Atari Lynx: The Games That Never Were

The Atari Lynx was and still is a great handheld. Imagine if Atari had McWill’s LCD mod back then, they may have given the Sega Game Gear and possibly the Game Boy a run for their money (Ed: OK, perhaps not the Game Boy)!

If you were into arcade style games, then the Atari Lynx was your platform of choice. With games like Double Dragon, Klax, A.P.B., Battlezone 2000, Rygar, Hard Drivin’, Joust, Xybots, Paperboy and the awesome Rampage, Robotron and S.T.U.N. Runner, the Lynx was not short on quality action titles. Actually, we could have added a laundry list of other games, but we thought you’d get the picture with a subset of titles.

During the commercial lifespan of the Atari Lynx, there were a roster of big name titles that never saw the light of day. We could only imagine the impact these games may have had on the commercial viability of the Lynx! Just in case you were wondering, here are a few of the cancelled games from 1992 that we reckon could have catapulted the Lynx on the path to success:

Rolling Thunder

Vindicators

Geoduel

720°

Cabal

There were quite a few other cancelled games, but we thought we’d limit the list to ensure that we didn’t enrage you all. Actually, quite a few cancelled games did make it out when Hasbro, the owners of the Atari properties at the time, released the rights to develop for the system to the public domain, but that was well after the Lynx was considered dead (Ed: we did appreciate Alien vs Predator and Raiden)!

Ah, the beautiful Lynx, if only you were given a proper and fair chance by your creator!

 

Resident Evil: Surviving The Horror

Wow, when Resident Evil was released on this day (March 22) in 1996, who would have thought that we would be talking about it all these years later!

Our first encounter with Resident Evil was quite memorable. Upon loading the game on our Playstation, we were subjected to some cheesy B-grade acting, but it was the rabid zombie dog at the end of the intro sequence that scared the pants off us when watching it at the dead of night – we still have nightmares!

We quickly learn that Raccoon City is a foreboding place, where an outbreak of the T-Virus (created as a bio-weapon by the Umbrella Corporation) starts spreading from the nearby Arklay Mountains, turning humans into zombies and other creatures into horrifying monsters. The protagonists, Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, both members of the Alpha S.T.A.R.S. (Special Tactics And Rescue Service) special forces from the Raccoon Police Department (RPD) are trapped in the Spencer mansion, attempting to find out what all the eeriness is about. This is where things get interesting in this awesome survival horror game; from encountering supernatural enemies – some that make you jump off the couch, to finding typewriter ribbons to save your progress and the dread you feel when opening a door to transition to another room, there were scares aplenty!

Interestingly, the game is known as Biohazard in its native Japan. When the Biohazard project kicked off, Capcom were planning a spiritual remake of their 1989 horror game Sweet Home. Once they found that a DOS game had registered the Biohazard title in the US, the company held an internal contest to choose a new name. This contest lead to the title, Resident Evil, which we know and love outside of Japan. Resident Evil/Biohazard was also first to be dubbed a ‘survival horror’ game – the term coined for the new genre.

Capcom weren’t convinced that Resident Evil would do well, with sales projections pencilled in at just 200,000. Once critical acclaim was widespread, Capcom were truly gobsmacked when Resident Evil went on to move 5.8 million copies (original, Director’s Cut and Director’s Cut DualShock), making it a massive hit.

Hit us up on Facebook or Twitter to tell us about your most memorable encounter or scary moment from the original Resident Evil. Oh, and a ‘Jill Sandwich’ is a thing!

image source: games revisited

 

Origins Of The Sega My Card

Produced from 1985 to 1987, the Sega Card (known as My Card in Japan) wasn’t just created as a cheaper format to conventional game cartridges, oh no sirree!

The great Hideki Sato, creator of Sega’s SG-1000 console (and all other Sega consumer hardware) felt that the original game cartridges resembled small black tombstones when inserted into the console. Sato felt that an upgrade to the game cartridge media was required. This drove him to create the cute little pocket-sized alternative, the Sega My Card – games on microchips embedded in 2mm thick credit card sized plastic.

The compact design allowed game collections to be carried around with ease (instead of lugging around the much larger carts). Sega also experimented with a re-writable EPROM version of the My Card, which could be overwritten with new games at specifically-equipped kiosks (for a fraction of the usual retail cost), much like Nintendo’s Famicom Disk System, which arrived a year later.

Sega would eventually return to cartridges for higher memory capacity, while NEC would later use the My Card design pedigree for their PC-Engine HuCards.

The tombstone-looking carts

My Card VS Cartridge

The Rise And Fall Of SNK

Back in May 2002, US digital cable channel G4 (aka: G4tv) aired the video gaming documentary series, Icons. For four seasons Icons focused on the key people, companies, products, history and major milestones in the world of video games. In season five, which was its last, Icons broadened its scope by featuring general pop culture content.

From the many Icons video gaming documentaries, we loved their look at SNK Corporation (season 3, episode 12), from its humble beginnings to becoming an arcade gaming behemoth with their Neo Geo products, only to see it all crash and tumble a decade or so later.

Step back in time and get a dose of some video gaming history!


source: KonamiGamer

DISCLAIMER: We are well aware that SNK lived on via Playmore, but this article focuses on the old SNK Corporation that produced arcade games and home gaming systems.

 

Atari ST: Accidental Musical Workhorse

Atari STIt became the music sequencing tool of choice for countless musicians, almost completely by chance. The Atari ST, Atari’s 16-bit successor to their long running 8-bit computer range, was launched almost 32 years ago, and Dr. Steve “Heartbleed” Bagley shows us his own extensive collection!


source: Computerphile on YouTube

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msausretrogamerMs. ausretrogamer
Co-founder, editor and writer at ausretrogamer – The Australian Retro Gamer E-Zine. Lover of science fiction, fashion, books, movies and TV. Player of games, old and new.

Follow Ms. ausretrogamer on Twitter

 

 

Contra: Celebrating 30 Years Of Awesomeness

Contra, Gryzor or Probotector. No matter what name you know this classic Konami run and gun game by, you will definitely remember it as one tough mother of a game! Konami had an instant hit on their hands when they released the arcade machine on this day [February 20] in 1987. Happy 30th anniversary Contra, you irresistible force!

For those that have been away from Earth since early 1987, here is the lowdown on Contra:

Midnight, September 12 2631. The Marines catch sight of a small-sized meteorite that is fast approaching Earth. The meteorite plummets 20km north-east of New Zealand, at the Gal Mosquito Archipelago. The command keep watch of the meteorite.

Two years later, in December 2633, an intruder known as the Red Falcon is occupying the Gal Mosquito Archipelago and is planning the fall of mankind. Command orders confidential investigations at the enemy’s front base. The marine post orders for two “Contra” soldiers, Private First Class Bill “Mad Dog” Rizer and Private First Class Lance “Scorpion” Bean on a mission. The mission being: penetrate the insides of the enemy, destroy the front base and the entire centre of operation.

image source: GameFAQs

 

Movieland Arcade: A Hit Of Nostalgia In Vancouver

Ah Vancouver, the city of many cruise ships and retirees boarding these massive vessels! This post has been a long time coming, but that’s because we’ve been distracted – till now!

Continuing on with cool places we visited while on our North American trip (like the Seattle Pinball Museum, Toy Shack and A Gamer’s Paradise in Vegas), the city of Vancouver delivered its own piece of gaming nostalgia via the Movieland Arcade!

There are some amusement centres that are stuck in a bygone era, a period of time when arcade parlours in the 80s were lined with machines, both of the arcade and pinball kind, checkered linoleum flooring, cheeky signage, an attendants booth for exchanging your notes for coins and of course, the smell. Well, it is safe to say that Movieland Arcade encapsulates this 80s era perfectly.

Situated at the hipster end of Granville Street in central Vancouver, Movieland Arcade cannot be missed – its distinct red tile facade enticing you to go in and experience some real gaming nostalgia. With pinball tables and arcade machines ranging from the 70s to the late 90s, you better exchange your notes for a shed-load of coins as you will want to play them all!

Movieland Arcade reminded us of the arcade joints we used to frequent in the 80s on Swanston Street and Russell Street in the centre of Melbourne. Unlike those arcade joints going the way of the dodo, Vancouver can count itself lucky with a place like the Movieland Arcade.

Whoa, we spot Movieland Arcade across the road!

You definitely can’t miss the distinct facade of this majestic arcade parlour

We better grab some more coins!

Here we go! Hmm, pinball or straight to the arcade machines?

We shall start from the left and work our way to the right..

You have to go slow when you are in here! Too many awesome distractions!

We can’t go past some Neo Geo action

Killer Instinct is next!

Whoa man, haven’t seen a Gauntlet Legends machine in almost 20 years!

Some single racing action on Daytona USA!

Inserting coins now!

Nothing beats some 8P head-to-head racing!

We spy Medieval Madness! Time to destroy some castle!

Needing some gun action, which Area 51 will satisfy

We enjoy gunning down zombies!

Hmm, not sure if these ‘movies’ and that ‘theatre’ are appropriate, but…

OMG, Raiden Fighters! There go all of our coins!

Our shmup senses have gone into overdrive! Get us some more coins!

We spent our last few coins on some Playboy action *wink*

Darn it, the booth attendant must’ve had a toilet break. We’ll be back.