Tag Archives: Mega Drive

The Killing Game Show: The Only Way is Up

This post is one chapter of a MegaFeature!
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A couple of years after his first commercial video game Combat Crazy had failed to set the sales charts alight — despite being an enjoyable side-scrolling platform shooter — Bizarre Creations founder Martyn Chudley was back with another game, this time for 16-bit platforms.

The new title was known as The Killing Game Show, and was published on 16-bit home computers by a company called Psygnosis, which had been establishing a very solid reputation for itself since its inception in 1986. Not only was Psygnosis a spiritual successor to the legendary 8-bit developer-publisher Imagine Software, but it had also demonstrated right from the start that it was a company dedicated to high-quality, well-produced games that oozed class and style — on both the computer screen and on players’ shelves, too.

The Killing Game Show, developed by Chudley and a team working under the name Raising Hell Software, was an ideal fit for Psygnosis’ portfolio, featuring impressive visuals and solid but challenging gameplay to back them up. So let’s take a closer look.

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Earthworm Jim 2: See What Sticks

With the positive reception the first Earthworm Jim had on its original release, a sequel was inevitable. But how do you follow something as chaotic and irreverent as Earthworm Jim?

The obvious answer, of course, is to make it even more chaotic and irreverent, so that’s exactly what Jim’s original creators Doug TenNapel, Dave Perry and Shiny Entertainment did with the follow-up. The result is very much a game that feels like it’s throwing absolutely everything at the wall in order to see what sticks… for better or worse.

You certainly can’t accuse it of just being a rehash of the original, though. So let’s take a closer look, thanks to the Interplay Collection 2 cartridge on the Evercade retro gaming system.

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Tanglewood: Outfoxed at Every Turn

Following the initial batch of ten cartridges for the Evercade retro gaming platform, one of the releases that people were most excited for was cartridge number 11: a double pack featuring arena shooter Xeno Crisis and platformer Tanglewood.

We’ll get to Xeno Crisis in due course, but I wanted to make a point of looking at Tanglewood first. Because while Tanglewood was, like Xeno Crisis, a successful Kickstarter project that ended up being released on both Mega Drive and modern platforms, it’s Xeno Crisis that has had the lion’s share of attention to date. And you know how much I love an underdog. Or an underfox, in this case.

Fortunately, Tanglewood is a lovely game in its own right, so I’m glad I decided to give it a look first. Let’s explore together!

Continue reading Tanglewood: Outfoxed at Every Turn

Midnight Resistance: Under Lock and Key

Throughout the 8- and 16-bit home computer and console eras, we saw numerous developers “paying homage” to one another’s work — and often developing their own interesting twists on the formula in the process.

One cannot look at Data East’s 1989 release Midnight Resistance and not think of Konami’s Contra from two years prior, for example, but in practice the two games play quite differently, developing their own distinct identities in the process.

These days, Contra is by far the better known game, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore Midnight Resistance for yourself. And, as luck would have it, Midnight Resistance can be found in its Mega Drive incarnation on the Data East Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade retro gaming system — so let’s take a closer look!

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A Warm Welcome to the Evercade

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!

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Streets of Rage 3: The Most Notorious Localisation

Ah, Streets of Rage 3. Probably the most notorious entry in the franchise due to how heavily it was altered between its original Japanese release as Bare Knuckle III and its Western incarnation.

Thankfully, modern compilations such as the Sega Mega Drive Classics collection make it very easy to access the Japanese version — though it’s worth taking a look at the Western release too for an extreme example of what unnecessary localisation due to external pressure looks like.

Let’s hit the streets once again!

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Evercade: The Case for Curated Retro Gaming

Blaze’s new retro gaming handheld, the Evercade, officially launches on May 22, 2020, with the company hoping to get units in the hands of everyone who preordered by June 12, 2020 at the latest.

Since I’m planning some extensive coverage of this device and its games as soon as mine arrives — fingers crossed it’s towards the beginning of that release window, but we’ll have to wait and see at the time of writing! — I thought I’d take the opportunity to talk a little bit about this new device, why it appeals, and why I hope it ends up being a success.

Plus, if you’ve not yet heard of the Evercade, you can find out a bit more about it for yourself. Everyone wins. Hit the jump and let’s get started!

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Flicky: The Sound of Birdsong is So Beautiful

Ah, the 1980s; a period of shameless attempts to replicate and exceed the success of other people by having a go at doing it yourself.

Well, that was the thinking that drove Sega to create Flicky in 1984, anyway; jealous of Namco’s success with Mappy, the company’s leadership tasked designer Yoji Ishii with creating something that would beat their rival’s game.

Did they succeed? Well, that’s a matter of opinion. Just maybe bring the earplugs if you want to judge for yourself.

Continue reading Flicky: The Sound of Birdsong is So Beautiful

The MoeGamer Podcast: Episode 18 – Beakf*cker Gets Horizontal

Hello! Welcome, once again, to The MoeGamer Podcast, featuring my erotic baritone (so I’m told) along with the fine pipes of my good friend Chris Caskie of MrGilderPixels.

The MoeGamer Podcast is available in several places. You can subscribe to my channel on YouTube to stay up to date with both the video versions of the podcast and my weekly videos (including the Atari A to Z retro gaming series); you can follow on Soundcloud for the audio-only version of the podcast; you can subscribe via RSS to get the audio-only version of the podcast in your favourite podcast app; or you can subscribe via iTunes. Please do at least one of these if you can; it really helps us out!

Or you can hit the jump to watch or listen to today’s episode right here on MoeGamer.

Continue reading The MoeGamer Podcast: Episode 18 – Beakf*cker Gets Horizontal

Diggin in the Carts – A Collection of Pioneering Japanese Video Game Music

What’s that? A new feature? Why yes, yes it is.

In MoeGamer Music, an occasional feature, I sit down with a blank post and sit down to listen to a whole album without interruptions. While doing so, I will pen some immediate thoughts about each track, as well as providing a bit of information about the album as a whole.

And yes, being a physical release sort of person, everything I will be covering in this column is available on CD, and I will be listening to it on CD rather than ripping it to my digital music library. Distraction-free listening for the win.

We begin today with Diggin in the Carts: A Collection of Pioneering Japanese Video Game Music, published by Hyperdub. If you want to listen along, check out the Bandcamp page here.

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