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Archive for May 2016

Original Amiga port of Shadow The Beast Unlockable in the Remake on PS4

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Editor’s Note: We have a copy of Shadow of the Beast on PS4 and Fred is currently playing through it.  A full review will go live Monday.

The remake of Shadow of the Beast on PS4 has arrived and is out now on PSN – and for those of you tangible collectors, there is a region free, English, disc based version you can find at import retailers. Recently the developers revealed you’ll be able to unlock the original Amiga port during the game. This isn’t an uncommon thing with a lot of these retro revival type games. Other titles in recent history that did this included Splatterhouse and Flashback on Xbox 360 and PS3 (Flashback is also on PC), all of which allowed you to play the original game.  Splatterhouse allowed you to play all three of the original titles in the series making this title highly collectible to this day, especially since it’s cheaper to track down the remake as opposed to owning all of the original titles physically. Let’s also not forget the original game was an arcade and TurboGrafx-16 game with the second two sequels being exclusive to the Mega Drive. It’s somewhat surprising only the first Shadow of the Beast game will be unlocked, unless maybe developer Heavy Spectrum is planning to release the others with sequels to this remake, I guess we will see. All three original Shadow of the Beast games were released on Amiga but the first two games in the series were ported to various consoles.

shadow_of_the_beast_2016_2Very little has been covered on this title since its original reveal over a year ago and then it suddenly was released on the world this week. Originally demoed at EGX 2015 and with only being showed off on a single game unit, I wasn’t particularly impressed with what I’d played then. The game came across as a 2D hack-and-slash with excessive waves of enemies. It seemed to lack the unique exploration and the convoluted puzzles that were present from the original. Of course a lot can change in that tim,e and maybe it has. I don’t doubt this will be more accessible to a modern audience but it just feels a chance was wasted here. Since the remake is coming with the original Amiga port, however, I think I might have to give this one another shot.

Written by jamalais

May 20, 2016 at 11:00 am

The Story of Lionhead Studios’ Rise and Fall

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Sorry to have led you here on false pretenses by suggesting that I had written an article on the subject.  Don’t worry, there’s a link here to the incredible, somewhat heartbreaking details of the beginning and tragic end to Lionhead Studios.  I’ve said before that the challenge of being a no ads blog about retro games and located in the Midwest (Kansas City) leaves me at a loss for developer inside stories.  I’ve got Jam, who is closer to some of the core studios in London, but frankly he doesn’t work for pay (none of us do) and I have no idea how he would get into a closed studio to ask insider questions.  None of these factors are the case with Eurogamer.  Writer Wesley Yin-Poole wrote a fantastic piece last week that not only told the history of Lionhead (many of us could do the research and write that) with the rare inclusion of some candid stories.  Those stories, including quite a few of the colorful actions of Peter Molyneux, are what I always want to know about game development and the studios responsible.  In short, read this story now.  The link can be found here, or by clicking on the Lionhead logo at the top, which some of you may have already done.

 

Written by Fred Rojas

May 19, 2016 at 11:00 am

Podcast: That’s Not How It Happened

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This week Fred and Jam are leaping head first into the Prince of Persia franchise.  They discuss the roots, mechanics, and original trilogy that spanned a decade.  The show concludes with the discussion of the Sands of Time trilogy, including the mechanic that the franchise is best known for.

Here’s the link for the original Prince of Persia video that Mechner took of his brother: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAjRNU3DbSY


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Written by Fred Rojas

May 18, 2016 at 11:00 am

Version: Resident Evil 2

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Resident Evil 2 (or Biohazard 2 as it’s known in Japan) is one of the most popular games in the series and has had a numerous amount of ports. In this video we examine all of the content, plot, and changes between the original PS1 release of Resident Evil 2 and all other versions that came afterward.

Special thanks to the Play Old PC Games blog (http://www.play-old-pc-games.com/2014/09/04/resident-evil-2/), the-horror.com, and the Resident Evil wiki on Wikia. All footage was captured by actual gameplay on hardware save for the final emulation comparison.

 

Written by Fred Rojas

May 17, 2016 at 11:00 am

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Documentary: G4’s “Icons” The History of Doom and Making of Doom 3

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0:00-21:59 – G4’s “Icons” Documentary on Doom and the Making of Doom 3
22:00 – 26:23 – Developer Interviews
26:23 – 30:08 – Concept Art and Creature Development

Back when G4 was a thing, the channel would often delve into these short half hour documentaries on the making of upcoming games. Companies liked to include these documentaries in special editions of Xbox games. One of those is found on the special edition of Doom 3 for the original Xbox.

While it’s an interesting look at Doom 3, I have to apologize for the quality, which is a blown up and upscaled version of the video on the disc. That video takes up a small portion of real estate on the screen and the Xbox only outputs it at 480p. Either way, it’s fun and interesting so lets take a look at G4’s coverage of the History of Doom and the Making of Doom 3.

Written by Fred Rojas

May 12, 2016 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Old Console, New Hardware (Part 2)

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This week the mod conversation continues as the guys move into the CD-based consoles and the wonderful world of modchips.  There were many ways to get different things done in the Playstation era and beyond.  Finally the show wraps up with soft modding and the various things that can be done from consoles only a few generations old.


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Written by Fred Rojas

May 11, 2016 at 11:00 am

Doom Retrospective

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As I said in a previous article regarding Wolfenstein 3D, “Wolfenstein 3D did it first and Doom did it best.”  The same team, id Software, created both games so it’s less of a competition and more of an evolution.  While I agree that all games are a team effort, the technology that runs these games can sometimes be credited to one person.  In the case of Doom that one person is none other than John D. Carmack.  By this point most of us are aware of John Carmack and what he’s contributed to video games as a whole, but back in 1992 he was the guy creating a new engine for a new game.  That engine was called the Doom Engine.  Carmack claims the name Doom came from the movie The Color of Money in which Tom Cruise describes a custom pool cue as “doom” when questioned as to what’s in his case.  It was created to enhance the first person shooter to include different heights, distances, and even sound effects in stereo for a more realistic type of game.  In truth the hardware of the time couldn’t handle rendering a 3D world so the game is actually all on a flat plane in the code, which is why rooms never overlap and you can shoot a guy on a ledge by just aiming at the wall beneath him.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but in 1993 I hardly noticed.  Doom had positional breathing of mutant men, lighting effects (including dark rooms), a hybrid cyberpunk and distopian Hell setting, and a ton of violence.  It was the rock star of the video game world.

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Friday at the Movies: Captain America Civil War

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Video games are an interactive experience and whether it’s that fact or something completely unrelated the stories in them, well, mostly suck.  Comic books (as well as other media) somehow get lumped into the same world, which is completely without merit.  Perhaps it’s that both started off as a target for kids, but whatever the reason this is a myth that is often regarded as fact.  Comic books have incredible story lines, character development, and even rival contemporary films in terms of quality content.  Captain America Civil War has to be one of the best translations from comic book to screen I have ever seen.

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Written by Fred Rojas

May 6, 2016 at 11:10 pm

Podcast: Old Console, New Hardware (Part 1)

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We all love old video games, but the frank reality is that as they age our consoles run solely on obsolete technology.  As the basic capabilities of modern hardware increases, so does the ability to mod classic consoles to keep up.  In addition, new accessories also come on the scene to serve needs that were either impossible or too expensive in the past.  This episode covers the earliest cartridge-based consoles and the many modifications and accessories you can get for them.  In part 1 of this two-part series we get a bit technical, but also present the many options you can potentially research.


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Written by Fred Rojas

May 4, 2016 at 11:00 am

Extra Credit: Gamecube Community Top 10

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The GH101 community chimes in on its choices of the top 10 games on the console.  Some are unique but clearly many in the final result are crowd pleasers.


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