Tags Posts tagged with "Retro"

Retro

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Alright trivia fans! What was the last Super NES game ever released in the system’s storied history? If you answered Konami’s Frogger (1998), then you… probably looked it up on Google. As of today, you’re also wrong. The Super Fighter Team, who previously brought us Beggar Prince for the Sega Genesis, has announced that they are shipping out copies of Nichibutsu’s unreleased SNES gem Nightmare Busters to fans who pre-ordered via their official channels and Kickstarter.

I’ve always had a soft spot for obscure prototypes whenever they’re released, and Nightmare Busters definitely qualifies as one. Originally slated for release back in 1994, the game was shelved indefinitely, and at least the SNES version of the game never saw the light of day until 2007, when it was found, traded for and eventually copied released as a reproduction cartridge. Oddly enough, this charming platformer somehow found its way to J2ME-enabled handsets in the cut-down form called Flynn’s Adventures, released by a company called In-Fusio in 2004. Kinda makes you think—how many other unreleased games eventually made their way out through less-glorious channels?

The Suikoden games seem to have a very active, loyal fanbase that truly appreciates the series and rewards Konami with fairly modest (not blockbuster) sales. What does Konami do to thank that fanbase? Let the IP sit out the rest of this console generation, never to be mentioned again, of course! In response to the criminal lack of Suikoden games from the publisher, a small group of these fans have formed translation groups, bringing you a few obscure Japan-only entries to the series. It’s a good thing this particular fanbase is a lot more creative than that of other RPGs, otherwise we’d be stuck with crappy fan-made films up the wazoo.

Suikogaiden is a two-part spinoff released only in Japan (obviously) starring Nash Latkje, a former noble from the Holy Kingdom of Harmonia, embarking on a coming-of-age quest of sorts. A group simply calling themselves the “Suikogaiden Translation Project” released Vol. 2 today, which should make a bunch of you crack some smiles. I haven’t had the time to play through Vol. 1 when it was released last March, so being able to blast through both volumes of this epic visual-novel sidestory should be a treat.

Gensō Suikoden Card Stories is a little more interesting, historically: it’s one of the first few games released on the Game Boy Advance and was also released as a physical CCG. The game takes place in some weird non-canon version of the Suikoden II timeline where bloody military battles are deemed passé and glory on the battlefield is decided through the intellectual staple of… card battles.

Hey Nintendo folks! We’ve got new(ish) games in this week’s Nintendo eShop update!

Wii U is still stockpiling on classic games via the Virtual Console. This week sees the release of Galaga ($4.99), a classic shoot-’em-up that weaned us back in the 80’s before we moved on to classier shmups and bullet hell games. What was your favorite?

Speaking of shooters, well… Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist is also now on the Wii U with new controller-specific functions exclusively for the Gamepad. Release date is on August 20th and it can be had for $59.99.

Discounted games Trine 2: Director’s Cut is available for $7.99 until September 5th from its original price of $19.99, and BIT.TRIP Presents RUNNER 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien is going for $11.25 (from $14.99) until August 29. Also, BIT.TRIP has a new DLC for $3 which features six new playable characters so you might want to throw that in if you’re planning to buy the game.

As for the 3DS, you can get Heavy Fire: Black Arms 3D ($4.99, originally released for WiiWare) if you’re into shooters (is it shooter week for Nintendo or something), and then there’s the 10-in-1 Arcade Collection which reminds me of those shady cartridges everybody owned back then for the NES. It’s going for only $2.99 so maybe it’s a good deal for retro fans?

Retail releases for Barbie Groom and Glam Pups and My Western Horse 3D (both at $29.99) which I will refuse to talk about, because principles.

Speaking of retro, Donkey Kong is now available for the 3DS Virtual Console collection for the usual price of $4.99.

Nothing to pick up this week, so I guess I’ll go back to Hydeland and try to beat Infernal this week. What about you?

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Well this is kind of a nice surprise. Although perfectly playable in its original Japanese format, it appears that a fan translation group has released a patch translating all of the text and lyrics to the Rhythm Tengoku, Nintendo’s late GBA entry that served as the precursor to the Rhythm Heaven games that actually made it across the pond. Best experienced with the Game Boy Micro hardware it almost launched with, the series has been fairly consistent across the years but I consider this first game as the best.

Romhacking.net has the patch hosted, if you know what you’re getting into, although I’m still debating whether or not to replay the game in English myself. There’s something inherently… wrong in seeing “Don-don-pan-pan” translated in a more-discernible language. Half of the game’s charm for me came from not being able to understand Japanese at all; and as I learned a little bit of the language later on in life, appreciating the subtle puns and onomatopoeia of the game’s lyrics. Even Treehouse’s best efforts to carry those over in the later English releases have fallen flat for me, personally.

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Since my exposure to the Atari 2600 only dates back to the latter days of its existence, my personal impression on the platform is that of a console of diminishing returns. (Unfairly) comparing its ports of Donkey Kong Jr., Pac-Man and even Space Invaders to the more arcade-perfect Famicom versions, even as a youngster it was clear that the vintage 1977 unit did not bring enough horsepower to the dance (insert Wii U joke here).

Now let’s all pretend that we live in a parallel universe, one where Nintendo signed an exclusivity deal with Atari to bring Super Mario Bros. stateside; only as an Atari 2600-exclusive. Apart from possibly setting gaming back twenty years, we probably would have a product similar to homebrew effort Princess Rescue. Available at the Atari Age store for a paltry $30, the game actually looks to be a fun, low-rent version of everybody’s favorite platformer. Inspired by a retro “demake” of Mega Man for the same faux wood-trimmed console, animator Chris Spry built the game in a few months using a programming library called Batari BASIC.

It’s a fairly impressive effort given the limitations of the hardware; smooth scrolling was not possible on the 2600 without elaborate software-side tricks, so I’m sure even the simplest of motions were—with zero knowledge of the hardware—quite a chore to perform. Hey, he even managed to use Mario’s sprite from Super Mario Bros. 3. Take that, 1985!

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Omy. Three classic Kirby games have found its way to the Wii U for this week’s eShop update.

Wii U:

  • Kirby’s Dream Land
  • Kirby’s Dream Course
  • Kirby Superstar are all released in the Virtual Console. If you buy two of the games, you get the other one for free until May 30th.

3DS:

  • Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D is now revamped to fit the 3DS’s glorious double screens, plus there’s additional eight new levels which you will not find in the Wii version.
  • THE “DENPA” MEN: They Came By Wave is on 20% off so I guess now’s a good time to find out who these Denpa men are and why did they come by wave.
  • Naruto Powerful Shippuden is now available in the eShop as digital download
  • Groove Heaven, which I might try playing because I’m a sucker for rhythm games, is also now available in the eShop.

So, what do we say to Nintendo? Not today.

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faceball027
Totally makes sense with anti-violence Nintendo back in the day.

The 90’s was a truly magical time where as a kid I would gobble up whatever game is placed before me primarily because I didn’t have a job or any source of income but my folks. One of the games I played to death before the abomination of a pirate console, the UFO entered our living room and set the precedent for me to drown in games and eventually aspired to legitimately play original software was Faceball 2000. This game was one of the first first person shooters on the SNES and while FPS games today are generally regarded as violent this game was absolutely child friendly. I mean you shot at smiley faces with round nerf-looking balls and your avatar was a smiley too and if that ain’t enough, when you get fragged in this game, the perpetrator says “Have a nice day” much to my frustration and rage back in the day.

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If we increased the poly-count of the Gremlin smiloid… it would still look the same

What makes this game so great was the fact that you are roaming in a three dimensional environment, much like how the original StarFox blew my mind in the years to come. Also, in spite of what seemed to be a kiddie-crap-bull-shit game, it’s actually insanely hard especially in the later levels where Smiloids (your smiley opponents) take more hits to kill, move , and shoot faster. I don’t recall whether or not you can actually increase your stats (namely armor, speed, and rate of fire) permanently but I do remember power-ups that can either stop all smiloids from moving, make you invisible to them, or give you invulnerability  for a fixed time period but I do remember whatever perks you have on you will be wiped out after you get fragged (or “tagged” as they are referred to inside Faceball 2000).  The game also allowed two-player split-screen co-op or 1 v 1 head to head combat in the arena mode if you’re sick of your partner hogging all the power-ups.

This ought to be the part where I go all hipster and shit like “oh, I wish games these days would have pushed the boundaries of technology and make something like Faceball 2000 which was sooo mind-blowing at the time of the SNES…” but seriously, a game like this wouldn’t have progressed AT ALL into where games are now. Sure, I had a blast with the game and I would consider it one of the top games for me during the SNES era but now it’s just going to be a piece of video gaming history and a novelty. There is absolutely no value in taking this game “to the next level”… I mean smiley faces were probably used due to technical limitations at the time and it actually turned out great… well not so great. Bullet Proof Software (publisher) and Xanth Software F/X (developer) both sank into obscurity after the SNES era.

Credits to All Video Games TV on Youtube for the  gameplay video.

Screenshots lifted from Moby Games.

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Seriously. Look at the damn thing. Seems like Deviantart user Zoki64 has been taking orders on custom-painted consoles for a while, and this masterful refurbishing of a Sharp Twin Famicom is his latest masterpiece. For those not in the know, the Twin Famicom is essentially an all-in-one Famicom that takes both standard Famicom carts as well as Disk System floppies. It’s pretty darn desirable on its own, but this paint job takes it into complete hotness territory.

Now if you excuse me, I’ll be headed to the bank to withdraw my life savings. Right after I clean up, of course.

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104_0822One of my fondest childhood memories was being able to play a (really dumbed down) version of Super Mario Bros. 3 on my watch. It was far from an accurate port; constrained to how many characters an LCD screen could print on a silkscreen at the time. Taking off the nostalgia glasses for a second, the game itself was terrible—a single-screened platformer experience that even the proper Game & Watch games could easily trump; this had nothing on the real thing. Still, that fact could not stop my watch from being the talk of the playground.

Growing up, I found myself obssessed with trying to play Super Mario Bros. on every piece of hardware that I owned. I considered this my personal “Doom Test” when buying new hardware, regardless of the function—I consider a tech purchase a good buy if I could run Super Mario Bros. on it. Check out that picture to the left from a few years ago—I took that using an old Minolta digital camera that (you guessed it) had the ability to run Super Mario Bros.

So when my girlfriend bought me a Motorola MOTOACTV fitness watch last month (seriously guys, it’s awesome; I can review the hardware if I get enough requests to), I didn’t take it as a subtle hint that I needed to stop being a fat slob for once. Rather, it was an opportunity to revisit this obsession with playing Super Mario Bros. on hardware that has no business running games. So today’s project—if you happen to own a MOTOACTV or are planning to pick one up—is to customize the underlying Android operating system and flash a different ROM to enable things like alternative app launchers and mapping the hardware keys to different functions.

ISONY DSCf you’ve been dorking around with Android hardware for awhile, you already know that developers like to release their own “flavors” of each device’s OS, sometimes customized for functionality, or perhaps stripping down unnecessary services that slow down the hardware. I like keeping my devices as stock as possible (which is why tacky resource hogs like Facebook Home displease me), so I went with a ROM called “DPRom for Motoactv” to flash on my MOTOACTV.

Pre-Requisites:

  • You need to have Fastboot/ADB installed on your computer; here’s a good tutorial on how to set this up.
  • Your device needs to be fully charged. Yeah you can live on the edge and flash things without being fully charged, but why risk it?

The Steps:

  1. Extract the contents of that DPRom file I linked to.
  2. Switch off your MOTOACTV and boot it up again while holding the volume down and power keys to boot into recovery mode.
  3. Plug the microUSB cable that came with your MOTOACTV to the computer. You should see a few device install prompts pop in and out; if you installed ADB on your computer this should take care of any required driver installs.
  4. Open a command line window—hit Win+R, type in cmd, hit enter—and navigate to the folder where you extracted the files in Step 1. If you don’t know how to do this; seriously kids, lrn2 command line.
  5. Issue these commands in order. Obviously hit enter after each command to send them over to the watch:
     fastboot -w
     fastboot flash boot boot.img
     fastboot flash system system.img
     fastboot flash preinstall preinstall.img
     fastboot -w
     fastboot reboot
  6. You should be good to go after this! After the watch reboots, you’ll be able to select your launcher. Simply hitting “Launcher” will send you to Motorola’s default app selector; while going to Zeam Launcher will get you to a more familiar (albeit scaled-down) Android experience. You can go back to either launcher by hitting the power button twice.

SONY DSCEmulators!

Time to feast. You can either sideload Android apps or install them via the Play Store, which will be a little bit of a challenge given the screen’s miniscule resolution. Either way, I’d recommend grabbing one of Robert Brogolia’s excellent .emu apps for your emulation fix. You can either use the on-screen controls to fumble through the action, or you can be a cool guy like me and use a Bluetooth controller such as a Wii Remote or the excellent iCade 8-bitty, which I originally recommended in this overview article. And trust me—nothing gets a chick’s panties wetter than someone busting out Super Mario Bros. on his frickin’ watch during a party.

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I adore pixel art. I came from that generation of gamers (80s-90s), so it has a special place in my cold, black, evil, un-beating heart. So when indie developer Gamesbymo introduced A.N.N.E. (or Anne, if you prefer) to Kickstarter, I ceased my usual suspicious late-night internet activities to read the details and in less than 5 minutes I turned into this:

shutupandtakemymoney

Anne is in gorgeous 16-bit, which is about time since the indie scene has been saturated with 8-bit lately. It’s a true 2D game in 720p, so they advised to make sure our monitors supports 1280X720. The gameplay is a generous granola mix: a Metroidvania-Gradius hybrid with physics elements, and to top it off, it’s open world! So basically it’s Metroidcastlevaniagradiusangrybirdsskyrim, all in one pack.

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What really attracted me to this game like a whore to Tyrion Lannister is that the Kickstarter pledge awards are even sexier. In particular I took a BIG interest in the $100 level pledge, which is the game, complete in an SNES-themed box, cartridge, manual and the best part, a USB controller that resembles the original SNES controller. I mean, why settle for an original golden PS3 controller when I can have an SNES-like one? I hope they won’t screw this one up. Nostalgia may be overrated but I’m allowed to indulge in it once in a while.

The game also lists a lot of very promising stretch goals, and I quote ad verbatim:

  • $90,000 Milestone: Mac and Linux Versions!
  • $100,000 Milestone: Achievements! Gender Swap Mode!
  • $115,000 Milestone: New game+!
  • $130,000 Milestone: OUYA version. Challenge areas: Disapearing blocks? Alternate ending for completing every challenging areas?
  • $145,000 Milestone: PSN Version/Vita Version
  • $160,000 Milestone: Protect the ship two-player local co-op Mode!
  • $180,000 Milestone: WiiU version
  • $350,000 Insanity Milestone: ???

Yes, if enough money gets tossed their way, we can have Anne on OUYA, VITA and WiiU! It’s like Shovel Knight all over again! What more can I ask for?

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If you’re a very awesome individual, you’ll definitely support sexy indies like this. So zoom to Kickstarter now and pledge! While you’re at it, hop on Steam and make sure to Greenlight this game! You may also find Gamesbymo on their Official Site, Facebook and Twitter pages. The game is expected to be released on early to mid-2014, but you can bet that 30lives will be keeping an eye on it, and so should you! Stay tuned for more details as they unfold!

 

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Okay retro freaks, we need someone to make this happen for North America.  Apparently, Japan has a handheld device called Poke Fami DX which can play SNES carts and can be upgraded to play Famicom, Genesis and Gameboy Advance games with adapter attachments.  This beaut has a 3.5″ screen display for on-the-go play and has an adapter attachment for a second play controller.

Full package includes the system, adapter, controller, connector, AV cable, stand and other accessories.  The console can also work on batteries (lithium) so you can bring it anywhere.  I know, it will not really work in NA because we can all get the PSN / XBL / eShop game releases anyway but, but… it’s so damn cool, you guys.

 

Looking to bulk up your retro games collection in your XBOX 360 or PlayStation 3?  Capcom Arcade Cabinet Pack #5 is now out with 1942, SonSon and Pirate Ship Higemaru.  The pack costs 800 MS Points or $9.99 and if you have completed all the packs released before, you get more free games (Vulgus and 1943 Kai).

Capcom Arcade Cabinet has debuted in North America last February and listed below are the previous packs that were released in the previous months for your review (if you wanted to complete them and get the free games):

GAME PACK 1 – Available February 19th/20th | $4.99/400MSP

  • Black Tiger
  • 1943: Battle of Midway
  • Avenger

Black Tiger is free, with the remaining two games available individually March 5th $3.99 (PSN Only)

GAME PACK 2 – Available March 5th/6th | $9.99/800MSP

  • Ghosts ‘n Goblins 
  • Gun.Smoke 
  • Section Z

Games available individually March 19th/20th | $3.99/€3.99/£3.19/320MSP

GAME PACK 3 – Available March 19th/20th | $9.99/800MSP

  • Side Arms
  • The Speed Rumbler
  • Exed Exes (Savage Bees)

Games available individually April 2nd/3rd | $3.99/€3.99/£3.19/320MSP

GAME PACK 4 – Available April 2nd/3rd | $9.99/800MSP

  • Commando
  • Legendary Wings
  • Trojan

Games available individually April 16th/17th | $3.99/€3.99/£3.19/320MSP

Source: Siliconera

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Hyperkin Retron 5 Mockup

Retro gaming/strange peripheral company Hyperkin sure doesn’t like messing around. Hot off the heels of their fairly popular series of “RetroN” NES/Genesis/SNES clone consoles comes their latest piece of madness, the Retron 5; announced at the 2013 Midwest Gaming Classic expo. With the ability to play cartridges (regardless of region) from no less than five retro consoles (Genesis/Megadrive, NES/Famicom, SNES/Super Famicom, and all permutations of the Gameboy including the Game Boy Advance!), it looks like the company wants total living room retro domination and for you to never hook up another old console again.

If that wasn’t enough, the console hooks up directly to HDMI and upscales to 720p, saves and loads your progress via save states (just like emulators do), lets you mix and match joypads between systems, and even comes with its own custom Bluetooth controller. Literally the only thing it can’t do is make you a sandwich. Although if there’s one complaint I have about this beast, it’s that horrid-looking slider pad. Hyperkin, girl, we have to talk about gettin’ some real d-pads up in there.

The RetroN 5 launches this July at a price of “below $100,” per the announcement. Hyperkin does have a yearly presence at E3 so I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of the console before the actual release date. Right now all they have to show is a mockup render (shown above). I can’t wait!