Racing games used to be very different to how we know them today — primarily due to the limitations of the hardware on which they were running.
Instead of unfolding in lovingly rendered, minutely detailed 3D polygonal worlds as most of today’s racers are, they took what we now call a “vanishing point” approach, where the road was drawn using two converging lines to simulate a sense of perspective, and sprites drawn at various sizes were placed along the sides of the track to assist with the illusion of movement and speed.
Of all the racers designed in this way — and there are many, including some developed quite recently! — Kemco’s Top Racer, also known as Top Gear, is one of the finest out there. This is a game that still gets regular play from a lot of racing enthusiasts today — plus now you can enjoy it as part of the Piko Interactive Collection 1 cartridge for Blaze’s Evercade retro gaming system. So let’s take a closer look!
Continue reading Top Racer: Definitely-Not-Lotus Turbo Challenge
Every now and then, I like to trawl through Nintendo’s various digital marketplaces to see if anything interesting catches my eye.
The most bounteous sources of unusual and cheap Nintendo- based entertainment to date have been the 3DS eShop, which brought us games such as the highly unusual but thoroughly compelling Puzzle Labyrinth, and the Switch’s eShop, which is awash with small-scale indie projects from all over the world.
One that grabbed my attention recently — primarily due to it being on sale for less than what you’d pay for breakfast at Starbucks — was Yōdanji, a game originally released by Kemco for PC, mobile and Switch in 2017, and a self-described “coffee-break roguelike themed after Japanese folklore tales”. I’m in! Let’s take a look.
Continue reading Yodanji: Stabby Weasels and Licky Umbrellas
It’s weird how some memories stick with you for the longest time, for seemingly no reason whatsoever.
Prior to picking up a copy again recently, I hadn’t played Top Gear on the Super NES since the early ’90s when it was first released. And yet upon firing it up I confirmed something I had suspected for a while: its music had indeed been stuck in my head for nearly thirty years.
I was also pleased to discover that Top Gear is indeed still a whole lot of fun — and a great example of a type of racing game that has been rendered largely obsolete by the advances in technology over the years.
Continue reading SNES Essentials: Top Gear