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Something for the Weekend – December 24, 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 spoke with the founder of the Retro.HK retrogaming convention, we checked out the latest news (Super Mario Run, Kraut Buster), new games releases (In the Walls of Eryx [ZX Spectrum] and Retro City Rampage DX [Android]), Kickstarter updates (Tanglewood, Dreamworld Pogie, The Atari ST and the Creative People vol. 1), Fan Translations. All this and more . . .

News highlights:

Interview – Dixon Wu Founder of Retro HK Annual Convention

This week, we caught up with Dixon Wu, the founder of the Retro.HK retrogaming convention in Hong Kong. We discussed the convention itself, as well as the Sony Super Nintendo CD-ROM hybrid console and the upcoming Super Nintendo game, Unholy Night.

Retro HK Dixon Wu Founder

There’s really no secret, just be proactive, I guess! I still remember last year, when I first saw the video of the Nintendo PlayStation prototype which Dan Diebold uploaded to Youtube–-I was super excited. “Someone finally found it!” I thought. I told him “Don’t sell it!” and asked if he would be interested in exhibiting the prototype in Hong Kong. Out of hundreds of emails and messages, somehow Dan saw mine, we connected through Skype, and got introduced to his dad Terry Diebold shortly after we already started planning their trip to Hong Kong. I contacted HMV Hong Kong which agreed to sponsor their tickets and accommodation, and also the venue for the first RETRO.HK last year in November. . . anything is possible. — Dixon Wu.

Retro Bit Generations Hacked, Here is How

The Retro Bit Generations is a new Plug and Play console that features around 100 classic games, which are all officially licensed and legally included with the machine. However, there was previously no way for gamers to load any of their own games on the console, until now.

We were contacted earlier today by an anonymous person claiming to have worked at Actions Company, a semiconductor and more developer. This person claims to have been behind hacks for various Actions Company and Dingoo product. I know, not a lot to go on but well, sometimes we have to run with our gut on these things. This is a “hail Mary” article of the year so here goes with the instructions to make this work. If you use these instructions and it works, please let us know . . .

Real Reason Super Mario Run Released with In App Purchase Versus Demo Plus Paid Edition

Super Mario Run has made the headlines all over the world for its pricing structure and its record downloads, but there is not much talk about anything else.

Super Mario Run

It is no secret by now that Super Mario Run is not faring that well on iOS. Over 55,000 fans have taken the time to give the debut Nintendo game on mobile a rating. That rating is squarely in the middle ground and not exactly screaming fan satisfaction. Also, Nintendo’s stock has taken a hit since the launch of Super Mario Run on iPhone. That is all fine just life (can’t please all of the fans and stocks rise and fall) but has anyone stopped and thought why Nintendo released Super Mario Run like they did? The reason is very much Nintendo and could be the reason we don’t have an Android version now, or possibly ever.

Kraut Buster Mission Status Report 2016

Fans of the Metal Slug inspired Kraut Buster run-‘n’-gun Neo Geo game will be keen to find out more about the game. In the latest update, the NVG Dev Team inform us that the game has grown in size since its initial inception, with twice as many missions and bosses. A basic map has been created, with pixel art being added to it. The game will come with two “different feeling” modes: ‘Slug Mode’ (a tactical game that is more similar to the Metal Slug series with many pauses, fighting large enemy bosses, tactical approaches) and ‘Contra Mode’ (a more quicker action orientated gameplay with more emphasis on the run-‘n’gun nature of the game. Not as tactical as the previous mode, and weaponry and power ups may differ also. Currently, the game features some impressive statistics: nine bosses, six mini bosses, 19 missions, 207 screens.

Retrospective:

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Retrospective

In 2004, Square Enix released Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. It was the first Final Fantasy game to be released on a Nintendo console after the fallout between Square and Nintendo. However, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles turned out to be very different to what fans were expecting. The Final Fantasy brand is associated with story heavy RPGs and character development. Crystal Chronicles, on the other hand, is an action game with role-playing elements attached. Yet, in spite of the action oriented gameplay, the story of Crystal Chronicles deals with some serious philosophical matters regarding memories . . .

Review:

SpiritSphere Review

On paper, SpiritSphere sounds like a great concept and all around wonderful idea. As stated by its own creator, it is a mixture of The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past graphics and air hockey. Both of these games are of great fun separately and in an ideal world, they would be even greater when combined. However, this is simply not the case for SpiritSphere. There are some glaring design choices that definitely bring the game down and make the overall experience more frustrating than fun. Yet, what exactly disrupts the game experience is hard to pinpoint as there a various aspects to consider before casting judgment upon SpiritSphere . . .

New games releases:

In the Walls of Eryx – H. P. Lovecraft Inspired Game Released on ZX Spectrum

The latest release on the ZX Spectrum is In the Walls of Eryx from Monster’s Legs Productions. The game is based on a short story of the same name by H. P. Lovecraft and Kenneth J Sterling, which was first published in Weird Tales magazine in 1939. The short story follows a prospector who becomes trapped within an invisible maze while working for a mining company on the planet Venus. With permission from Arkham House, game designer Kevin McGrorty used the short story as the inspiration for this ZX Spectrum arcade adventure.

The Fable of Ruby Pulls Inspiration from Legend of Zelda, Available Now on Android

What is the best form of flattery? Imitation, right? Well, if that is the case then The Legend of Zelda should be blushing right now. The Fable of Ruby is an overhead action adventure just like The Legend of Zelda on the Nintendo Entertainment System. The differences are minimal but still noticeable . . .

Retro City Rampage DX Lands on Android, Brings Crime Spree Along for Ride

Retro City Rampage is a title that hit Steam just a couple of years ago and has taken off quite well. This indie darling title has been the subject of many editorial writings, podcasts, and discussions on social media. Now, Retro City Rampage DX, an enhanced version of the original, has finally landed on the Android platform. Took long enough . . .

Fan translations:

Fan Translation – Fire Emblem for PlayStation, er, Tear Ring Saga Released

The Fire Emblem series has been a surprise hit for Nintendo after they brought it over to North America. Since the game series was so old, it was only a matter of time before someone key to its development left Nintendo and went to work elsewhere, taking with them a strong feel for the previous series. That is exactly what happened with Tear Ring Saga for the Sony PlayStation. This is as close as PlayStation gamers will get to Fire Emblem on their console. The cool thing is, fans have just released an English translation patch for it.

Tear Ring Saga Playstation

Fan Translation – Sakigake!! Otokojuku: Shippuu Ichi Gou Sei Now Available in English

Sakigake!! Otokojuku: Shippuu Ichi Gou Sei is a weird title. This is one of those games that would only have been any measure of a success in Japan. The idea behind this one is that you are a juvenile delinquent and are sent to a private school to get straightened out. The lessons taught, Japanese chivalry, would just be so out of place had Sakigake!! Otokojuku: Shippuu Ichi Gou Sei seen a North American release. That has not stopped fans from translating it though . . .

Kickstarter updates:

Kickstarter – Dreamworld Pogie for the Nintendo Entertainment System

Another fantastic looking Kickstarter campaign from the veteran coders The Oliver Twins. At time of writing, the campaign has smashed the relatively modest target goal of £6,000 with £11,478 and counting–there are still 21 days to go.

The team behind the classic Dizzy games, the Oliver Twins, are back with a new “unreleased” Nintendo Entertainment System game. Dreamworld Pogie was intended to be released by Codemasters over 20 years ago for the Nintendo NES but it fell through the cracks and never saw the light of day. Now, thanks to Kickstarter and a few robust fans, it may just see a limited release. That is a little misleading though as looking at the support it has gotten, it is almost guaranteed success on the crowdfunding service.

TANGLEWOOD: An original game for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Funded

The Kickstarter campaign for Tanglewood, a brand new and original game for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, has been a success and the game has been funded. At time of writing, the campaign raised £54,830 from 892 backers, comfortably breaking the target goal of £48,000. The game is pencilled in for a release date of Winter 2017.

The Atari ST and the Creative People vol. 1

Having been working hard on the Atari ST and the Creative People vol. 1 book, the guys behind the project have given an update on where things are. The book has since surpassed the 300 page limit that was previously set, with no additional cost to backers. Demo presentations for the book have been completed, with work commencing on the story layout. With adjusted time needed for proof and printing, an estimated shipping date of April 2017 was announced.

 

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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