Modern Video Gaming News

2014 probably won’t go down in history as one of the best years in video gaming. Players of all kinds suffered through delays, bugs and even hacks on both Xbox Live and PSN. Despite the disappointments though, there was a shining beacon of light in ’14 and it was the indie games.

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Access Software, the studio formed in 1982 by Bruce Carver brought the early computer game world numerous gems including the Links series and two Tex Murphy games. There’s an entire history of the studio, including their acquisition by Microsoft and their name change(s), on Wikipedia if you’re interested. I just thought it would be great to look back at some of their best early games.
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Sega’s handheld Game Gear emerged at the start of the 1990s and aimed to do battle with the wildly popular Nintendo Game Boy. Things didn’t really turn out well for the handheld, but there were a lot of amazing titles which deserve a look back on. (more…)

Here’s a Twitch stream of building out two 1985 Hot Hatchbacks in Automation an upcoming tycoon game from Camshaft Software. (more…)

Here’s a 20-minute look back at Super Hang On for the the Atari ST courtesy of The Joy of Sticks on the YouTubes.. Brings back some memories, doesn’t it?

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Here’s a 10 minute look at Urban Champion for the NES courtesy of Retrophile TV.

Game Info

Two rival characters meet up one day on the city streets and arrange a fight. Both characters will start in the middle with two blocks on either side of them leading to an open manhole. The first person to knock the other into the open manhole is the winner. Only punches are allowed, although obstacles such as falling flower pots can occur and give one player the advantage. Also, everyone is to look innocent should the police drive by.

This is a very early and simplistic fighting game. As mentioned, each player can only punch the other, trying to knock them off the screen and towards one of the waiting manholes.

Rating 28/100

MobyGames

 

Source: Mobygames Retrophile TV

There were a lot of truly memorable Sega Genesis titles released for the iconic console over its lifespan. From Moonwalker to Sonic the Hedgehog, there’s almost nothing that wasn’t wildly impressive at the time in terms of speed, graphics and gameplay. (more…)

So here’s a home brew builder who’s gone mad and decided that the world needs a Commodore 64 laptop.  (more…)

The Motorola 68000-based Atari ST hit the scene in the mid 1980s at a pretty steep price. Adjusted for inflation, The color version of the machine costed well over $2000 ($999 in 1985), and while it certainly was a capable machine, it only enjoyed limited commercial success. (more…)

Platformers essentially dominated the market in the 8-bit console gaming era. Was it even possible to have owned an NES and not have played Super Mario Brothers? I doubt it. (more…)

Here’s a 1 hour long look at Zombies Ate My Neighbors for the SNES courtesy of Retrophile TV. (more…)

The Nintendo GameCube, now well over a decade old, hosted a number of amazing titles. While Sony’s Playstation will undoubtedly be remembered for being the king of the RPG, there actually were a few really solid titles available for the Cube.

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Here’s a 30-minute long look at Ultimate Muscle: Legends vs. New Generation for the Nintendo GameCube courtesy of Giant Bomb (more…)

The 16-bit era is once beloved by many video game fans. It’s the era that featured four amazing consoles that nearly every player can look back on and smile. Even the out-classed TurboGrafx-16, which marked the first of the generation, featured some great gaming action. (more…)

In general, we think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy. Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem. For example, if a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24 x 7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country 3 months after the U.S. release, and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate’s service is more valuable. Most DRM solutions diminish the value of the product by either directly restricting a customers use or by creating uncertainty.

Time has put together a well thought out series on the history of the video game console from the earliest days right up to the eighth generation consoles.

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Sony’s massively successful Playstation console (now dubbed PSOne) was a force to be reckoned with when it hit the scenes in the mid 1990s. It brought with it powerful 32-bit rendering a standard CD-ROM drive and even  3D graphics capabilities.

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Here’s a 45-minute long look at Cyborg Justice for the Sega Genesis courtesy of Retrophile TV. (more…)

The Intellivision system was kind of an odd machine in a lot of ways. It was initially positioned as a home learning machine by Mattel but quickly grew to being a solid challenger to the Atari crown. (more…)

Data East was an early game developer and publisher which went belly up in 2003. I’ve not had a lot of fond memories of their titles quite frankly. I recall, even at a young age, associating their logo with games that were just not quite as fun as their competition for one reason or another. (more…)

Here’s an hour long look at Strider for the NES courtesy of Giant Bomb. (more…)

The Sega Dreamcast holds a special place in many player’s hearts. Not only was it Sega’s final console, but it was arguably the first expression of the modern game console as we know it today. (more…)

The Neo Geo has never been a platform for those of the faint of heart when it comes to shelling out cash. SNK’s amazing 16-bit console and arcade platform has already proven there’s still a niche market for game collectors and enthusiasts alike and this just keeps driving the rarity of some of the platform’s titles up. (more…)

Here’s a 45-minute long look at Adventure Island II for the NES courtesy of Retrophile TV. (more…)

Most Playstation players who enjoy a good RPG every now and again have spent more than a few hours with Final Fantasy and, perhaps, Persona, but lets dig just a bit deeper into the RPG spectrum and take a look at a few of the better RPGs available for that system.

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Here’s an hour long look at Shaq Fu for the SNES courtesy of Retrophile TV. (more…)

Nothing better embodies the advancement in computer processing technology like video games. Unlike spreadsheets, web surfing and page layout – all of which are, of course, more efficient on a new computer – video games really get the processor cycles moving.

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The adventure game has been around for decades. It’s certainly among the most mature of game genres and has undergone just enough advancement over the years to keep the formula fresh, while maintaining a sense of familiarity. (more…)

Here’s a 45-minute long look at Demon’s Crest for the SNES courtesy of Retrophile TV. (more…)

The 16-bit era of the home console market ushered in some compelling new hardware capabilities. In addition to faster processors and increased memory, these consoles brought with them sounds capabilities that rivaled arcade machines.  (more…)

Jeff Minter created the amazing vector-powered game, Tempest and has since go on to carve out a very specific niche just on the outskirts of the video game community. Yet with more than a few titles under his belt throughout the decades it’s tough to say he’s really and outsider. (more…)

Here’s an hour long look at Ninja Gaiden for the NES courtesy of Retrophile TV. (more…)

There was some incredible background music in the 8-bit era of home video game consoles. Even whilst limited to mono audio and simple noise generators, these early consoles were able to crank out some memorable scores that acted as a soundtrack for some of the best franchises in history. (more…)

Here’s a complete play through of The Adventures of Bayou Billy for the NES courtesy of Owen Johnston

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The 8-bit ZX Spectrum, released in 1982, was the toast of the hobbyist computer fan in the United Kingdom. Some estimates put the total number of titles for the system at, near-as-makes-no-difference, 15,000 titles. (more…)

Sega had an uncanny method for creating a real visceral feeling of motion in their arcade racing titles. The secret sauce was known as Super-Scaler technology and it allowed the game engine to resize the sprite objects quickly to achieve a pseudo-3D effect whilst maintaining a very high frame rate. (more…)

Long before Guitar Hero and Call of Duty found their way into millions of home game consoles, Activision was a small, humble publisher of Atari games; The first such developer, in fact. So let’s take a look back into the decade that launched Activision as the game publishing juggernaut it is today with a few of their best titles.

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Here’s a thirty minute look at Shadowrun for the SNES courtesy of Retrophile TV. (more…)

Direct3D came as a part of Microsoft’s DirectX API and was designed to make it easier for developers to access the 3D hardware available on many PC graphics cards. (more…)

Here’s a thirty minute look at Willow for the NES courtesy of Retrophile TV. (more…)

While console players were enjoying such low-res delights as Tecmo Bowl and Blades of Steel there was quietly a revolution happening on the PC. The greater processing power and growing adoption of x86-based computers were creating a platform for all types of games – and sports games are no exception. (more…)

Arcade Marquees were an important component of audience attraction in the era of the video arcade. Often times these pieces of custom artwork were masterpieces in their own right and held an important role in establishing the ambience of both the game itself and the overall game room. (more…)

Here’s a look at how Strider has evolved from it’s early days in the arcade until now. (more…)

The 1980s were a pivotal time in the birth of the modern video game. Of course video games existed well before 1980 and after the decade closed several phenomenal game franchises were unleashed, but the 1980s was the cradle of our modern video game civilization. (more…)

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YouTube user MetalJesusRocks has compiled a pretty decent collection of racing games – from the earliest titles to relatively current games across a wide range of platforms. (more…)

The last of the Atari ST line of personal computers, the Falcon, was but a blip on the radar from 1992 to 1993 but it did bring with it a few classic gaming experiences. (more…)

Sierra On-Line’s second generation game engine was known as SCI (Sierra´s Creative Interpreter) and represented one of the first great evolutions of a game engine. It also spawned some amazing best-selling titles for the company and represented Sierra at it’s pinnacle.

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The original NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) was the first real mainstream home console in a number of homes, and brought with it so many exceptional game play experiences. From (American) football to golf and everything in between, here are 5 of the best sports games for Nintendo’s amazing first platform.

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Here’s a thirty minute look at Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest for the SNES courtesy of Retrophile TV.

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Long before EA held the distinguished title of being the Worst Company in America EA was a well respected game publisher and a pioneer in the industry. Not to say that everything EA puts out now is horrible, but there was a time when the EA logo was almost a seal of quality and here are five examples.

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Like Totally 80’s has an brief interview with the original designer of Spy Hunter, George Gomez that really brings you back.

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Like a lot of others born in the late 1970s to mid-1980s, the first real experience I had on a personal computer was on an Apple II. Schools were lousy with them and it’s likely that when the instructor turned the other way, thoughts of gaming crossed your mind. (more…)

“I’ve always found that at any given time there’s some publisher out there who’s interested in innovation. Different people have taken up that mantle from time to time and they always get excited about it and then for some reason or another that light kind of goes out and someone else picks it up. And as long as there’s at least one publisher out there who is interested in innovation and doing something revolutionary then I think games like that will keep getting made.”

Looking Glass Studio’s Thief: The Dark Project will forever be one of my favorite PC titles and really ushered in the idea of great stealth gameplay.

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Here’s a forty minute look at Super Castlevania IV for the SNES courtesy of Retrophile TV. (more…)

The Amiga 1200 represents the final days for Commodore’s Amiga line, and the third and final home computer it launched. Released in 1992, it sold poorly and, as a result, many have never really had a chance to experience it from a video game standpoint.

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Here’s a list I’ve cobbled together of five of the best mech games of all time.

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Here’s a twenty minute look at Contra for the NES courtesy of Retrophile TV. (more…)

EA’s 1990 release of LHX attack chopper was, for me, a near perfect arcade combat flight game.

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I’ve put together a list of my favorite racers from the 1990s. This is the era that began with 16-bit graphics, faux 3D and sprites and ended with advanced 3D game engines, physics modeling and detailed car models.

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Here’s a sixty minute look at Keith Courage in Alpha Zones courtesy of Retrophile TV.

Game Info

As a member of N.I.C.E. (Nations for International Citizens of Earth), Keith Courage takes up the fight against the aliens of B.A.D. (Bad Alien Dudes) through seven levels in this side-scrolling action platformer.

As Keith Courage makes his way through the various zones, he attacks various forms of enemies in order to gain coins. The coins can be used in the shops for various power-ups, equipment, and other helpful items.

Rating 38/100

Moby Games

Source: Mobygames Retrophile TV

According to Arcade Sushi, these are the 10 best SNES imports.

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No seriously.. there was a full half hour length infomercial for the Jaguar and here it is.
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Hey why not take a trip back to the 1980s and play around with The Commodore 64 – well virtually anyway. I’ve collected a few links to get you going.

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It’s refreshing to see that decades after the dawn of computer graphics some of the most fundamental visual styles are still being employed, albeit in a much more modern context. Here then are five beautiful modern games that employ a stylish pixelated look.

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Over on Giant Bomb, I’ve put together a list of my favorite Steam early access games. Enjoy!

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VentureBeat’s Dan Crawley looks into one man’s passion to bring Out of this World (Another World) to one of the worst-selling consoles in history.

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Ahhh SNES box art.. Destructoid takes a look back at some of the wonderful and terrible packaging that made the SNES what it was. Looking at some of these makes for some real nostalgia.

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One of my favorite classic Lucas Arts franchises is Monkey Island, and here’s a fantastic gallery full of concept art from the 1990s that helped make it possible.

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The history of video games in a cube-oriented video. Looks like it was created by The Hamster Alliance.

The arcade has re-emerged in fantastic style, at least if you’re on the east coast. Barcade first opened it’s doors in 2004 in Brooklyn and has been merging craft beer and classic arcade games ever since.

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The Hyperkin Retron 5 (or RetroN as they capitalize it) is an oft-delayed multi-console system which promises to bring the NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, GBA and Famicom together in one big-ass hot tub party.

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One of the greatest retro RPGs ever.. maybe one of the best RPGs ever (retro or not) is pretty much available everywhere – even iOS.

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Analogue Interactive is bringing the original Neo Geo back with style. This isn’t an emulator pretending to be the real deal like the Neo Geo X, this is real arcade-quality hardware that accepts the original carts.

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Capcom’s crazy 1989 side scroller, Strider is making a return and it’s not via emulation either.

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Apple’s iPad has already cobbled together a pretty strong list of gaming titles and for those who’d like to scratch that retro itch, there are plenty of things to choose from.

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There are no shortage of lists out there, and this is one of them. Found at Shortlist.com, here are 20 great – maybe not “the greatest” – retro games.

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Here’s a great read on that darling of the 2013 VGX awards; No Man’s Sky. It’s a massive undertaking by the guys at Hello Games and while information is scarce, things are looking pretty good thus far.
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So there’s a console war out. Have you heard? IGN has a never-ending battle that puts literally every console up against each other in a crazy hot or not style challenge.

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