t been out for long, I expect Visual Concepts / 2K Sports to fix these problems in the next large update.

Overall, NBA 2K18 is a promising new game with different and fun game modes and concepts within those modes. However, a few problems need to be fixed with the gameplay. If you are a basketball fan, then this game is still worth checking out.

image source: Playstation Store


Dylan Cukalac
Teenage video gamer and ausretrogamer contributor. When Dylan isn’t dribbling on the virtual basketball court he is ripping it up for real on the football field.

Follow Dylan Cukalac on Twitter and Instagram



NFL Blitz Turns 20

By: D.C. Cutler, U.S.A.

From the first time I played the arcade version of Midway’s NFL Blitz at a movie theatre arcade, I was hooked. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the release of the colorful, over-the-top football game in arcades. And yes, that makes me feel old too.

Before there was Madden, there was Blitz if you were an NFL fan and gamer. Blitz wasn’t as technical and stylized as a year of Madden, but it was just as fun and competitive to play with your friends. When Nintendo 64 released Blitz, the game was so different than any other football game on the market.

Blitz had a blown up exaggeration to it with the humorous violence when you tackled an opposing player. The explosive crunching sounds and the streak of light behind the ball when you threw it deep elevated the gaming experience. The graphics and play popped off the smallest of television screens.

The “late hits” after plays were a bit much; so much so, it’s one of the reasons, along with some of the graphic collisions, the NFL almost offered to refund Midway’s licensing fee. I’m sure the NFL was pleased when they saw the early numbers of units sold.

Everyone I knew who had a Playstation or Nintendo 64 system owned Blitz. Like Madden or Goldeneye, playing Blitz was a happening at a friend’s house. I can’t count how many times in high school I participated in an NFL Blitz tournament. No money was ever involved, but a friend had to wash my Jeep after I humiliated him in a rout.

On weekends, I would play an entire season (usually with the Cowboys or Broncos) in a single day. And I loved the pitch play. My go-to-play was always “Da Bomb,” or the pitch to my running back down the right sideline. The reverse pass play was always a must on a difficult drive as well.

As much as I’ve enjoyed years of Madden, I think I have fonder memories of playing Blitz. It wasn’t as formal as Madden, but the action was just as enthralling and challenging. When you scored a touchdown against a really good opponent, it was just as gratifying as when you scored in a competitive Madden duel. And, I would know, I’ve played against some exceptional Madden players.

Twenty years ago, Midway created one of the most enjoyable football games ever. It still holds up, and when I play it, I’m flooded with bittersweet memories of close wins and crushing defeats.

I hope, somewhere in a lively arcade, kids are still playing and discovering a version of NFL Blitz.

source: The Arcade Flyer Archive