Up until now, my main living room PC has fulfilled this role very well, thanks to a hodgepodge collection of emulators I’ve acquired over the years, plus the excellent Launchbox to keep things organised. This has worked absolutely fine for me for a while now, allowing me to dip into a vast library of digitally preserved games across a variety of platforms whenever I feel like it — and, rather helpfully for what I do here, easily capture video and take screenshots. But then I got a PlayStation Classic for Christmas.
I’m not one of those people who gets a new mini console and immediately wants to hack it to pieces in order to completely destroy its individuality and uniqueness — my PC Engine Mini is staying pristine, for example. But in the case of the PlayStation Classic, I’d seen numerous people online saying that it made a particularly good multi-purpose “retro box”. So I decided to investigate.
We’re going retro for this week’s short;Play, with one of the many games in the first Midway Arcade Treasures compilation for PlayStation 2, Xbox and Gamecube. (There’s also a PSP version, but that’s slightly different.)
Joust 2: Survival of the Fittest perhaps hasn’t aged as well as some other arcade classics due to its monstrous level of quarter-munching difficulty, but it’s an interesting game that doesn’t get a lot of acknowledgement, while its predecessor is very fondly regarded. This may partly be due to the fact that Joust 2 didn’t get any home ports, while the original Joust was on pretty much everything.
Over the course of the last few years, retro gaming devices of various descriptions have become very popular.
Until now, these have tended to fall into one of two categories: emulation boxes that you can load up with your own collection of ROMs and enjoy to your heart’s content, or pre-curated systems with fixed libraries of games.
Evercade is different. Evercade provides a curated library of officially licensed cartridges that are distributed as packaged, physical products separately from the system itself. And somehow manufacturer Blaze managed to successfully launch this exciting new product in the midst of a world gone absolutely mad. So let’s take a first look at the system!
I’ve been more excited for the PC Engine CoreGrafx Mini (or PC Engine Mini, or TurboGrafx-16 Mini depending where you get it from) than any of the other “mini” consoles that have appeared over the course of the last few years.
The reason for this is that I know very little about the PC Engine platform as a whole. I know things in passing, from second-hand information and from occasional enthusing in multi-format games magazines from the ’80s and ’90s — but I’ve never experienced its library for myself.
With the PC Engine CoreGrafx Mini offering a fine curated selection of Japanese and Western releases all loaded up and ready to go, it seemed like an ideal opportunity to start exploring. So let’s do that!
Not every retro game has stood the test of time quite as well as others. But one I think we can all agree remains just as fresh today as it was back in the day is Centipede.
Developed as a specific attempt to appeal to a broader audience than just the stereotype of young male gamers, Centipede’s bright colours, energetic gameplay, trackball controller and relatable concept made it a big hit with male and female players, both young and old.
This game was a favourite of my whole family growing up… and my mother was nigh-unbeatable at both this and its sequel Millipede!
I don’t… really play sports games. I don’t generally like them, I don’t generally understand them and I am certainly not good at them.
However, I have discovered over the course of the last few years or so that late ’70s/early ’80s sports games are about on a level I can understand for the most part, since the games simply weren’t capable of playing host to complicated mechanics or rules that you’d have to understand the actual sport to be able to fathom.
My time with Atari Baseball may have ended in crushing defeat, but I didn’t hate the experience. In fact, I can see this being quite fun in its original double-sided incarnation, facing off against a fellow player across the top of the cabinet. I suspect I’d still suck, though.
Atari A to Z Flashback features playthroughs of all the games in this collection, with new episodes every Saturday until we’re done! Click here to subscribe on YouTube or watch the playlist above.
Atari may be a shadow of a shadow of a shadow of its former self considering the number of hands the brand has passed through since the ’90s… but it’s fair to say that it still has a hold of my heart.
The Atari 2600 was just slightly before my time — I grew up with the Atari 8-bit home computers before moving on to the ST — but I’ve always been interested in and respected the deep roots video gaming laid down in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Consequently, I’ve jumped on board with most Atari 2600 compilations that have been available for platforms over the years… and had a great time with them.
The latest to appear is Atari Flashback Classics for Nintendo Switch. Boasting 150 games that were originally distributed across three separate releases for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, it certainly seems to offer astounding value for money on paper. But how is it in execution?
It’s a slightly belated new episode of the MoeGamer Podcast!
Both Chris and I had some unfortunate technical issues with our previous attempt to record this podcast, so we ended up having to do it all over again. We present to you the Definitive Edition of this particular episode!
I’m also pleased to announce that there is now an audio-only version of the podcast available on Soundcloud, and it’s been submitted to iTunes and a few other places. The show will continue to be presented in video format here and on YouTube as well, so if you enjoy watching as well as listening, never fear.
In case you missed the news, one of the biggest and most long-running sources for emulators and ROM files on the Internet, EmuParadise, has announced that it is undergoing some changes.
Specifically, the site will no longer be providing games for people to download free of charge; it will be continuing to maintain its database of emulators and hosting its community features, but the main draw for many — the extensive catalogue of ROMs for a variety of systems — has gone away, with every download link now leading to a page which states “this game is unavailable”.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that this is emphatically a bad thing. But let’s talk about it anyway.