27 January 2010

Resident Evil - Playstation

I remember it clear as day.
It was just after Christmas and I had to be about 12 or so. This kid who lived in my neighborhood, who was spoiled rotten by his parents grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and anyone who had anything to do with him, had just gotten the original Playstation. He also got an X-Games title to go with it and this other game that I thought had a stupid name.
It may seem like a video game standard today but the first time I heard “Resident Evil” I laughed out loud. I mean, seriously, it sounds like some type of direct-to-video horror movie some guy shot with a video camera in his basement and some I-Party supplies. And to think, somebody, somewhere was the first person to think of this. Sitting in their cubicle at Capcom someone went “Hey! Resident Evil! I’ve got to be onto something here!” and then, adding insult to injury, hundreds of people involved in the development process signed onto the name before slapping it on the box and throwing it out into the world.
It was a dumb name then and it’s a dumb name now.
But people forget that because the game is awesome.
I remember we were about 10 minutes into playing it when a huge spider lept through a window and we had to take it out with a shotgun. It was awesome and brutal. For the next couple months, me and two friends made our way through the game.
This was before the Internet was a big thing, mind you. I still had dial-up AOL that wouldn’t let me on during snow days because the lines were busy so finding plot spoilers online wasn’t like it is today.
Nah, you had to play the game. You had to earn it. Which is what was great about Resident Evil. The reward for surviving each task made you want to continue. The new rooms, the new creatures, the new weapons, the alleged cheatcode that supposedly let you play the game as Jill naked, it was all to be gained by playing the game.
So yeah, the quality of Resident Evil titles may be a no-brainer nowadays, but you can’t overlook how important the first title was … even if it has one of the worst names in video game history.
Personally, I think “Trapped in a Mansion Zombie and Creature Killing Spree” is just as catchy.
By George Morse

Video Pinball - Atari 2600

Before I was tall enough to play real pinball I was obsessed with this simple pinball game for the original Atari. Complete with bumbers, tilt action, spinners and specials, Video Pinball was – and still is – a great and simple game that can be enjoyed casually or fanatically.
What I mean by fanatically is that, if you want to, you can have this virtual piball table do your bidding for incredibly high schores. The tilt feature – which allows you to sort of steer the ball around the board – is primitive. However, without it this game woud be about as fun as playing Combat by yourself. I spent hours in front of the cathode ray tube carefully adjusting my tilt skills to get the ball to go where I want, when I wanted.
Oh, and by "ball" I mean the tiny square that was supposed to be the pinball.
The approximation of real world physics in the game is primitive as well, but it works. The ball either floats softly or rockets around the table. It also boats a rollover bonus – getting the ball to roll over an Atari logo.
There are some good pinball gmaes on the market these days – we'll eventually get to some of them on this list – but most of them suffer from the same problem: Pinball is supposed to be played on a pinball machine. The mini-video games that modern pinball games incorporate into their gameplay are usually weak. The same goes for most pinball games played on a TV. It's hard to replicate the pinball experiecne with a game pad and a television.
Luckily, Video Pinball on the Atari 2600 was so primitive and limited in its abilities that it entirely skipped this problem. My older brother bought this game for me and he and I played it for hours. Next time I see him, I think we'll fire this one up.
By Victor Paul Alvarez