Shot over 16 days in 1987 with an extensive cast, a large lineup of stuntmen and all of the associated editors, assistants and engineers that tend to be involved in Hollywood productions, the interactive movie videogame Night Trap was rejigged for its Mega-cd release five years later. It was lauded for its full-motion video. Yet despite a plot that had players keeping tabs on a house packed with high-spirited teens, activating traps for the evil Augers who were intent on endangering them, it soon became apparent that its single-button press gameplay was rather dull.
This swam in better waters than Night Trap and it achieved the glorious combo video motion with blisteringly fun on-rails shooting action. It became a must-play game for Mega-cd owners, so much so that it ended up being bundled with the system. Yet it still bore the hallmarks of FMV: over-the-top acting and a slim plot. Even so, it had pedigree. John Dykstra was the director and he had led the special effects for the original Star Wars! So while the game mainly revolved around controlling a crosshair, there was no faulting its ambition.
ground Zero: TEXAS
As with Night Trap, Ground Zero: Texas had a first-person viewpoint and, like that aforementioned title, its gameplay consisted of peering through a series of cameras, this time to save the disappearing people of a small Texan town. Rather than trapping enemies, however, players had to shoot them instead, lending the feeling of a target shooting game, albeit one that employed the services of a Hollywood film crew. Directed by Dwight H Little, whose credits include 24, Prison Break and Free Willy 2, there was 100 minutes of footage overall.
Although Digital Pictures’ early FMV titles were made for the Mega-cd, Corpse Killer also got an outing on other Cd-based consoles including the Saturn, 3DO and the Mega Drive’s 32X. Each version – aside from the Saturn – could be played using a lightgun. But while there was a real danger that blasting away at dozens of zombies could become rather repetitive, it was kept alive by some neat twists. Blast the Shadow Men when they were darkened, for instance, and it would cause you to lose health.