Passport: The Vectrex Owners Club Magazine

If you were lucky enough to have had a Vectrex back in the day (Ed: or lucky enough to have one now!), you may have not know that there was an official owners club magazine titled, Passport.

We take a look at a few pages from the premiere issue of Passport from the summer of 1983 and see what was hot on the Vectrex, from the Light Pen and 3D Imager glasses to six of the best Vectrex games and some mailbag shenanigans.

 

Indie Arcade Cabinet: RASHLANDER

We were quite impressed with Griffin Aerotech’s Airframe arcade hardware which allows independently created games to run, just like SKYCURSER. So when Ryan Davis got in touch with us to tell us about his new arcade title RASHLANDER, we were quite excited. Ryan told us that his RASHLANDER game had been made from the ground up so that it could run on modern arcade machines, just like Griffin Aerotech’s Airframe.

The game is a lander-roguelike game that feels like sliding slowly across an icy parking lot while dodging every SUV and Smart Car before settling miraculously into a perfect parallel park. Except in space. And everything is exploding!

RASHLANDER is available in four different kits: Software, Pro, Deluxe, and Dedicated Cabinet packages ranging in price from USD$599.99 (Software kit) all the way to $3,499.99 for the dedicated arcade cabinet. More deets here.

image source: Griffin Aerotech – Rashlander

 

Celebrating the Sega Genesis

When Sega’s 16-bit beast was first released in Japan, it made a big enough splash that it got everyone around the world to sit up and take notice of the future in console gaming. On this day (August 14) in 1989, it was our North American friends’ turn to get their hands on the shiny new Sega Genesis console.

A leap from the Master System, the Genesis brought home (almost perfect) arcade conversions, especially those from Sega’s own arcade stable. While most of the western world was still in the micro computing craze with their C64s, Amigas and Atari STs, Sega stamped their authority with their latest, and as history would record it, their most successful console ever. Why would you play Golden Axe on any other system when the Genesis version was like having the arcade in your bedroom?

The Sega Genesis went on to sell more than 18 million consoles in the U.S. alone, which definitely put a dent in Nintendo’s party. Speaking of which, Sega of America’s advertising was brutal and effective, always taking subtle (and not so subtle) shots at their main competition. Who could forget the legendary, “Genesis Does What Nintendon’t.” ad campaigns – ah, those were the days! We have a few more ads below to give you a jolt of nostalgia.

So happy anniversary to the Sega Genesis, you magnificent beast! What were your earliest memories of Sega’s 16-bit beauty? Hit us up on Twitter or Facebook to let us know.

image source: arcadesushi.com

 

Johnny Turbo’s Arcade: A Nostalgic Triple Treat

The arcade manufacturing business as we knew it in the 80s and 90s might be a wasteland strewn with heavy hitters like Data East, but we are lucky that they aren’t totally forgotten.

Leading the revival of past classic arcade games is publisher FTEGames under their Johnny Turbo’s Arcade banner. We miss Data East quite a lot, their arcade and pinball output was nothing short of awesome and prolific, with their games proving popular with punters and always drawing a crowd.

For all of us with new consoles that are yearning for some Data East arcade gaming nostalgia, Johnny Turbo’s Arcade has delivered in spades! Starting with the classic side-scrolling beat’em up, Bad Dudes vs DragonNinja, the tough as nails platformer, Caveman Ninja (aka: Joe & Mac) and the run and gun Sly Spy, we were in for quite a trip down memory lane on our Nintendo Switch.

Johnny Turbo’s Arcade: Bad Dudes Vs DragonNinja (Nintendo Switch eShop)

Are you a bad enough dude? Of course you are! Smash some Ninjas to save President Ronnie and then have burgers and coke as your reward in this brilliant conversion of Bad Dudes vs DragonNinja. This 80s horizontal scrolling beat’em up will satisfy your fighting nostalgic nerve in abundance. Now go and save the Prez!

Johnny Turbo’s Arcade: Caveman Ninja (Nintendo Switch eShop)

Forget Mario and definitely forget Sonic, as they weren’t around in prehistoric days. Grab your club and get ready to go on a wild, prehistoric adventure with the Cavemen Ninjas – Joe & Mac! Help Joe and Mac fight against enemy cavemen and dinosaurs using prehistoric weapons. Battle your way through numerous prehistoric levels using weapons such as boomerangs, bones, fire, flints, electricity, stone wheels, and clubs. There is no Princess in a castle to be rescued, only kidnapped “Cave Babes”. This is one tough platformer, so co-op play is recommended!

Johnny Turbo’s Arcade: Sly Spy (Nintendo Switch eShop)

We have always wanted to be like James Bond – the awesome contraptions, gadgets, weapons and exotic locations had us hooked. Sly Spy satisfies our secret agent appetite, with contraptions like jet-packs to get around and golden gun weaponry to dispatch baddies to become a hero by saving the world from Evil. The premise of this game is pretty straight forward, you must protect the U.S. from a nuclear missile attack from the terrorist organisation CWD (Council for World Domination). This classic is arcade perfect on the Switch! Just like the other arcade games, it is tough as heck, so the challenge will keep you coming back.

Developer Flying Tiger Entertainment should be commended for their arcade perfect ports of these games on the Switch. There are plenty of tweaks for each title which will keep both retro gamers and contemporary players happy. Oh yeah, the level of detail is nothing short of awesome, our favourite being the curvature of the screen, just like on the old arcade monitors – a great nostalgic touch!

These classic Data East games are lovingly converted by the Flying Tiger Entertaining / Johnny Turbo’s Arcade team and are the perfect trifecta of nostalgic hits for your Nintendo Switch. Being perfect arcade conversions, these are just as difficult as their arcade counterparts, but trust us, that is a good thing – BUY THEM NOW!

 

Johnny Turbo’s Arcade: Welcome to the world of Nitro Ball!

Engage in the deadliest game show with Johnny Turbo’s Arcade: Nitro Ball! 

Flying Tiger Entertainment’s Johnny Turbo’s Arcade: Nitro Ball (aka: Gun Ball), is the exciting arena-style shooter by Data East™ that was originally released in 1992.

Nitro Ball features Gary, an Ex-Navy Sergeant and Harry, an Ex-Police Officer who battle their way through a futuristic game show that takes place on vertical pinball worlds. In fact, each arena includes bumpers, buffers, rails and even pinball holes.

There are five different stages with unique enemies and bosses including: Strange Football, Combat Field, Ghost Town, Aliens World and Space Station. Each stage also features a short challenge to destroy a certain number of enemies in a given amount of time.

While the main goal is to annihilate as many goons as possible, players also rack up points to win various items. Nitro Ball is a fast and furious action-packed game filled with dangerous weapons, power-ups and bosses that make gameplay fun and exciting, especially with friends.

Nitro Ball is zooming to the Nintendo Switch™ eShop in North America on August 16, 2018. Pre-orders (in North America) are available right now. Oh yeah, it is coming soon to selected European territories too – so stay tuned!

Features:

  • Play single player or simultaneously with one or two friends
  • Shoot enemies into holes for extra points and prizes
  • Collect various power-ups; one even turns players into a pinball!
  • Complete secret objectives on each stage for added bonuses
  • Vertical play mode is supported for the Real Arcade Feel

image source: Flying Tiger Entertainment

 

Nintendork Gets Nostalgic At Hersheypark

By: Nintendork

It’s one of those things you never thought about when growing up – that these huge and heavy arcade machines would one day disappear and the amusement centres housing them would become extinct.

I always thought that arcade machines would be here to stay and that they would remain popular as ever with everyone. How wrong was I? Luckily for me, Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania is the big exception. Hersheypark could have gotten rid of their old arcade cabinets long ago but they decided to keep them and maintain them in working order. I love having my physical console games from when I was little and in this instance it is great to see these big arcade games remaining exactly the same as when I was a child, making them that extra bit special. To know that I put quarters in their Double Dragon machine when I was 12 and am playing the exact same game right now and doing the same thing beating up baddies means the world to me.

Hersheypark is the perfect destination for a hit of gaming nostalgia. Enjoy the pics!

 

Sonic Mania Plus – Nintendo Switch Review

Imagine it’s 1992 and someone said to you, “Sonic The Hedgehog will end up on a Nintendo console and it will kick ass”. Your immediate reaction would have been a hefty scoff followed up with telling the peep espousing such absurdity to seek medical advice!

Well, it’s 2018 and Sega’s blue mascot has appeared on many a Nintendo systems, some hits and some misses. Thankfully, Sonic Mania Plus has hit the bulls-eye on the the Nintendo Switch. Seriously, this game is something else – it feels, dare we say, at home on the Switch.

In a nutshell, Sonic Mania Plus is a greatest hits collection and a love-letter to the original Sonic games with a healthy dose of remixed action coupled with new experiences to hook you right in. The game, for the most part, has you playing levels from the originals that have been revamped with additional routes and fun new bosses and twists. Make no bones about it, this package goes right for the player’s sense of 16-bit platforming nostalgia, which there is plenty.

The visuals are nothing short of gorgeous running at a solid 60 fps (docked at 1080p or 720p in handheld mode). Coupled with the visuals is the awesomely cool and funky soundtrack by Tee Lopes. Of course a good looking and funky sounding game doesn’t get too far if its controls aren’t up to standard. Luckily the development team rounded out the package with tight and responsive controls, with the weighting of jumps and game tempo being nigh on perfect. To be honest, we are running out of superlatives to use for this game. The whole package comes together so well that you get an immediate sense of satisfaction as soon as you press play – it is that damn good!

So what’s with the Plus you ask? Well, a few things. For starters, this release introduces two new playable characters, Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel. Both characters have their own unique talents which make them play differently from the rest of the characters. Plus also provides not two, but four-player simultaneous racing action through the campaign levels, splitting the TV into quadrants, a la Mari Kart 64 style.

Oh yeah, the physical Sonic Mania Plus edition also comes with a 32-page art book. The emphasis on this companion piece is on the production artwork – very cool indeed. Another pretty cool surprise is the reversible cover that looks like a late-era Mega Drive game. We had to reverse our cover immediately to give us that 16-bit feels.

If you have been holding onto your Sega Mega Drive to just play Sonic The Hedgehog games, the good news is you can now either pack it away or get rid of it! Sonic’s new home is on the Nintendo Switch, and it’s brilliant.

We don’t usually provide scores for our reviews, but if we did, this would be a solid gold 9.99/10! Sonic Mania Plus on the Nintendo Switch should be an insta-buy!

Buy Sonic Mania Plus here.

Disclosure: Sonic Mania Plus [Nintendo Switch] was kindly provided by Five Star Games for this review.