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Something for the Weekend – December 17, 2016

The weekend is a time to wind down. A time to reflect on all the happenings in the retrogaming scene. At time to revisit the week’s main news, previews, reviews, retrospectives, and updates. This week, we looked at news on an upcoming one-on-one Super Nintendo fighting game, a 3D printer Zelda map, checked out Super Mario Run’s always-on Internet connection, the PlayStation Agony of of Mary-Kate and Ashley game, updates on upcoming C64 and a Super Nintendo games, new game releases for the C64, ZX Spectrum, and Intellivision, two new Kickstarter campaigns (a C64/PC game and a Dreamcast game). All this and more in this week’s ‘Something for the Weekend’ . . .

News highlights:

Unholy Night, New Super Nintendo Fighting Game by Former SNK Developer

Unholy Night: The Darkness Hunter, to give its full title, is an upcoming game for the Super Nintendo. The one-on-one 2D fighter is all the more interesting due to the fact that former SNK developers are working on the game.

Shown off at the RETRO.HK – Hong Kong Vintage Game Expo 2016, Unholy Night is planned to be released in February 2017. Not too long of a wait: it is right around the corner, right? The developers behind Unholy Night worked at SNK together. This team was partially responsible for some iconic SNK fighters such as King of Fighters 98, 2001 and 2002. Reports say we will see Unholy Night released on a 32 MB cartridge. Unholy Night currently (as shown at the show) features six playable characters. Two of the female characters are Emily and Nightmare; two of the males are Cronos and Blaze; the other two are unknown at this time.

3D Printed Legend of Zelda Map

3D Printed Legend of Zelda Map

An interesting find on a trade and sale group on Facebook: a 3D printed map of The Legend of Zelda. Having spent over six months working on the map, the creator had to sell it on after falling on hard times.

This is one heck of a display of fandom. The level of detail is staggering: tombstones in the cemetery, forest full of trees, and ripples in the water. The detail in this piece is amazing. The seller apparently met with hard times so he had to let this beautiful piece go. The price is unknown, though, if I remember seeing another post from this person, it was stupidly low (around $100).

Super Mario Run Requires Internet Connection for Very Real Reason

We have mentioned Super Mario Run a few times in the past few months–upon its announcement and then its release date announcement. The game was just released there on iPad and iPhone systems on December 15, 2016, and we revealed this week just why the game requires constant Internet connection.

This is not the first time Mario has struck out on a non-Nintendo owned platform. It is the first time that Mario has done so and still been developed in house by Nintendo, though. One concern, however, is that Super Mario Run will require an Internet connection to run in any of the three planned modes. The reason may surprise you . . . In an interview with Mashable, Shigeru Miyamoto discussed various aspects of Super Mario Run. They touched on many things such as game modes, why Apple iPhone first, and more. The juicy part comes at the end of the interview when it is flat out asked: why the required Internet connection?

Akira unreleased Game Boy footage

Akira on the Game Boy was recently uncovered in October 2016, but here we have actual gameplay footage of the unreleased title in action. Patrick Scott Patterson has recorded himself playing through the unfinished game, which includes a bike racing section and a platform level. While the game does look and feel like a Game Boy title, it is clearly left in an unfinished state. It would have been interesting if the game could be finished in some way and given a belated release to the retrogaming scene.


Playstation Agony, part 4 – Mary Kate and Ashley: Magical Mystery Mall

magical mystery mall

We continued our PlayStation Agony retrospectives, and here we have one of the best. With the twin girls being a big hit on TV at the time, a video game featuring them was inevitable, right?

Mary-Kate and Ashley: Magical Mystery Mall was nothing like what I expected although, to be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect beyond ‘game aimed at tween girls’. Rather than a single game with a single style of play, 2000’s Magical Mystery Mall is a collection of mini-games meant to entertain for short periods of time instead of providing 80 hours of cut-scenes, dialog, and character development. The twins’ shopping spree goes awry when they purchase a pair of friendship charms from a fortune teller who warns them never to join the necklaces together lest bad things happen. When you’re a teenager and an adult tells you not to do something, of course, the first thing you’re going to do is defy authority: Mary-Kate and Ashley connect the charms, and BLAMMO! Time stops, the exits seal up, and it looks like the pair are about to live out their own Dawn of the Dead fantasy minus all the zombies. Then they realize six stores (and the information kiosk) remain open for business. Five of these stores hold magical gems that must be added to the necklace; once Mary-Kate and Ashley have all five, the spell will be broken and they can finish their shopping spree . . .

Today in Retro Gaming:

Eternal Champions (December 11, 1993)

Eternal Champions Sega Genesis

Unfortunately, Eternal Champions was not met with the same fervor as Street Fighter II did. Sega released their one-on-one fighting game with the unique storyline at the end of 1993; right in the middle of the early days of the fighting game craze. Looking to capitalize on the craze, Sega went all “Sega” on Eternal Champions. Characters in Eternal Champions are not inherently good or bad; they are just people from different timelines hoping to change their fate. Sega did release a Sega CD version of Eternal Champions in which they fixed a lot of problems with the controls. If you have a choice, get the Sega CD version as it also features ‘Cinekills’. These are full motion video animations of the death sequences and are, at least, cool the first couple of times you see them.

Tekken (December 11, 1994)

Tekken Arcade

[The plot] sets Tekken off and boy does it beat the hell out of the story for Street Fighter II, at least in my opinion. Tekken has some ties to Virtua Fighter by Sega also: Seiichi Ishii was the designer of Sega’s iconic fighting game. That may explain why Tekken was so well laid out and fun to play. While Virtua Fighter was a little on the slow side, Tekken was faster and more intuitive with characters that were more interesting and moves that were painful looking.

Preview updates:

Soulless 2 (Preview video, Commodore 64)

The original Soulless was reviewed in our first issue by Bill Loguidice, of Armchair Arcade, and is available on Magcloud. The follow up is under development and game designer Trevor Storey has uploaded a preview video of how the game is progressing. As Storey states himself, this is a “Very VERY early preview of soulless 2 showing the human character exploring the forest. next up will be to get the armour in and working. Still a lot more gameplay to go in and more levels / bosses todo, and the new soundtrack but we are getting there.”

Sydney Hunter and the Caverns of Death (Update, Super Nintendo)

The successful Kickstarter campaign has been progressing along with many updates and here is a work-in-progress update video on Collectorvision Game’s new Super Nintendo game. Sydney Hunter has appeared on many video game consoles over the past few years: NES, Intellivision, and even the Dreamcast. For the uninitiated, Syndey Hunter is a treasure hunter, not unlike Indiana Jones or even Rick Dangerous, the latter of which was prevented from being licensed for development to the Super Nintendo.

Kickstarter updates:

Unknown Realm: An 8-bit RPG for PC and Commodore 64.

A promising fantasy role playing game, Unknown Realm: The Siege Perilous has hit Kickstarter. Developed for the Commodore 64 and PC (Windows and Mac), the game harks back to the 1980s era of classic RPGs such as Ultima, Wasteland, and SSI’s Gold Box series. With a good dose of rewards on offer, the project has got off to a great start.

In The Line Of Fire – 3D FPS for the Sega Dreamcast

The Sega Dreamcast must rank as one of the most underrated videogame consoles of all time and, compared to other classic gaming hardware, we don’t see many games being developed for it. However, that might be about to change thanks to a Kickstarter campaign for In the Line of Fire. From developer Militia Studios, the game is a brand new First Person Shooter being exclusively developed for the Sega console.

New releases :

The Final Attack 2017 Redux Remastered Edition (Commodore 64)

Having been sent a complete boxed copy of the now rare game that was unearthed by a fellow Commodore 64 scene member, Caynes worked with Richard Bayliss on Remastering the SEUCK vertical shooter. The game has been put through the new SEUCK Redux engine, the intro has been reverse engineered with Regenerator, a new title tune produced by Bayliss has been added, and a new credits scrolling routine has been added to the original title screen. Having successfully ‘Reduxed’ the game, The Final Attack 2016 Redux Remastered Edition, to give the remastered game its full title, was added as the first out of compo entry to the 2017 SEUCK Redux Coding Competition.

Cyber Mania (ZX Spectrum)

Payndz from the World of Spectrum forums has had a first attempt at writing his very own ZX Spectrum game and it appears that he has done a pretty good job of it with Cyber Mania. Described by Payndz as “a kind of cross between Robotron, Berzerk and Pac-Man!”, the game certainly looks fast and full of action. The player controls an alien who must race around the maze like screen, rescuing humans before they are killed by the cybernoids who are on constant patrol. A ‘phase shield’ is also available to the player for a quick temporary invincibility.

Oh Mummy! (Intellivision)

nanochess from the Atari Ages forums has developed an Intellivision port of the classic Amstrad CPC game Oh Mummy! nanochess: “I was in lazy mood today and went to old memories of Barcelona last year, I played Oh Mummy over an original Amstrad, I found interesting the little game and wondered since then about an adaptation for Intellivision.” Looking like a faithful port, the game has the player running around a one-screen maze within a pyramid, collecting a cartridge and key in order to escape before the mummy enemies arrive.

Neil Reive

An avid retrogamer who has worked on various projects, magazines, and fanzines. He started his videogaming journey with the Amstrad CPC464 computer before moving onto a Commodore 64, then the Sega Mega Drive, followed by a multitude of PCs.

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