Polish Arcade Parlours and Games from the mid 1990s

We love seeing old photos of arcade games and parlours, especially ones from Eastern Europe – just like these photos uploaded on Flickr by Marcin Wichary from mid 1990s Poland.

If you look closely, you will find some interesting bootleg machines, but that doesn’t matter, as this is great to see what gamers got to play in Poland in the mid 1990s.

You can check out the rest of the photos on Flicker.

source: Marcin Wichary on Flickr

 

Nintendo Switch Review: SEGA Mega Drive Classics

Woohoo, the iconic retro collection Sega Mega Drive Classics has landed on the Nintendo Switch™ and boy, it is a ripper! We thought the PS4 version was awesome (which it is!), but you can’t take your PS4 on the train with you to play these classic Mega Drive games.

Sega Mega Drive Classics on the Nintendo Switch is the largest collection of retro classic games in one pack. There are 50+ classic Sega 16-bit games to satisfy almost every genre under the sun, from arcade action, adventure, pinball (sort of), shooters, beat ‘em ups, fighters, puzzlers, hack’n slashers, tactical RPGs to everyone’s favourite, platformers – and there are lots of platformers (which isn’t a bad thing)!

These old favourites aren’t just dumped from their cartridges and thrown in this package, no sirree, they have had a raft of cool modern features injected into them including mirror mode, rewind (for when you slip up), controller customisation, online multiplayer and achievements, optional emulation enhancement filters like pixel scaling and save states to save your game at any time, meaning players – both old and new, should find revisiting these retro games an absolute blast.


source: Five Star Games

Once we loaded Sega Mega Drive Classics we were totally impressed by the opening title sequence, which we will leave as a surprise (Ed: Unless you have already experienced it on the PS4/XBone), but we can tell you this much, it’s pretty darn awesome – either that or we are too easy to please. Anyway, once you stop drooling from the title sequence you are greeted by the menu system where you can access the 50+ Sega Mega Drive games and various other options. The menu resembles the bedroom of an early nineties Sega fan, which is a great throwback, with dynamic time-of-day conditions, retro SEGA paraphernalia, a shelf full of the aforementioned 50+ Mega Drive games, and of course, a CRT TV with the sexy Mega Drive console underneath it.

When selecting a game to play, its corresponding cart is removed from its case and then inserted into the Mega Drive console – pure nostalgia overload. On top of the already mentioned modern conveniences and features jammed into this package, the most important thing we can tell you is that the emulation of the games is spot-on. The word ’emulation’ may trigger negative connotations, but we are here to tell ya that this is as close as you will get to playing Mega Drive games without forking out for the console on eBay and then fishing around for the game cartridges.

A lot of you may already know this, but for the peeps that don’t know, we aren’t much of adventure or RPG fans, so we stuck to Sega’s arcade conversions, platformers, beat’me ups and puzzle games in this collection. After playing a lot of Sonic, Ristar, Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, Columns, Comix Zone and the Shinobi games, we can say that we definitely felt like we were back in the early 90s – good times!

Before we go on, here is the full list of games included in this package:

  • Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
  • Alien Soldier
  • Alien Storm
  • Altered Beast
  • Beyond Oasis
  • Bio-Hazard Battle
  • Bonanza Bros.
  • Columns
  • Columns III: Revenge of Columns
  • Comix Zone
  • Crack Down
  • Decap Attack
  • Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
  • Dynamite Headdy
  • ESWAT: City Under Siege
  • Fatal Labyrinth
  • Flicky
  • Gain Ground
  • Galaxy Force II
  • Golden Axe
  • Golden Axe II
  • Golden Axe III
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Kid Chameleon
  • Landstalker
  • Light Crusader
  • Phantasy Star II
  • Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
  • Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
  • Ristar
  • Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi
  • Shining Force
  • Shining Force II
  • Shining in the Darkness
  • Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
  • Sonic 3D Blast
  • Sonic Spinball
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Space Harrier II
  • Streets of Rage
  • Streets of Rage 2
  • Streets of Rage 3
  • Super Thunder Blade
  • Sword of Vermilion
  • The Revenge of Shinobi
  • ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron
  • ToeJam & Earl
  • Vectorman
  • Vectorman 2
  • Virtua Fighter 2

The problem with a pack like this is that players will concentrate on all the games there were left out. Granted, they probably could put the entire Mega Drive catalogue on the cute little Switch cards and flog it for $90.00+, but then we would find something else to complain about. The games that are included are solid, bar a few questionable titles, however, just because we don’t like adventure and RPG titles, it doesn’t mean they should be excluded. Same goes the other way, if you loathe platformers, beat’em ups and puzzlers, it doesn’t mean these genres should be thrown out for more RPGs. Actually, if there was a driving game like Super Monaco GP or a motorcycle-racing-bashing one like Road Rash, then we could say that most, if not all, genres are well represented. Come to think of it, a few more shoot’em ups, like Truxton and Thunder Force would have rounded out this already pretty awesome package. Ah, we can speculate all we want, but we have to give it to Sega, they have tried to cater for the majority and we reckon they have done an admirable job.

After waffling on about this Sega Mega Drive Classics package on the Switch, the ultimate decision to buy or not buy is yours, but we’ll leave you with this little nugget – if you want to get your Sega 16-Bit gaming fix on your modern console and also play it on the go, then you can’t go too wrong with Sega Mega Drive Classics.

Review System: Nintendo Switch
Release Date:
December 6 2018
Format: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One & PS4
Price: $48.99 on Nintendo Switch (via OzGameShop)

Disclosure: Sega Mega Drive Classics [Nintendo Switch] download code was kindly provided by Five Star Games for this review.

 

No QB Kneel in EA’s Madden

By: D.C. Cutler, U.S.A.

I’ve been playing EA Sports’ Madden for most of my life. It’s probably one of my favourite games. With each new edition, the graphics are enhanced and the speed increases. The game is so iconic, I can’t imagine gaming without Madden. Madden has been the go-to, two player game for most gamers; especially ones who love the NFL.

Several years ago, to make Madden more of a challenge, a friend, who I always played Madden with, thought it would be fun if we eliminated the option to QB Kneel. We kept losing close games to each other by using the QB Kneel offensive play when one of us was slightly ahead. It got kind of boring. And Madden is a lot of things, but boring shouldn’t be one of them.

source: EA Sports

When we removed the play option from our games, it made Madden even harder. When you got a comfortable lead, you couldn’t just sit on it and stop thinking about strategy. Fumbles and interceptions became more prevalent in the final minutes of a contest without the QB Kneel.

I started to not use the QB Kneel when I played single player Madden. It seems simple to just run the ball until the clock runs out, but when you’re playing a solid team on the most difficult setting, a fumble always seems to transpire. You quickly realise how important the QB Kneel is. I even tried throwing it. That was a mistake. The defences are too good to let a pass sail by, and if you miss your man, the clock stops.

Adding an extra bit of difficulty to a game that can already be a struggle isn’t wise, but if you want to get better at Madden, try it once. Even if your play with the Patriots or the Eagles, a fumble seems to always happen when you’re trying to run out the clock. I’ve even had easy field goals blocked with seconds left in the game. Playing without QB Kneels makes the urgency to score early even greater.

ozgameshop FOR THE GAMERS

 

Review: Atari Retro Handheld

Let’s get one thing straight, this Atari Retro Handheld is not a Flashback portable console by ATGames! There, hopefully we have clarified this point for you all.

This cool Atari Retro Handheld is by powered by Blaze. With its iconic Atari faux wood veneer and Vader lines along its front, this portable system design screams late 70s kitsch. It is like having an Atari VCS woody in your pocket – almost! We say almost, cause you can’t really grab your old Atari 2600 carts and slam them in this handheld, but you can play one of 50 classic titles, including Asteroids, Adventure, Breakout, Centipede, Crystal Castles, Millipede, Sword Quest, Yar’s Revenge  and our absolute fave Atari 2600 game of all time, Missile Command – check out the full list of games below.

  1. 3D Tic-Tac-Toe (31 in 1)
  2. Adventure
  3. Air-Sea Battle
  4. Asteroids ®
  5. Black Jack
  6. Bowling
  7. Breakout ®
  8. Canyon Bomber ®
  9. Casino
  10. Centipede ®
  11. Circus Atari ®
  12. Crystal Castles ®
  13. Demons to Diamonds ™
  14. Desert Falcon ®
  15. Dodge ’em
  16. Double Dunk
  17. Fun With Numbers
  18. Golf
  19. Gravitar ®
  20. Haunted House ®
  21. Home Run
  22. Human Cannonball ™
  23. Maze Craze
  24. Millipede ®
  25. Miniature Golf ®
  26. Missile Command ®
  27. Night Driver ™
  28. Off the Wall
  29. Pong – Video Olympics
  30. Quadrun ™
  31. Radar Lock ™
  32. Realsports Football ®
  33. Realsports Tennis ®
  34. Realsports Volleyball ®
  35. Sprintmaster
  36. Steeplechase
  37. Stellar Track ™
  38. Street Racer
  39. Submarine Commander
  40. Super Baseball
  41. Super Breakout ®
  42. Super Football
  43. Swordquest: Earthworld ™
  44. Swordquest: Fireworld ™
  45. Swordquest: Waterworld ™
  46. Tempest ®
  47. Video Checkers
  48. Video Chess
  49. Video Pinball
  50. Yar’s Revenge ®

The Retro Handheld sports a 2.4″ screen, which surprisingly suits most of the games, however, there were a few that felt cramped on the tiny screen. The unit does come with a composite A/V out interface, so you can plug it into a TV (preferably a CRT) for some big screen action. Emulation was pretty much spot on, with the games playing like their cart counterparts. To round out its retro-ness, batteries, yes, batteries the AAA kind, are required to power this little Atari – relax, this isn’t like the original Atari Lynx, you’ll definitely get a considerable amount of playing hours out of 3 x AAA Duracell batteries.

We were a bit iffy when we first saw the controls, especially the funny looking d-pad nub. Once we started playing, the d-pad and the buttons felt good under the thumbs and were responsive. However, there was one game that was totally unplayable using the nub – not looking at you Pong! Apart from that little niggle, gamers will feel right at home with the controls. Oh yeah, one nifty feature is when changing games, you simply hit the Start and Select buttons at the same time and viola, you exit the current game and go back to the menu to select a new one – this was cool, as we didn’t want to turn off the unit every time we wanted to play a new game.

There will be some that will scoff at this little handheld and others that will absolutely love it for what it is – a portable little Atari that looks like your old Atari 2600 woody and plays your favourite games. We definitely love playing on it (bar the unplayable Pong!), even though we are not big fans of the current Atari SA company. If you can get past this, then this is a little winner.

If you are keen on one of these Atari Retro Handhelds, grab one from FunstockRetro right now! They will even throw in a limited edition Atari Centipede Gold Coin for free – but you better hurry, as this sale ends soon!

Disclosure: The Atari Retro Handheld was kindly supplied by FunstockRetro for this review.

 

Retro Gaming Black Friday Deals

Whoa, it’s that time of year when everyone loses their mind by trying to find the best Black Friday deals!

Well, since we don’t want you guys to stress, we have curated a list of cool Black Friday gaming deals that suit any budget.

Get your wallets and purses ready, here we go!

My Arcade Data East Classics Mini Arcade $99 (save $50)

TheC64 Mini $134 (save $16)

Midway Gaming Box $19.99 (save $9.96)

MEGA DRIVE MICROSDHC CARD + SD ADAPTER SET $24.16 (save $8.53)

DREAMCAST MICROSDHC CARD + SD ADAPTER SET $24.16 (Save $8.53)

Art Of Atari $52.95 (save $27)

Sturmwind – Sega Dreamcast $27.01 (save $19.91)

NEOGEO Mini $170.63 (save $79.64)

Red Tent Nintendo Switch Stand $89.58 (save $24.18)

Action Replay 4M Auto Plus for the Sega Saturn $28.43 (save $8.53)

PONG – Where It All Started T-Shirt $42.88

Nintendo Classic Mini Double Pack $199.08 (save $14.22)

TOKI Collector’s Edition (Nintendo Switch) $70.99 (20% BACK IN PLAYER POINTS)

SNK 40th Anniversary Collection Nintendo Switch Game $51.99 (20% BACK IN PLAYER POINTS)

MARVEL COMICS 1/4 SCALE ACTION FIGURE: DEADPOOL $139.35

PSIKYO COLLECTION VOL. 1 – Nintendo Switch $42.65 (save $7.11)

TERMINATOR 2 1/4 SCALE ACTION FIGURE: T-800 $140.77 (save $7.11)

8BITDO SN30 PRO BLUETOOTH GAMEPAD (SN EDITION) $46.91 (save $17.06)

 

Review: SNK 40th Anniversary Collection

We bet that when you think of SNK you think of the NEOGEO, however SNK was developing and publishing pretty decent arcade games well before the NEOGEO.

When the SNK 40th Anniversary Collection was announced earlier this year, we immediately took note, as we got quite excited at the prospect of playing SNK’s library of awesome classic games on our Nintendo Switch.

This collection represents SNK’s golden age of arcade games, a true arcade connoisseurs anthology, which is already proving quite popular in the office – we have to wait our turn on the shared Switch (Ed: perhaps we need to leave a coin on the screen!).

So which SNK games can you play straight away? The current list of titles, which is a mix of arcade and console ports, are a great start for the trip down memory lane:

  • Alpha Mission (Console/Arcade)
  • Athena (Console/Arcade)
  • Crystalis (Console)
  • Ikari Warriors (Console/Arcade)
  • Ikari Warriors II: Victory Road (Console/Arcade)
  • Ikari Warriors III: The Rescue (Console/Arcade)
  • Guerrilla War (Console/Arcade)
  • P.O.W. (Console/Arcade)
  • Prehistoric Isle (Arcade)
  • Psycho Soldier (Arcade)
  • Street Smart (Arcade)
  • TNK III (Console/Arcade)
  • Vanguard (Arcade)

But wait, there is more! On December 11, there will be an additional 11 games added (for free!) to the already packed collection – check out these beauties:

  • Munch Mobile (Arcade)
  • Fantasy (Arcade)
  • Sasuke vs. Commander (Arcade)
  • Chopper I (Arcade)
  • Time Soldiers (Arcade)
  • Bermuda Triangle (Arcade)
  • Paddle Mania (Arcade)
  • Ozma Wars (Arcade)
  • Beast Busters (Arcade)
  • Search and Rescue (Arcade)
  • World Wars (Arcade)

With regular patches being released to enhance gameplay experience (like the Day 1 patch adding ‘Single Stick’ mode amongst a raft of other improvements), this compilation truly gets better and better. The emulation has a few bumps here and there, but nothing that detracts from the overall gameplay experience – If you have never played these games or played them long ago, you would never notice. And as mentioned, patches are being released to tighten up any loose ends.

Speaking of user experience, the overall presentation is simply awesome, with an easy to use menu system that not only provides access to the arcade games with enhanced features (like rewind gameplay, auto-fire and 1080p resolution to name just a few), but also a brilliant museum mode where a lot of painstaking effort was made to catalogue and preserve the legacy of one of Japan’s leading developers, which includes high definition artwork and original promotional assets. We actually spent a lot of time in the museum going through each game and finding out information we could not find anywhere else – those of you that are into history and research will love this mode.

We are really glad that SNK chose to celebrate their extraordinary milestone by giving us, the gamers, a brilliant high quality compilation. The SNK 40th ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION is packed full of retro gaming goodness with top-notch features with a complimentary museum mode which tops off what is an already solid package for those of you craving for nostalgia.

This is an essential collection to add to your Nintendo Switch games library. The only problem you’ll have is making the choice between physical or download – either way, you can’t go wrong!

image source: NIS America

Disclosure: SNK 40th Anniversary Collection [Nintendo Switch – download] was kindly provided by NIS America for this review.

 

Spider-Man PS4: The Hype is Real

By: D.C. Cutler, U.S.A.

Recently, I received a text message from a friend asking, “Should I buy the new Spider-Man game? Is it worth it?”

First, I didn’t even know she was a gamer. And second, I hadn’t played the game yet. I saw the trailer; I thought it looked interesting, but nothing about a new Marvel Spider-Man game, published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 4, intrigued me. Then, I fortunately played the game at a store demo.

Insomniac Games Spider-Man could be one of the most entertaining video games I’ve ever played. Superhero games are my wheelhouse. I’m not a big Spider-Man fan, but this game and the new Marvel films, starring Tom Holland as Peter Parker, have stealthily made me one.

The web-shooting is so clean and quick. You have a wide selection of weapons, but web slinging, to travel around the city and to battle foes, is a necessity to effectively navigate through the game. Sticking your webbing to a trash can, or manhole cover, and slinging it around to hit your enemies is one of the best fighting options. I find it oddly satisfying every time I do it to goons who have no idea what’s coming.

Swinging around New York City with your webbing is one of the most thrilling things about the game. The graphics are so exceptional; every swing down a new block is like a scene from a Spider-Man movie. The combo of fighting villains, who are sometimes morphed into baddies by others, and swinging to all of the unique locations, makes for what I think is the game of the year. Sorry, Red Dead Redemption II. Insomniac Games has made the definitive Spider-Man game, and, perhaps, the defining superhero game of the decade.

Some of the things I didn’t like about the game was how a certain villain morphs other random strangers, who are dressed as popular Spider-Man villains, into real threats. It seemed a bit gimmicky and just weird. My first time playing, I had a very difficult time with a large man dressed as super-villain Rhino.

Some of the instant call-ins from characters like Aunt May and Mary Jane took me out of the game when I was in the middle of action. It was clever, but it wasn’t needed. Also, the music by John Paesano seemed subdued.

3.3 million copies of Spider-Man PS4 have been sold, and I’m sure it’ll be on a few Christmas lists this year.

image source: Marvel