All developers want their games to be remembered, but they don’t get to choose how. With super solid gameplay that had everything to do with a fantastic custom joystick, Williams’ Sinistar set the bar high for every shooter that followed. For that reason alone, it’s a special title, but the game offered so much more. With killer difficulty, it ate a ton of gamers’ quarters during its heyday. Thanks to one of the most iconic bosses in arcade history, brought alive by stereo sound (a first in gaming history), Sinistar is more than a success, it’s a huge part of pop culture lore.
The words of the Sinistar were sampled in mu-sic and more than a half dozen other games; simple phrases such as, “Run coward,” “I hunger,” and “I am Sinistar,” as well as a wonderfully gnarly roar were un-deniably unique for their me. It elevated the already cool game to undeniable levels of awesomeness. Helped even further by an amazing look, Sinistar notonly inspired terror because of its voice, but for its vi-suals as well. At the same me, judging the game by the sound and aesthetics alone wouldn’t be fair, either.
From a gameplay perspec ve, Sinistar was just as deep. Collecting crystals (which gave you the pow-er needed to defeat the Sinistar), and by destroying objects, the player was stuck in a constant frenetic battle that concluded with a scary boss fight. Add all these elements together and you had a combination with which most other shooter games just couldn’t compete. Ultimately, the crash of the video game industry and with no console ports until the Super Nintendo era, it’s ultimately a game that didn’t get the respect that it deserved until far after its release.
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