Donkey Kong Advanced

Yep, you read that heading right – an advanced Windows version of the seminal Nintendo arcade classic, Donkey Kong. Take a bow on a job well done, Mr. Justin Bohemier!

When our very good friend Aaron Clement (from Press Play On Tape Podcast fame) gave us the heads up on this game, we thought we would do the same by sharing it with the rest of you. Before Ninty’s lawyers issue a cease and desist, make sure you grab your copy of Donkey Kong Advanced now!

So you may ask, what’s new in this version of Donkey Kong Advanced? Since you asked nicely, here you go:

  • Levels are different, some are completely new, while others have the same level structure with some differences
  • New switch, laser, and key system to save Pauline
  • Mario (Jumpman) can jump off high platforms and land without killing himself (yahoo!)
  • New heart bonus items are worth 2000 points but are tricky to get
  • Barrels rebound off the floor higher than before – so watch out
  • Hitting barrels with the hammer doesn’t pause the game during the explosion
  • Level 4 is icy – there is a special shoe item to pickup that makes it not slippery


source: Justin Bohemier

image source: Donkey Kong Advanced in itch.io

 

Junglist Returns With New Gaming Show

New Youth Network, SNACKABLETV.tv, has launched a brand-new video game show called UNDER CONTROL, with Jeremy Ray (Junglist) and Jessie James (Geek and Gamer Girl) hosting.

The show went live on SNACKABLETV.TV on January 26th 2017 and is broadcasting on the CATCH app on Sydney buses reaching a huge audience in the 13-to-30-year-old age bracket.

The two hosts are already prominent figures in the gaming industry, with Junglist being one of the co-creators of the (sorely missed) Good Game and Kotaku contributor, and Jessie being one of Australia’s most popular Twitch streamers with over 74,000 followers.

New content will be produced weekly. Under Control will feature snack-sized content on all things gaming; reviews, interviews, behind the scenes, news, features and on-site event coverage.

“Sometimes I go over to Jessie James’ house and we have conversations about games. Lately, there’s been this weird camera guy there, but she told me not to worry about it. I’m sure it’s nothing!”, says Junglist.

“Once we pried Junglist off Dark Souls III and cleaned him up, it became clear he was the best co-host I could imagine. We keep each other in check and hardly ever try to kill each other offline anymore. It’s great!”

SNACKABLETV is a revolutionary digital youth network housing the best in bite-sized content. It’s an entirely new way for young people all over the world to access high quality short-form entertainment for FREE, without annoying advertisements or subscriptions (Ed: Yay!). It’s mainstream-accessible without dumbing down the content or neglecting the core gaming audience.

“We’re excited to be creating something new and authentic for the gaming community.” – Deb Morgan, SnackableTV’s Under Control Producer.

You can view UNDER CONTROL now, so hop to it!

source: SNACKABLETV – Under Control

 

Price Evolution: is Nintendo Switch following the pricing trend from the past?

Article provided by Cuponation Australia. Prices quoted are in US Dollars

Cuponation Australia, a specialist in savings, delved into some market research to see how the prices of videogame consoles has changed through the last 30 years. The data includes prices from the launch of the first Nintendo video console in 1985 till their latest console release, the Nintendo Switch (March 2017). To see the evolution of prices, the research considered the inflation rate from the corresponding year of release.

Gaming has become cheaper by 24% (on average) over the last 30 years
The result shows that nowadays consumers are paying 24% less than 30 years ago. The price trend shows that each brand had lowered their prices since the launch of the first videogame console. It seems that Sega became 32% cheaper by their last console, Playstation cut their prices by 15%, Xbox and Nintendo by 25% and 29% respectively. The first videogame console produced by Nintendo, the NES, would cost $420USD nowadays which is already more than what you would pay for the Nintendo Switch. We obviously would not know the impact of inflation to the cost of the Nintendo Switch in future years.

Nintendo remains consistent in its pricing policy
The launch prices of Nintendo systems have remained relatively stable over the last 30+ years, with the exception being this year. The Nintendo Classic Mini from 2016 was not taken into consideration as it was not a next gen console. In relation to consoles from Xbox, PlayStation and Sega, consumers would notice some significant jumps in pricing over the decades – the launch of Sega’s Saturn in 1995, would cost $629.29USD in today’s money and the PlayStation 3, launched in 2007, would cost $578USD today.

The top 3 closest competitors in terms of price to Nintendo Switch ($299USD):
1) Xbox One S, launched in 2016 with inflation price of $299USD
2) Nintendo 64, launched in 2005 with inflated price of $298USD
3) Sega Dreamcast, launched in 1999 with inflated price of $288.11USD

source: Cuponation Australia

 

A Retro Gamer’s Stroll Through 80s Yakuza 0

Before we begin, let’s set the record straight – I have never played a Yakuza game! Yep, you read that right. You may throw out a “WTF?” at this point, and you’d be justified in asking exactly that – what the fudge, dude?

Well, I won’t bore you with why I haven’t played any of the previous Yakuza games (you can blame it all on those retro games I keep playing!), but at least you’ll get a perspective from a player experiencing the franchise for the very first time! I come into the Yakuza universe as a total noob, so go easy on me.

The vibrant lights of Pink Street!

So,”What’s this Yakuza 0 all about anyway?”, I ask myself. Well, first and foremost, I had heard that this prequel Yakuza action game, dubbed Zero, was set in the 80s, my favourite decade! That was enough to pique my interest in the game, so I thought I’d jump in the deep end and have a go!

Sobering up some drunkards, the old fashioned way!

Beating up peeps can work up a thirst

From a noob’s point of view, Yakuza 0 eases the player into the game with great cutscene sequences that set the narrative for the protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu, or simply just Kiryu. Obviously the title gives it away, Kiryu is a yakuza, a lowly debt collector for the Dojima Family (of the Tojo Clan). Kiryu is framed for murder and is then used as a pawn by a bent crime family lieutenant who aspires to be top dog. I’ll spare you the rest as I don’t want to spoil it for you!

Visiting the ‘family’!

No mobile phones in 1988, so pay phones were the best way to conduct business on the streets

I’ll be honest, I really wanted to play Yakuza 0 to roam the streets of 1988 Kamurocho, the notorious redlight district of Tokyo – to explore its karaoke bars, dart parlours and of course, its amusement centres – Club Sega and Hi-Tech Land were high on my list so I could play some (well, a lot of) Out Run! I really didn’t care for the story as to why I was setup for murder and the whole Empty Lot business.

Smoking can kill you! So can a bent lieutenant…

But before I could explore Kamurocho, I would have to dispense some good old fashioned beat-downs to street punks and hoodlums that were dumb enough to move in on my turf. Oh yeah, cash is earned the more peeps you beat up. These fight sections definitely reminded me of classic Dreamcast brawling action games, just like Shenmue. And just like Shenmue, it’s fun to explore the vibrant city you find yourself in.

Giving the vocal chords are work out with some karaoke

What I wasn’t counting on was the game’s ability to suck me into its story-line and its fascinating characters. I had to put the idea of exploration and playing Out Run to one side, as I set my sights on finding the people that framed me for murder and then confronting the bent Dojima lieutenant, Kuze. To say that I was now hooked on Yakuza 0 would be a gross understatement. With about 80 hours of gameplay, I have a way to go, and that is before I even touch any sidequests! So if you excuse me, I need to get back to being a yakuza and kick ten shades out of some really bad people.

Behold, the holy grail of arcades!

Damn, it’s closed. Can’t wait to play some Out Run!

image source: Yakuza 0

Sneak Peek At Atari’s New Gameband Smartwatch

Last week we reported on the imminent new Atari hardware, and now we can tell you a tad more. With just 3 days to go till the official Gameband Kickstarter launch (1:00am February 9th AEDT), some teaser sneak peek photos have emerged of the Gameband Atari and Terraria Edition smartwatches.

As can be seen in the photos (from left to right); there’ll be a straight Gameband Edition (Black, sleek and shiny), an Atari Edition (red, black and retro) and a Terraria Edition (brown, green and indie). Apparently there will be a super early bird price on Kickstarter (starting at $99USD) for a limited quantity – too bad the Kickstarter will launch at the ungodly hour of 1:00am our time :-/

According to Gameband’s CEO, Feargal Mac Conuladh, the Gameband Smartwatches will be “An insanely powerful Smartwatch, wrapped in gaming design and content.”. We shall see!

We reached out to Feargal to state that the launch was going to be at 1:00am on February 9 (our time), meaning a lot of Australians would miss out on the early bird special. He responded thusly:

It’s always good to see a CEO having a sense of humour!

 

Sydney Game Developers Jam Together

How long does it take to create a video game? According to the trail blazers at the Global Games Jam, just 48 hours – all in the spirit of good fun of course!

The flagship event of the 2017 TAFE Open Week saw 183 game developers converge on the North Sydney campus for the Global Games Jam. Global Games Jam is an annual international event in which competitors from around the globe are given a theme to create a fully playable game in just 48 hours. 2017’s event saw over 36,000 jammers in 702 sites across 95 countries create over 7,000 games in just one weekend!

Artists, musicians, coders, designers, writers, producers and more spent a hectic sleepless weekend creating games inspired by the deceptively simple theme of “waves“, with matters being complicated by our list of optional diversifiers. The games that emerged at the end of the weekend took the theme in many directions, some very literal and others more esoteric. We had ocean waves, sound waves, Mexican waves, enemies attacking in waves, players communicating by waving their hands, and so much more.

“Global Games Jam offers both TAFE North Sydney students and the wider Sydney gaming community the chance to come together and share their love and passion for gaming.” says Daniel Hale, Game Development Course Coordinator at TAFE North Sydney.

Having competed in every Games Jam since January 2015, Ray Frihy and Memia Lin are certified Games Jam veterans – at just 18 years of age! Both began their studies at TAFE North Sydney at 16, completing the Diploma of Interactive Games and are now currently completing an Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media.

For them, Games Jam has been instrumental in developing their technical skills for game development, as well as giving them the real-world experience of working towards deadlines and collaborating as a team – essential skills necessary to succeed in the highly competitive gaming industry. This sentiment is echoed by their teacher Daniel Hale; “Ray and Menia are both great examples of the budding talent we are seeing at TAFE North Sydney. Games Jam offers them and others students the chance to meet directly with industry professionals and demonstrate their amazing talent, we believe it is really important to nurture talent and provide them with the skills necessary for a successful career in games development.”

Now in it’s third year, TAFE’s Global Games Jam saw the cream of Sydney’s video game development crop come together as a community to share their knowledge and passion for gaming. A fantastic live stream hosted by Bajo (Steven O’Donnell from ABC’s Good Game) led to the reveal of the “waves” theme after a keynote video created by the team at Extra Credits. This led to a frenzy of creation, which didn’t stop at the weekend. Many games developed in previous Game Jams have become fully realised games. The Global Game Jam is open source, hardware and software agnostic and all projects are protected under a Creative Commons license. Some standout mentions from this year included:

Wave Breaker – A tsunami survival game with a bizarre Nicholas Cage Easter egg.

CYCLONE_RYDER.EXE – A wave pattern maze game that is deceptively difficult.

Electric Surfaloo – A surfing themed game which pits Broseidon against an onslaught of beach goers.

That’s My Queen – A truly unique and entertaining concept that requires you to make the correct hand gestures to your kingdom’s subjects as you pass by in your car.

For a full list of games created and participant lists follow the link to the official Games Jam site here.

image source: TAFE North Sydney – Global Games Jam

 

Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap

Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap is Ms. Ausretrogamer’s favourite Sega Master System game, so to say she is excited for the remake of the 1989 classic would be a gross understatement!

The Dragon’s Trap remake is being developed by Paris based Lizardcube and published by the awesome DotEmu! We eagerly read each development blog entry for how things are panning out, and we wait with bated breath for this game to come out on all modern consoles, including the Nintendo Switch and also PC.

No matter your choice in systems, 2017 is going to be a great year for gaming! We can’t wait for The Dragon’s Trap.

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source: The Dragon’s Trap