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Archive for March 2015

Targa, Spiritual Successor to Turrican, English Prototype Releases

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Rendering_Ranger_R2_box

Long lost to the annuls of history, the spiritual successor to the Turrican series, Targa, has had its North American unreleased prototype dug up and released for all to enjoy.

I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with Turrican if you live in the United States because, well, it’s more of a microcomputer and Mega Drive title.  Still, run-and-gun shooter with great graphics from 1990 found many homes in America with a Commodore 64 (C64) release, a Turbografx-16 release, a Genesis release, and of course the SNES (and oddly enough it had a Europe only release on the NES as well).  Developed by Manfred Trenz, who’s games are of cult legend and include The Great Giana Sisters and the stellar C64 port of R-TypeTurrican led a double life on both the Genesis/Mega Drive and SNES with a series of titles that play to each system’s strengths.  While 3 titles released on the Genesis/Mega Drive (Turrican, Turrican II: The Final Fight, and Mega Turrican), only two of the planned 3 titles released on SNES (Super Turrican and Super Turrican II, both of which are on the US Virtual Console as well)  and the third being a Japan-only game known as Rendering Ranger R².  Released in holiday 1995 in Japan, this spiritual successor programmed by Trenz himself featured many of the tricks the SNES had mastered in its time including, much to Trenz’s dismay, pre-rendered graphics like those seen in Donkey Kong Country.  It didn’t sell well, had a super limited release (approx. 5,000 copies), and fetches about a couple thousand dollars anytime it appears online.  With the late release, low sales, and cost of localization, this almost completely in English release never graced the light of day until now, and thanks to a tip from Retro Collect, notable NintendoAge member MrMark0673 has found and released the North American prototype for all to enjoy.  It even works on a flash cart in a real SNES.

Written by Fred Rojas

March 16, 2015 at 9:33 am

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Hotline Miami Review

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HotlineMiami_Logo

Getting that “retro feel” in modern games is a particular challenge that few actually nail.  Sometimes the aesthetics are spot on, but at the expense of gameplay, which can feel sluggish or imprecise and the developer often sites authenticity for retro consoles or some other excuse.  Many times the soundtrack is fantastic but it’s the only notable aspect of the game.  By process of elimination there are those titles that get the gameplay down but at the expense of aesthetics and story a la Retro City Rampage.  That’s why Hotline Miami seems such an achievement because it looks like a 16-bit top-down game, plays like a twin stick shooter from the 90s (Smash TV anyone?), and manages to pull off the unreliable narrator concept that usually falls flat.  On top of that, it has a fantastic soundtrack that Dennis Wedin composed for the game and stands as the first thing you experience upon booting it up and the most notable part of the experience.  All the elements are there and the result is an unforgetable title from start to finish.

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Written by Fred Rojas

March 15, 2015 at 9:00 pm

Retro Shop Finds: Mystery Gamecube 10-pack Unboxing

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Fred and Brian unbox a mystery Gamecube 10-pack that could have any game in it.  Check out what they find.  Fred also notes a handful of Game Gear games he picked up for coverage in the upcoming weeks.

Written by Fred Rojas

March 15, 2015 at 6:37 pm

Posted in Game Gear, Gamecube, Videos

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Battlefield Hardline – First 45 Minutes of Campaign Quick Look

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Update 03/20/2015:  Fred decided to play the whole game so now it’s part of a playlist that will autoplay if you start with the original video.  Basically, it’s all automatic if you watch this.

Original Post: So Battlefield Hardline is hitting store shelves in the US on Tuesday and I cannot believe that they have yet to show off more than a handful of minutes of the game’s campaign.  With Dead Space‘s Visceral games creating the campaign, you would think EA would put more push behind it whether or not it’s any good.  Oh well, thanks to EA Early Access we got the opportunity to experience, and get some colorful commentary on, the first 45 minutes in this Quick Look.  Check it out.  (Please Note: This video is unplayable in some countries due to licensing issues, sorry, out of our hands).

 

Written by Fred Rojas

March 13, 2015 at 3:22 pm

Break Final Fantasy IV (II in US) on SNES With Newest Patch

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ff4damlimitraise

One of the most fun things to do in the 16-bit era of JRPGs – although not exclusive to this time period – is break the basic system and do all kinds of ridiculous overpowered feats.  Of those, Final Fantasy IV (Final Fantasy II in the US on SNES) had a featured known as the “break damage limit” that forced the game to allow you to dole no more than 9999 points of damage (sounds like a lot of you aren’t a consistent re-player of the game) regardless of combos, leveling, and parties.  ROM hacker “chillyfeez” found a hexidecimal code in Final Fantasy II (specifically the North American ROM) that allowed the cap to be raised to 16383 damage.  While this is probably no big deal to many of us, Final Fantasy hardcore fans are probably overjoyed with the ability to increase damage and possibly even result in faster speedruns of the game.  Either way, if you want the ROM hack, which will work on any emulated or flash cart copy of the original untouched ROM, you can download it here.  Thank you Retro Collect for the story.

Written by Fred Rojas

March 13, 2015 at 11:40 am

Someone Made A Mario Timeline

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Mario has never had the most complex tale. With the majority of the games involving Princess Peach being captured and Mario having to go on a obligatory expedition to rescue her. Well if you ever wondered how could all those Mario titles possibly link together then fear not a hard working YouTuber has placed the majority of the Mario series (including some spin offs) into a rather convincing chronological order. Who knows maybe Nintendo will take note of this effort and allow another official historia like Zelda. It’s just a shame they didn’t go one step beyond and include some of the more uncommon Japanese titles. Still, this is a fantastic video worth watching for any fan of the Mario games. Let’s face it guys there is a couple of games in this video you know you love.

Written by jamalais

March 13, 2015 at 9:09 am

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Dying Light Review

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Wait, what?  A modern review?!? Yes, it’s true, we will from time to time be reviewing new games.  It’s not because we got review copies, because we didn’t in this case, and it’s not because we’re changing focus from retro gaming either.  We just wanted an outlet to write reviews on the modern games that we play and frankly, some of the games that were releasing when GH101 started might now be considered retro.  Keep in mind that the site, articles, podcast, and videos will remain focused largely on retro gaming.  

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Zombies.  Of all the enemy types out there I’m pretty sick of zombies, but if a game can be compelling enough in its gameplay, I guess I don’t care what the enemy type is.  Parkour.  Now you’re talking, I love parkour.  Not since 2007’s Mirror’s Edge has a game even attempted true first person parkour and despite that title nailing the feel, it did so in very confined linear paths.  Dying Light attempts to blend the gameplay that developer Techland premiered in the Dead Island series with a day/night cycle that drastically changes gameplay and basing the whole traversal system on parkour, and it nails it.  That’s not to say that Dying Light is a perfect game by any means, because the story, side missions, and combat leave much to be desired, but there’s no denying that this world is great to run around in.

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Written by Fred Rojas

March 11, 2015 at 4:43 pm

Mario’s Side Gig

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mariokart

Of all the mascots that exist in video game history, Nintendo’s classic plumber Mario definitely has the most robust and best quality spin-off titles around.  If you’re imagining sports games on the Wii, this is not that episode, instead we’re discussing the great ways in which Mario was utilized to introduce us to everything from go kart racing to basic paint and music creation programs.


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Written by Fred Rojas

March 11, 2015 at 11:00 am

Someone Got Netflix Running on an NES

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Hackers these days don’t necessarily do things because they should, they just see if they can.  That’s definitely the case in this post on Gamespot where a handful of hackers got the Netflix streaming service running on an NES via a specialized cart but on an unmodified NES.  You can watch House of Cards running on it in the video below in all its streaming text and 256 color glory.  Netflix on NES, now I’ve seen it all.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yn-rNdYZAY]

Written by Fred Rojas

March 11, 2015 at 9:31 am

Posted in NES, News

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Dino Crisis Was Going to be on Gameboy Color

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dino-crisis-gbc-cancelled

According to the incredible web site Unseen 64, which is dedicated to revealing and discussing unreleased, canceled, and beta titles, Dino Crisis, much like other Capcom PS1 title Resident Evil, was going to be ported to the Gameboy Color.  You can see in the posting that there were some impressive screenshots but I fear that much like the playable Resident Evil game, it falls quite short in terms of gameplay.  Still very interesting, follow the link to check it out.

Written by Fred Rojas

March 10, 2015 at 9:00 am