Pacing the Cage

All about old-school video games. Reviews, lists and more.

Archive for March, 2009

Our Favorite Games II: Star Fox

Posted by ptcgaming on March 31, 2009


Platform: Super NES Released: 1993

“Star Fox” pushed the envelope in the 16-bit age. Console video games weren’t known for their 3D capability. In fact, the Super NES console couldn’t handle a game so complex. So what do you do to fix the problem? Well, you build custom hardware into the cartridge, of course!

Thus, the Super FX chip was born. This powerful microprocessor, the first 3D graphics accelerator readily available for home console use, was built into “Star Fox’s” cartridge.

“Star Fox” was developed by Nintendo EAD and Argonaut Software. Shigeru Miyamoto, father of “Donkey Kong,” “Mario” and “Zelda,” was one of the game’s main designers. It was a 3D space shooter (Nintendo’s first 3D game ever) with a third-person perspective. You navigated your Airwing through several levels, and the difficulty was determined by the path you chose. In the game, which takes place in the Lylat system, Andross has attacked Corneria, and you control Fox McCloud in an attempt to thwart Andross and his army. “Star Fox” has seen its share of sequels made for later Nintendo consoles, even finding itself on the DS, where online play was an option.


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Our Favorite Games II: Doom

Posted by ptcgaming on March 30, 2009


Platform: MS-DOS (original) Released: 1993

While “Wolfenstein 3D” pioneered the first-person shooter genre, it was “Doom” that seriously put it into the mainstream.

“Doom,” originally developed by id Software, was as violent as it was popular. In Doom, you were a space marine basically blasting and chopping away anything in your path. Whether it was blasting possessed humans or destroying fireball-launching aliens, it was fast, run-n-gun fun. “Doom” was built using the appropriately-named Doom Engine, a new 3D game engine first used in this game. The game took some aspects of “Wolfenstein 3D,” also developed by id, and improved upon them, including but not limited to walls of varying heights and full texture mapping of all surfaces. Your weapon was fixed directly in front of you just like in “Wolfenstein,” and included everything from guns to a chainsaw to the plasma-shooting BFG 9000, one of the baddest weapons ever created in video game lore. “Doom” also featured a multiplayer “Cooperative” and “Deathmatch” mode.

“Doom” was the winner of multiple Game of the Year awards. However, the graphic nature of the game stirred a bit of controversy. It has been said that the two teens responsible for the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. The game has also been part of other controversies over the years, but is still regarded as one of the most important video games in history.

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