One of the most delightful things about the modern video game scene is the fact that a lot of developers are willing to go back to classic hardware and make new games.
In doing so, they can create games that feel authentic thanks to their working within the limitations of the original host platform, but which perhaps incorporate some more modern design sensibilities that the gaming community as a whole has figured out over the years.
Xeno Crisis is an unapologetically old-school arcade-style shooter, designed specifically for the Mega Drive and ported to a variety of platforms. That original Mega Drive version is also available as part of a double-game cartridge (alongside the excellent but very different Tanglewood) for the Evercade retro gaming system, and it’s that version specifically that we’re looking at today.
Continue reading Xeno Crisis: 16-Bit Mayhem
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
One of the things I miss the most about eras of gaming gone by is the way that different platforms had their own distinct capabilities — and, by extension, their own distinctive look and feel for their software.
On the flip side, one of the things I enjoy the most about gaming today is the fact that a lot of developers are very keen to pay tribute and homage to these platforms of the past while incorporating modern design philosophies. In many ways, this idea of “enhanced retro” gives us the best of both worlds — the comfort of a classic platform’s familiar aesthetic, coupled with all the things developers and players alike have learned over the course of gaming’s history.
A great example of this at work is Petal Crash, a new puzzle game from Friend & Fairy, published by Freedom Planet developer Galaxy Trail. Let’s take a closer look!
Continue reading Petal Crash: Like the Game Boy Colour Never Left
One of the most common arguments in favour of pocket-sized handheld gaming devices is that they’re eminently suitable for bite-sized nuggets of gameplay that will keep you distracted for a few minutes at a time.
The Evercade retro gaming platform is no stranger to this concept, with plenty of the games across its complete library ideal for a quick rag on while you wait for your Pot Noodle to finish festering, your significant other to get out of the bog and/or Amelia Watson to start streaming. And many of these “quick hit” games can be found on the eighth cartridge in the library: Mega Cat Studios Collection 1, a compilation of “modern retro” titles where today’s developers make new games for yesterday’s systems.
A fine example is Mega Cat’s self-developed Log Jammers, an exceedingly unsubtle homage to Data East’s Neo Geo title Windjammers, originally released for NES in 2017 and now available for fun on the go thanks to the Evercade. Grab your axe and let’s get rolling!
Continue reading Log Jammers: Less Wind, More Log
Xbox Live Arcade and its contemporaries are interesting places to look back over. Since XBLA and PSN were some of the first high-profile digital storefronts for console gaming, a lot of companies decided to get a bit experimental with their low-cost, download-only releases.
For some developers, this meant the opportunity to experiment with new and exciting styles of game that probably wouldn’t have gotten greenlit by retail publishers at the time. For others, it was a good excuse to return to some of their classic properties that had lain dormant for a while — and a chance to bring these beloved names kicking and screaming into the digital, high-definition age.
Konami’s Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition from 2012 very much falls into the latter category, as you might expect. And while it’s a far from essential part of any digital console library, it does manage to keep the essence of Frogger intact while providing some intriguing new ways to play — particularly if you have friends over.
Continue reading Frogger Hyper Arcade Edition: Froggy Moves One Step At a Time
The platform game genre has been around for many years at this point, and, like most other types of games, it has gradually increased in complexity as time has passed.
That hasn’t always been for the better, however. While the shift to 3D with titles such as Super Mario 64 was praised as a huge leap forwards for gaming as a medium, as time continued to tick onwards, a lot of developers felt the need to continually increase the things a player had to think about while they were playing. Eventually we ended up with Rare’s Donkey Kong 64, a game that, while not bad as such, had diluted the simple pleasures of the genre so much with its myriad collectibles that a lot of people bounced right off it.
So sometimes it’s nice to return to simpler times. Times when platform games unfolded on a single screen at a time, and required you to do nothing more than reach a particular point, collect all the things on screen or, perhaps, paint every inch of the level in a particular colour. Enter Super Painter from Retro Souls, part of the Mega Cat Studios Collection cartridge for the Evercade retro gaming platform.
Continue reading Super Painter: Simpler Times
Welcome back! With the recent release of Dragon Marked for Death on PS4, we thought we were long overdue for an Inti Creates love-in on the podcast. Joining me today, as always, is my regular partner in crime, 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 and listen on Spotify. Please do at least one of these if you can; it really helps us out!
Enjoy the podcast in video and audio formats below:
And hit the jump for show notes!
Continue reading The MoeGamer Podcast: Episode 41 – Inti Creates, We Play
Despite what anyone who has ever worked in the teaching profession (including myself) might tell you, children are not inherently evil.
They’re not inherently good either, mind you, and that’s what potentially makes them interesting as characters. Particularly characters in some form of interactive media where you get to explore the consequences of “good” and “bad” behaviour in various contexts.
Among other things, A Hat in Time is a joyful exploration of what it means to be a child. A child who has their own spaceship and is clearly a lot more 1) intelligent and 2) affluent than they might let on, but a child nonetheless. Let’s explore this strange and wonderful world through the eyes of the one and only Hat Kid.
Continue reading A Hat in Time: Hat the Nipper
Part of my intention behind my Delving Into series focusing on Castlevania was to get a solid understanding of the classic franchise before jumping into Koji Igarashi’s Kickstarter-funded Bloodstained project.
While I’m not all the way through the classic games at the time of writing, I do feel like I’m at an adequate point where I can start looking at the two Bloodstained games and be able to analyse their similarities and differences from classic-formula Castlevania.
So let’s begin today with a look at Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, a spinoff title developed by Inti Creates, designed more in the mould of Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse than the more recent, post-Symphony of the Night open-structure 2D platformer incarnations.
Continue reading Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon – Enhanced Nostalgia
A popular thing for modern programmers of retro systems to do is to make new ports of games that previously remained confined to a specific platform.
Such is the case with Deathchase XE, a 2013 entry in the famous ABBUC software contest, which pits modern programmers of Atari systems against one another to produce the most impressive piece of software — be it “useful” or a game.
Deathchase XE reimagines ZX Spectrum classic Deathchase for the Atari, and does a pretty good job of it — even if the competition deadline meant that the creator wasn’t quite able to implement everything he wanted!