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

 

Hyper Player Attack!

Cor blimey, what a phenomenal week it has been for the ausretrogamer crew!

Not only did we feature in two articles in issue 266 of Hyper Magazine, but our very own ‘Wizard Of Aus‘, Alex Boz was also interviewed by the team at Player Attack!

Hip hip hooray for retro gaming!

Retro Gaming: A Link To The Past interview @ Player Attack

Social Hardware and Digging Up The Past, To Preserve The Future feature articles from issue 266 of Hyper Magazine

 

Top 5 Games Charts: February 2000

As the second month of the new millennium rolled around, we realised that the doomsday Y2K bug was a furphy and we pumped up the volume to All Saints‘ ‘Pure Shores’!

By February 2000 the PlayStation was showing its age, but it was still host to many great games – hello Crash Team Racing! If you were in the Nintendo or Sega camps, February 2000 was a good one, as their respective consoles, the Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast, were definitely not short of ace games.

So let’s put on some Christina Aguilera and take a look back at what games made the top 5 charts on the PlayStation, Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast in February 2000. See any you like?

PSX_150x150 1) Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation (Eidos)
2) FIFA 2000 (EA)
3) Crash Team Racing (Sony)
4) Tomorrow Never Dies (EA)
5) This Is Football (Sony)

 

N64_150x150 1) Donkey Kong 64 (Nintendo)
2) WWF Wrestlemania 2000 (THQ)
3) Super Smash Bros. (Nintendo)
4) Rainbow Six (Take 2)
5) Rayman 2 (Ubisoft)

 

1) Virtua Striker 2 (Sega)
2) Shadowman (Acclaim)
3) SoulCalibur (Namco)
4) Jimmy White’s 2: Cueball (Virgin)
5) UEFA Striker (Infogrames)

 

 

SKYCURSER Is Coming Soon To Shoot Up Your Arcade

Who says that the arcade is dead? If you are sick of seeing redemption machines at your local amusement centre, then perhaps the new horizontal shoot’em up, SKYCURSER will draw you back for some good old fashion blasting!

Griffin Aerotech’s SKYCURSER takes players through some gorgeously drawn worlds in which they must battle mutant hordes to save the planet. SKYCURSER has a total of four missions with a reward scoring system that keeps things quite competitive.

The game runs on a platform called Airframe and its creators have also promised free game updates. A year ago, the Griffin Aerotech team expressed hopes that the open-source nature of Airframe would attract other independent designers to create games for arcade cabinets and controls. This means that operators could potentially swap several games on the same Airframe using only a USB stick, which brings back memories of swapping those good old Neo Geo MVS cartridges.

There’s a Pro (USD$700) and Deluxe (USD$1,200) version of the kitted game, each coming with necessary software and hardware while the Deluxe has additional conversion art. The game is also available in a dedicated arcade cabinet ready to hit the floor (USD$3,499). Conversion kits are expected to ship by June 2017. For information on purchasing the game in a dedicated cabinet, click here.

The arcade industry needs more of these good old fashioned arcade games, like SKYCURSER, to draw back the 80s and 90s kids (now adults) into arcade centres for them to have fun while introducing their own children to the kind of games they played at their age many moons ago.

image source: Griffin Aerotech