DEFIN­ING GAMES

Retro Gamer - - FROM THE ARCHIVES: DIGITAL PICTURES -

NIGHT trap

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.

SEWER SHARK

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.

CORPSE killer

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.

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