Posts tagged computer games

The World Needs A New Cobra Triangle Game
The concept of the “retro gaming” sub-genre, as it applies to modern games, is become a thing of, well, the past. While critics want to slap any term they can on a particular game to better describe it, there’s more to a lot of these throwback-looking titles than simply being “retro.” In some cases, they’re doing better than their big-budget, over-hyped contemporaries, especially when we look to the success of Shovel Knight. That title is not alone, of course, as many others are doing especially well on the console marketplaces (be it PSN or Wii U eShop) and Steam network.  This interest in gaming in its purest sense gives hope to developers and gamers alike who want to enjoy a title that is all about quality and little else. This also applies to developers looking to reboot their favourite series from the past, such as River City Ransom. The beat-‘em-up/RPG hybrid will live on soon in the form of River City Ransom: Underground following a strong campaign on crowd-funding platform KickStarter. And in thinking about all of this, it got me thinking, What other older games deserve a reboot? Instantly, my mind traveled to Cobra Triangle, a game for the Nintendo Entertainment System that turned 25 years old past July and hasn’t gotten the love it deserves. Let’s change that.
For those unfamiliar with the Rare-created title, it’s a pretty straightforward affair. You take on the role of a speedboat armed with serious firepower, bullets and missiles, the latter of which you can upgrade throughout your journey. Speaking of, you essentially are tasked with driving the boat through a variety of levels, some way more treacherous than the next, to fight a series of epic sea monsters. These include larger-the-life versions of serpents, sharks, octopus, and the like, which you battle after destroying enemy speedboats, saving hostages, and beating the clock. There’s a bit more to it than that, such as the absolutely dreadful waterfall-jumping levels, but that about sums it up. Now, in an age when these more straightforward and simplistic games are so adored, where is the Cobra Triangle reboot? OK, you can make the argument that there are other games more worthy of a fresh take, but let’s take a step back and, at least, ask for a remake. Like, for example, Ducktales: Remastered, which is actually one of the best games on Wii U, looks stunning, and plays just like the original NES title! Not only that, but there remains a desire for games centered on the mysterious location after which Cobra Triangle is named. For example, Betfair’s online casino features an arcade game outfitted with much of the same imagery! You’ll see sharks and giant squids, though the developer (Playtech) favoured sea planes as the mode of transportation over Cobra Triangle’s speedboats. That’s fair—and it also bring to mind another idea: Flip the script on the old-school game and make it about planes instead. Think about it: The boat you drive in Cobra Triangle actually has a set of blades that emerges from its roof, and it’s used to transport you from one level to the next. What if they just went full-on plane (or even helicopter), embraced the motion controls available on consoles, and made something truly unique. Sounds like one hell of a game to me. Now, if only someone could create a KickStarter for this, we’d be all set. What say you, Internet?

The World Needs A New Cobra Triangle Game

The concept of the “retro gaming” sub-genre, as it applies to modern games, is become a thing of, well, the past. While critics want to slap any term they can on a particular game to better describe it, there’s more to a lot of these throwback-looking titles than simply being “retro.” In some cases, they’re doing better than their big-budget, over-hyped contemporaries, especially when we look to the success of Shovel Knight. That title is not alone, of course, as many others are doing especially well on the console marketplaces (be it PSN or Wii U eShop) and Steam network.

This interest in gaming in its purest sense gives hope to developers and gamers alike who want to enjoy a title that is all about quality and little else. This also applies to developers looking to reboot their favourite series from the past, such as River City Ransom. The beat-‘em-up/RPG hybrid will live on soon in the form of River City Ransom: Underground following a strong campaign on crowd-funding platform KickStarter. And in thinking about all of this, it got me thinking, What other older games deserve a reboot? Instantly, my mind traveled to Cobra Triangle, a game for the Nintendo Entertainment System that turned 25 years old past July and hasn’t gotten the love it deserves. Let’s change that.

For those unfamiliar with the Rare-created title, it’s a pretty straightforward affair. You take on the role of a speedboat armed with serious firepower, bullets and missiles, the latter of which you can upgrade throughout your journey. Speaking of, you essentially are tasked with driving the boat through a variety of levels, some way more treacherous than the next, to fight a series of epic sea monsters. These include larger-the-life versions of serpents, sharks, octopus, and the like, which you battle after destroying enemy speedboats, saving hostages, and beating the clock. There’s a bit more to it than that, such as the absolutely dreadful waterfall-jumping levels, but that about sums it up.

Now, in an age when these more straightforward and simplistic games are so adored, where is the Cobra Triangle reboot? OK, you can make the argument that there are other games more worthy of a fresh take, but let’s take a step back and, at least, ask for a remake. Like, for example, Ducktales: Remastered, which is actually one of the best games on Wii U, looks stunning, and plays just like the original NES title! Not only that, but there remains a desire for games centered on the mysterious location after which Cobra Triangle is named. For example, Betfair’s online casino features an arcade game outfitted with much of the same imagery! You’ll see sharks and giant squids, though the developer (Playtech) favoured sea planes as the mode of transportation over Cobra Triangle’s speedboats. That’s fair—and it also bring to mind another idea: Flip the script on the old-school game and make it about planes instead.

Think about it: The boat you drive in Cobra Triangle actually has a set of blades that emerges from its roof, and it’s used to transport you from one level to the next. What if they just went full-on plane (or even helicopter), embraced the motion controls available on consoles, and made something truly unique. Sounds like one hell of a game to me. Now, if only someone could create a KickStarter for this, we’d be all set. What say you, Internet?

Wow, check out those ‘3D’ graphics.
In my mind the graphics in Myst were still amazing, so it’s kind of disappointing to actually see it again and realize how dated it looks now.
This was the 1993 entry for Wired’s ‘Most jaw-dropping game graphics’ list of the last 20 years - check out the full list here.

Wow, check out those ‘3D’ graphics.

In my mind the graphics in Myst were still amazing, so it’s kind of disappointing to actually see it again and realize how dated it looks now.

This was the 1993 entry for Wired’s ‘Most jaw-dropping game graphics’ list of the last 20 years - check out the full list here.

Unreal Engine 3 powered demo runs in standard web browser.
Epic Games has shown off a game built to run in any standards-based browser using HTML5, WebGL and Javascript, without any additional drivers or plugins. The demo of Epic Citadel is based on Unreal Engine 3, which took just four days to port to the web.


"Just like Sony and Microsoft have platforms, the web is now a platform, and if you can build and ship a game, you can have it run in several (and in the future, any) standards-compliant browser and have a great experience," Epic founder Tim Sweeney told Gamasutra last month.
"It marks the end of drivers, installation, all the other weird quirks of legacy game development."


Check out the demo here.

Unreal Engine 3 powered demo runs in standard web browser.

Epic Games has shown off a game built to run in any standards-based browser using HTML5, WebGL and Javascript, without any additional drivers or plugins. The demo of Epic Citadel is based on Unreal Engine 3, which took just four days to port to the web.

"Just like Sony and Microsoft have platforms, the web is now a platform, and if you can build and ship a game, you can have it run in several (and in the future, any) standards-compliant browser and have a great experience," Epic founder Tim Sweeney told Gamasutra last month.

"It marks the end of drivers, installation, all the other weird quirks of legacy game development."

Check out the demo here.

I got out my Commodore 64 this week and amazingly it still all works, even the printer started churning out pages like it had never been stored away for most of the last 25 years!

I bought the system around 2001 from a guy who at that time still used it as his main PC and was finally upgrading.

It’s still in pretty good condition and some boxes even have price tags on - the disk drive was $495 New Zealand dollars when purchased (probably mid 80’s). That’s around US$420 in 1985, or US$915 adjusted for inflation in 2013 - just for the disk drive! Really shows how much prices have come down while performance has gone up!

Video: Activision R&D shows off realistic 3D characters.

This demo shows what can be achieved on current generation Geoforce GTX 680 graphics cards.

The rendering techniques, as well as the animation pipeline are being presented at GDC 2013, “Next Generation Character Rendering” on March 27.
The original high resolution data was acquired from Light Stage Facial Scanning and Performance Capture by USC Institute for Creative Technologies, then converted to a 70 bones rig, while preserving the high frequency detail in diffuse, normal and displacement composite maps.
It is being rendered in a DirectX11 environment, using advanced techniques to faithfully represent the character’s skin and eyes.

List of worthwhile DOS games.
This is neat, I didn’t realize how many recent games go back this far… Grand Theft Auto, Tomb Raider, Sim City all in there.
Check out the full sized image here.

List of worthwhile DOS games.

This is neat, I didn’t realize how many recent games go back this far… Grand Theft Auto, Tomb Raider, Sim City all in there.

Check out the full sized image here.

Nintendo mug is a cup full of awesome.
I’d probably just spill my coffee while trying to enter the Konami Code, but this is still pretty great…
Check it out on Etsy.

Nintendo mug is a cup full of awesome.

I’d probably just spill my coffee while trying to enter the Konami Code, but this is still pretty great…

Check it out on Etsy.