Amazon’s Retro Zone: All Retro. All The Time

While the big news is of Amazon arriving Down Under, we were more excited about their new Retro Zone!

Amazon has curated their best of the best retro gaming items, from console, games and toys, to clothing and books! Oh yeah, there is plenty of Sega, Nintendo, Square Enix and Atari gear too!

So what are you waiting for, go and hit up the Amazon Retro Zone now!

More Retro than you can poke a stick at!

The heavy hitters of retro gaming are all there! Wait, where is Commodore?

image source: Amazon Retro Zone

 

Retro Gamer Issue 171 is Out Now!

Extra! Extra! Read All About It! The latest Retro Gamer, issue 171 has hit the physical and virtual newsstands!

We are huge fans of Retro Gamer covers, but this one takes the cake – it is simply awesome! Behind this gorgeous cover you’ll find a myriad of retro gaming features to satisfy your nostalgia hunger. Still not convinced? Here is a taste of what’s inside this issue:

  • The Kings Of Donkey Kong – We quiz the high scores past and present about Nintendo’s hit arcade game.
  • Pushing The Limits: R-Type (Spectrum)
  • SNES Mini Feature
  • Making Of Saboteur II
  • Hardware Heaven: Sinclaur QL
  • Licence To Thrill: Aliens
  • Archives: Introversion Software
  • Making Of Wild Guns
  • In The Chair: Simon Phipps.
  • Ultimate Guide: Zaxxon
  • Peripheral Vision: Super Scope
  • Retro Revival: Shadowfax
  • Making Of Arch Rivals
  • Retro Revival: Super Adventure Island
  • The Unconverter: Spider-Man The Videogame
  • Lost In Translation: Enduro Racer (Master System)
  • Future Classic: Undertale
  • Retroinspection: PocketStation
  • Minoirty Report: Game Boy Advance
  • Retro Revival: Dungeon Explorer
  • Back To The Noughties: August 2000
  • Classic Moments: Mischief Makers

source: Retro Gamer

 

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

 

Sonic Forces: Gameplay Footage Teaser

Just in case you missed it, at last week’s SXSW (South by Southwest) in Austin, SEGA revealed the first gameplay footage of the upcoming Sonic Forces game. We must admit, it is great to see Sonic back in force (Ed: sorry, it was there for the taking). The blue blur is smooth and as speedy as ever!

Sonic Forces, the latest in the Sonic the Hedgehog games series is being developed by the gun Sonic Team. The game is scheduled for release later this year on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC!


source: Five Star Games

 

Retrogaming Designer Jewellery

Are you a gaming nerd that is into their designer jewellery? If you are, then you’ve come to the right place.

We have seen many DIY gaming related jewellery on Etsy and other e-stores, which are pretty cool, but they don’t come close to the jewellery we have drooled over by Han Cholo.

With the Han Cholo collections (which there are many), there are designer and officially licensed products to choose from, like the official Sonic The Hedgehog 25th anniversary class ring and the awesome Sonic sneakers pendant!

Being gaming nerds and general pop culture geeks, we found ourselves trawling many of Han Cholo’s collections, from the cool Gamer stuff (hello Sega Mega Drive controller necklace) to the many Star Wars rings and Masters Of The Universe keychains and pendants. We just wish we had more than ten fingers and one neck!

The Sega Mega Drive / Genesis controller is close to our heart

Mario would be totally jelly of this ring!

If the Sonic ring is not your thing, then the Sonic sneakers pendant may tickle your fancy

The dark side of the force is strong with this ring!

Whoa, Daft Punk ring! No way!

Voltron!

We have the keys to our castle

By the power of Grayskull!

Battle Cat is fierce!

The perfect piece for the arcadians!
image source: Han Cholo


The Retro Freak: It’s Freakin Awesome

retrofreak_titleWhen we received the Retro Freak console from Play-Asia, we put our thinking cap on to try and find a way to review the unit objectively. Our thinking cap must’ve worked, as we came up with an ingenious idea – take the Retro Freak to the biggest gaming expo in the southern hemisphere, PAX Aus 2016!

By having the Retro Freak available to play at PAX Aus, it gave us the opportunity to observe attendees playing on the console and gauge their unfiltered and objective feedback. With thousands in attendance, we weren’t short of people having a go. There were youngsters and older players, families and couples all having a go. The overwhelming responses from players was, “What is this console?”, “Where can I get one?” and “How much is it?”.

Play your old school carts on the Retro Freak!
retrofreak_top_carts

For those that are not aware, this awesome console from Cyber Gadget allows you to play your original game cartridges/cards from your Famicom, SNES/Super Famicom, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, PC Engine, TurboGrafx-16, SuperGrafx, Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance. By supporting these legacy systems, the Retro Freak ensures that you only need the one console setup in your games room to play all of your favourite classic titles! Hooray, you can finally declutter!

Let’s put on scanlines!
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We love the clean and easy-to-use interface
retrofreak_screen

The Retro Freak pumps out its audio visuals via HDMI, supporting 720p upscaling, which makes your old school games look great on newer TVs – so no more needing that 20 year old CRT TV! Well, we would suggest that you still hold onto your CRT TV *winks*. The other cool features that will freak you out (in a good way) include; filters, backing up of games from cartridge onto the console (on MicroSD card), instant save states and cheat codes (for certain games).

For control, there is the pack-in SNES-style controller, which does the job well, or if you prefer, modern gamepads such as the DualShock 3 and DualShock 4 can also be used (via USB). The Retro Freak Premium pack ships with a controller adaptor that supports Famicom/NES, Super Famicom/SNES, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, and PC-Engine/TurboGrafx-16 controllers. If you prefer bluetooth control (perhaps you dislike wires!), you can procure the 8bitdo Retro Receiver, plug it into the controller adaptor and use any one of your PS3, PS4, WiiMote or Wii U controllers you may have lying around. Oh yeah, you can re-map controller buttons to suit your style! We love the flexibility that the Freak provides!

The pack-in controller does the job! At least the USB cable is 1.8M!
retrofreak_snes-controller

One side of the Controller Adaptor – connect your fave gamepads!
retrofreak_controlleradapter

Other side of the Controller Adaptor reveals more classic controller ports!
retrofreak_controlleradapter2

So how does it compare to playing on the real hardware? We threw all kinds of games at the Freak, and it ran them without a hitch. We didn’t encounter any incompatibility issues, which ensured we didn’t rage quit and turn off the console. The transferring of original game cartridge data to MicroSD is as easy as breathing, thanks to the user friendly interface. One niggle we did have was with Cyber Gadget’s support page being in Japanese – it made it difficult to ascertain the firmware and application updates required to ensure the Retro Freak was up to date. Google did came to the rescue here by pointing us to a forum that had the instructions in English on how to upgrade the firmware.

The elephant in the room is the obvious comparison to the RetroN5. With quality issues hampering the RetroN5, we know which system we would prefer to use – if only the Retro Freak was as good looking as the RetroN5! If you want to be able to archive your original game carts and declutter by only having one console to play your classic games on, then you can’t go wrong with the Retro Freak!

If you are keen to check out the Retro Freak console, then head to Play-Asia now.

Play Operation Wolf straight from the PC-Engine HuCard, OR…
retrofreak_opwolf

Backup the Operation Wolf HuCard to microSD! It’s the best of both worlds!
retrofreak_opwolf_backup

The Retro Freak makes it to PAX Aus!
retrofreak_pax

Family gaming together!
retrofreak_pikachu

The Retro Freak was a hit at PAX Aus 2016! The Sega Mega Drive version of Aladdin was quite popular.
retrofreak_girl

Super Famicom F-Zero action aplenty!
retro_freak_fzero

Time to SUPER SMASH (some) TV!
retrofreak_smashtv

Thanks to Play-Asia.com for supplying the Retro Freak used in this review.

 

Wolfsbora’s Tour Of Shenmue – Part 1

Shenmue_Part1_HDRWhy is Ryo always asking the wrong questions? That is what I am internally mulling over as I try my hand at Shenmue for the very first time. An epic ‘open-world action-adventure’ game (according to its Wikipedia page), it is also considered an RPG that was developed for the long deceased, but ultimately timeless Sega Dreamcast. Shenmue stars Ryo Hazuki, a teen who looks more like a 30-something man who jumped straight out of Virtua Fighter and onto the streets of Japan. There appears, however, to be a reason for that. The creator of the game, Yu Suzuki, originally intended for the Shenmue series to exist in the same world as Virtua Fighter, but then decided to drop the connection. Still, they could have tried a bit harder to make him look more like a pubescent, acne-riddled teen and less like a haggard, street-fighter who always looks like he is waking up from a Scotch-induced bender. As for what brings the advanced-in-age-looking protagonist to the beginning of the game, Ryo is seeking revenge for the murder of his father. As you proceed through the quest, you fill in a notebook with clues which you must follow to continue on with the story. There is also quite a diverse collection of items that you can buy, receive, and earn, but I haven’t quite figured out what I’m doing literally with any of them.

Man-child seeking fight
Shenmue_Part1_30YearOldTeen

Can’t find a fight? That’s fine, Ryo will just fight himself
Shenmue_Part1_RyoFightsRyo

Regardless of the main character’s appearance, the game definitely looks and “feels” amazing, especially considering its age. Shenmue has the appearance of an early Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 game, which is saying something, considering the game came out in 1999, six years before either of those systems came onto the market.

By this point, you’ve either forgotten about my initial question, or you’ve been frustratingly clenching your teeth and demanding some serious answers because you’re a very serious person (it says so on your resume). But here it is: why does Ryo ask the wrong question in almost every scenario where there will be dialogue between you and another person? Well, I don’t know. This is my only gripe with Shenmue up to this point in the game. I wish that they had decided to give you dialogue options because not only is he asking the wrong questions, he’s usually rambling on about things that have nothing to do with the story, let alone the fact that the responding dialogue typically makes even less sense. Here’s hoping that the dialogue starts to fix itself!

Tom has no idea what is going on, but he has some amazing dance moves and delicious hot dogs
Shenmue_Part1_Tom

Finally, within the first couple of hours or so, I find that Shenmue is more adventure than action. You spend most of your time wandering Dobuita street, fists always clenched, asking people silly questions and getting even sillier answers. I have, so far, been involved in one quick time fight, in which you press the correct corresponding button to the label on the screen. Yet, I’m somehow still enjoying the game thanks to the ability to explore the graphically pleasing city. I think I’ll stick around for a while.

Where can I find a fight?!
Shenmue_Part1_StreetView

That is all for Part 1 as I, Wolfie, take you on an adventure through this retroland called Shenmue. Stay tuned for Part 2 as I get further into the story. Thanks for reading!

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blahjediWolfsbora
U.S.A. based arcade cabinet & retro game collector. Lover of all (good) games and the people that play them!

Follow Wolfsbora on Twitter and Steam.