Editor's Note: Aftera brief hiatus, the RGotW community feature returns. I'm too young to have played this game -- or to have even seen it at an arcade -- but it seems that Sinistar lives up to its name. I believe it is also historically significant, as an influence on many later space shooters, so take note if you're into video-game history. -mossy_11
RUN RUN RUN! Greetings classic gamers! It's time for yet another instalment of Pixelcade's "games you may have not heard about" segment. This time, we are going to take a look at Sinistar by Williams.
Let me get the technical details out of the way first. Year: 1982; cabinet type: Space Shooter Vertical Cabinet or Environmental; players: 2, but only one at a time; input: two buttons, one joystick; MONO Sound (yes kids, I said MONO -- as in one channel of audio). So with those technical details gone done lets see what's going on here.
1982: I was crying my eyes out as that little lovable alien E.T. couldn't get a calling card to phone home. Ozzy found love and married his manager Sharon. And I was busy playing my Colecovision and still picking my nose. On trips to the local arcade one could hear dozens of games in attract mode, begging you to approach and put in that lovely silver quarter.
For much of my existence on this earth, I have been an unashamed Civilization addict, Sid Meier's historically-themed strategy masterpiece. The series has done more to cultivate my interests today than anything else, helping to determine my majors in school (history and computer science), my fascination with interactive systems, and my goal of a career in game design.
I was only four years old when the original Civilization came out in 1991, and I knew nothing of the game until a few years later, when my brother entered private school. He came home after school one day with Civilization installed on his laptop and showed it to me. I was hooked instantly -- before I’d even played it. The developers had abstracted an entire alternate history of Western civilization into this simple game that offered so much emergent complexity.
Editor's note: Thanks to jack59splat59 for being the first to volunteer for our new Retro Game of the Week community feature. Check out his article then post your thoughts in the comments. And if you haven't played Rayman 2, get out there and do it now! -mossy_11
Released on January 6, 1999 for the Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, and PlayStation, Rayman 2 took the iconic Rayman into 3D for the first time. It has since been ported to several other systems, including the Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3 (PSN), and iPhone, and is on many "Best Games of All Time" lists.
It’s a simple story that has been told in various guises for thousands of years: the beautiful princess is held against her will by the evil usurper of the throne. The hero must come to her aid and save the kingdom from tyranny, undertaking a gruelling series of trials along the way. Jordan Mechner’s 1989 Prince of Persia added a strong sense of urgency to the plot with a strict one hour time limit. Fail and the princess dies; the kingdom falls to the evil Grand Vizier Jaffar. Succeed and become the champion of the people; the tyrant Jaffar dies.
You emerge in the deepest depths of Jaffar’s dungeons, unarmed and with only your wits to defend you against the many guards and traps scattered throughout. In just one hour you brave perilous drops, retractable spike pits, collapsing floors, armed guards, and several other kinds of traps, all of which can slice and dice your avatar in the most terrifying ways. With the odds so firmly stacked against you, it takes remarkable skill -- and more than a little luck -- to reach the end of the game, where you meet the tyrant Jaffar himself for a fight to the death.