Archives for 2017

Gunbird Review on Nintendo Switch: It’s Shmup-tastic!

If you are a long time shoot’em up fan, there is no doubt you would have come across Gunbird on other platforms (or in the arcade). If you have fond memories of Psikyo’s beautiful vertical shmup and are now in possession of a Nintendo Switch, we reckon it is time you reacquainted yourself with Gunbird.

Let’s start by saying that Zerodiv have done an absolute corker of a conversion on the Switch. Not only can you play Gunbird in landscape form, you can also turn your Switch 90 degrees and play it like it should be, in portrait /vertical goodness. If the label Psikyo sounds familiar, it may be due to their pedigree in games, one example being Aero Fighters 2 (Sonic Wings 2), which we absolutely love. Lucky for us (and you too!), Gunbird hits the shmup sweet spot by being up there with the aforementioned beauty.

The premise of the game doesn’t really matter, but for those that want the back story, Gunbird provides 5 protagonists, each one with their own special chosen craft. The story plays out in between levels and before boss fights, telling a tale of how the protagonists are trying to collect pieces of the Magic Mirror of Atra to make their wish. The antagonists are a group called The Trump, yep, you read that right, The Trump, who are lead by the fearless female, Rogue.

Just like all great vertical shoot’em ups, Gunbird has a plethora of power-ups to pick up to bling out your artillery to ridiculous levels and also bombs, which are in limited supply, so they should be saved for the awesome boss fights!

Gunbird can be played in single player or with a friend in co-op mode – which amps up the playability! The cut-scenes between stages are quite funny and add to the charm of this exquisite shmup.

Gunbird ticks all the right boxes for a shoot’em up and we are glad that it’s not one of those full-on bullet-hell type games, although you can dial up the difficulty for it to be one. This game caters for all skill levels, from monkey (yep, apparently monkeys  can’t play as well as a child) to rage-inducing hardness.

In conclusion, if you are into shoot’em ups, then Gunbird should be an instant buy. At AUD$9.99, it really is great value. Gunbird is an absolute 10/10 blast that should be in your Switch games library right now!

Gunbird was kindly provided by Zerodiv for this review.

Double Dragon: Busting Heads For 30 years

If you have been with us since we began our retro gaming journey, you’d know that we are huge Double Dragon fans, especially the arcade game!

Speaking of the arcade, would you believe that Double Dragon is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year! It’s amazing that after three decades, this game is still being talked about with such affection.

Kung-Fu Master and Renegade may have preceded it, but Double Dragon was the first co-operative beat’em up on the arcade block. Who could forget the two Lee brothers punching, kicking, elbowing Black Warrior thugs to get to their damsel in distress. Let’s not spoil it for those that haven’t finished the game, but let’s just say that brotherly love doesn’t count.

Being the first co-op beat’em up game, Double Dragon paved the way for all that came after it and kickstarted the golden age of the beat’em up. Long live Double Dragon!

Interesting fact: Double Dragon’s arcade board is quite complex – instead of utilising an expensive 16-Bit CPU, the game runs on two 8-Bit CPUs with a third CPU dedicated to sound! How ingenuous!

 

Going For A Spin on the Switch: Mantis Burn Racing

What do Super Sprint, Super Off-Road, Micro Machines, Circuit Breakers, Super Cars and Over Top have in common? Ok, not Over Top, but the rest are all classic overhead or top-down racing games. Well now you can add VooFoo Studio’s Mantis Burn Racing on the Nintendo Switch to this illustrious list. Mantis Burn Racing (MBR) is an instant classic!

As devout retro gamers, of course we are going to compare contemporary games with games we loved playing many decades ago. Mantis Burn Racing gives us the same thrill we felt when we played Super Sprint – a massive rush of adrenaline while drifting around corners and jostling for that lucrative first place. The thing that MBR has over some of the top-down golden oldies is that it is feature rich and can be played in various ways – docked, handheld and tabletop! Imagine if MBR could have been played with a steering wheel – that would have made it pretty much perfect.

So what’s MBR all about then? Well, let us tell you – it’s an immersive modern top-down racer that combines exquisite physics-based gameplay with intuitive arcade racing where your driving skills are put to the test in 12 stunning tracks (of varying environments) with five unique classes of vehicles over an 11-season single-player career with more than 150 events and 13 event types! There is enough here to keep you playing for ages and to totally bling out your vehicle to ensure your ongoing podium success.

Talk about being packed to the rafters, MBR’s feature list on the Switch is an embarrassment of riches, which include:

Split-Screen Multiplayer – Compete on one console in classic couch-style split-screen races for up to 4-players.
Go Head-to-Head – Take on friends in 2-player local split-screen races using individual Joy-Con™ controllers with players sitting ‘cross-table’ at opposite sides of the Nintendo Switch™.
Local Wi-Fi Multiplayer – Connect multiple Nintendo Switch™ consoles and race together without the need for a connection to the internet.
Cross-Network Play – Take the competition online with up to 8-players and race against opponents on other platforms with Cross-Network play.
RPG-Style Upgrades – Fine tune your vehicle’s handling and performance via a RPG-style upgrade system that presents players with deep tactical choices.
Consistently Smooth 60fps – in both TV mode and Handheld mode.

Oh yeah, we can’t forget to also mention Robert Allen’s mesmerising audio tracks, from Mantis Burn, Appetite For the Finish to Kicking Up Salt, Welcome To The Big Time and Closing The Gap – they all compliment the game perfectly.

When it comes down to why we love MBR we can pinpoint a myriad of things; from its excellent physics drift engine and vehicle control, its awesome vehicle upgrades, to its career mode that provides depth and replay value and last but not least, playing against other humans, either local or online always provides immeasurable fun (as long as you win!).

Mantis Burn Racing on the Nintendo Switch is highly recommended and we reckon it should be on your list of must have games. Go and grab it and let’s race!

image source: VooFoo Studios

Mantis Burn Racing was provided by VooFoo Studio for this review.

The Incredible Hulk: Smashed It On The Sega Game Gear

By: D.C. Cutler, U.S.A.

My love for the comic book character The Incredible Hulk started with my Sega Game Gear. As a kid, when I got a Game Gear, I played The Incredible Hulk game on the console all the time. I played it on the school bus; late at night when my parents thought I was sleeping; and when I should’ve been working on homework. I couldn’t get enough of the side-scrolling action game.

The Sega Game Gear gets a bad rap, but the small console had several great games. When all of my friends had Nintendo Game Boys, I was playing my Game Gear. I always thought the graphics were sharper on the Game Gear than the Game Boy. The game play looked similar to the actual Sega Genesis game.

Playing The Incredible Hulk everyday made me a fan of the green superhero. I started collecting the comic book because of the Game Gear game. My collection began with a few comics, but as my love for the character grew, a few comics became a hundred in about a year. I’ve always been fascinated by how Dr. Bruce Banner can morph into The Hulk and his dilemma with controlling it. Is it a gift or a curse? Both Banner and The Hulk have many layers as characters. When I was a kid, I connected to both characters.

I was bullied in grade school. Perhaps a part of me wished I could change like Dr. Banner could when he got angry. I played the game before school because my Game Gear was a pleasant distraction before the sometimes harsh school day began.

The Incredible Hulk was a simple side-scrolling game, but those were my favourite games when I was young. I never used the cheat codes, because I enjoyed the challenge of progressing through every level. And I took pleasure in being The Hulk and causing as much destruction as possible.

The Hulk game and my Game Gear were a nice escape at a time when I needed it. Sega may have not sold as many Game Gears as they had hoped, but I cherished mine, and found it far superior to the Nintendo Game Boy.

image source: Game Oldies

 

Argonauts Pinball Club: Bumper Xmas Meet!

Hey peeps, this Thursday (Dec 7) is the last Argonauts Pinball Club monthly meet for the year (at the Golden Fleece Hotel). The club meets will resume on the first Thursday in February 2018!

As it is Christmas time and hampers are the prize of the season, the Argonauts Pinball Club has got your pinball maintenance hamper needs covered. Just check out the awesome special prize pool for the top 3 pinball wizards! Argonauts Pinball Club’s Geoff Wills tells us that there will also be giveaways and something for those that have supported the club from the start!

So make sure you keep this Thursday free and get down to the Golden Fleece Hotel to play in the end of year Argonauts Pinball Club special monthly meet.

For more info on the Argonauts Pinball Club competition rules and conditions, head to Pinball Score now or like them on Facebook to keep up with all things pinball.

Argonauts Pinball club – Top 3 Pinball Wizards Hampers!

Choc-full of pinball maintenance goodies!

1st Place

2nd Place

3rd Place

There is always plenty of action at an Argonauts Pinball Club meet!

image source: Argonauts Pinball Club

 

The Making of Star Wars Pinball

Just a couple of weeks out from the release of Star WarsEpisode VIII – The Last Jedi, Stern Pinball celebrates the 40th anniversary of the original film trilogy by giving us the making of their Star Wars Pinball machine!

Just in case you didn’t know, Star Wars Pinball was created by Stern Pinball’s all star development team including legendary game designer Steve Ritchie and Hall of Fame programmer Dwight Sullivan.

May the Force be with you all!


source: Stern Pinball via Facebook

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PinBox 3000: Making Of A Pinball Designer

We bought the PinBox 3000 for our little one to be creative and have some fun. By creating her own pinball machine this may be the making of a future pinball designer – no pressure of course!

We can’t wait to see what our little one will come up with. We reckon Steve Ritchie and John Borg better watch out!

PS: We will report on her pinball table creations once she is old enough and stops putting things in her mouth.