How a Mario Kart Movie Could Work

By: D.C. Cutler, U.S.A.

Nintendo’s Mario Kart 64 was one of my favourite video games growing up. I played the racing game regularly after school and on weekends with my friends.

2008’s Mario Kart Wii and 2005’s Mario Kart DS are two of Nintendo’s top selling video games; roughly 60 million in combined sales. With sales like that for just two versions of the iconic game, you would think a film adaptation of Mario Kart would be in the works by a film studio. But most films based on video games have failed miserably at the box office and with critics.

I wish I could erase my memory of seeing the confusing, badly edited Assassin’s Creed adaptation that was released last December.

A Mario Kart movie could work if handled correctly. Movies based on video games have always taken themselves so seriously; especially the Resident Evil franchise. If a director or screenwriter did something fun with the world of Mario Kart, like what Phil Lord and Christopher Miller did with The Lego Movie, it could be a really entertaining film. It would have to be animated and the humour would have to be smart for kids and adults.

Although, a live-action Mario Kart could be hard to get greenlit by a major studio because 1993’s Super Mario Bros., with Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo, bombed magnificently at the box office. But an animated version, perhaps even a Lego Mario Kart, could be successful if the right filmmakers who know the Mario Kart world write a clever, original script.

A Mario Kart film about a single race through several stages could be interesting if the characters are fleshed out. The game’s world is vast; there’s a treasure trove of situations and conflicts that could make for a fascinating film.

Until then, I’m sure another instalment of Resident Evil is in the works. The franchise has made $1.2 billion worldwide. The last film was The Final Chapter… sure, we’ll see about that.

 

Our N64 Classic Mini Games Wishlist

Dear Nintendo,

You gave us the NES Classic Mini and now, the SNES Classic Mini. We are all eagerly awaiting your inevitable N64 joining the Classic Mini ranks. With that said, could we please have the following 21 classic games installed on the upcoming N64 Mini  – thank you:

Super Mario 64 – we are 100% certain this gem will make it!

  • Mario Kart 64
  • Wave Race 64
  • GoldenEye 007
  • Star Fox 64
  • Turok: Dinosaur Hunter
  • International Superstar Soccer 64
  • Donkey Kong 64

F-Zero X

  • 1080 Snowboarding
  • Diddy Kong Racking
  • Blast Corps
  • Bomberman 64
  • Rayman 2
  • Mario Tennis

Star Wars Rogue Squadron

  • Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire
  • Banjo-Kazooie
  • Banjo-Tooie
  • Perfect Dark
  • Yoshi’s Story

And I guess we would have to have a Zelda game on the list, not for us, for your Zelda loving fans, so let’s go with Ocarina of Time, but that’s it, no other Zelda games, please! Oh yeah, please no Super Smash Bros.!

Thank you,

Alex Boz
Editor-In-Chief @ ausretrogamer


Atari Panther: The Extinct Cat

In 1988 Atari Corporation’s Jack Tramiel ordered work to begin on the successor to the Atari 7800 and XEGS. Work quickly begun on the Panther and Jaguar consoles – yes, the Jaguar! The Atari Panther was being developed by Flare Technology (Flare One and Konix Multisystem) and was scheduled for release in 1991, directly competing with Nintendo’s SNES and Sega’s Mega Drive.

The Panther platform was going to be a mash up of the Atari ST and Transputer “Blossom” video card, once again blurring the lines of “is it 16 or 32-bit?”. For the record, the Motorola 68000 CPU was going to run at 16MHz (compared to the Mega Drive’s 8MHz and the SNES’ 12MHz) which was going to be paired with a 32-bit graphics card running at a whopping 32MHz! On paper, Atari was doing their math(s) right!

As the Panther and Jaguar were being developed in parallel, Atari Corp. started favouring the Jaguar as it was progressing quickly and presented far more impressive and superior technology. Atari eventually decided to scrap the Panther and forge ahead with their 64-bit console. The cancellation of the Panther meant that Atari had no hardware presence in the home console market between the discontinuation of the Atari 7800 in 1992 and the launch of their Jaguar in 1993. This gap weakened the Atari brand and likely contributed to the failure of the Jaguar console.

The cancellation of the Panther was poor timing, which in retrospect Atari wishes they had pursued it to market, as it would have given both the SNES and Mega Drive one hell of a fight!

The Atari Panther blueprint!

Looking good – front, back with nice sides!

The press release that got us drooling!

image source: Atari-Explorer via Wayback Machine

 

Super Nintendo Empire: The Vader Challenge

By: D.C. Cutler, U.S.A.

Darth Vader is such a fascinating film character. He goes away for a while, and then he comes roaring back into our pop culture conscience, better than ever.

After the spectacularly imaginative ending to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Vader is once again as popular as ever. There is something gratifying about seeing people of all ages wearing Darth Vader t-shirts again.

Like the original film trilogy, Super Nintendo’s The Empire Strikes Back, released in 1993, was the best of the Super Star Wars game series.

If you were a talented enough gamer to ultimately advance to Darth Vader, he was very difficult to defeat. That’s what made the game so good. Vader was a challenge, and battling him as Luke Skywalker was really a treat when I played the game as a kid.

Empire has the best lightsaber duel of the entire Star Wars film franchise. And I don’t care what anyone says, the Empire duel between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in Empire is more dramatic and thrilling than their final duel in Return of the Jedi. Just because it’s the coda of the original trilogy doesn’t make it the best lightsaber battle; satisfying, yes, but not on par with the duel that leads to Cloud City’s central air shaft.

image source: Pinterest

The lightsaber battle in the game is very similar to the one at the end of the 1980 film. However, Vader is a lot taller than Luke in the game; he’s almost giant-like compared to the young Jedi. As a child gamer, I found Vader’s height to be a little intimidating.

I spent many entertaining hours fighting Vader; to a point where I would keep track of how long it would take me to defeat him…if I defeated him. Vader’s not messing around at the end of the game. My friends and I called it “The Vader Challenge.” It was an ideal way to reenact the battle at the end of one of my favourite films.

The rest of the game action is enjoyable, but nothing is as testing and exceptional as the duel with Vader. Battling the AT-AT Walkers on the planet Hoth is really fun as well. The graphics are exceptional and the degree of difficulty adds a layer that makes this a game young Star Wars fans should try playing if they can find a Super NES copy.

It’ll stress you out a few times, but “The Vader Challenge” at the end is worth the anxiety.

 

Classic SEGA Games on iOS and Android via SEGA Forever

Three decades after it all began, SEGA Networks announces a growing collection of classic video games for mobile

In celebration of a simpler time – an era that came before cool kale, hyper-connectedness, DIY artisanal beer-making, and social media mayhem – SEGA Networks Inc. is bringing a growing collection of classic video games from every console era to your mobile device for free. The collection, called SEGA Forever, is a re-awakening of archetypal gaming, an ode to the deep and diverse SEGA catalogue, and the beginning of a retro revolution that will transport players back through two decades of console gaming.

Each game in the SEGA Forever lineup is free-to-play, ad-supported, playable offline, and includes added features like cloud saves, controller support, and leaderboards. For players who prefer a pristinely ad-free mobile gaming experience – folks who want to play SEGA just like they remember playing in their basement, without interruptions from parents, siblings, or homework – SEGA have rolled back the price so each game can be purchased without ads for $1.99. As the SEGA Forever collection expands through months and years, it will include both official emulations and ported games that pan all SEGA console eras, each adapted specifically for mobile devices while remaining faithful to the original games.

“Above all else SEGA Forever is a celebration of nostalgia. It’s about allowing fans to reconnect with past experiences and share them with family and friends in an accessible and convenient way,” explains Mike Evans, CMO of SEGA’s Mobile Division in the West. “Join us on a journey of rediscovery as we roll out two decades of classic games free on mobile. Create your own ‘SEGA Forever folder’ and collect your favourite classics. Enjoy moments of nostalgia on the go, or sync a Bluetooth controller to enjoy a console-like experience in your living room. SEGA Forever democratises retro gaming, and seeks to change how the world plays, rediscovers, and shares in classic game experiences.”

The first batch of SEGA Forever games has been carefully curated, boasting both blockbusters and core fan favourites; The collection will officially kick off today with five Mega Drive / Genesis titles, all of which will be available to download for free on the Google Play Store for Android devices and on the App Store for iPhone and iPad, where they will be accompanied by iMessage sticker packs:

  • Sonic The Hedgehog, the 1991 household classic that has remained at the forefront of hearts and minds since inception
  • Phantasy Star II, the longtime fan-favourite RPG from 1989
  • Comix Zone and Kid Chameleon, two American titles developed by SEGA’s in-house studio STI
  • Altered Beast, the original Mega Drive / Genesis pack-in title, a beat-em-up set in Ancient Greece that represents a weird and wonderful segment of the SEGA catalogue that is ripe for rediscovery

 

Following today’s launch, the SEGA Forever collection will continue to grow with additional releases coming every two weeks. It took AGES to get here, so it’s now time to start playing!

image source: SEGA Forever

 

Super Russian Roulette: A New Party Game For The NES

If you were one of the lucky ones to have backed Andrew Reitano’s new NES game, Super Russian Roulette, then you better take your Zapper gun out of its holster! The backer update that came through this morning stated that Super Russian Roulette cartridges will commence shipping on June 5!

There was more good news from Andrew, with the carts having multi-region support, meaning that all copies of the game will operate at the correct speed on NTSC, PAL-A and PAL-B consoles!

We have been quite impressed with Andrew’s updates throughout this whole process and what he managed to cram into Super Russian Roulette:

  • Over 9 minutes of spoken audio
  • 50+ assignable nicknames
  • 44 unique cowboy frames/poses
  • An options screen to build your own cowboy / adjust gun size
  • Alternate versions of each unique animation
  • 3 extra high quality tracks in the NSF Saloon
  • Multi-region capability : NTSC & PAL version on the same cart
  • A much more interactive cowboy through rigorous playtesting
  • And lots of other surprises!

With the Zapper out of its holster and our finger on the trigger, we are ready for Super Russian Roulette!

Testing on the Mattel / PAL-A version

New programmers ready to go!

Hard at work – batch programming the Super Russian Roulette carts!
source: Andrew Reitano

 

The ZX Spectrum Is Reborn As The Next

All you one-eyed C64 lovers licking your wounds after the cancelled Commodore 64: For the Love of a Machine Kickstarter (Ed: which we are still devastated about), please look away now!

Just when those smarmy Speccy owners were popping the champagne in celebration of the rubber key computer’s 35th anniversary, the ZX Spectrum Next makes its appearance on Kickstarter.

source: ZX Spectrum Next on Kickstarter

Not only do Speccy owners celebrate a huge milestone for one of the most enduring computers, but they also have the opportunity to grab a brand-spanking new ZX Spectrum Next! With a brains trust that reads like a who’s who, including original Sinclair computers designer Rick Dickinson, the Next is in fine hands.

A day into the £250,000 crowdfunding campaign, the Next will definitely come to fruition with the goal well within reach – the question remains, how high will the pledge amount go?!


source: Henrique Olifiers